Year-end XIs January 3, 2009

Raucous and freakish

Marauders at the top, unclassifiables below. Welcome to Cricinfo's Test and ODI teams of the year
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What do you say we team up? © Getty Images

"Mainly Aussie", read the headline for the teams selected by Cricinfo staff at the end of 2007. This time around, the piece could be titled "No Aussies" (though that may not be quite an accurate indicator of the way cricket has gone in the last year): there isn't one Australian in either of the sides. However, the lists are not dominated by players from the team of the year, South Africa. Although a couple of their players are among the most popular choices in the Test team, the only South Africa-born player in the ODI team is Kevin Pietersen. The one team dominating the XIs this year is India: their openers, their captain, their new-ball bowlers, and one of their veterans all make it to the teams.

Tests

One of the easiest choices - and the most mouth-watering prospect - when selecting a team for 2008 has to be the Test openers. Maverick madman Virender Sehwag joining Iron Man Graeme Smith opens up possibilities. One knows no textbook, no pressure, no decorum for certain situations. The other knows no pain, loves the pressure, and is usually the last man standing. What a year the two have had: Smith leads the run-scorers, followed by Sehwag. Between them they have 3118 runs, nine centuries, and four match-winning innings that will be talked of for a long time. (Smith at Edgbaston and in Perth, Sehwag in Galle and Chennai).

Gautam Gambhir had such a great year in Tests (only eight of which he played) that most at Cricinfo thought a place needed to be made for him. And place he gets, at No. 3, ahead of Ricky Ponting and the artistic Hashim Amla. Over the last year Gambhir averaged 70.87 in scoring 1134 runs, and his sheer productivity was hard to ignore.

He is followed by the India No. 4, who exorcised a big ghost, in his 20th year in international cricket, by scoring a match-winning century in the fourth innings of a match. Sachin Tendulkar started the year with a classy century in Sydney and finished with the Chennai victory, and he is still going strong.

What is a Test World XI if it cannot produce a switch-hit or two that goes for a six over the long-off boundary? It feels like yesterday that Kevin Pietersen made his debut, but he already has 15 centuries to his name. In every full year he has played since his debut, he has managed 1000 runs. This year he crossed the mark during one of the most audacious hundreds by a visiting batsman in India.

What if this line-up fails? Who does the rescue job then? If you have had a streak that started mid-2007 and reads 50, 116 not out, 136 not out, 70, 104, 8, 65 not out, 70 not out, 0, absent, 23, 3, 18, 86 not out, 118, 11, 107 not out, 77 not out, 79 not out, 50, 76, 126 not out and 0, you are Shivnarine Chanderpaul and are welcome to join the Test XI. There couldn't be any other man to bat for your life.

Prasanna Jayawardene was good to watch, Brendon McCullum played good knocks here and there, but Mahendra Singh Dhoni - for the second year running - remains the Cricinfo staffers' choice for the wicketkeeping job. The scrapping qualities he brings with the bat could well have tilted the scales in his favour.

The bowling attack is refreshing, with two newcomers, Ajantha Mendis and Ishant Sharma. Mendis played only three Tests, but his 26 wickets in those were enough to outshine Muttiah Muralitharan and Daniel Vettori. Ishant gets to keep the company of his friend, philosopher and guide from the Indian team - the more-versatile-than-ever Zaheer Khan. Neither of these last two is in the top 10 on the wicket-takers' list this year, but it's the impact they created on flat tracks in India that sees them through.

The bowling attack is capped by the most obvious choice of all: Dale Steyn, who can also rival Zaheer for a higher batting slot. Both of them have been a thorn in the Aussies' sides, both with ball and bat, and Steyn has the better numbers to show - 74 wickets at an average of 20. Pace, movement, mean streak - you don't want to run into him in a dark alley.

Test XI
Graeme Smith (c), Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Sachin Tendulkar, Kevin Pietersen, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, MS Dhoni (wk), Zaheer Khan, Dale Steyn, Ajantha Mendis, Ishant Sharma

Near misses: AB de Villiers, Andrew Flintoff, Daniel Vettori

ODIs

Imagine Chris Gayle and Sehwag opening the innings. Both men have destroyed attacks individually; together will they complement each other? Will they compete? Any which way, the bowlers won't like it.

And what of Gautam Gambhir, the leading run-scorer in the year? Once again, like in the Test XI, and like in his early days, he drops down one spot. His performances from No. 3 in the CB Series provide evidence he can adjust.

The ODI middle order of this team is the capital of bonhomie. These bosom pals won't be chucking pies and one-liners at each other, so they could well get into a contest to prove who is more audacious instead. So much for relief from Gayle and Sehwag: Yuvraj Singh and Pietersen, both in prime form, make for an explosive middle order.

In Dhoni will follow stability. In many ways he has been the best ODI batsman of the year - and the second-highest run-getter, scoring runs in almost every situation, be it accumulation, rebuilding, or all-out attack.



Two much: alongside Mendis, Tanvir is the second unorthodox bowler in the ODI side © AFP

Unlike the Test team, this one needs an allrounder, and Andrew Flintoff has done enough to make it. An economy of less than 4.5 an over and a strike-rate of close to 110 runs per 100 balls sounds good enough for a No. 7.

Mendis, who needs two wickets in his next four matches to become the fastest to 50 wickets, promises to be a handful. Unlike in Tests, he has had enough time to prove his credentials in ODIs, taking a wicket every 10 runs and giving away only 3.5 an over.

In what is a freak-meet-freak situation, Sohail Tanvir becomes the only Pakistani to make either team. His quick-arm action, accuracy and variations with the slower ball make him the best death bowler around currently. If he sounds suspiciously like Wasim Akram, what to make of Zaheer? Tight starts, breakthroughs in the middle, and asphyxiating stuff at the death. His economy-rate of 3.84 for the year, mostly in the subcontinent, says as much.

The final place is a difficult choice, because of a tie between Vettori and Stuart Broad. Vettori makes the cut because of his experience and the presence of three pace bowlers already.

ODI XI
Chris Gayle, Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Kevin Pietersen, Yuvraj Singh, MS Dhoni (capt./wk), Andrew Flintoff, Sohail Tanvir, Daniel Vettori, Zaheer Khan, Ajantha Mendis

Near misses: Stuart Broad, Muttiah Muralitharan, Kumar Sangakkara, Brendon McCullum

Captaincy

The Test captaincy made for a good debate: Smith's conventional leadership from the front and implementation of plans versus the intuitive ways and individuality of Dhoni. Smith was such an overwhelming favourite to make the team that he came through as captain, and he has much more experience than Dhoni. In the ODI team, though, there is no Smith. The debate was between Dhoni, Pietersen, Gayle and Vettori. Dhoni got the majority of votes there.

Sidharth Monga is a staff writer at Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dan-argent on January 5, 2009, 16:50 GMT

    Why not have Darren Pattinson in there?

  • Brendanvio on January 5, 2009, 9:59 GMT

    I don't have qualms with your odi team, that looks good. However, i disagree with several of your selections. South Africa were clearly the world's best side and only two players make it? You seem to have picked Sachin on reputation rather than results, ab de villers should have his spot. The other is both zaheer and ishant. Ishant is a real romantics pick due to his spell in perth. I'd rather pick either ryan sidebottom, makhaya ntini, or mitchell johnson. Ill leave zaheer there, he did bowl mesmerisingly at times.

    Be interesting to see who is there next year!

  • atifhaariz on January 5, 2009, 8:49 GMT

    Utter joke this is! I mean it should be worded Indian ODI and Test team of the year! Common did India dominate World Cricket this year, to have soo many Indians in both teams?:S This selection I would say no offence to anyone is completely biased! The following would be my two teams for the year. Some people may or may not agree with it!

    Test team of the year 1. Virender Sehwag 2. Greame Smith 3. Hashim Amla 4. Sachin Tendulkar 5. Kevin Pieterson 6. Shivnarine Chanderpaul 7. Prasanna Jayawardene (Best keeper his batting isn't the best) 8. Andrew Flintoff 9. D.Steyn 10. A.Mendis 11. Z.Khan

    ODI Team of the year 1. Virender Sehwag 2. Chris Gayle 3. Kumar Sangakkara 4. Yuvraj Singh 5. Andrew Flintoff 6. Shivnarine Chanderpaul 7. M.S.Dhoni 8. N.Bracken 9. A.Mendis 10.S.Broad 11.M.Muralitharan Peace Atif

  • cns7 on January 5, 2009, 8:46 GMT

    why wud u pick zaheer khan over jonston or even o, brian

  • cns7 on January 5, 2009, 8:30 GMT

    how is dhoni in the test team he is so over-ratedits not even funny. Was anyone who voted for this team of the year not indian? My test team would be Smith (C) sehwag ponting tendulkar chanderpaul ab de villers sangakara johnson steyn murili sharma no room for khan as he has a poor average and dont get many wickets outside of the sub-continent. remeber this a team u would be betting ur house on, so stop been so one eyed please, this test team u made is almost laughable seriously do u watch cricket outside of the sub-continent. and the one day team must include mcCullum he is so destuctive. and as for picking flintoff wtf??????? Oram is currently rated the best one day allrounder in the world again look at games outside of india. my 20/20 team is gayle mcCullum sehwag ponting pietersen oram a. morkel tanvir vettori murli johnson zaheerkhan is extremly over-rated check how many wickets he got this year and get back to me.

  • Rogue777 on January 5, 2009, 8:17 GMT

    It is at best amusing to see the blatant bias the cricinfo staff has towards India! Come on 5 players each on both ODI and Test teams!

    It is lucky that Yuvaraj is on the same side as Ajanta Mendis; otherwise Yuvaraj wouldn't have gotten passed double figures if he actually had to face him. On the other hand how is it that Sangakkara and Kallis are not in the test side and you see Dhoni and Tendulkar in. Is it like some rules that no matter how mediocre Tendulkar is he has to be honored to some degree to appease the Indian fans.

    It is becoming all to apparent with article like these that:

    "Cricinfo is for the Indians by the Indians"

    So please dont insult us by even trying to say you are unbiased.

  • KRISHKANTH on January 5, 2009, 8:02 GMT

    i can't understand why dhoni gets a place in the test XI.Remember in the Australian tour he has scored only 141 runs in 8 innings at 17.62.Dhoni has always perfomed only at home grounds and has failed in overseas,as his stats indicate.deVilliers might have been a better choice considering he is a good keeper and a class batsman...and why is bracken not included in odi's.Even though many australians have perfomed well,bracken has done well in 2008 and he is the best ODI bowler.i wonder why they picked two spinners in the odi XI...also it is not fair to include Mendis in both forms of the game as he had just 3 tests,so watch out for him in 2009

  • alismo on January 5, 2009, 7:56 GMT

    Typical Indian Narcissism.

  • DannoTheManno on January 5, 2009, 7:29 GMT

    6 indians and they couldn't win their home test series vs South Africa, who only have 2 and havent lost a series in 2 years? I'm confused? This site is very biased in india's favor.....

  • mansel on January 5, 2009, 5:41 GMT

    Pfff... How does Bracken miss out when he is the no. 1 ranked ODI bowler and his figures show he had a return in '08 of 31 wickets at 19 a piece. What the?? I think the "panel" excluded deserving Australian players to make a special point that they had a bad year!!

  • Dan-argent on January 5, 2009, 16:50 GMT

    Why not have Darren Pattinson in there?

  • Brendanvio on January 5, 2009, 9:59 GMT

    I don't have qualms with your odi team, that looks good. However, i disagree with several of your selections. South Africa were clearly the world's best side and only two players make it? You seem to have picked Sachin on reputation rather than results, ab de villers should have his spot. The other is both zaheer and ishant. Ishant is a real romantics pick due to his spell in perth. I'd rather pick either ryan sidebottom, makhaya ntini, or mitchell johnson. Ill leave zaheer there, he did bowl mesmerisingly at times.

    Be interesting to see who is there next year!

  • atifhaariz on January 5, 2009, 8:49 GMT

    Utter joke this is! I mean it should be worded Indian ODI and Test team of the year! Common did India dominate World Cricket this year, to have soo many Indians in both teams?:S This selection I would say no offence to anyone is completely biased! The following would be my two teams for the year. Some people may or may not agree with it!

    Test team of the year 1. Virender Sehwag 2. Greame Smith 3. Hashim Amla 4. Sachin Tendulkar 5. Kevin Pieterson 6. Shivnarine Chanderpaul 7. Prasanna Jayawardene (Best keeper his batting isn't the best) 8. Andrew Flintoff 9. D.Steyn 10. A.Mendis 11. Z.Khan

    ODI Team of the year 1. Virender Sehwag 2. Chris Gayle 3. Kumar Sangakkara 4. Yuvraj Singh 5. Andrew Flintoff 6. Shivnarine Chanderpaul 7. M.S.Dhoni 8. N.Bracken 9. A.Mendis 10.S.Broad 11.M.Muralitharan Peace Atif

  • cns7 on January 5, 2009, 8:46 GMT

    why wud u pick zaheer khan over jonston or even o, brian

  • cns7 on January 5, 2009, 8:30 GMT

    how is dhoni in the test team he is so over-ratedits not even funny. Was anyone who voted for this team of the year not indian? My test team would be Smith (C) sehwag ponting tendulkar chanderpaul ab de villers sangakara johnson steyn murili sharma no room for khan as he has a poor average and dont get many wickets outside of the sub-continent. remeber this a team u would be betting ur house on, so stop been so one eyed please, this test team u made is almost laughable seriously do u watch cricket outside of the sub-continent. and the one day team must include mcCullum he is so destuctive. and as for picking flintoff wtf??????? Oram is currently rated the best one day allrounder in the world again look at games outside of india. my 20/20 team is gayle mcCullum sehwag ponting pietersen oram a. morkel tanvir vettori murli johnson zaheerkhan is extremly over-rated check how many wickets he got this year and get back to me.

  • Rogue777 on January 5, 2009, 8:17 GMT

    It is at best amusing to see the blatant bias the cricinfo staff has towards India! Come on 5 players each on both ODI and Test teams!

    It is lucky that Yuvaraj is on the same side as Ajanta Mendis; otherwise Yuvaraj wouldn't have gotten passed double figures if he actually had to face him. On the other hand how is it that Sangakkara and Kallis are not in the test side and you see Dhoni and Tendulkar in. Is it like some rules that no matter how mediocre Tendulkar is he has to be honored to some degree to appease the Indian fans.

    It is becoming all to apparent with article like these that:

    "Cricinfo is for the Indians by the Indians"

    So please dont insult us by even trying to say you are unbiased.

  • KRISHKANTH on January 5, 2009, 8:02 GMT

    i can't understand why dhoni gets a place in the test XI.Remember in the Australian tour he has scored only 141 runs in 8 innings at 17.62.Dhoni has always perfomed only at home grounds and has failed in overseas,as his stats indicate.deVilliers might have been a better choice considering he is a good keeper and a class batsman...and why is bracken not included in odi's.Even though many australians have perfomed well,bracken has done well in 2008 and he is the best ODI bowler.i wonder why they picked two spinners in the odi XI...also it is not fair to include Mendis in both forms of the game as he had just 3 tests,so watch out for him in 2009

  • alismo on January 5, 2009, 7:56 GMT

    Typical Indian Narcissism.

  • DannoTheManno on January 5, 2009, 7:29 GMT

    6 indians and they couldn't win their home test series vs South Africa, who only have 2 and havent lost a series in 2 years? I'm confused? This site is very biased in india's favor.....

  • mansel on January 5, 2009, 5:41 GMT

    Pfff... How does Bracken miss out when he is the no. 1 ranked ODI bowler and his figures show he had a return in '08 of 31 wickets at 19 a piece. What the?? I think the "panel" excluded deserving Australian players to make a special point that they had a bad year!!

  • captain_j_planet on January 5, 2009, 4:23 GMT

    r u serious?? Brendon McCullum not opening with Chris Gayle?

  • Rogerj1017 on January 4, 2009, 23:52 GMT

    With respect to the test eleven, I would have considered a more consistent keeper/batsman such as Sri Lanka's Kumar Sangakkara. I don't see McCullum fitting into any team, ODI, test or even 20/20.

  • CricketPissek on January 4, 2009, 18:34 GMT

    hahaha... predictable comments. i think cricinfo writers should be a bit cheeky and come up with 2 XIs. Their real one & one to please narrow minded readers :) If i were to comment on a few points that have made some ppl miffed.. Dhoni definitely deserves his place as keeper/batsman in the ODI team, although i think Sankagarra is a better batsmen (mostly shown from fantastic test batting) & a better keeper (seen only in his role as ODI keeper). Dhoni's ODI batting has been more consistent and i doubt he'd be a decent fielder, so keep him as the wiki/bat. Sanga as a pure batsman for ODIs is up for debate. Boucher isn't as good as he used to be, so I don't think he's really in contention. Akmal's a bit of a joke.. sorry. As much as i love Mendis, and no doubt he'll be brilliant in tests, his skills aren't proven enough to be selected in the "Best of 2008 XI" for tests. Unfortunately he only had 3 tests for the year. Look out for him in 2009's XI without any doubters.

  • excalibure on January 4, 2009, 16:19 GMT

    haha i wonder who writes these crap. indians have only won a series against Australia at home, and they are considered the most??? lol now this is hilarious. wonder what happened when the indians were down under??? lol and when they were in Sri lanka??? I agree on the South Africans being on this list but where the hell did Zaheer come to the party???? And i guess Murali must have been injured for the whole year. and just because ponting couldn't play ishant, does it mean that the whole world cant play him???? Mr. Author Please give answers to these...

  • saadidi002 on January 4, 2009, 15:53 GMT

    why was dhoni picked instead of kumar sangakara for the test team? Even though sangakara isn't the wicketkeeper for sri lanka in tests all the time, he has a much better average than dhoni and is obviously a much better wicketkeeper Michael clarke should have been considered in the test team because he is pretty consistent as well

  • boooonnie on January 4, 2009, 12:07 GMT

    Because of the nature of international cricket played around the world against varying standards of opposition (is a century against Zimbabwe as good as a century against England?) on different pitches etc, these kind of exercises are always dificult if not impossible. India have shaped up as one of the strongest test teams in the world with South Africa, but it cant be confirmed until they start winning tests overseas. This however could be just a matter of time. As an Aussie I dont have a real problem with no Aussie's being in the team, it has been a tough year for the boys, but if I was a South African I might feel a bit annoyed, particularly in the test team.

  • srriaj317 on January 4, 2009, 11:26 GMT

    a very balanced and good team..many readers though seem to have missed the point that this is a team based on 2008..i find no bias in it..there have been many SA and India players purely because they outperformed the Aussies..ishant and zaheer outclassed all the aussie bowlers this year even while bowling at sub-continental pitches..ponting's form was not great in '2008' especially at a time where many many other batsmen around the world clearly outperformed him..the only australian who was ever close to making the team is only katich. i dont see why gambhir should be dropped when he has been one of the best this year..he played in only about half of india's tests and proved himself in whatever opportunities he got.

    this is a very good team for 2008 and purely based on performance.

  • Vijaykumarsstar on January 4, 2009, 11:06 GMT

    We are seriously missing the 20-20 team of the year. The year had a spectacular 20-20 domistic tournament (on International scale) and also some International 20-20's. Apart from that the number of Indian's even in the last year Test team is 4. Now the 4 has turned to 6 (More than half the team).And certainly the ODI team of the last year (Which has the diastrous World Cup) had only 2 Indians while this year contains 5.This shows the progress of the Team India.

  • brainyboysnr on January 4, 2009, 10:10 GMT

    No hassan, Younis doesn't deserve a spot as his 100's have been against pretty weak sides. Akmal doesn't deserve a place as Dhoni is a much better keeper.

  • jwtay on January 4, 2009, 9:28 GMT

    Be very careful to justify arguments (and team selection) on only 4 tests played in India against Aus.

    Indian fans conveniently forget that India was hammered in Sri Lanka, lost series in Aus, and drew against South Africa (which doesn't even have a world-class spinner).

    But if you inist on following your logic, have you conveniently overlooked Hussey's performance in India (7 inn, 394 runs, 56.28 ave, 1 century & 3 50's).

    No, to be fair all of us armchair critics must look at performances througout the whole of 2008 to as objective as possible....and to pay due respect to the wonderful cricketers that entertain us.

  • the_cooz on January 4, 2009, 8:26 GMT

    Both teams look quite good. The ODI XI, IMHO, is harder to pick because the format brings so many possible situations and gives so many players a case for selection. Also, 2008 was the year of Test cricket - in no other recent year (except maybe 2005) was Test match cricket of so much interest, what with ODIs, and 20/20 cricket in particular, dominating the game as a whole. I thought Sidharth's ODI bowlers were particularly well picked, because they've all had very good years and are a mix of youth and experience, right-armers and left-armers, spinners and quicks, and orthodoxy and unorthodoxy. Flintoff and Vettori are also good with the bat, especially the former. The other picks are deserved, but probably not as much so. For the test teams, I think the batsmen are better picked, and Dale Steyn was the best selection of the lot. The other bowlers deserve it, but again not as much so. For the record, I'm a New Zealander.

  • jwtay on January 4, 2009, 8:08 GMT

    To all I. Sharma fans,have a look at his stats for home vs away test in 2008:

    Venue M Runs Wkts BBI BBM Ave Rpo SR Home 7 630 26 4/77 7/117 24.2 2.9 50.7 Away 6 571 12 3/20 3/56 47.6 3.3 86.2

    Home test suggest an above-average year, but not exceptional. Away tests do not deserve comments. Completely inconsistent! Yes, he did overpower Ponting in India, but is that enough reason to include him world-XI? Apply your own logic: if Sharma deserves test spot due to his results against Aus, then JP Duminy deserves same due to his results in Aus. This is ridiculous logic? At least acknowledge that Sharma's choice is an emotional one...not even to mention Khan! Did H Singh, M Johnson and R Sidebottom buy their performances in 2008?....you tell me!

  • Prash_at_Cricinfo on January 4, 2009, 7:37 GMT

    Well we can all see where this is heading...people are not happy with the issue that selectors of this team were biast towards a certain background....

    What would satisfy most of the critics would be an AsiaXI vs ROW(RestOfWorld)XI

    I would certainly pay for a game like this... I think both teams are equally good... the ROW team has a better all rounder in Flintoff, and the Asian team has a better winning Captain as Dhoni.

    Some people might think differently... but these were my selection for AsiaXI and ROWXI

    AsiaXI:

    1)Jaysuria 2)Sehwagh 3)Gambheer 4)Younis Khan 5)Yuvraj 6)Misbah 7)Dhoni* 8)Sohail Tanvir 9)Zaheer 10)Mendis(On Subcontinent pitch) / Ishant (On hard pitches like Perth) 11)Muralitharan 12th Man Ishant / Mendis

    ROW XI:

    1)Smith* 2)Gayle 3)Ponting 4)Peiterson 5)Hussey 6)Flintoff 7)McCallum 8)Styne 9)Johnson 10)Sidebottom 11)Nathan Bracken 12th Man Herschell Gibbs

  • DWP1 on January 4, 2009, 7:37 GMT

    @fyrestorm - To say that "South Africa's only major achievement last year was beating Aus 2-0" is really a bit harsh. South Africa beat both Eng and Aus away, drew to India away and only lost the third test to India due to a pitch that even the biggest Indian supporter would admit was far below par. India on the other hand also beat Eng and Aus but at home and lost both their away series. Surely then there can be no doubt which side were the best test team of the year? The current Indian side is an immensely talented one, but have yet to prove their number 1 claims with results away from home.

    Also if you say that you cannot look at Zaheer and Ishant's averages because they bowled on flatbeds, you then certainly can't include Tendulkar who batted on these same pitches and was outscored in 2008 by Amla, Ponting, Clarke, McKenzie, Laxman. This is meant to be a side picked on 2008 form not on overall record.

  • SachinIsTheGreatest on January 4, 2009, 6:10 GMT

    I think Michael Clarke deserved a place there. While all others around him have been failing, Clarke's played some good knocks. For most other Aussies including Hussey and Lee, the performances have tailed away quite spectacularly.

  • Sprewell on January 4, 2009, 5:54 GMT

    Test XI - G.Gambhir, G.Smith, M.Jayawardene, A.Prince, M.Clarke, S.Chanderpaul, B.Haddin, J.Taylor, A.Mendis, D.Steyn, I.Sharma. Sehwag is way too hit and miss, granted he does have a massive influence on matches if he is on and probably can say the same for Pieterson. Tendulkar has played well and probably justified but Prince has been SA key batsman. Dhoni, isnt a better keeper than Jayawardene and certainly inconsistent with the bat. Z.Khan is good, but I think Taylor is a better pick. S.Katich cant have been too far off either. Your picks are biased towards India, as usual with cricinfo.

  • skchoubey on January 4, 2009, 4:36 GMT

    I would agree with the selection of both test team & ODI, with one difference, Dhoni should be captain for both teams. He has proved his captaincy while winning the T2 World Cup, Wins agains Australia in CB series, Wins against SA, Pak, Australia etc are enough proof. Whoever mentions about Kamran or Mccullum, Prasanna are plain Biased. You have to see the performance against quality of opposition, where Dhoni has delivered at crucial times, be it Perth Test or Mohali or in Lords, England. BTW, Tendulkar also scored 1000 as others, however, he is so big a player that, his 1000 is granted where as Amla's and others are big News. Younis Khan can't make the team in ODI because of his poor fielding and majority of scores against Bangladesh, who is still not strong. Flintoff has also played very little this year compared to others, but Michael Johnson, Ntini etc are one dimensional bowlers. I would like to keep Murli also as of the option in both ODI & test, depending on Pitch condition.

  • frozeninusa on January 4, 2009, 4:29 GMT

    It will never be perfect for everyone but I think these are pretty good selections. It is certainly better than Roebuck's team who picked Amla and De Villiers but forgot Sehwag and Tendulkar. There is just no way Sehwag can be excluded from 2008 test eleven. Now that Australia seems to be down, some in the western media will try to throw their weight behind South Africa.

    I'd put Flintoff in place of Sharma. The debate of captainship between Dhoni and Smith will be settled in a couple of years. I'd pick Dhoni but I'll be fine with Smith too.

    Gambhir, Smith, Sehwag, Tendulkar, Pieterson, Chanderpaul, Dhoni, Flintoff, Zaheer, Steyn, Mendis

  • frozeninusa on January 4, 2009, 4:28 GMT

    It will never be perfect for everyone but I think these are pretty good selections. It is certainly better than Roebuck's team who picked Amla and De Villiers but forgot Sehwag and Tendulkar. There is just no way Sehwag can be excluded from 2008 test eleven. Now that Australia seems to be down, some in the western media will try to throw their weight behind South Africa.

    I'd put Flintoff in place of Sharma. The debate of captainship between Dhoni and Smith will be settled in a couple of years. I'd pick Dhoni but I'll be fine with Smith too.

    Gambhir, Smith, Sehwag, Tendulkar, Pieterson, Chanderpaul, Dhoni, Flintoff, Zaheer, Steyn, Mendis

  • aditya104 on January 3, 2009, 22:57 GMT

    people can say it is biased because there are 4-5 players from one side. but there entry is really justifiable. If u want to choose a test side just on stats, then go and read Peter Roebuck's SMH Test XI http://www.smh.com.au/news/sport/cricket/only-one-australian-in-best-xi-of-the-year/2008/12/25/1229998660685.html . He has not chosen Sehwag, Tendulkar and Zaheer based on stats. If u just chase the stats, then SA wouldn't have defeated Aus and nor India would have been able to successfuly chase 387 against Eng at Delhi.

    I wouldn't have selected Mendis for either of my sides. Maybe Shakib-Al Hasan from Bangladesh deserves more than Mendis. Shakib has also batted well.

  • nik9182 on January 3, 2009, 22:30 GMT

    Good selections and I think some people need reminding that this is the team of the year...so it includes players who have performed over the last 12 months, not a team of players who have been consistant over the last so many years (even though most of the players have a consistent record over the years)

  • hassan10591 on January 3, 2009, 22:22 GMT

    well i dont think zaheer deserves a place in ODIS and one man missing in the odis is Younis Khan, who had a great year and scored unbelievable match-winning hundreds in 2008.

  • akshay4india on January 3, 2009, 22:20 GMT

    I think that people who think this list is biased are just annoyed that players from their country aren't performing well enough to be on this list. This list isn't biased as almost all the names on this list have been performing incredibly. Those who think Zaheer didn't perform well did not see the match and didn't see how well he bowled.

  • sashi94 on January 3, 2009, 22:02 GMT

    I am a bit annoyed by the comments on this article. I thought it was a fair article. obviously based on your nationality or your alleigance to a cricket team, you would chose your best players. But in terms of this year's performance, I thought the Test and ODI teams presented were chosen wisely. Those arguing that Ponting should have taken the #3 spot, maybe you should watch the videos of a lanky 19 year old boy troubling the "great batsman". As far as Dhoni is concerned, I would pick him for the wicketkeepers spot for ODI and TESTS but he has not had much of an opportunity this year to play that explosive innings as the batsman around him have done so well.

    My Worst Test Team: Matthew Hayden, Tamim Iqbal, *Ricky Ponting, Mohd Ashraful, Marlon samuels,+Brad Haddin, Matthew Prior, Brad Hogg, Brett Lee, Shaun Tait, Monty Panesar.

    These Players have made this test team due to reasons ranging from poor performance to absolutely no performance.

  • themikelover on January 3, 2009, 21:53 GMT

    k guys i see that u guys have plenty of problems with this XI and that the team at cricinfo might be biased. On saying that i still think they made some good decisions. Lets look at test openers sehwag and gambhir they have been brilliant all year nd they deserve to be in both odi and test teams. Now for those of you saying gambhir has mostly performed on sub-continent pitches you have got remember at the start of the year how he played against australia in australia in the cb series. So i think that issue is settled. Another matter of discussion is the inclusion of zaheer and ishant lets be honest the tracks on india were really outright flat even in sri-lanka. Now on those pitches they managed to do things with the ball without reward. For all those people on stats, stats don't always show how good a bowler has bowled. Now at the same time mitchell johnson couldn't find any reverse swing at all. If you want to include him before the others u'll have to prove something there.

  • Ozcricketwriter on January 3, 2009, 21:32 GMT

    Incredibly biased, written by Indians wearing rose-coloured glasses. India is not good enough to make up more than half the team, and Australia is not so bad as to not have any selections at all.

    My teams: Text XI: Graeme Smith, Gauten Gambhir, Ricky Ponting, Mohammad Yousuf, Kevin Pieterson, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Kamran Akmal, Makhaya Ntini, Muttiah Muralitharan, Dale Steyn, Ajantha Mendis

    ODI XI: Chris Gayle, Virendar Sehwag, Ricky Ponting, Kevin Pieterson, Andrew Flintoff, Michael Hussey, MS Dhoni, Daniel Vettori, Nathan Bracken, Muttiah Muralitharan, Ajantha Mendis

    That team has a more manageable 1+2 Indians and a more believable 1+3 Australians. It also includes the best test wicket keeper (Akmal) and one of the best test bats (Mohammad Yousuf). If you disqualify Yousuf for his ICL involvement, then put in A B De Villiers in his place.

  • fyrestorm on January 3, 2009, 21:03 GMT

    Whilst I agree that the teams are not 100% correct I think that many of the comments below are purely sour grapes. Australia may have dominated for the last 15 years, but India have been the only team to match them in this period. Averages do not mean anything without looking at the quality of wickets players got. Ishant and Zaheer have got their wickets on flatbeds, whilst others have bowled in friendlier conditions. Johnson swings the ball one way, and his reverse swing is mediocre at best. South Africa's only major achievement last year was beating the Aussies 2-0. They may have drawn the series with India, but the first surface was a greentop. How many times have India gone to SA, and been gifted with a dustbowl? India played three top teams (Eng/SA/Aus), and although they may have been home matches, it was their FAST bowlers that won them the matches, not spinners. Thus again, Zak's and Ishant's selections are justified. I can't wait to see them bowl in tandem on a green top!

  • Shash28 on January 3, 2009, 20:36 GMT

    Test WK position is somewhat interesting... Prasanna is the Best WK in Test Cricket... Sangakarra is the best WK-Batsmen in Test cricket... Dhoni is the better traditional wk-batsmen... sooo it is an interesting choice, perhaps biased by his "superstar" status.

  • TeamUSA on January 3, 2009, 20:08 GMT

    Replace Mitchell Johnson with Zaheer Khan wherever you see it, and give Younis Khan a look-in for the ODI team, and I think we have a fairly strong squad for both formats of the game. Simon Katich deserves mention for a rich year, unfortunately others were better. Just out of curiousity, is this the first time that Muralitharan didn't make the Test team?

  • CrazyDeepak on January 3, 2009, 19:37 GMT

    The one most important thing I would like to make is about the pace bowling department. Full marks to Zaheer and Ishant for their performance throughout this year specially on the flat sub-continent tracks. 15 months back I bet no one could have imagined that Indian pace bowling can dominate the world test team. But these guys are simply amazing.

    But I would like to give credit to the person who has made this dream come true. Yes, you guessed it right. Venkatesh Prasad! This guy has an amazing bowling brain. When he played he displayed his abilities but he could not convert all his skills into action, his lack of pace being the reason. But now that he has 4-5 bowlers with good pace at his disposal, he is now displaying his skill, beautifully channeled into action via Zach, Ishant, Munaf, RP and Sree. Except Ishant, all of them have been in the Indian side for quite some time. But after Prasad took over the face of the pace bowling department they have changed.

    Hats off to Prasad !!

  • phodu4u on January 3, 2009, 18:32 GMT

    I don't wanna get into the debate of whether the elevens proposed by the author are the best ones. What I see is doubts are more or less on 3-4 players. Selecting individual country's XI is barely unanimous! So that means job well done. It's never possible to find a World XI that is acceptable globally.The point that I wanna make here is some people feel that on subcontinent pitches all you've to do is hold the bat in your hand, take guard and after a while century on board. Poor me!! Missed out on so many centuries as I couldn't go beyond club cricket. And just hang on for a minute. Likes of Gautam Gambir made so many 'easy' runs because he played only on subcontinent pitches. If I buy this then what about Ishant Sharma and Zaheer Khan? When Gautam was batting in subcontinent on batting friendly pitches where these bowlers were bowling in? I mean to say Is it possible that a batting pitch be bowling friendly at the same time? I believe one has to get credit either batsman or bowler.

  • scritty on January 3, 2009, 18:24 GMT

    Note to those who talk about consistency.

    This is team of the year. The clue is in the title.

    The consistency the panel are looking for is bounded inside one calender year

  • LaZyEyEs on January 3, 2009, 17:51 GMT

    Hahahahahaha this is a joke!!!!! For the information of the indian party here last year's team had a lot of australians simply because they have proven themselves for 15 years as a team!!! Do not think india is anywhere even close..it takes years and consistency! tendulkar deserves no place and neither do ishant or zaheer...deadweight! other bowlers have performed far better throughout the year and averages and stats prove that. No.3 for gambhir? are you kidding me?

  • CrazyDeepak on January 3, 2009, 17:37 GMT

    Well!! With so many good players in the international arena when you pick a 11, there will be always questions on why him and why not the other. People will point fingers and say there is bias. Everyone has their own opinion. But then this team of cricinfo has been picked up by a group and not an individual. So I doubt there is any bias here. Also given the selection during the past years, no one can question the group selecting this team. I am totally with this team, though my opinion might vary a little.

  • Nampally on January 3, 2009, 17:28 GMT

    My Test team is:Sehwag,Gambhir,Ponting,Tendulkar,Pieterson,Flintoff, Dhoni (C),Steyn,Vettori,Z.Khan,Mendis. This is a well balanced team & has batting right up to #9 with 3 pace bowlers and 2 spinners.Dhoni has proven his leadership with the best record and hence the captaincy. Gambhir & Sehwag are arguably the best opening batsmen in the world today and must be left as a pair to give the great start. Ponting, Tendulkar and Pieterson are each capable of scoring centuries in the middle order. Flintoff and Vettori are great all rounders and deserve a place. Zaheer is preferred to Ishant on experience. Mendis as a mystery bowler is preferred to Murali. In choosing a world team some favourites always get bumped off due to individual preferences. Smith is a fine batsman but his fitness is in doubt.Chandrapal on his recent form does not make the team.More deserving players like Jayawardane, Amla, Yousef, Yunis, and Clarke are all ahead of him. Zaheer makes it ahead of Johnson on experience.

  • phodu4u on January 3, 2009, 17:05 GMT

    I don't wanna get into the debate of whether the elevens proposed by the author are the best ones. What I see is doubts are more or less on 3-4 players. Selecting individual country's XI is barely unanimous! So that means job well done. It's never possible to find a World XI that is acceptable globally.The point that I wanna make here is some people feel that on subcontinent pitches all you've to do is hold the bat in your hand, take guard and after a while century on board. Poor me!! Missed out on so many centuries as I couldn't go beyond club cricket. And just hang on for a minute. Likes of Gautam Gambir made so many 'easy' runs because he played only on subcontinent pitches. If I buy this then what about Ishant Sharma and Zaheer Khan? When Gautam was batting in subcontinent on batting friendly pitches where these bowlers were bowling in? I mean to say Is it possible that a batting pitch be bowling friendly at the same time? I believe one has to get credit either batsman or bowler.

  • Falco on January 3, 2009, 17:00 GMT

    people pushing for sangakkara as keeper should remember he doesnt even keep for the srilanka team. he is a great batsman but if he is to be included he should be considered for one of the batting spots not the keeper's spot

  • popeye on January 3, 2009, 16:35 GMT

    You've got to be kidding me. No offence, but that is the most subjectively Indian and aweful peice writing. MS Dhoni gets a place in his dreams. He dropped what? 1 out of 4 catches? It has to be De Villiers because sangakarra hasn't been able to play recently. Sharma, Sehwag, Ghambir and Tendulkar. Deserve thier places. But if you are somehow trying to suggest that khan (who took a wicket every 70 balls this year!) deserves a place above johnson, who is a real dangerman then you are dillusional. Amla wasn't even on your near misses. This year he has scored runs: flicking spinners off the back foot in India. Against the swinging ball in England and the Bouncy tracks of Australia and South Africa. Simply aweful piece.

  • BellCurve on January 3, 2009, 16:32 GMT

    Shame on the cricket writers of Cricinfo! It is not clear whether you are trying to please the Indian public or whether you are unashamedly biased towards India. There are four highly disputable selections in the test team, and they are all Indians (Gambhir, Tendulkar, Z Khan and I Sharma). Khan and Sharma in particular do not belong in the side. Johnson, Ntini, Murali and Vettori all have taken more wickets at far superior averages. How on earth can you justify including 0 players from the No 1 ranked side in the world, 2 players from the No 2 ranked side, but 6 players from the No 3 ranked side! This article is not worth the cyberspace it occupies!

  • Nipun on January 3, 2009, 16:29 GMT

    To Ruri,Jeeezzz,u mean Muralidaran is also not so good a bowler ? He bowls a lot of overs because all the other bowlers in the Sri Lankan lineup are not a match to him,& so he ends up bowling a lot of overs & getting up a lot of wickets ?(before Mendis's arrival) Shakib picked up GENUINE wickets.Well,the other Bangladeshi bowlers were nowhere as good as him,makes it even more creditable.I saw Shakib bowling in South Africa where he had to keep things tight & also take wickets.That he did both wonderfully well,getting SA top order out GENUINELY(not because they were trying to slog him),& also controlling things from his end-it was a wonderful sight to watch.Ishant is a terrific talent no doubt,but 38 test wickets from 13 tests(almost 26 innings) is just not good enough for selection in the world stage.Compare this to Shakib's 30 wickets from about 12 innings!

  • ah_expressbowler on January 3, 2009, 15:34 GMT

    the most biased selection of teams ever

  • nish86 on January 3, 2009, 15:30 GMT

    thanks Dkondake to answering to montana !!

    I agree on including sangakkara in test-team instead chanderpaul but chanderpaul had good year as well !!

  • jokerbala on January 3, 2009, 15:24 GMT

    Just because you pack the team with power hitters it doesn't mean they are going to make a great lineup.Look at a team like deccan chargers ,with a lineup like gilly,afridi,symonds,gibbs they did nothing in the IPL .It is plain arrogance to pick sehwag in the One day side packed with flashy cricketers.Smith/Tendulkar would have been better choices. Like others have pointed out having Ishant and zaheer in test side just because they made an IMPACT is wrong.So, you should have picked Flitoff as he looked like the best bowler by far, in the India series.Don't look at him as an allrounder,his batting is surely not his strength. Sangakara would be a much better bet in tests as opposed to Dhoni.As Smith is also there in the side, problem of captaincy does not arise.Dhoni appears very confused about his batting in tests. Hashim Amla deserves a place in the test 11.

  • CRICAddict1 on January 3, 2009, 15:21 GMT

    Dear MONGA, It would have been better if u have selected all 11 indians in both test & ODI teams, because indian media is predicting our team to be #1 in 2009,but don't forget the real test is when our team plays outside india then we wiil know the real eleven when our remaining great from Fab four will retire. I hope these eleven's have satisfied u specially but for others it was partial & BIASED.

  • aquamartino on January 3, 2009, 15:02 GMT

    Why do u want: Jhonson: he can barely Reverse the Ball(i.e. lacking skill)

    Sangakarra: he doesnt wanna keep anymore, slower than dhoni.

    Ricky Ponting: The man has lost it.(possibly the cricketer with least confidence), you dont want that to spoil your team.

    I fully agree with the team cricinfo staff has picked, i have watched most of the cricket this year on tv (all countries). however for test I would like to pick FLINTOFF instead of ISHANT SHARMA. Ishant is stil learning and has a terrific future. But flintoff has the batting, bowling and the presence. Ishant may be slightly faster but Flintoff's fast bowling is equally if not more intimidating. I saw flintoff bowl in india for long spells he has the skill, fitness and experience to take over Ishant.

    Thus my TEST team: Graeme Smith (c), Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Sachin Tendulkar, Kevin Pietersen, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, MS Dhoni (wk), Andrew Flintoff, Zaheer Khan, Dale Steyn, Ajantha Mendis (12th Man: Ab)

  • Chestnutgrey on January 3, 2009, 14:48 GMT

    Just for fun:

    Tests: V Sehwag G Smith H Amla K Pietersen S Chanderpaul MS Dhoni Shakib ul Hassan D Steyn M Johnson M Murlitharan I Sharma

    12th man: AB Devilliers

  • chunkyd on January 3, 2009, 14:37 GMT

    As a Srilankan fan i wud be biased to put Kumar Sangakkara in the test team but i still think he's the best WK-batsman around. While i totally agree that Graeme Smith is much better than Dhoni to captain the test team, also feel Mitchell Johnson deserves a place ahead of Zaheer.

    These virtual teams r great for cricket crazy guys like us to speculate on and argue!!

  • amitkingoftheworld on January 3, 2009, 14:23 GMT

    Montana, you are so hilarious I have no idea where to begin about India winning outside of India. Let's try the West Indies, England and Pakistan for a start. Your ignorance, like a lot of other peoples will continue to make me chuckle, because you make comments based on nothing intelligent at all, just really poor assumptions with nothing to back it up with. And the fact is SA have done a great job in beating the Aussies, but lets not forget that this is the weakest the Aussies have been in over a decade of dominance, India was the only country to CONSISTENTLY challenge them during their time of dominance. India hammered them in India in 1998, won the great series of 2001, and drew with them in Australia in a series which India should actually have won. In future get your facts right.

  • ammarmalik on January 3, 2009, 14:20 GMT

    i'm sorry but whoever posted these teams obviously doesnt watch cricket and doesnt know much about it at all.

  • PariXI on January 3, 2009, 14:02 GMT

    at redneck:-

    Redneck, Do you mean to say that cricinfo authors were all aussies last year and they are now Indians this year? or do you mean to say they were not biased last year and they are now? lol which schools in the world teach you guys such crap logic which fails to see the right things?

  • vimalan on January 3, 2009, 13:56 GMT

    a very good pick..although there could still be some changes but nevertheless a very good team..as usual, non-indians will not agree just because many indians found in the team this year...

  • alfa1234 on January 3, 2009, 13:54 GMT

    I agree that Indian team has wonderful last year of cricket but that does not mean that one should consider most of them in team of the year. Mitchell Johnson, Murli and Ntini all of them feature in offical top ten list of test bowling and have much better year averaging in 20s rather then Ishant and Zaheer, both of them average in 30s. Flintoff performance cannot be ignored and no reason to include both the indian openers by playing one of them at number 3. In ODI team I fail to understand that Younis Khan is not included considering that most of his runs came against major test playing nations. I understand Zaheer has superb economy rate but he only played in 10 ODIs so one cannot ignore Stuart Broad. If we are only judging by performance against Australia then half South African team should be in the list.

  • safeery2k on January 3, 2009, 13:54 GMT

    Kumar Sangakara is one of the top batsman of Test Cricket.. also he is a far better wicketkeeper than Dhoni... also he knows Mandis better than Dhoni..so i strongly think Dhoni should be out form test team.

  • Shafaet on January 3, 2009, 13:43 GMT

    Selecting Gamvir at 3 just to select another indian was absurd. wat fault did amla made? Sangakkara should've been picked, Dhoni cant get ahead of him or ahead of Smith as captain. & how the hell sachin gets in the side? Amla, villers played great at both home & away but indians only played at home. Zaheer & ishant instead of Johnson or sidebottom?u must be kidding. Will your team play only in subcontinent? & if not, y not picking another allrounder instead of two specialist spinners? i would suggest flintoff. Mendis or murali, one is enough & Shewag's bowling is more than useful too. U must take sakib into account. He didnt get wkt just because others didnt get. His average of just 27 proves it & he not only troubled SA, NZ, SL but also bowled them out cheaply, see the stats to get proof. Do u knoe mr author wat indian cricket hurts most? its biasing by indian public. Perform like champs all around the world,then claim the thorn.

  • Adhil.mothie on January 3, 2009, 13:22 GMT

    Hi.i think this is irrelevant certainly as a player,if you dont come from india,australia,south africa or england,you dont stand a chance because of the biasd choices for these teams.is dhoni so good,that he is a better choice than mccullum considering brendon's athleticism behind the wickets & he can tare any attack apart like dhoni.i.m sick of dhoni being put on the pedastal.brendon & even boucher are far better keepers in any form of the game & as for the captaincy issue,howcome vettori doesnt it,he carried the burden of a struggling young nz team on his shoulders & led us to that emphatic victory single handly in bangladesh which should of earnd him a test spot in this team,so sory but thumps down to this.favourites are being fancied here.not reconisition.

  • Dkondake on January 3, 2009, 12:55 GMT

    Dear Montana,

    Answer to your question. Dhoni's schievements outside India.

    1) Winning tri-series in Australia involving Aus, Ind, SL. 2) Winning one day series in SL. 3) Winning T2O world cup 4) Finalist in Asia cup.

    Not bad, huh in two years.

  • marrak on January 3, 2009, 12:48 GMT

    I know picking a team is a subjective exercise, but this is taking it to ridiculous levels. Tendulkar, who could not buy a run in Sri Lanka when Mendis was destroying the Indian batting line up, makes it to the test team, whereas Amla, who has scored over a 1000 runs in 2008 is overlooked. In the same vein, Ishant Sharma (with 38 wickets in 13 tests) gets the nod while someone like Mitchell Johnson does not get picked. Why stop there ? Go ahead and pick a full Indian XI and call it the "Test team of 2008".

  • amiraj on January 3, 2009, 12:18 GMT

    Very well said Ruri to Redneck but I am not sure about Nipun statement Sakib Al Hassan should be given a chance but having Jacques Kallis as Bat NO. 3 So still world 11 has 3 Pace bowler Attack. And yes last year when world 11 has most of Aussies Nobody raised any objections than why now. So please to those who believe that Zaheer and Ishant can take wickets only in India than why Brett Lee-2008 or Mcgrath (forever) couldn't take. that means Mcgrath and Brett Lee not able to make a place in world 11. So please when it comes to debate than do it healthy don't have a just go at Indiansssss. once again very well said Ruri.

  • Subra on January 3, 2009, 12:13 GMT

    I wonder who chose the team.

    There is a lot of bias, especially if you take Dhoni's captaincy in the ODIs. Did he not lose the Asian Cup in Pakistan. Has he been tested overseas or over a period of time.

    There seems to be a Dhoni-mania amongst certain sections of the Press. Mind you, I am not debating that he is a great captain for India - but of the world? Is he the best ODI wicket-keeper? Sangakara wins hands down. In the Tests Haddin has been performing very well. So how does Dhoni get into the team - on charisma? Siva from Singapore

  • bat_bowl_field on January 3, 2009, 12:10 GMT

    agree with you Ruri. i wouldnt be surprised if redneck is Aussie. not India's fault the "mighty" Aussies came crashing back to earth in 08. actually it might be. after all they contributed to the downfall

  • fk360 on January 3, 2009, 10:51 GMT

    Maybe next year, cricinfo's staff can try to squeeze in 11 Indian players on both sides and try to pass it off as a populist decision amongst cricket fans worldwide.

    It must have been a pathetic year of test bowling if two of the three bowlers averaged well over 30.

    63 wickets @ 29 is not good enough I guess for Mitchell Jonhson to be include.

    Yuvraj Singh averaged 38 this year in ODI's whereas Younus Khan averaged 58 with three centuries (2 v India and 1 v WI). Likewise Umar Gul has more wickets than Zaheer Khan at the same average and is the better reverse swing bowler.

    There are some picks which are a dead cert, Chanderpaul is the most deserving, perhaps Sangakarra too should have made it.

  • Bytheway on January 3, 2009, 9:52 GMT

    Pointless exercise. Pointless exercise. Pointless exercise. Pointless exercise.

  • taj85 on January 3, 2009, 8:48 GMT

    i dont know why people get so defensive and negative when articles from writers esp indian writers get posted about their teams of the year, we are not all goin to agree with their selection like we do dont agree with our national selectors but you have respect their selections. Most of the players chosen have performed this year, from an indian viewpoint shewag, gambhir, ishant and zaheer deserved their spots, in relation to gambhir performing outside the sub continent im sure when india start their tours this year he will perform well outside the subcontinent. Indians were not screaming bias last year when aussies dominated these teams so why do other scream bias when indians dominate teams, some times wickets and runs dont tell the whole picture and one needs to keep this in mind

  • amiraj on January 3, 2009, 7:33 GMT

    very good combination but there are still some alternative available atmost prolific team. I think Ssachin still play ODI roll At No. 4 and where is Braken and Afridi (All rounder) in ODI.Anyway mine will be

    Test XI : Greame Smith (C), Virendra Sehwag, Jaques Kallis, Sachin Tendulkar, Kevin Pieterson, Shiv Chandrapaul, Mahendrasingh Dhoni (wk), Shakib ul hasan, Dale styn, Zaheer Khan, Mendis.

    ODI XI : Chris Gayle, Virendra Sehwag,Kevin Pieterson , Sachin Tendulkar, Yuvraj Sinh, Shahid Afridi, Mahemdrasinh Dhoni, Andrew Flintoff, Zahir Khan, Mendis, Nathan Braken

  • Montana on January 3, 2009, 7:33 GMT

    I just wonder what makes Dhoni the best captain when he has never been tested out of India. Am not against the Indian players, but most of their success is at home. When last did they win a series away from home?

  • Ruri on January 3, 2009, 7:21 GMT

    At Nipun: Shakib Al Hasan is a really good allrounder by Bangladeshi standards. However, when it comes to picking up wickets, he picks up so many just because most of the other bangladeshi bowlers tend to be incompetent and Shakib is the one who could be counted on to damage. With Ishant, he is often competing with Zaheer and the others in order to grab a wicket. As a bowler, Ishant is probably better.

    At redneck: This team, I do believe, was formed by a method of voting and discussion at cricinfo, and is not a product of the author himself.

    Personally I don't agree with some of the choices, but regardless, that would be a very formidable test and ODI side.

  • itzanurag on January 3, 2009, 7:15 GMT

    No Sid...Thats not the right approach, putting all your eggs in one basket(read India here) A few changes: Test: You have to choose between Smith and Gambhir, both cannot play in one team. Smith will be my choice for tests. Dhoni has done precious little in tests to merit a spot here. deVilliers or sangakkara as wk will be better! Both are very capable keepers, mind you.. And Flintoff has to be in the team, who goes out doesnt matter. My team: Smith(c),Sehwag,Sangakkara(w),Tendulkar, Pietersen,Chanderpaul,Flintoff,Vettori, Zaheer,Steyn and Mendis. 12th man: Mitchell Johnson ODI: Again a few poor selections.My team: Gambhir,Sehwag,Gayle,Pietersen,Hussey,Yuvraj, Dhoni(C),Flintoff,Vettori,Mendis and Steyn. 12th man: AB deVilliers!

  • redneck on January 3, 2009, 6:04 GMT

    just a stab in the dark hear mr monga but you wouldnt be indian would you??? biased much!!!

  • Nipun on January 3, 2009, 5:52 GMT

    Zaheer & Ishant in the test team of the year?What sort of joke is this?Specially,Ishant Sharma-38 test wickets in 13 tests,& he is in the world test team!Lolzzz.....whereas a Shakib Al Hasan,picking up 30 test wickets,home & abroad,on about 15 innings,is not mentioned.If impact is the reason why Ishant gets into the team,then Mohammad Ashraful is his match as a batsman of impact-after all,he is someone who is never out of form,merely getting out.Shakib got the hold of the rampant SA top 6 on their conditions,which even the Australians couldn't do on their home soil!

  • bat_bowl_field on January 3, 2009, 5:50 GMT

    i think both XI's look very strong. i agree with Winner that Dhoni should captain both forms of the game. no disrespect to Graeme Smith but i think Dhoni is more aggressive and makes the game more exciting for all. i would like to see the Cricinfo staff pick a Asia XI and a World XI as well. that is a game i would pay to see.

  • gripusa on January 3, 2009, 5:48 GMT

    This is a good selection but just a little hicup for ODI's of KP's Inclusion ahead of Younis Khan, Shiv or MisbahulHaq. As if you are aloting the slots merely based upon the stats then KP cant compete all of them. Both pakistani players have more then 50 as average while shiv got 64 (playing just 14 matches, which certainly not his fault that he plays from WI rather BCCI). Plz try to avoid inclinations to suite your needs.

  • gchandra on January 3, 2009, 5:35 GMT

    Test XI, I will go with Flintoff instead of Chanderpaul for getting 20 wickets. All world class, why 7 batsman.

    ODI XI, I will go with McCullum instead of Vettori for batting and keeping. Take Dhoni off wicket keeping. Lot of part bowlers to cover for Vettori.

  • Kirstenfan on January 3, 2009, 5:09 GMT

    Very convenient yet pointless to put batsmen in different positions so that you can appease the India fans by including all their batsmen and fill up your XI. Surely you need to have a number 3 at number 3? How many test runs did Gambhir score outside of the subcontinent?

    And having Zaheer and Sharma - obviously you're going to be playing a test team in India then? Johnson would be my pick ahead of Zaheer - far more resilient and solid at number 8. If you want some left-arm variety then go for Sidebottom.

    Why don't you just find a place for Laxman, Harbhajan and Mishra while you're at it?

    Also it's great how people include Bangladesh and Zim in stats when it suits them - how many of Mendis's ODI wickets came against Zim?

  • Dhanno on January 3, 2009, 4:49 GMT

    Graeme Smith (c), Virender Sehwag, Ricky Ponting, Sachin Tendulkar, Kevin Pietersen, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Kumara Sangakarra(wk), Michael Johnson, Dale Steyn, Ajantha Mendis, Ishant Sharma

    Would be the team.. Cricinfo staff either consists too many indians or they have some sort of directive from BCCI! 6 indians on test team of year?? thats not reflective of either the capability or performance.

    ODI teams: they dont matter, i can pit bangladesh 11 against your side and beat them on given day..

  • Winner on January 3, 2009, 3:27 GMT

    I can't argue with either XI, having followed most matches through out the whole year. My choice would be Dhoni for Test and ODI captancy.

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  • Winner on January 3, 2009, 3:27 GMT

    I can't argue with either XI, having followed most matches through out the whole year. My choice would be Dhoni for Test and ODI captancy.

  • Dhanno on January 3, 2009, 4:49 GMT

    Graeme Smith (c), Virender Sehwag, Ricky Ponting, Sachin Tendulkar, Kevin Pietersen, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Kumara Sangakarra(wk), Michael Johnson, Dale Steyn, Ajantha Mendis, Ishant Sharma

    Would be the team.. Cricinfo staff either consists too many indians or they have some sort of directive from BCCI! 6 indians on test team of year?? thats not reflective of either the capability or performance.

    ODI teams: they dont matter, i can pit bangladesh 11 against your side and beat them on given day..

  • Kirstenfan on January 3, 2009, 5:09 GMT

    Very convenient yet pointless to put batsmen in different positions so that you can appease the India fans by including all their batsmen and fill up your XI. Surely you need to have a number 3 at number 3? How many test runs did Gambhir score outside of the subcontinent?

    And having Zaheer and Sharma - obviously you're going to be playing a test team in India then? Johnson would be my pick ahead of Zaheer - far more resilient and solid at number 8. If you want some left-arm variety then go for Sidebottom.

    Why don't you just find a place for Laxman, Harbhajan and Mishra while you're at it?

    Also it's great how people include Bangladesh and Zim in stats when it suits them - how many of Mendis's ODI wickets came against Zim?

  • gchandra on January 3, 2009, 5:35 GMT

    Test XI, I will go with Flintoff instead of Chanderpaul for getting 20 wickets. All world class, why 7 batsman.

    ODI XI, I will go with McCullum instead of Vettori for batting and keeping. Take Dhoni off wicket keeping. Lot of part bowlers to cover for Vettori.

  • gripusa on January 3, 2009, 5:48 GMT

    This is a good selection but just a little hicup for ODI's of KP's Inclusion ahead of Younis Khan, Shiv or MisbahulHaq. As if you are aloting the slots merely based upon the stats then KP cant compete all of them. Both pakistani players have more then 50 as average while shiv got 64 (playing just 14 matches, which certainly not his fault that he plays from WI rather BCCI). Plz try to avoid inclinations to suite your needs.

  • bat_bowl_field on January 3, 2009, 5:50 GMT

    i think both XI's look very strong. i agree with Winner that Dhoni should captain both forms of the game. no disrespect to Graeme Smith but i think Dhoni is more aggressive and makes the game more exciting for all. i would like to see the Cricinfo staff pick a Asia XI and a World XI as well. that is a game i would pay to see.

  • Nipun on January 3, 2009, 5:52 GMT

    Zaheer & Ishant in the test team of the year?What sort of joke is this?Specially,Ishant Sharma-38 test wickets in 13 tests,& he is in the world test team!Lolzzz.....whereas a Shakib Al Hasan,picking up 30 test wickets,home & abroad,on about 15 innings,is not mentioned.If impact is the reason why Ishant gets into the team,then Mohammad Ashraful is his match as a batsman of impact-after all,he is someone who is never out of form,merely getting out.Shakib got the hold of the rampant SA top 6 on their conditions,which even the Australians couldn't do on their home soil!

  • redneck on January 3, 2009, 6:04 GMT

    just a stab in the dark hear mr monga but you wouldnt be indian would you??? biased much!!!

  • itzanurag on January 3, 2009, 7:15 GMT

    No Sid...Thats not the right approach, putting all your eggs in one basket(read India here) A few changes: Test: You have to choose between Smith and Gambhir, both cannot play in one team. Smith will be my choice for tests. Dhoni has done precious little in tests to merit a spot here. deVilliers or sangakkara as wk will be better! Both are very capable keepers, mind you.. And Flintoff has to be in the team, who goes out doesnt matter. My team: Smith(c),Sehwag,Sangakkara(w),Tendulkar, Pietersen,Chanderpaul,Flintoff,Vettori, Zaheer,Steyn and Mendis. 12th man: Mitchell Johnson ODI: Again a few poor selections.My team: Gambhir,Sehwag,Gayle,Pietersen,Hussey,Yuvraj, Dhoni(C),Flintoff,Vettori,Mendis and Steyn. 12th man: AB deVilliers!

  • Ruri on January 3, 2009, 7:21 GMT

    At Nipun: Shakib Al Hasan is a really good allrounder by Bangladeshi standards. However, when it comes to picking up wickets, he picks up so many just because most of the other bangladeshi bowlers tend to be incompetent and Shakib is the one who could be counted on to damage. With Ishant, he is often competing with Zaheer and the others in order to grab a wicket. As a bowler, Ishant is probably better.

    At redneck: This team, I do believe, was formed by a method of voting and discussion at cricinfo, and is not a product of the author himself.

    Personally I don't agree with some of the choices, but regardless, that would be a very formidable test and ODI side.