One of the great things about international tournaments is that they let websites across the land pad out their schedule with a few superfluous articles. Articles such as predictions of who the major players of the tournament will be. Well, never let it be said that we here are beyond such easy means of embellishing our otherwise spartan front page. And it sure beats the hell out of writing another article moaning about how shit England are these days. Actually those articles are kinda fun. If you aren’t English.
Anyway, without any further ado, here are our picks for a World XI side from the T20 World Cup. And just to make things a little interesting (and to give us another chance to laugh at Jade Dernbach), we’ve put together a worst XI too.
1. Stephan Myburgh: Probably the standout batsman of the tournament, what he did to Ireland was equally brutal and hilarious. It wouldn’t surprise us to see Myburgh turn up at the next World Cup in South African colours.
2. Alex Hales: Admittedly most of his runs came in one innings, but that that innings was against the number one T20 side, Sri Lanka, counts for a lot. See England: match winners are kind of important after all.
3. Virat Kohli: Yeah, he is pretty good. We guess.
4. Tom Cooper: Easily the best performing Aussie at the tournament. Another who will likely return to the next T20 World Cup in a different kit.
5. AB de Villiers: Until his innings against England there had been doubts that de Villiers was really cut out for this sort of thing. It’s funny how England keeps playing people into form.
6. Glenn Maxwell: A breakthrough tournament for Maxwell. He might be a bit of a prick, but he is a talented prick at least.
7. Brendan Taylor: Somewhat forgotten after Zimbabwe’s early exit, but Taylor was a class above in the early rounds, and one of the better wicket-keeper batsmen going round in world cricket these days.
8. Samuel Badree: The jury had still been out on Badree before the tournament began: was he really unplayable or had England just made him look far better than he actually is? Turns out it’s the former. Although it is still depressing to see a spinner opening up for the Windies. It just doesn’t feel right.
9. Ravi Ashwin: We have no idea what happened here. Ashwin has morphed from a pretty predictable trundler in the Xavier Doherty mould, into one whose wrong ‘un turns as much as his stock ball. Which is actually quite a lot these days.
10. Dale Steyn: Wasn’t quite at his completely destructive best throughout the tournament, but gets the nod over Malinga purely for that last over burst against New Zealand. And the manic celebration that followed.
11. Ashan Malik: Everyone scoffed at his position on top of the wicket takers chart at the start of the tournament proper. Nobody was scoffing by the end. A revelation, and another player who will probably be poached from the Netherlands before too long.
1. Michael Lumb: Either immediately fails, or makes 30 or so and then fails. It’s hard to see the point of Lumb, and we suspect the English selectors may be coming round to the same conclusion.
2. Tamim Iqbal: This is a bit harsh on Tamim, especially since he was just about the only Bangladesh player who seems to know how to catch a cricket ball. But his job was to get his team away to good starts. He failed miserably.
3. Shane Watson: One of the most spectacular falls from grace since Lindsay Lohan first wandered into an off-license. Player of the tournament last time round, Watson averaged 2.33 with the bat in this. An amazing return, even by Shirley’s lofty standards.
4. Shoaib Malik: Pakistan’s middle order batting failed consistently throughout the tournament, and Malik’s batting failed the most. It’s about the only consistency Pakistan have managed in decades.
5. George Bailey: Not the best tournament for George. His batting was extremely scratchy and his captaincy little better. Trusting Starc at the death against the Windies was a rather large boo-boo. The wolves are, once again, circling.
6. Kamran Akmal: Pakistan must have better options than this, mustn’t they?
7. Tim Bresnan: Pretty much what everyone expected. His bowling was a complete liability in these conditions (as opposed to just generally being a liability) and his batting has tailed off remarkably in recent years.
8. Alex Cusack: Ireland really needed their few available seam bowlers to stand up in this tournament. Cusack, however, really, really, didn’t. Was carted by everyone, but the Netherlands took a particular liking.
9. Mashrafe Mortaza: It takes a special effort by a bowler to make Dernbach look decent, but Mortaza managed that against Pakistan, with a spell of 4-0-63. Another player that Bangladesh were relying on who simply bombed massively.
10. Jade Dernbach: Honestly, we already had Dernbach’s name down in this team before he even had arrived in Bangladesh. That’s one good thing you can say about Jade: he seldom lets you down.
11. Brad Hogg: Was supposed to be the secret ingredient that would allow the Australians to be competitive in foreign conditions. Played one game against Pakistan where he was all over the place with the ball (and dropped a complete sitter in the field) and was never seen again. So that went well.