C365's World Twenty20 Dream Team
If you could have a starting XI for the World Twenty20 that you poached from all the other sides, who would you pick?
We imagined we had all the money in the world, like Manchester City or PSG, and pillaged players from all and sundry to make up the Cricket365 Dream Team.
<b>1. Chris Gayle (West Indies)</b>
<i>Role: Opening bat
Strike rate: 143.91
T20 teams: Royal Challengers Bangalore, Sydney Thunder</i>
The inclusion on the big-hitting Jamaican is a no-brainer. He was the top run-scorer during this year's Indian Premier League (733 runs), hit the most sixes (59) and had the best individual score (128 not out). He was one of only three men to get a ton in the Big Bash League, and hit the most sixes there too (22).
<b>2. David Warner (Australia)</b>
<i>Role: Opening bat
Strike rate: 139.03
T20 teams: Delhi Daredevils, Sydney Thunder</i>
Like his Sydney opening partner Gayle, Warner is one massive basher of the ball. He had the highest strike rate at the IPL (164) and the BBL (200), and made a top score of 102. His recent form for Australia has been consistent in that he always gets into the 20s or 30s, but will be looking to kick on in Sri Lanka and take the game to the Windies and Irish bowlers in the group stages.
<b>3. Virat Kohli (India)</b>
<i>Role: Top order bat
Strike rate: 125.30
T20 teams: Royal Challengers Bangalore</i>
We LOVE this guy. His big draw is that he's on a ridiculous run of form, with three tons and four fifties in his past 10 limited-overs knocks, and they've all come on the sub-continent and mostly in Sri Lanka. He loves these pitches and bowlers should be scared.
<b>4. Brendon McCullum (New Zealand, WK)</b>
Strike rate: 131
T20 teams: Kolkata Knight Riders, Brisbane Heat</i>
The Black Caps may be dismal right now, but McCullum is not someone you discard from a Dream Team. He's the all-time biggest run scorer in the format 1352 in 47 inns), has a top score of 116 not out and goes like the clappers when he's in. His highest Test knock came on the sub-continent, so his experience on the variable tracks will prove crucial.
We're also going to give him the keeping gloves, given his experience in the field. He kept for Kolkata at this year's IPL, and on top of scoring 289 runs, he took nine catches and affected seven stumpings.
<b>5. AB de Villiers (South Africa, captain)</b>
Strike rate: 120.41
T20 teams: Royal Challengers Bangalore, Titans</i>
As skipper of the top-ranked T20 side, Proteas batsman De Villiers gets the armband here, which is why we gave the keeping gloves to McCullum instead. De Villiers is one of those players that cover drives to perfection while also scoring quickly, and can usually be counted on to add at least 25 to the score. He's played in the IPL every year since its inception, and this year had an average of 39 and batted at a strike rate of 161, hitting 26 boundaries and 15 sixes.
<b>6. Shane Watson (Australia)</b>
<i>Role: Batting all-rounder
Average: Bat: 26.30, Ball: 22.86
Strike rate: Bat: 148.05, Ball: 18.08
T20 teams: Rajasthan Royals</i>
'Watto' is one of Australia's elder statesmen, and can take the game away from the opposition with either bat or ball. His highest score is 81, made against Pakistan, and has a number of fifties to his name over the past year. He can also be counted on to take one or two wickets in every match, often a partnership-breaking one. As with all the Australians at the moment, he's suffering a bit of a dip, but he's the number one T20 all-rounder and one would not feel safe leaving him out.
<b>7. Dwayne Bravo (West Indies)</b>
<i>Role: Batting all-rounder
Average: Bat: 29.64, Ball: 25.37
Strike rate: Bat: 130.19, Ball: 17.7
T20 teams: Chennai Super Kings, Trinidad and Tobago</i>
Bravo has been in wonderful form with both bat and ball this year, and is a superb fielder to boot. At this year's IPL he batted at an average of 46 and made 371 runs, while taking 15 wickets for the Super Kings. He was one of few Windies players to do well on their England trip, scoring two fifties at the end of the tour, and has reached double figures in every T20 innings since May 2010.
<b>8. Shakib-al-Hasan (Bangladesh)</b>
<i>Role: Bowling all-rounder
Average: Bat: 14.90, Ball: 20.37
Strike rate: Bat: 113, Ball: 18
T20 teams: Kolkata Knight Riders</i>
Once ranked the world's premier all-rounder, the Bangladesh spinner and lower order batsman adds value to any side because he's consistent, especially with the ball. At this year's IPL he only averaged 14 with the bat, but was very good with the ball, taking 12 wickets in eight games at a strike rate of 15. He's also an expert fielder and at only 25, having started his career as a teenager, one of the more experienced players on the pitch.
<b>9. Lasith Malinga (Sri Lanka)</b>
<i>Role: Fast bowler
Strike rate: 16.8
T20 teams: Mumbai Indians, Rahuna Royals (SLPL)</i>
'Slinger' Malinga's unique action has seen him become a crucial part of the Sri Lanka side in all formats, and his T20 record is impressive. He's seventh on the all-time T20 wicket-takers' list, and at this year's IPL took 22 wickets at a strike rate of 15 for the Mumbai Indians. He's also handy with the bat, coming in near the death to send a few boundaries over the ropes.
<b>10. Morne Morkel (South Africa)</b>
<i>Role: Fast bowler
Strike rate: 15.5
T20 teams: Delhi Daredevils, Titans</i>
It's not often Dale Steyn is kept out of a side, but Morkel is a dead cert for a T20 starting line-up. His international average and strike rate are ridiculously low, both under 20, and he was the IPL's top wicket taker this year, with 25 scalps. His variation in pace, and improved line and length, make his a must-have, and he can bat too even though the stats don't really reflect that.
<b>11. Saeed Ajmal (Pakistan)</b>
<i>Role: Offbreak bowler
Strike rate: 15.5
T20 teams: Dhaka Gladiators, K Warriors (SLPL)</i>
If this guys isn't snapped by an IPL team next season we'll eat our hats. His average and strike rate are the same and under 16, for heaven's sake! Ajmal is in incredible form in all formats, and is the top wicket-taker in T20Is overall. Batsman just can't seem to pick him and he takes at least two wickets every innings, without conceding a lot of runs. The PCB's fury at his omission from the ICC Test Player of the Year award is understandable, but hopefully they'll be placated by his inclusion here, a far more meaningful accolade anyway.
12th man: Mohammad Hafeez (Pakistan)
Who would be in your team? Email us here: <b>firstname.lastname@example.org</b> and we'll make a picture gallery of your picks.
<b>Lindsay du Plessis</b>
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