In this week's episode of Dream Team, our panelists pick an all-time T20 XI. The panelists are Jarrod Kimber, general manager of St Lucia Stars and formerly team analyst for Melbourne Stars and Scotland, Gaurav Sundararaman, senior stats analyst at ESPNcricinfo who has formerly worked Royal Challengers Bangalore and Mumbai Indians, Matt Roller, assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo, and host Raunak Kapoor. The major talking points were the balance in the top three, whether the XI needed a bowling allrounder, and the possibility of fitting in a left-arm pace bowler. Check out the video above for the full discussion.
Virat Kohli is the top run-getter in both T20Is and the IPL, but with a strike rate in the mid-130s, he is not an automatic pick in an all-time T20 XI when you have top-order options such as Chris Gayle, David Warner, Shane Watson, AB de Villiers and Glenn Maxwell, who all score quicker. Kohli's excellent record in World T20s, his failure to win a title with Royal Challengers Bangalore, and his composure in chases were all points debated by our panelists.
Daren Sammy has captained West Indies to two World T20 titles. Kieron Pollard and Dwayne Bravo have conquered all the world's T20 leagues. Sunil Narine is the world's most economical T20 bowler and can pinch-hit to boot. Andre Russell takes hat-tricks and hits centuries, sometimes in the same match. And that's just the West Indians on the list. Add Watson, Shakib Al Hasan, Dan Christian, and Shahid Afridi to the list, and it's a problem of plenty in terms of selection.
Left-arm seamers are valuable in T20 cricket, so our panelists were keen to try to fit one in. Mitchell Starc, despite not playing enough T20s, has a formidable record in the format. Can you play him alongside Lasith Malinga and Jasprit Bumrah, or do you have to sacrifice one of the three? This needs a lot of debate.
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Sreshth Shah is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo