Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers in Shane Warne's T20 dream team
Four players from West Indies’ victorious World T20 side, including Chris Gayle, two from Australia and Virat Kohli made the cut in Shane Warne’s World T20 side but there was no space for Australia’s David Warner or India’s Ravichandran Ashwin.
Warne’s side may raise a few eyebrows not only because of the omissions of some key players and some surprising inclusions but also because of the fact that it contains just three front-line bowlers while having as many all-rounders in it.
West Indies are the most represented side with four players, while there are two from Australia and one each from New Zealand, India, South Africa, England and Bangladesh.
Chris Gayle and New Zealand’s recently-retired Brendon McCullum are the openers, which means there is no place for in-form Australian opener Warner, who is currently out with a finger injury. The Aussie southpaw has been in sublime form of late and finished IPL 2016 as the second-leading run-getter with 848 runs and led his side, Sunrisers Hyderabad to their maiden IPL title.
At three and four are arguably the two best batsmen in cricket at the moment, Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers. Following them are three all-rounders, Shane Watson, Andre Russell and Dwayne Bravo. Jos Buttler gets in as the side’s wicketkeeper.
Watson, who turned 35 on Friday, was one of RCB’s primary threats with the ball while Andre Russell is the leading wicket-taker in T20 matches in 2016 with 49 wickets in 35 matches. Completing the trio is another West Indian, Dwayne Bravo, who is third on the list of most T20 wickets in the calendar year.
No place for Ashwin
In the bowling department, there was no place for Bangladesh’s Al-Amin Hossain, who is the leading wicket-taker in T20Is in 2016 but Mustafizur Rahman, with 16 wickets in 8 T20I matches this year claimed a spot. An impressive IPL where he combined deadly yorkers with almost unplayable slower balls has meant Mustafizur’s stock continues to rise.
The team’s primary spinner slot went to Sunil Narine, ahead of Ravichandran Ashwin, whose tally of wickets in T20Is in 2016 is only bettered by Al-Amin. While the Indian off-spinner has been in good form this year, Narine’s overall record in the format is better and perhaps that is the reason why he becomes the fourth West Indian in the side.
Despite just returning from injury, Mitchell Starc makes the cut and has thereby proven his worth to the leg-spinner after he was criticised for being “soft” following the 2014 Test against India at the Gabba and established himself as one of the best bowlers in the business.
The legendary Australian leg spinner posted his World T20 side on facebook: