The ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 is around the corner and the squads have been announced. We at The Cricket Lounge have decided to pick our own team, “The Departed XI”. This is a team filled with legends who featured in the last world cup but sadly they are not in the international scene anymore. Either they have retired or have been omitted from their respective teams for some reason. But that doesn’t stop us from forgetting them, does it? We are sure that on any given day they can be a match for any cricket team on this planet.
1) SACHIN TENDULKAR
This is the first name that comes to mind when one thinks of the World Cup, and the Departed XI of ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 will be no different. Opening the batting as usual, the Little Master has played in 6 editions and has the maximum number of runs (2278) and centuries (6) in the world cups. Absolutely no one, we mean no one can open the batting if not him.
2) VIRENDER SEHWAG
Not picked for this year’s edition, Sehwag opens the batting with Sachin. Arguably the most destructive opening batsman of our times, Viru can tear apart any bowling attack on any given day. He will the ‘X’-factor of the Departed XI in the World Cup 2015.
3) RICKY PONTING (C)
Second only to Tendulkar in terms of number of runs scored and centuries made, the former Australian captain and the captain of the Departed XI in the World Cup 2015, has led his team to two world cup triumphs. Captaining the “Departed XI “, Ponting always left his mark in the world cups with his memorable knocks and his leadership ability.
4) JACQUES KALLIS
Without a shadow of doubt, Kallis is the most outstanding all-rounder the world has ever seen. Coming in at number 4, there is no one better in the business to steady the middle order and also bowl seam up if and when needed be.
5) KEVIN PIETERSEN
The swashbuckling batsman is an automatic pick in this form of the game. He can play the part of a lead anchor and accelerate at will. At number 5, KP can be a nightmare to bowlers on the bouncy wickets as he is known to be a strong back foot player and puller and hooker of the cricket ball.
6) YUVRAJ SINGH
If the 2011 world cup belonged to someone it was none but the man from Punjab. His selection was a hotly debated topic in the cricketing circles but Yuvraj narrowly missed the bus. Aggressive by nature, Yuvi is an asset to any team with his fearless batting and power hitting. His slow left arm bowing is more than handy and he is a livewire on the field.
7) KAMRAN AKMAL (WK)
With all due respect to Mr. Akmal he is being picked in the team as a specialist keeper not because of his talent but out of compulsion. Sadly no one in the above mentioned players can keep wickets, otherwise he wouldn’t have been in the team. But as they say, “Every team carries someone.”
8) SAEED AJMAL
The spin wizard from Pakistan is the specialist spinner in the team. Never mind the conditions, Ajmal is a wicket taker in any point of time in a match. His variations are still a mystery to most batsmen and this man is capable of overshadowing the pacers even in the seamer friendly wickets.
9) BRETT LEE
Very fast and furious, Lee has been an exceptional fast bowler of the past decade. Absolutely lethal with the new ball, he can swing the ball and with pace. Not to forget he is pretty handy with the bat too.
10) SHOAIB AKHTAR
Partnering Lee with the new ball, Akhtar’s pace sent down shivers through most batsmen in the world. He redefined the word “quick” and at his pace he is the ideal man to bowl on the fast and bouncy pitches of Australia and New Zealand.
11) ZAHEER KHAN
The last throw of the dice in the Departed XI is the man from India. Zaheer Khan can swing the ball both ways and his variations are an extension of the reasons why he should be picked as a seamer in the team. Exceptional death bowling ability, Khan can be considered the ‘dark horse’ in this team.
The Departed XI for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015: Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag, Ricky Ponting, Jacques Kallis, Kevin Pietersen, Yuvraj Singh, Kamran Akmal, Saeed Ajmal, Brett Lee, Shoaib Akhtar, Zaheer Khan
Coach: Gary Kirsten. Need we say anything else?