Vantage point

Friday, July 09, 2004

A Critique of Wisden's "Rest of the World Test XI"

Wisden has come out with its lists of a "Rest of the World" teams for both forms of the game. For those slow on the uptake, these teams do not include any Australians, and have been framed with the concept of the Super-Series next year, when Australia will take on the ROW teams in 1 test and 3 ODIs.

First let us take the test team

1. Michael Vaughan (13 votes, capt)
2. Virender Sehwag (14)
3. Rahul Dravid (20)
4. Brian Lara (20)
5. Sachin Tendulkar (19)
6. Jacques Kallis (14)
7. Mark Boucher (16, wk)
8. Shaun Pollock (10)
9. Shoaib Akhtar (17)
10. Steve Harmison (19)
11 Muttiah Muralitharan (22)

My Comments

- Michael Vaughan's inclusion has more to do with class than form, because his batting form has hardly been spectacular. I would prefer Jaysuriya. Even his captaincy is yet to be tested enough to be honoured at such a level. But then, there aren't many other choices to lead the team are there?

- Virender Sehwag got the maximum votes amongst the test openers. I hope those complex-ridden Indians who still keep pulling Sehwag down, will finally realise that he truly is a class act.

- The middle order is quite predictable. However I would still play Tendulkar at 4 and Lara at 5.

- Kallis, Pollock and Boucher kinda select themselves as well.

- Shoaib I am fine with. But Harmison, again, too early. I would pick Pathan instead.

- Murali is the king, chucking or no chucking. But let us see if he maintains this status after a doosra-less phase.

The presence of two Englishmen in the team can only be attributed to the "Henman Syndrome".

Henman Syndrome is a result of the near starvation that England has faced in the world of high profile sports wins. So starved are the English of a winner, that they have elevated Tim Henman to a level much higher than his talent deserves.

Similarly, so rare has consistent and attacking batting become in English cricket today, that Michael Vaughan is hailed as a great. And so awestruck are they at a fast bowler picking wickets regularly that he is immediately elevated to the World level.