As we asked the other day, what is ‘now’? We’re still niggled by the notion that the 90s XI has a whole era of talent at its disposal whereas this one is really just a snapshot in time.
A 2010s team could have plugged obvious gaps with the likes of Alastair Cook or Rangana Herath, for example.
But a 2010s team is not what we’ve gone for, so that’s not happened. The Current XI’s disadvantage will surely be more than made up for by modern fitness levels and sports science though anyway, won’t it?
That’s the kind of thing people say. That’s basically what we’re testing here – is the level of cricket these days just fundamentally better than in the 1990s?
Obviously we don’t have a position on that one and therefore aren’t ‘supporting’ one team over the other.
(1) David Warner
Remember that time Fox Sports claimed that David Warner had ‘gone rogue’?
(2) Rohit Sharma
Rohit Sharma is what is known as a ‘bolter’ here. It’s weird and almost contradictory to have a bolter in a World XI, but it’s a symptom of the fact that the best openers in recent times are all a bit meh.
Tom Latham should really be the man in this position, but is there not something more exciting about Rohit, a man who has hit three hundreds in his six innings as opener (one a double) and who averages 46 in Test cricket but who everyone still thinks is probably a bit rubbish?
In the absence of a real ‘wow’ option (step away, Dean Elgar), this seems to us the more enticing option.
(3) Kane Williamson
He is good at batting.
(4) Virat Kohli
Also good at batting.
Less good at singing in adverts.
(5) Steve Smith
We’re not quite sure how Steve Smith ended up being the one pushed down to five. It’s probably just that he wouldn’t kick up as much of a fuss about it as Virat would.
(6) Marnus Labuschagne
Say what you like, but the guy’s averaging 60-odd.
And think of all the bits-and-pieces bowling from this middle order as well. Magical! Why would you want an all-rounder with all these ‘options’?
Plus who would you pick?
(7) Quinton de Kock
With a Test average of over 40 when playing as wicketkeeper, Quinton de Kock is better than some of you think.
Crucially, he is less agreeable than his only real rival, BJ Watling, and for some inexplicable reason we feel that’s pertinent.
(8) Jason Holder
Everyone forgets Jason Holder, but Jason Holder is bloody amazing.
This team is not going to be an easy one to bowl out.
(9) Mitchell Starc
Dynamism. You need a bit of dynamism. Dynamism and variety.
Few current bowlers are quicker or more left-handed than Mitchell Starc and we actually think there is a very strong case for his inclusion instead of slower, more right-handed bowlers.
He’s a pretty handy number nine too.
(10) Pat Cummins
We don’t feel like we need to explain this one because of all the explaining we’re having to do about the two players either side of him.
A pretty handy number 10.
(11) Nathan Lyon
You’re probably thinking R Ashwin and at first we were thinking R Ashwin too because we happen to think he’s brilliant at cricket.
But Ashwin gets to avoid playing overseas quite a lot because apparently India don’t agree with us on this. Nathan Lyon, in contrast, pretty much always plays for Australia and pretty much always takes a few wickets. Sometimes he also runs people out.
In short, it is very on-brand for Ashwin to leave everyone a little bit confused as to why he hasn’t been picked again.
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