• World Cup best XI

    We pick the best combined team of the 2015 World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.

    The individual performances at this World Cup has been impressive. It has been a batsmen’s World Cup, while a handful of bowlers have done consistently well over the last six weeks.

    While stats play an important role in picking a team like this, we also looked at the contribution these players made in the campaigns of their respective teams.

    Performances in ‘bigger’ games against better opposition weighed heavier in the decision-making, but match-winning performances against any team also carried weight.

    Kumar Sangakkara, AB de Villiers, Mitchell Starc and Trent Boult pick themselves and their selections can’t be argued with. The opening batsmen wasn’t too difficult. Brendon McCullum can almost be picked on his captaincy alone and is one of the most dangerous batsman in the world. His innings against South Africa in the semi-finals was game-changing, while Shikhar Dhawan played some important innings for India and scored 412 runs in total.

    The number five slot was a tough choice between Steve Smith and Zimbabwe’s Brendan Taylor, but Smith’s semi-final hundred against India swung it in his favour. Smith is a good leader, great fielder and a batsman for the big occasion.

    The toughest choice was probably between David Miller and Glenn Maxwell of Australia. Both have scored 324 runs, so it came down to the importance of their batting performances in key games. Miller started the tournament well with a crucial hundred against Zimbabwe after South Africa were in big trouble, while his big-hitting cameo in the semi-final propelled South Africa to a good score which was later adjusted by the D/L-method.

    It was also difficult to pick a decent all-rounder which could fill the role of the fifth bowler. In the end we went with New Zealand’s Corey Anderson. He played a match-winning knock against South Africa and has taken 14 wickets so far.

    Morne Morkel was picked because he was South Africa’s best fast bowler and leading wicket-taker at the World Cup, while his pace and bounce is an asset to any team.

    Imran Tahir made the cut ahead of Daniel Vettori purely based on his massive importance for South Africa. He took wickets and crucially kept the runs down and was one of the Proteas’ hero’s in this tournament.

    We are backing this top seven to get the runs to win games, and the bowling attack will be a handful on any pitch in Australia and New Zealand.

    The team in batting order:
    1. Brendon McCullum (c)
    2. Shikhar Dhawan
    3. Kumar Sangakkara (wk)
    4. AB de Villiers
    5. Steve Smith
    6. David Miller
    7. Corey Anderson
    8. Mitchell Starc
    9. Morne Morkel
    10. Imran Tahir
    11. Trent Boult