World XI: Class and destruction

Last updated 05:00 23/01/2014
Virat Kohli
OVERSEAS QUALITY: Virat Kohli celebrates a test hundred in South Africa, showing he can compete against the world's best team in their own backyard.

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I've gone for a team where career record both at home and away over a decent period of time was critical.

But I've also acknowledged some youthful talent in the middle order based on obvious class that surrounded by greats could be seriously destructive.

I've put an aggressive pace attack together and would love to see the right arm-left arm combo at the top of the innings.

There's no genuine all-rounder with Jacques Kallis retiring so I'd rely on two bowlers who can bat a bit if required with this lineup.


1) Graeme Smith (South Africa). A true opener who will grit it out and take the shine off the ball as well as score big runs. A worthy choice as captain too.

2) Alistair Cook (England). Fastest man to 8000 test runs, even more impressive that it's against the new ball and excellent international attacks. Acknowledge poor Ashes form, but as they say, form is temporary and class is permanent.

3) Hashim Amla (South Africa). Exceptional record. A consistent performer for a number of years. A quality No 3 whose record speaks for itself.

4) Virat Kohli (India). Young player with huge talent, an Indian batsman who can score outside his home country. His talent and ability surrounded by this batting lineup could destroy teams.

5) Michael Clarke (Australia). The best batsman in Australia and has been a top test player around the world for years.

6) AB de Villiers (South Africa). Best batsman in the world. Giving him the wicketkeeper gloves allows the team to be stacked too.

7) Stuart Broad (England). With over 200 test wickets at about 30 and a batting average of 24 Broad bolsters the bowling and with Philander could score runs if required to bat. Given he's only 27 I expect his batting average to start improving with some maturity. Jacques Kallis would have been here if not for his retirement.

8) Vernon Philander (South Africa). Averages under 20 with over 100 test wickets.

9) Mitchell Johnson (Australia). Left-arm quick in combo with Steyn would be hostile.

10) Dale Steyn (South Africa). Right-arm fast and the best fast bowler in the world for a number of years.

11) Saeed Ajmal (Pakistan). Best spinner in test cricket at the moment. 

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