Cricket World XI

We’ve recently lost a few of the best players in the world who might reasonably expect to make a World Test XI - Tendulkar, KP,Ponting, Swann, among others.

So who is in your current list? They must be current test players, for any nation.

Here’s mine:

1: G Smith*
2: A Cook
3: Amla
4: Sangakarra (w)
5: AB De Villiers
6: Chanderpaul
7: Steyn
8: M Johnson
9: Anderson
10: Morne Morkel
11: Saeed Ajmal

I actually struggled to find an opening partner for Smith, and a spin bowler, so I am open to persuasion on those points, but am willing to argue my case for the others.

What’s yours?

You forgot to list Jacques Kallis as one of the retirees, I’d rate him second only to Tendulkar in that list.

A pretty solid team all round. I’m not sure about Saeed Ajmal, but I can’t think of any outstanding spinners at the moment. Jadeja certainly wasn’t particularly impressive here in New Zealand.

Brendon McCullum has just had a great series against India, backing up a double century with a triple the next test, and could push Chanderpaul for inclusion, although Ross Taylor is still New Zealand’s best batsman I think.

You’re right about Kallis - I knew he’d retired (or he’d have been one of the first names on my list!) but there’s been so many recent retirees! I suspect a “recently retired” XI would beat any current XI. Although it depends how recent you count.

There is a lack of a big, world class spinner in cricket today. If it wasn’t for the real need to put a spinner in the side, I wouldn’t have bothered, and maybe put Stuart Broad in as an all-rounder instead.

I thought about McCullum, but his long-term form doesn’t warrant inclusion.

I’m not sure about Anderson. A couple of years ago, yes. He is/was very dangerous with the ball reversing. But he was fairly anonymous in the recent ashes and to my mind there’s always been a faint question about exactly what danger he poses when the ball isn’t reversing for him.

Alternatively, if you’re including Anderson on the strength of long-term performance then Johnson looks questionable - his recent astonishing performance is less than ten matches old.
Good to see Sangakkarra there. There was a great piece of analysis on Cricinfo recently which looked at great batsman against both good and bad attacks (e.g. better or worse than median average at the time). All, of course, did better against bad attacks. But while most did much better, Sangakkarra averaged almost as much against the strong attacks as he did against the minnows.

I would have Misbah-ul-Haq instead of Chanderpaul and Kohli instead of Amla.

Anderson? You have to be kidding me.

Looks like I’m going to need a new captain.

On the bright side though your recently retired XI just got another fine player.

That team isn’t strong enough with the bat to go with 5 bowlers, none of whom should be batting above #9.

So on current form, though a great servant, Anderson drops out and you bring in a handy bat in Michael Clarke.

That supposes Saeed Ajmal is the best spinner going around and I haven’t seen him in action to judge either way. So I’ll pass that on the nod.

Don’t like either AB or Kumar as wicket keeper. The role detracts from Sangakarra’s batting and AB isn’t good enough with the gloves. I also don’t think he’d make the list as a pure batsman. Again am not sure who is the best ranked wicketkeeper (as distinct from batsman keeper) but either Dhoni or Haddin would be better than De Villiers behind the stumps

De Villiers would certainly be in contention solely as a batsman. He’s averaged 64.86over the last three years, with only two players (Chanderpaul and Pujara) who have played a decent amount of tests (at least 10) averaging more in that time.

If this is based on right now, as opposed to the last 3 years worth of performances, there shouldn’t be a single Englishman anywhere near this side, with the possible exception of Stuart Broad, who was the sole English player to have anything like a decent Ashes.

I’d have Philander in my team - I think he’s better than Morkel. Ashwin is the only spin bowler that I’d consider instead of Ajmal, and I’d probably still go for Ajmal. I’d have Dhoni keep wicket. I’d have Pujara instead of Cook and now Smith has retired I’d have Warner instead of him. I’d seriously consider Kohli too. Ross Taylor has been playing very well too recently - if we’re picking only on form right now, he’d be close.


Pujara, Warner, Amla, Sangakarra, AB De Villiers, Kohli, Dhoni (+) (*), Johnson, Steyn, Philander, Ajmal