Twenty20 World Cup - The Team of the Tournament
At the end of an exhilarating fortnight of Twenty20 cricket that was everything the moribund ICC World Cup wasn't, The Googly picks its team of the tournament. Before you go over the jump, here's a little secret - no England players made the cut.
1. Matthew Hayden - Written off as a Test player only to return; written off as a Limited Overs player only to return. The man is a marvel and we should salute an All-Time Great in all forms of the game.
2. Chris Gayle - Will anyone ever again play an innings like the one that set the tone for the tournament?
3. Shoaib Malik (Captain) - Handled the Shoaib Akhtar crisis firmly, played beautifully and led his team to within five runs of the Title.
4. Justin Kemp - Defines the bullying South African style as much as his captain: but dominates bowlers, not team-mates.
5. Yuvraj Singh - All that potential at last being realised. Could be the springboard to greatness and the end of Ganguly.
6. MS Dhoni - Delivered every element of his brief. Silenced the doubters (including this one).
7. Misbah-ul-Haq - Who? Geoff Lawson knew who, and was bold enough to say so. Pakistan's Hussey.
8. Shahid Afridi - "Boom Boom" boomed more with the ball than with the bat, but if you were in the playground and playing T20, he'd be first pick.
9. Umar Gul - Most wickets in the fortnight at less than a run a ball, showing that T20 bowling is about discipline and imagination.
10. Stuart Clark - Hit the deck hard and bowled with (wait for it) McGrath-like accuracy.
11. RP Singh - At times swingingly unplayable, the young man bowled as his captain bats and was rewarded for it.
What do Googlyers think?
[The Tooting Trumpet] [Image: Getty]
Under-rated but damn fine. Misbah, RP Singh and captain M S Dhoni.
Over-rated - well, I couldn't possibly say!
Posted by: mimi | 24 Sep 2007 20:53:17
Ooh, nice. I wouldn't have minded Vettori in there, but I don't know who I would swap out for him. Maybe he could be 12th man. I really like RP Singh and hope he comes back to play for a county again - English conditions certainly suit him. And Dhoni's nerveless captaincy has been a revelation, in a team without many senior players to help him and with no coach - no more the show pony (if indeed he ever was one).
Posted by: Miriam | 24 Sep 2007 22:14:19
Dhoni has been a revelation and a joy. One of the great things about this tournament is that no-one has felt cricketed-out as we (I think I speak for more than myself) did by the ICC World Cup.
It's been fun, and happy and exhilarating and as one who was dubious beforehand, I'm happy to say that my doubts were ill-founded and this has been the most enjoyable of tournaments. Bring on the next one.
Posted by: mimi | 25 Sep 2007 01:34:31
That looks suspiciously like my fantasy team Toots. Have you been peaking?
I was cricketed-out by the end of this tournament. Three matches a day from dusk to dawn is exhausting. Still enjoyable but I've had enough and I too would have Dewey Dan in the team. Considering it was the bowlers that decided matches - it always is at international level - maybe an extra bowler at 8 and Afridi at 7 would be more balanced.
Posted by: nesta | 25 Sep 2007 07:57:03
Nesta - I could only peek at the result. A medal! Well played.
Afridi has to be in, so Dan as well for two spinners? Could be, but us English are genetically programmed not to pick two twirlers!
Posted by: The Tooting Trumpet | 25 Sep 2007 08:02:25
Well Toots, Warnie is doing his best to improve the gene pool on your little island. Give him time and the natural aversion to tweakers will be diluted in a generation or two.
No criticism of the team. It's a tough job to choose. Interesting that not too many bats stand-out but there were many deserving bowlers. In T20 internationals batters are disposable commodities and good bowlers are worth their weight in gold. That is a lesson writ large from this competition.
And second place isn't too bad but Miriam was the star. She led from start to finish and was never challenged.
Posted by: nesta | 25 Sep 2007 08:42:11
Just for fun and because it's pelting down outside, here is my Anti-Team of the tournament.
Graeme Smith (c) - The biggest choker of them all. A boofhead. No class. A bore. Need I go on.
Matt Prior (wk) - Never a good look when a batsman replaces the keeper and does a better job.
Luke Wright - I tried to find another top order player that failed so spectacularly but was unable. AB de Villiers a close second.
Andrew Symonds - Hated every minute of it and never smiled during the whole fortnight. He should have been one of the players of the tournament but his own attitude defeated him.
Kevin Pietersen - Invented several new methods of getting himself dismissed at the most crucial moments.
Mohammed Ashraful - All the talent in the world but rarely delivers.
Paul Collingwood (vc) - strip clubs, golden ducks, can't count to four. 1000 quid lighter but that is a small price compared to the bollocking he must have got off the missus.
Shaun Pollock - took gamesmanship to a new level. Failed with the bat and looked past it in the field.
Stuart Broad - Most runs from an over. And deservedly so. However, did well to hold back the tears.
Shanthakumaran Sreesanth - Lost the plot on more than one occasion. His send off of both Hayden and Gilchrist whilst great theatre was completely out of order.
Umar Gul - Brilliant tournament that covered the fact that he bowled a beamer an innings and usually was rewarded. Sinister but effective tactic. A real life villian who bowls a mean yorker.
And a special mention to whoever decided to leave Monty at home. That was a major mistake. He can be the manager.
Posted by: nesta | 25 Sep 2007 12:56:46
Hard to argue with that lot, although it's hard not to think of any XI from the SA and Eng squads would just about cover the brief!
Posted by: The Tooting Trumpet | 25 Sep 2007 13:19:10
You're right Toots I had to search the mental archives for a few more otherwise, except for Roy, it would have been an all SAF/ENG XI. Haddin was also close but after Solanki's fine performance - shame we didn't see more of him - Prior got the keeper's job.
In reference to your list may I mention a few that also enhanced their reputation.
The Morkels did well. I don't know if it was both or just one it all happened too quickly.
Brendan Taylor of Zimbabwe at 21 in his first internationals of note averaged 107 with a strike rate of 137 and defeated Australia almost single handed. I'd like to see more of him. He was classy behind the stumps and a county would do well to sign him. With a name like Taylor he is likely to have some relatives in the Old Dart too.
I found Mitch Johnson's initial run as a first XI player very encouraging. He is a smart bowler who is developing the rare ability to read a batsman quickly. Having Lillee as his mentor probably helps. I look forward to his first run of Test matches this summer. That's if he makes the team.
And of course my player of the tournament, Steve Waugh's arch enemy and long-time nemesis, Fatty McMillan. He had a superb tournament and his batting was audacious. He really enjoyed himself and inspired his team. He proved that there is plenty of room for all shapes of cricketers in T20 and that the punditry about it being a game only for the young athletic types was way off the mark.
Posted by: nesta | 25 Sep 2007 14:02:39
My kids were very taken with Albie Morkel and I agree that those brothers and Kemp didn't deserve their miserable lot.
Other than the extreme competiton for places, I can't understand why Johnson gets left out of the ODI / T20 stuff. He might be the best fielder in the Aussie XI now too.
Brendan Taylor probably played the innings of the tournament despite all the big hitting elsewhere - who knows what'll happen to him Zim being the way it is.
Donuts MacMillan - see it, hit it still works doesn't it?
Posted by: The Tooting Trumpet | 25 Sep 2007 14:13:13
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Posted by: morg | 7 Nov 2007 00:39:35
shoaib malik?? what a joke. and as a captain, thats just cruel. He hardly had a contribution as captain, rather simply rode on Misbah's heroics.
Posted by: Arun | 7 Feb 2009 10:56:27
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