Cricket365 Team of the Month – September

Australia

Apologies for the delay in transmission, but the World Twenty20 has been the dominant factor at Cricket365 Towers lately. But now, let's look back at the performances in September and pick a team of stars.

Apologies for the delay in transmission, but the World Twenty20 has been the dominant factor at Cricket365 Towers lately. But now, let's look back at the performances in September and pick a team of stars.

<b>1. Mohammad Hafeez (Pakistan)</b><br><i>Close, but no: Nasir Jamshed (Pakistan)</i><br>Pakistan's skipper only played T20s in September, ranging from a series against Australia in Dubai, which his side won, and then the group and Super Eights matches at the World Twenty20. Of the seven innings he played, he reached double figures in six, and scored more than 40 runs in three. His bowling also gets him a place in the side, as he took two vital wickets in the narrow win against South Africa.

<b>2. Shane Watson (Australia)</b><br><i>Close, but no: Chris Gayle (West Indies)</i><br>When Chris Gayle doesn't make it into a team of the month selection, you know the guy who cracks the nod has been amazing. Watson has almost single-handedly carried Australia to the latter stages of a tournament everyone assumed they'd flop at. He has scored the most runs at the event, and in his nine innings in September, he scored three fifties, and three more innings over 30. In those nine matches, he has bowled superbly too, and taken wickets in every game.

<b>3. Brendon McCullum (New Zealand, wicketkeeper)</b><br><i>Close, but no: Hashim Amla (South Africa)</i><br>The world's most prolific run-scorer in Twenty20s (by nearly 500 runs) provided the knock of the month with his 123 off 58 balls against Bangladesh. It was an astonishing display of batting, and the top score at the WT20 but quite a margin. His other big knock in September saw him score 91 against India, and without it the Black Caps would have lost, as they only secured victory by a single run.

<b>4. Virat Kohli (India)</b><br><i>Close, but no: Kamran Akmal (Pakistan)</i><br>India's man of the moment continued his good form across all formats in the past month, and his knock of 70 against New Zealand saw them nearly chase down the 168 required. At the World T20 he was one of the more reliable batsmen even though India failed to progress past the Super Eights. He scored 75 not out in the warm-ups against Pakistan, and then repeated that feat in the tournament proper against the same opponents. He added 40 to the score against England as India won by a massive 90 runs.

<b>5. Jacques Kallis (South Africa)</b><br><i>Close, but no: Eoin Morgan (England)</i><br>Kallis did not have a wonderful with the bat, aside from a vital 48 not out that saw the Proteas beat England in the first T20 on that tour. Kallis' value has been with the ball recently, as his career-best T20 figures of four for 15 against Zimbabwe showed. The man is nearly 37 and he was bowling at a rapid clip in Sri Lanka, and getting a good deal of bounce too. He was the man the skipper called on when he needed a wicket, and Golden Arm usually obliged.

<b>6. Yuvraj Singh (India)</b><br><i>Close, but no: Michael Hussey (Australia)</i><br>After his comeback from lung cancer at the start of the month, where he scored 34 against New Zealand, Yuvraj has continued to be an automatic pick, despite not being back to his previous svelte form. He has been impressive with the ball for India though, and the win against Pakistan in the Super Eights saw him take two key wickets and a direct hit run out. He also removed three of Afghanistan's best batsmen in a game where the minnows only lost by 23 runs. Yuvraj's value is both quantitative, in terms of stats, but qualitative, as he inspires his team-mates.

<b>7. Michael Hussey (Australia)</b><br><i>Close, but no: Jeevan Mendis (Sri Lanka)</i><br>Mr Cricket is the last line of defence before the opposition get to the soft underbelly of the Australian middle order. If David Warner and Shane Watson fail, which they have not really done yet, then Hussey can be relied upon to get runs in his calm, technically gorgeous manner. He started the month poorly in the UAE, but finished on a high, scoring 71 against England in the warm-ups and then a vital 45 not out as they beat South Africa by eight wickets in the Super Eights.

<b>8. Mitchell Starc (Australia)</b><br><i>Close, but no: Yasir Arafat (Pakistan)</i><br>Starc has been the stand-out bowler for the Aussies in recent weeks, and has been the guy who prevented the Aussies from being a one-man Watto machine. Against Pakistan in the UAE he managed to get pace and swing on flat wickets, taking eight wickets in three games, including a four-fer. At the WT20 he continued to impress, taking three wickets against the West Indies, and two against Ireland. At the end of the Super Eights, he had taken the fourth-most wickets in the tournament.

<b>9. Steve Finn (England)</b><br><i>Close, but no: Lasith Malinga (Sri Lanka)</i><br>While England had a fairly poor tournament, and failed to advance past the Super Eights, fast bowler Steve Finn continued to impress after doing well against South Africa at the end of that long summer tour. Finn bowled in nine matches in September and failed to take a wicket in only one, and that was a warm up against Pakistan that England won anyway. In the tournament proper he took nine wickets, including 3 for 16 against New Zealand, which was the seventh-best figures in the event excluding the semi-finals. (In case you're wondering, Malinga's five-for against England was in October.)

<b>10. Saeed Ajmal (Pakistan)</b><br><i>Close, but no: Harbhajan Singh (India)</i><br>This guy just can't do anything wrong. The number one spinner on the planet had a cracking series against Australia in the UAE, taking two wickets in each of the three games and totally bamboozling the batsmen. At the WT20 he's continued in that vein, and took four for 30 against New Zealand as Pakistan won by 13 runs. In all his whole September matches, his worst run concession was 32 runs in four overs against Bangladesh, which is par for the course in T20s.

<b>11. Ajantha Mendis (Sri Lanka)</b><br><i>Close, but no: Ravichandran Ashwin (India)</i><br>Ajantha played only three proper T20s in September but took nine wickets, most notably the astonishing six for eight runs against Zimbabwe in the opening game of the WT20. The minnows had not a single clue how to play the spinner, and he got rid of five of the top six batsmen for under 60 runs. He followed that up with two for 12 in four overs against the West Indies, which allowed the hosts win to by nine wickets as they only needed to chase 130 to win.