World XI: Forget form it's all class
Who'd make your cricket World XI?
I've based my World XI test cricket team on players who have established careers in specialist positions.
The only exception is AB de Viliers who is still new to the position of wicketkeeper. It must be noted that he has excelled since taking the gloves.
I have disregarded current form as all players will go through golden periods and poor periods, but over time class always shines through.
There are plenty of players around the world in good form at the moment, this must be balanced against their experience.
BARRY'S WORLD XI
1. Graeme Smith (South Africa): A proven record as an opener. Built his record in all countries against all attacks. He also has a great record as captain, so he gets the captaincy.
2. Alastair Cook (England): Also has a proven record as an opener and against most oppositions. His current form is poor, however, form can be a very fleeting thing. A proven record over time, also brings a lot of experience, relieved of the captaincy he will again blossom.
(3) Hashim Amla (South Africa): One of the best players to have played the game.
(4) Virat Kohli (India): Fashioning a great record. A very good player of spin, and is also coming to grips with playing in foreign conditions.
(5) Michael Clarke (Australia): Very good player although susceptible to the short ball early in the innings. Also plays with very stiff hands. Didn't get the captaincy, as I don't believe he's a good captain.
(6) Kumar Sangakkara (Sri Lanka): An experienced player who has consistently performed even when his side has struggled.
(7) AB de Villiers (South Africa): Keeper and great player. Could bat as high as four although in this team as he is going to keep, guides the lower order with aplomb.
(8) Ravichandran Ashwin (India): This is the most difficult position to fill. I'm going with Ashwin because he has begun to deliver on his potential, although he's still unproven outside of the subcontinent. I am going to bracket him with Saeed Ajmal (Pakistan) as in my mind it's too tight to call. It must be noted that if you change to Ajmal you must also change the batting order. The one area that Ashwin brings more to the table is with his batting.
(9) Mitchell Johnson (Australia): Can be quick and intimidating, however, this must be combined with the fact that he is also erratic and inconsistent. You never know which Johnson will turn up.
(10) Vernon Philander (South Africa): The best exponent with the new ball. He is a very accurate bowler who works well with the hostility of Steyn.
(11) Dale Steyn (South Africa): Consistent, hostile. His hostility is maintained throughout the innings, regardless of whether the ball is new or 50 overs old. Always gives 100 per cent.
(12) James Anderson (England): Unlucky to miss selection, he could be interchanged with Philander, or if conditions suited then the spinner's position.
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