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Team of the CWC 2015


World cup 2015 is on its last day! While Australia and New Zealand are fighting over a Trans-Tasmanian duel, thought of taking some time to put together a team of the tournament. This is a team I believe is best capable of taking on any other XI in Australian/ New Zealand condition and that too very consistently. In the process, I am forced to leave out few best of the performers as I can only choose eleven players and I wanted to put together a team dominating all kinds of opposition and all different conditions. Here you go!

Openers (2): Brendon McCullum (NZ), Shikhar Dhawan (Ind)

My openers will be McCullum (NZ) and Dhawan (Ind). McCullum comes to my team both for this destructive batting and aggressive captaincy. I have considered players like Gayle (WI), Dilshan (SL) and Warner (Aus) - but, Bazz makes the cut here.

For second slot, final contention was between Guptill who scored a brilliant double hundred in the quarter-final match and consistent Shikhar Dhawan. Going with Dhawan for his consistency and performance against bigger teams. But very close call indeed. Let me keep Guptill as 12th man.


Middle-order (4): Steve Smith (Aus), Kumara Sangakkara (SL), AB de Villiers (SA) and Glenn Maxwell (Aus)

My middle order will follow like this: Smith (Aus), Sangakkara (SL), AB (SA) and Maxwell (Aus).
Smith has provided steel like stability and consistency for Aussies at 3. He is in good touch and while every other batsmen struggled, on the same pitch he looked altogether a different batsman. No real challenge from any body. Smith walks in my side as an automatic choice.

Then comes another successful batter who scored four consecutive centuries in this World Cup. It's Sangakkara. He has been superb in all condition and against all oppositions. Though he did not play well in quarter final against SA, I take him because of his temperament and ability to build bigger innings. If my openers fails on a bad day, Smith and Sanga can bring in needed solidity. Also, Sanga will be my wicket keeper in the team.

Next comes, AB! What a tournament he had this time! When as a team SA has struggled for most of the parts, AB was in a different zone altogether. He batting has been explosive but not tentative. He delivered whenever he was required. His fielding is outstanding and can bowl a few overs when needed. Also, if Sanga feels to take a break - AB can fill in the wicket keeper position. He is my real all-rounder in my team.

4 down. Maxwell comes in to destroy any remaining resistance from opponent on the platform built by Smith, Sanga and AB. He is one of the fearsome batsman in world and he showed his mettle in this World Cup. Additionally, Maxwell is my additional spin option whenever needed.

For my middle order, I have also considered few other names including Brendan Taylor (ZIM), Faf du Plessis (SA), Rilee Rossouw (SA), Rahane (Ind), Raina (Ind), Mahmudullah (Bang), Dhoni (Ind). Difficult choice to leave behind Taylor, Rossouw and Dhoni. But, I think - the above four make the best combination here.


All-rounder (1): Grant Elliott (NZ)

Really a tough call between Corey Anderson and Elliott. I wanted to have an seaming all rounder in my team. So, I could not take in spinning all rounders like Shakib, Sean Williams. Corey was a great option - he has taken crucial wickets and made important runs for New Zealand. No other all-rounder in this World Cup was as effective as him. But, I am going with Grant Elliott purely because the temperament he has demonstrated during semi-final and final matches. Fielding is equally good, Corey probably better in bowling. But, Elliott is the choice to recognize his innings in grand stages.


Spinner (1): Ravichandran Ashwin (Ind)

Again a tough choice - but not too many contenders. Tahir has been good but not awesome in this tournament. Vettori also has been real good. But I am going with Ashwin. They way he has delivered in this World Cup was really cool. He was also able to silence big hitters like Maxwell. He bowled in power plays and slog overs too. And, in the middle overs he is the unanimous choice. So, he is the only specialist spinner in this team.


Seamers (3): Trent Boult (NZ), Mitchell Starc (Aus) and Josh Hazlewood (Aus)

This World Cup has been very good for left arm pace bowlers. So, I had a provocation of choosing all left arm bowlers for my team. But, I wanted to give more options to my captain. So, I wanted to have at least one right arm pacer in this eleven. First two of my pace battery are - Boult and Starc. What an tournament they had! No second thought in selecting these two left arm swing bowlers.

For left arm options - it was hard not to select Riaz (Pak) along with Irfan (Pak) and Abott (SA). Riaz spell against Australia was superb. Abott (like Hazlewood) excelled at every given opportunity - in fact, I was stunned not to see him playing in semis. And, Irfan has been peak of pakistan bowling lineup before his injury. But, I think - Boult and Starc will lead them with their efficiency and consistency through out the tournament.

Coming to right-arm bowler - I settled for Hazlewood. It was pretty close between Hazlewood, Morkel, Shami and Southee. But, Hazlewood makes the cut for his performance at big matches. Also, they way he shared new ball with Starc for Australia. He was in and out of first eleven for Aussies and performed really well whenever he got an opportunity.

Captain: Brendon McCullum (NZ)
Bazz will lead this side with his aggressive and passionate style of leadership. Though his team stumbled in final, that does not take gloss out of his captaincy. AB will be there with his valuable tips though. Considered Dhoni too for this option. But, with Sanga keeping wickets - could not make a slot open for Dhoni.

Reserves: Guptill (NZ), Corey (NZ), Riaz (Pak), Taylor (Zim)

How your XI is different from mine? Publish that with your thoughts!

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