Thursday, December 15, 2011

My Best ODI 11 of 2011

In reminiscing on One Day International Cricket in 2010, we hav got to enjoy a year full of batting blitzes, bowling master pieces, and a World Cup win for India after a 28 year absence.

The picking of a side that pays justice to all the stars in 2011 is indeed very difficult, but I am always up for a challenge. So here is my Team for 2011, and the rationale behind it

The Openers.

In choosing the pairing of Mohammad Hafeez and Shane Watson, I have overlooked some other very fine candidates in Upul Tharanga, Hashim Amla and Virender Sehwag. Then worse shown disrespect to 'God' in not selecting Sachin Tendulkar as I am certain the Indians who read this Blog will all too readily tell me! 

In the two I settled on, you have a perfect mix between the more restrained Hafeez and the blitzing Watson. Which was a huge factor in my choice, but the deciding factor was that both are very valuable ODI bowlers. Truthfully, Hafeez being one of the best ODI bowlers in the game at present

Mohammad Hafeez ( Pakistan)

2011 Record- 32 Games: 

Batting: 1075 runs, average 37.06, 3 centuries and 5 50, strike rate 76.34
Bowling: 32 wickets, average 25.34, economy rate 3.54

In the Pakistan Team in ODI cricket Mohammad Hafeez has emerged as one of it's key men. Even in the tense World Cup Semi Final against India, the chase was well in hand for Pakistan when Hafeez was at the crease. Though, when he was dismissed, and with it his influence over the innings taken away the rest of the batting lost its way on the way to defeat.

He is a very complete ODI batsman whether it be in defence or attack. Then as he proved indelibly this year, he is one of the most threatening and miserly spin bowlers in the game

Shane Watson (Australia)

2011 Record- 23 Games

Batting, 1139 runs, average 56.95, strike rate 108.89. 2 centuries, 8 50's

Bowling, 17 wickets, average 41.05, economy rate 4.81

The burly Australia all rounder has become the everything man for Australia in ODI cricket. As seen in the World Cup, where he almost singlehandedly carried the batting line up. As well as taking crucial wickets with the ball, and being a very refined in close fieldsman.

His devastating batting in the opening role has made him into one of the most feared batsmen in the game. Combining brutal power with a text book array of conventional cricket shots.

The Middle Order

In my mind the middle order was very easy to pick with all of A.B.DeVilliers, M.S.Dhoni and Virat Kohli being automatic selections. Due to my view that they are arguably the three best middle order ODI batsmen in the game. Adding to the appeal of the three is the exceptional fieldsmen Kohli and DeVilliers are, and then as a Captain in ODI cricket, there is no one better than Dhoni

As for Mahela Jayawardene and Yuvraj Singh being selected. Firstly on Mahela, he is a very refined and charismatic ODI batsman in regards to being able to play the more resolute innings or be a dominant batsman. Then for Yuvraj, he is one of the most dangerous ODI hitters in the game, and a very ice cool finisher. As well as being a very refined ODI bowler which adds to the Teams options

A.B.DeVilliers ( South Africa )

2011 Record-10 Games

467 runs, average 51.88, strike rate 104.94, 2 centuries, 2 50's

This exceptional South African batsman is one of the most dynamic players in the game. A batsman that oozes style in all his complete array of shots, and then that nice easy power. That makes him such a devastating threat because of his sincere ability to send the ball into the stand.

He is made truly complete in his ability to be a wicket keeper of real pedigree, and when he isn't wearing the gloves. As a fieldsman, there is few better than him. Making him such a cause of pressure for batting line ups

Mahela Jayawadene (Sri Lanka )

2011 Record- 27 Games

Batting- 1032 runs, average 46.90, strike rate 82.62, 3 centuries, 7 50's

This Sri Lankan batting genius is like a work of art in how he bats. Every shot oozing of such elegance and like a sublime brush stroke with how he caresses the ball through the field to rattle the boundary pickets. In ODI cricket he has that added string to his bow of being able to play those big shots into the stands, and go at a very impressive strike rate.

His innings in the World Cup Final of 103* paid testimony to his immense skill being one of the best innings in 2011

Yuvraj Singh ( India )

2011 Record- 14 Games

Batting- 453 runs, average 50.33, strike rate 81.91, 1 century, 5 50's

Bowling- 20 wickets, average 26.05, economy rate 5.00

Yuvraj's all round efforts in the victorious World Cup for India was in the best in the Tournaments history. Whether it was leading India to victory with the bat, where he averaged 90.51 or taking crucial wickets with the ball averaging 25.31, he did it all. His dismissal of Kumar Sangakkar in the Final when he was threatening to devastate India with the bat was crucial in the eventual win for India. Making the difference of India more than likely having to chase over 300 for victory.

At present the young man is struggling with health issues, and duly we afford our best wishes to him.

Virat Kohli ( India )

2011 Record- 34 Games

Batting- 1381 runs, average 47.62, strike rate 85.56, 4 centuries, 8 50's

In 2011, this young Indian established himself as one of the most complete ODI batsmen in the game. He can play a traditional role or blitz with the best of them with his big hitting being comparable in devastation to any of the renowned sloggers.

Completing his appeal is that he is one of the best fielders in the game, and a useful medium pace bowler

M.S.Dhoni ( India ) ( C )

2011 Record- 24 Games

Batting, 764 runs, average 58.76, strike rate 89.88, 6 50's

-Best Captain in ODI Cricket

-Arguably the most devastating batsmen in ODI Cricket at present

-Regarded as one of the best finishers in the games history

Do we really need to explain why Dhoni gets in this Team?

The Bowlers

All the bowlers select themselves due to their exceptional records in 2011, and provide a perfect balance in their styles of bowling in both pace and spin.

Unlucky, not to make the side were Ravi Rampaul, Munaf Patel, Tim Southee, and Umar Gul.

Shahid Afridi ( Pakistan )

2011 Record- 27 Games

Bowling, 45 wickets, average 20.82, strike rate 29.8, economy rate 4.18

Batting, 462 runs, average 22.00, strike rate 127.27, 2 50's

Any side would be incomplete without the man known as BOOM BOOM.

A show man of the highest calibre, but do not let that you fool you into believing that is all he is. For in ODI Cricket with the ball in hand he is lethal on a level of supreme excellence. Then his batting when it clicks is devastation of no compare

Lasith Malinga ( Sri Lanka )

2011 Record- 24 Games

Bowling- 48 wickets, average 19.25, economy rate 4.80

The best and most devastating fast bowler in the game, and possessing one of the most lethal deliveries in the game in his yorker. The complete ODI bowler in all regards, and an undisputed choice in the Team.

Aside from his bowling, he is a very dangerous lower order batsman

Saeed Ajmal ( Pakistan )

2011 Record, 20 games

34 wickets, average 17.08, strike rate 29.40, economy rate 3.48

Great ODI spinner, and his 'Doosra'- my word is it a nightmare to batsmen!

Takes wickets and is a great run saver
So even Blind Freddy could see him as being compulsory in this team

Zaheer Khan ( India )

2011 Record, 14 Games

Bowling, 30 wickets, average 20.66, economy rate 4.85

A master of both conventional and reverse swing duly making him a decisive game changer in most games he played this year.

His World Cup, where he took 21 wickets at an average of 18.76 was a huge factor behind India winning the coveted trophy after 28 years of toil


  1. Team is amazing! Well chosen! But i still feel sehwag deserves a spot! Hes devastating on his day.

  2. After having watched cric for almost 10 yrs now, i feel, virender sehwag or TM dilshan cud have been selected in place of harfeez

  3. I appreciate the thoughts you have put in selecting this team but Haffez ahead of Tendulkar/Sehwag is unacceptable from my point of view. Openers should be specialists and not necessarily all rounders and totally unnecessary to have two all rounders as openers. If you really need an all rounder you can engage middle order batsmen, but you already have shahid, yuvi and as you said virat can contribute too. Watson can be a genuine bowler. If you still want aone more solid bowler bring Kallis in the place of Mahela. Well just to give a tip for your commendable work i guess a 14 member squad would ve been better :)

  4. Great point on Viru Saurabh bhai, but choose Hafees ahead of him because of his great bowling. i thought of including both, and leaving out maybe DeVilliers or Kohli- but they deserved a spot.

    In truth, best Teams are always about who you leave out more than ho you include

  5. Anonymous- point taken on Sachin/Sehwag, and thank you for your valuable feed back

  6. I agree with going ahead with Hafeez instead of Sachin/Sehwag, you get a better fielding and bowling option. In the End its all about team combination, with Tendulkar in the team it becomes about him and not the Team.

  7. where's greatest KUMAR SANGAKKARA ?????...this is jokeeeeeeee.....He is the most valuable player of the world now...

  8. A good squad, Tim. I just feel either Tendulkar, Kallis or Ponting needed a spot in there somewhere; just for their experience and sheer class. And to not have the #1 odi batsmen in the world, Hashim Amla, in the squad is strange, I must say. Further, Dale Steyn instills more fear in batsmen than Zaheer, I think, so I would go for him instead of Zaheer...

  9. Good selection Tim. Since this is only 2011's squad I agree with Dhoni in the team or else I would have had Hussey in instead of Dhoni. And I feel sorry Dilshan and Sangakkara.

  10. You have a number of similar players to me. :) - I have a stats team and a selected team over on cricketgeek. Nice work.