The first thing that needs to be decided on is the balance of the team. Often the successful teams play with 4 bowlers and one batsman who can contribute with the ball. (There has only been one game this year where a team has won with only using 4 bowlers)
This time rather than using matches at the World cup as a premium, I'm looking at away matches as the premium. This year we have seen some very good performances by home teams, and only a few by away teams, so there needs to be a bonus for teams performing away from home. (For the purpose of this I don't consider games in UAE as away games for either team)
Openers, Alastair Cook & Tino Mawayo
This was selected from batsmen who had played at least 6 innings as openers.
The selection was fairly straight-forward
|AN Cook (Eng)||8||927||84.27||84.31|
|TMK Mawoyo (Zim)||3||310||62.00||59.17|
|Taufeeq Umar (Pak)||10||831||46.16||46.55|
|DA Warner (Aus)||3||195||48.75||43.84|
|Mohammad Hafeez (Pak)||10||647||40.43||36.41|
|V Sibanda (Zim)||3||272||45.33||36.40|
|GC Smith (SA)||5||322||40.25||36.20|
In reality Tino Mawoyo's first class record suggest it is unlikely that he will turn out to be a world class opener, but he has produced world class numbers this year (including carrying his bat for a particularly memorable 453 ball epic 163* against Pakistan). And Zimbabwe has produced some outstanding batsmen in their short test history.
Number 3 Rahul Dravid
This was not so straight forward, as the runs below were not just scored at number 3. Dravid did better when he opened the batting, and Amla did worse the one innings that he didn't bat at number 3. Sangakkara scored the most runs, but didn't manage any not out's so his average suffered accordingly.
|R Dravid (India)||12||1145||57.25||59.05|
|KA Edwards (WI)||6||595||54.09||53.12|
|SE Marsh (Aus)||4||287||41.00||48.67|
|Azhar Ali (Pak)||10||732||45.75||45.14|
|KC Sangakkara (SL)||11||1034||49.23||43.93|
|HM Amla (SA)||5||423||47.00||42.27|
|IJL Trott (Eng)||6||365||40.55||36.47|
Numbers 4 & 5 Younis Khan & Ian Bell
Ian Bell has batted at 6 for this year, but he has been a specialist batsman, rather than an all-rounder.
|IR Bell (Eng)||8||950||118.75||110.24|
|Younis Khan (Pak)||8||765||85.00||83.93|
|KP Pietersen (Eng)||8||731||73.10||65.07|
|DG Brownlie (NZ)||3||268||53.60||60.76|
|S Chanderpaul (WI)||8||646||53.83||54.21|
|DM Bravo (WI)||10||949||49.94||53.91|
|BRM Taylor (Zim)||3||358||71.60||50.44|
|SR Tendulkar (India)||9||756||47.25||49.62|
|MEK Hussey (Aus)||9||680||42.50||48.18|
|TT Samaraweera (SL)||7||501||41.75||46.82|
|Shakib Al Hasan (Ban)||5||451||50.11||46.54|
|JH Kallis (SA)||5||359||51.28||46.12|
All rounder Mike Hussey
This was a surprise. I was expecting Shakib, Watson, Vettori or Kallis to come out on top here. Hussey was hardly a front-line bowler, but we are only looking for someone who can contribute, and of the players that do that he has been the most effective this year. Kallis has not exactly had a vintage year with the ball, bowling 61 overs for 232 runs. Watson however has been outstanding with the ball, but surprisingly poor with the bat, especially since I thought I remembered him batting really well.
|MEK Hussey (Aus)||48.18||17.97||30.21|
|Shakib Al Hasan (Ban)||46.54||30.66||15.88|
|Mohammad Hafeez (Pak)||36.41||22.66||13.75|
|DL Vettori (NZ)||40.23||27.68||12.55|
|AD Mathews (SL)||40.52||30.58||9.94|
|R Ashwin (India)||34.59||27.25||7.34|
|SR Watson (Aus)||23.82||17.14||6.68|
|Azhar Ali (Pak)||45.14||38.92||6.22|
|DJG Sammy (WI)||18.19||30.13||-11.94|
|TM Dilshan (SL)||35.21||53.45||-18.24|
|MN Samuels (WI)||32.51||54.06||-21.55|
|IJL Trott (Eng)||36.47||110.09||-73.62|
|JH Kallis (SA)||46.12||257.98||-211.86|
Wicketkeeper Matt Prior
This was the easiest decision of all.
Matt Prior is so far above the rest of the keepers in terms of batting that he really selects himself. His numbers don't indicate that he is the best keeper, but given that he concedes about 5 byes per innings, but his adjusted average is about 25 runs more than the next best with the bat, he can't be overlooked.
Here is the batting stats for everyone who averaged 35 or higher:
|MJ Prior (Eng)||8||519||64.87||64.90|
|T Taibu (Zim)||3||267||44.50||39.17|
|Adnan Akmal (Pak)||8||211||35.16||36.54|
|Mushfiqur Rahim (Ban)||5||340||37.77||35.07|
And their byes stats:
|Adnan Akmal (Pak)||26||8559||1.82|
|T Taibu (Zim)||15||2581||3.49|
|Mushfiqur Rahim (Ban)||34||4741||4.30|
|MJ Prior (Eng)||65||8096||4.82|
The intangible is dropped catches. It is more work than I'm prepared to do to go back and count the number of catches dropped. If Adnan or Taibu had not dropped any catches, and Prior dropped 1 per game, then there would be a difficult decision, but given that we don't have any data we have to proceed on the understanding that there is no significant difference between them.
Bowlers James Pattinson, Shane Watson, Doug Bracewell and Saeed Ajmal
Here I decided that a bowler had to have bowled 90 overs. I got this number as it was roughly the lower quartile of bowlers who had bowled in 5 innings. This was better than just using 5 innings, as measuring in overs allows more consistency (someone who bowls 2 overs in each of 5 innings just giving a rest to the other bowlers and picks up 3 wickets for 55 runs because the batsmen are slogging him would end up with a very good average despite not being a front-line bowler - for a less extreme version of this see Mike Hussey) Unfortunately Vernon Philander just missed out on this.
I also needed to have at least 2 quick bowlers and at least 1 spinner. The final position comes down to performance (although in reality it would probably come down to the conditions). As a result I have picked Saeed Ajmal, as the best spinner.
|Name||Matches||Overs||Wickets||Actual Average||Weighted Average|
|JL Pattinson (Aus)||3||98.5||20||15.20||16.90|
|SR Watson (Aus)||6||113.5||14||19.07||17.14|
|DAJ Bracewell (NZ)||3||101||16||19.25||17.39|
|TT Bresnan (Eng)||4||139.3||21||19.09||20.95|
|Z Khan (India)||3||114.2||13||23.15||21.46|
|DW Steyn (SA)||5||178.4||28||19.57||21.76|
|Saeed Ajmal (Pak)||8||487||50||23.86||21.97|
|Mohammad Hafeez (Pak)||10||167||15||25.93||22.66|
|Aizaz Cheema (Pak)||4||146.4||19||24.78||23.38|
|U Yadav (India)||3||96.3||16||22.93||23.42|
|P Kumar (India)||6||268.3||27||25.81||23.92|
|Abdur Rehman (Pak)||8||412||36||26.27||24.39|
|SCJ Broad (Eng)||7||270.2||33||22.30||24.80|
|PP Ojha (India)||3||177.2||20||22.50||25.02|
|Umar Gul (Pak)||8||287.5||34||25.67||25.09|
|JM Anderson (Eng)||7||296.2||35||24.85||25.57|
|R Rampaul (WI)||8||283.1||31||25.03||26.20|
|R Ashwin (India)||4||221||26||24.80||27.25|
|DL Vettori (NZ)||4||228.1||16||27.12||27.68|
|CS Martin (NZ)||5||192||20||29.45||27.94|
|NM Lyon (Aus)||8||198.4||23||27.47||28.64|
|CT Tremlett (Eng)||5||207.4||23||27.17||29.71|
|HMRKB Herath (SL)||10||470.1||41||29.07||29.92|
Most of the players selected have not played much cricket, and just scrape in on overs bowled. If we extended that to 150 overs required the line up would be Dale Steyn, Praveen Kumar, Saeed Ajmal and Mohammad Hafeez.
The team (in batting order)
12th man Mohammad Hafeez
Surprisingly there are no South Africans or Sri Lankans in the team. There are also no West Indians or Bangladeshis either.
That's my stats based team. What is your team?