Cricketers in modern times have the responsibility of playing for almost 100 days of international cricket in a year, apart from domestic games and the T20 leagues. This means that the team management has to keep a track of fitness of every member of the team.
Circle of Cricket has come up with an XI in which all the players represent their countries in all the three formats – Tests, ODIs, and T20Is- regularly, rarely missing any games in any given season and have managed to have a stellar record in all the three formats.
Very few top players in today’s world have the stamina and fitness to play in all the three formats of the game for their country internationally. Another reason is that the team management does not want their star players to get injured or tired, playing all the three formats, since their value is higher in either ODI and Tests or Tests or ODIs.
Opening for this all format specialist XI will be David Warner from Australia and Hashim Amla from South Africa. Warner has an impressive 12,197 runs in 245 international games for Australia with 35 international centuries. He is currently leading the Australian team in the T20I tri-series. Hashim Amla has played 318 international matches for South Africa and scored 17,517 runs with 54 centuries.
Both Amla and Warner complement each other with Warner having an aggressive side to his game and Amla having the grace and patience to score runs at a fast pace.
Virat Kohli of India will captain the team and he has played 327 matches, scoring 16933 runs with 55 international centuries. Kohli is one of the most valuable and wonderful batsmen in the world and has proven himself in all formats.
In comes AB de Villiers next with 19,551 runs and 46 centuries in 414 matches for South Africa. AB de Villiers has proven his 360-degree game in international and IPL cricket. De Villiers will be followed by Joe Root of England who has scored 10,670 runs in 192 international matches for England. Despite having a perfect technique, Root can hit the shots required in limited overs cricket and score at a fast pace.
Ben Stokes of England, who is the premier all-rounder in the world currently, will be handling the duties of a fast bowling all-rounder. He has 4271 runs and 158 wickets in 122 matches, but most importantly he is an impactful player, who has the ability to change the game within a matter of minutes.
Quinton de Kock of South Africa will be the wicketkeeper of the team and with 6310 runs and 284 dismissals in 150 matches. Moeen Ali will be the spinner of the team with 4064 runs in 139 matches and 201 wickets to go with it. Ali is one of the best players down the order, who can also open if needed.
Mitchell Starc, Trent Boult, and Kagiso Rabada will be the fast bowlers of the playing XI. Starc has played 134 matches and has taken 341 wickets for Australia. Considered one of the best modern fast bowlers, Starc has both speed and skills to go with the bounce on any pitch.
Kagiso Rabada, on the other hand, has made a big impact since his debut in 2015. He has played 89 matches for South Africa in all formats and has picked 216 wickets so far. Rabada is one of the youngest bowlers to pick 100 wickets in Tests and one of the few to pick a hat-trick and a five-wicket haul on ODI debut. He holds the record of best bowling figures on ODI debut, picking 6/16 against Bangladesh in 2015.
Trent Boult gets little recognition for his efforts for New Zealand. One of the best-left arm bowlers in the world, Boult is also an excellent fielder and catcher anywhere in the field, something that is not associated with an out and out fast bowler.
Boult has 444 wickets in 134 matches for New Zealand in all formats and his all-around capabilities in the field make him an ideal choice for COC all-format specialists XI.
Here is the COC All-Format Specialists XI:
David Warner (AUS), Hashim Amla (SA), Virat Kohli (IND-C), AB de Villiers (SA), Joe Root (ENG), Ben Stokes (ENG), Quinton de Kock (SA-WK), Moeen Ali (ENG), Mitchell Starc (AUS), Kagiso Rabada (SA), Trent Boult (NZ)