HT Image
HT Image

Teams made in cricketing heaven

World Cups, ever since the first time the burly men from the Caribbean laid their hands on it in 1975, have always generated huge interest in all playing nations every four years. It has travelled from the farthest Caribbean islands to the corners of the Outback in Australia. The subcontinent of India, however, has always been the centre of the feverish anticipation that always seems to engulf the nation every time the Cup happens.
By Abhishek Mandal
UPDATED ON FEB 06, 2015 11:53 PM IST

Over the years, a lot has changed in limited-overs cricket. World Cups, ever since the first time the burly men from the Caribbean laid their hands on it in 1975, have always generated huge interest in all playing nations every four years.

It has travelled from the farthest Caribbean islands to the corners of the Outback in Australia. The subcontinent of India, however, has always been the centre of the feverish anticipation that always seems to engulf the nation every time the Cup happens.

To choose a few from the stellar list of cricketers who have been fortunate enough to wear national colours and play their hearts out every time on those 22 yards is a rather tough ask.

The best statistician, or even the most headstrong cricket critique, will find it an extremely difficult task to pick and choose from a host of classy knocks and brilliant spells over a spread of 40 long years.

When I actually sat down to do this, I finally get to experience the selector's inscrutable dilemma. Done, but it must be though; so here goes...


My Indian World Cup XI

1. Sachin Tendulkar - Well, just for the sheer quality of stroke play on any kind of surface against any kind of bowling attack. The right mix of aggression and sensible play is what makes this man the perfect choice for opener's slot. And, obviously, because he's Sachin Tendulkar.

2. Virender Sehwag - Who better to start the innings than the 'Nawab of Najafgarh' as he is popularly referred to; the sort of player who has the ability to take the game away from the opposition on his day. While he's not always been the most reliable of the lot, he certainly can be the most dangerous.

3. Virat Kohli - One of the most technically sound players in the game and has every shot in the book. He's proven time and time again that he has a calm head on his shoulders and been the finisher consistently for India. Perfect to round up the top order.

4. Yuvraj Singh - A prolific run-getter for India in the middle order. He's played the role of a sheet anchor and also a heavy-hitter as the situation has demanded. A natural stroke player, he has taken the opposition apart on many occasions. Add to that, the number of wickets he has picked up and the runs he has saved, an in-form Yuvraj is an asset to any team.

5. MS Dhoni (captain and wicketkeeper) - He's been the best wicketkeeper-batsman we have had over the years and one of the best leaders. His cricketing prowess is demonstrated in every move he makes on the field and reflected in the amount of silverware he's won for India. The correct man to have standing behind the crease and leading the team.

6. Mohinder Amarnath - One of India's greatest all-rounders with a formidable record both with the ball and the bat. Known for his skill as a player as well as his solid temperament, he will always be an asset to have in any team.

7. Kapil Dev - One of India's best fast bowlers and a gritty middle order batsman. His 175 runs from 138 balls against Zimbabwe in the 1983 World Cup was a knock to remeber. He is arguably India's best all-rounder ever.

8. Anil Kumble - India's highest wicket-taker both in Tests and ODI's, he has always been the man to go to for Indian skippers over the years. With the variety in his bowling and the buckets of experience, he is indispensable to the Indian team.

9. Harbhajan Singh - One of India's finest off spinners, he's consistently beem among the wickets for almost a decade. His bowling style has evolved with a lot more variety over the years. He's a definite choice for the second spinner.

10. Zaheer Khan - He's been the spearhead of the Indian pace attack for over a decade. With the ability to swing the ball off the deck as well as in the air and the gift of reversing the old ball, this cricket is my frontline fast bowler.

11. Mohammad Shami - Consistently figuring in the current Indian side, he is a man who bowls a consistent line and length at a brisk pace. While he does not have major experience, he does have the ability to swing both the new and the old ball. That's enough to make the final spot his.


Rest of the World XI

1. Viv Richards - The man who introduced swagger to the world on a cricket pitch. The man who could walk out and rip any bowling attack to shreds. For his ability to utterly dominate any bowler into submission, he is the man to have at the top.

2. Hashim Amla - To set the balance right, the man I choose to be at the other end at the outset is much calmer, but as dangerous. As someone, who with his prolific run-scoring ability, is known to bully Test bowlers, he has made himself into a very formidable ODI batsman too. An average of more than 50 and a strike rate touching 90 in more than 100 ODI's makes him an obvious choice for the opening slot.

3. Kumar Sangakkara (wicketkeeper) - One of the most consistent wicketkeeper-batsmen of our time with a solid technique and a ton of experience, he is a dependable choice at No. 3.

4. AB de Villiers - This guy is as talented as they come. The way AB can pace his innings, combined with deft stroke play, makes him a perfect player to come in at this place in the batting order. He has the ability to play the long innings and can also thrash the bowling around, as the situation demands.

5. Steve Waugh (captain) - One of the coolest heads on the cricket field with an astute cricketing brain, there has not been a finer leader of men on a cricket pitch. On top of that, he is one of the finest middle order batsmen the world has ever seen. This one is a no-brainer.

6. Chris Cairns - One of the few all-rounders to complete the rare double of 200 wickets and 3000 ODI runs, he is an asset to play at this position for any team.

7. Imran Khan - He is arguably the best cricketer Pakistan has ever produced. An embodiment of grit and determination with superb ability, he is my second all-rounder in the team.

8. Wasim Akram - Pace and swing together from a short run up made Wasim Akram a modern legend of the game. He is the first of my fast bowlers.

9. Shane Warne - This team looks pretty scary now and I still have two more to go after this. The legendary leg-spinner, who could probably turn it on glass if asked to, is the first of my spinners.

10. Mutthiah Muralitharan - You probably had this one figured out already. He's an easy choice for the second spinner with his vicious turn and pin-point accuracy. And what's more, he's got a few scalps to show for it too.

11. Dale Steyn - He is arguably the best fast bowler in the game right now. If anyone can make the ball talk, it's this man. Aggressive, accurate and fast, the hitman from South African rounds it up.

One can but imagine what the result would have been if these two teams squared up against each other. One thing's for certain though. It'd have been one hell of a match.


(Views expressed by the writer are personal. If you want to share your thoughts on the game, mail your write-ups to perspectives@hindustantimes.com)

Follow the action on Twitter @HTSportsNews

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
app
Close
The India Meteorological Department (IMD) on Saturday predicted that snowfall is very likely in Jammu and Kashmir.(HT Photo)
The India Meteorological Department (IMD) on Saturday predicted that snowfall is very likely in Jammu and Kashmir.(HT Photo)

Yellow alert avalanche warning issued for higher reaches of J-K

ANI
PUBLISHED ON JAN 24, 2021 10:28 AM IST
Jammu and Kashmir is witnessing a 40-day long period of harsh winter cold the 'Chillai Kalan', which will end on January 31.
Close
Till Saturday, a total of 15,37,190 beneficiaries were vaccinated through 27,776 sessions, as per the provisional report of the Government of India.(AP)
Till Saturday, a total of 15,37,190 beneficiaries were vaccinated through 27,776 sessions, as per the provisional report of the Government of India.(AP)

6,000 healthcare workers vaccinated against Covid-19 in Army's Southern Command

ANI
PUBLISHED ON JAN 24, 2021 10:26 AM IST
Briefing the media, Mohanty said, "We have prioritised our vaccination drives. Our healthcare workers in military hospitals are providing sustained support. We have started administering the vaccine to our health workers. Around 6,000 of them have been vaccinated so far."
Close
BJP MP Sakshi Maharaj in Lucknow on Wednesday. (ANI Photo)(ANI)
BJP MP Sakshi Maharaj in Lucknow on Wednesday. (ANI Photo)(ANI)

Neither Mahatma Gandhi nor Nehru was as popular as Bose: Sakshi Maharaj

ANI
UPDATED ON JAN 24, 2021 10:39 AM IST
While addressing a public rally here, BJP MP said, "My allegation is that Congress got Subhas Chandra Bose killed....neither Mahatma Gandhi nor Pandit Nehru could stand in front of his popularity."
Close
Bihar Election Results 2020: Voters undergoing thermal screening at a polling booth as they stand in queues to cast their votes for the second phase of the Bihar Assembly Election, in Begusarai.(ANI)
Bihar Election Results 2020: Voters undergoing thermal screening at a polling booth as they stand in queues to cast their votes for the second phase of the Bihar Assembly Election, in Begusarai.(ANI)

Explained: When is National Voters Day? What’s the theme this year?

By hindustantimes.com | Edited by Kanishka Sarkar, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON JAN 24, 2021 09:54 AM IST
New voters are felicitated and handed over their Elector Photo Identity Card (EPIC) in the National Voters Day functions.
Close
The objective of celebrating National Girl Child day is to highlight the inequalities faced by girls in the country.(Himanshu Vyas/ Hindustan Times)
The objective of celebrating National Girl Child day is to highlight the inequalities faced by girls in the country.(Himanshu Vyas/ Hindustan Times)

National Girl Child Day: Theme, importance, significance

By hindustantimes.com | Written by Mallika Soni
PUBLISHED ON JAN 24, 2021 09:47 AM IST
According to a government press release, National Girl Child day 2021 is being celebrated across the country with the objective of raising awareness on the issue of declining Child Sex Ratio (CSR).
Close
Farmers from all across the country are marching towards Delhi in order to take part in 'Kisan Gantantra Parade' on the occasion of Republic Day. Tractors from Punjab, Haryana, and Rajasthan have reached on Tikri border.(ANI)
Farmers from all across the country are marching towards Delhi in order to take part in 'Kisan Gantantra Parade' on the occasion of Republic Day. Tractors from Punjab, Haryana, and Rajasthan have reached on Tikri border.(ANI)

Farmers march from Nashik to Mumbai to take part in 'Kisan Gantantra Parade'

ANI
PUBLISHED ON JAN 24, 2021 09:29 AM IST
The Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM) has asked the farmers to take part in the agitation from January 23 to 26, including rallies to the Governors of states.
Close
Prime Minister Narendra Modi greets Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina before their bilateral talk, at Hyderabad House.(Mohd Zakir/HT PHOTO)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi greets Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina before their bilateral talk, at Hyderabad House.(Mohd Zakir/HT PHOTO)

How Dhaka got vaccines from India after China asked it to share trial costs

By Shishir Gupta, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON JAN 24, 2021 09:16 AM IST
India, in sharp contrast, sent a gift of two million doses of Covishield vaccine to Dhaka on January 21 as well as facilitated a commercial contract of 30 million doses with the Pune-based SII.
Close
Fog seen engulfed during the early hours of the morning in New Delhi. (Sanchit Khanna/ HT Photo)
Fog seen engulfed during the early hours of the morning in New Delhi. (Sanchit Khanna/ HT Photo)

News updates from Hindustan Times: Cold wave and all the latest news

By hindustantimes.com
PUBLISHED ON JAN 24, 2021 08:54 AM IST
Here are today’s top news, analysis and opinion. Know all about the latest news and other news updates from Hindustan Times.
Close
The problem of child pornography on the internet and social media has increased during the pandemic, says an expert. (iStockphoto/Representative Image)
The problem of child pornography on the internet and social media has increased during the pandemic, says an expert. (iStockphoto/Representative Image)

Sharp rise in child pornography cases worry experts

By Ramesh Babu | Edited by Abhinav Sahay, Thiruvananthapuram
PUBLISHED ON JAN 24, 2021 08:47 AM IST
  • Kerala seems to have made considerable progress in tackling the menace, statistics show.
Close
ITBP personnel during the full dress rehearsal for the upcoming Republic Day Parade, in New Delhi on Saturday.
ITBP personnel during the full dress rehearsal for the upcoming Republic Day Parade, in New Delhi on Saturday.

Woman fighter pilot, soldiers in masks: Key things to watch for this R-Day

By hindustantimes.com | Edited by Shivani
UPDATED ON JAN 24, 2021 08:29 AM IST
In more than five decades, this year's parade will be the first Republic Day parade to be organised without a chief guest. Before this, there were no chief guests during the Republic Day parade in 1952, 1953 and 1966.
Close
The presence of high attitude passes en-route to north and south banks of Pangong Tso on Ladakh rules out any withdrawal of Indian armoured units from the contested points.(File photo)
The presence of high attitude passes en-route to north and south banks of Pangong Tso on Ladakh rules out any withdrawal of Indian armoured units from the contested points.(File photo)

India, China to hold ninth round of talks to resolve Ladakh border standoff

By hindustantimes.com | Edited by Kanishka Sarkar
PUBLISHED ON JAN 24, 2021 08:21 AM IST
Army chief General Manoj Mukund Naravane said earlier this month that India was committed to resolving the situation along the contested LAC through talks but no one should test India’s patience.
Close
A health worker prepares to administer a Covid-19 vaccine to a hospital staff at a government Hospital in Jammu, India. (AP)
A health worker prepares to administer a Covid-19 vaccine to a hospital staff at a government Hospital in Jammu, India. (AP)

LIVE: India’s Covid-19 tally soars past 10.65 million with 14,849 new cases

By hindustantimes.com
UPDATED ON JAN 24, 2021 10:38 AM IST
The US, India, Brazil, Russia and the UK are the five worst-hit countries, with the widely followed Johns Hopkins University tracker’s worldwide tally showing 98.27 million infections as of Saturday evening.
A shopkeeper arranges eggs in a tray in Thane district in this file photo. (Praful Gangurde/HT Photo)
A shopkeeper arranges eggs in a tray in Thane district in this file photo. (Praful Gangurde/HT Photo)

Bird flu: Avoid half-boiled eggs, undercooked chicken, says govt

By hindustantimes.com | Written by Meenakshi Ray, New Delhi
UPDATED ON JAN 24, 2021 08:34 AM IST
The regulator also said the World Health Organization has stated it is safe to eat poultry meat and eggs and that there is no epidemiological data to suggest the disease can be transmitted to humans through cooked food.
Close
Farmers sit at demonstration site during the ongoing protest against the new farm laws at Ghazipur Border, in New Delhi.(ANI)
Farmers sit at demonstration site during the ongoing protest against the new farm laws at Ghazipur Border, in New Delhi.(ANI)

Over 2 lakh tractors will be part of Jan 26 'kisan parade': Farmer leaders

PTI
PUBLISHED ON JAN 24, 2021 07:43 AM IST
Kirti Kisan Union president Nirbhai Singh Dhudike, who presided over a meeting of Punjab farmers' unions, said that more than one lakh tractors are expected to arrive from the state on Sunday.
Close
BKU spokesperson Rakesh Tikait along with farmers raises slogans during their ongoing agitation against Centre's farm reform laws at Ghazipur border, (PTI)
BKU spokesperson Rakesh Tikait along with farmers raises slogans during their ongoing agitation against Centre's farm reform laws at Ghazipur border, (PTI)

LIVE: Around 25,000 tractors from UP, Uttarakhand to participate in Jan 26 rally

By hindustantimes.com
UPDATED ON JAN 24, 2021 09:13 AM IST
Over two lakh tractors are expected to take part in the January 26 "Kisan Parade" in the national capital, farmer union confirmed on Saturday.
SHARE
Story Saved
OPEN APP