Dream Team

Welcome to our ex­panded, il­lus­trated pre­sen­ta­tion with sta­tis­ti­cal sum­maries of the se­lected play­ers

The Cricket Paper - - NEWS - rory burns

Surrey bats­man Rory Burns picks his all-time XI

1. Graeme Smith

I try to put a lit­tle bit of Graeme in the way I go about my bat­ting. He sim­ply has to be in my team for the way he cap­tained South Africa for so long and what he did with the bat as well.

2. Hashim Amla

He’s a fine player, and has prob­a­bly been in the top three bats­men in the world for quite a few years now. He’s su­perb, es­pe­cially in the long for­mat of the game and would com­bine well with Graeme.

3. Ku­mar San­gakkara

It’s an ab­so­lute plea­sure to play with him – he’s a fine bloke off the field and a bril­liant player on it. How he goes about it, prac­tis­ing and his men­tal game, too, is fas­ci­nat­ing to watch. He’s also a great role model for left-han­ders who play at the top of the or­der – I can’t speak highly enough of him. He’ll keep wicket, too.

4. Ricky Ponting

It’s a bit ob­vi­ous why he’s in here. He cap­tained Aus­tralia for ten years and was an ab­so­lute jet. And that pull shot... I re­mem­ber the first time he played it for Surrey against Der­byshire, and ev­ery­one just thought it was so good. Ponting and Smith can fight it out for who gets to be cap­tain!

5. Ja­son Roy

Hope­fully the top four can do their job, and when the bowlers and field­ers are get­ting a bit tired and off their game, Ja­son can come in and whack a few around. He scores so freely in all for­mats of the game. He’s a very good player and a good mate – I’ve grown up with him, so he gets the nod. If any­one’s watched him play and see how he’s ma­tured in the three years he’s played in­ter­na­tional cricket, it won’t be long be­fore he gets a shout for the Test team.

6. Aaron Finch

If you can imag­ine him and Ja­son Roy at the crease, the run-rate will be go­ing quite nicely! That’s how he plays, he’s got ab­so­lutely no fear. When you hear him talk, he’s in­cred­i­bly Aus­tralian in his ap­proach and if it’s in his arc, it goes for six. In his first game for Surrey, I had just got out and was in the pav­il­ion and the boys told me he had hit his first ball for six. It was a four-day game as well.

7. Moises Hen­riques

He’s my mate, and he’s a fine player who of­fers bal­ance with bat and ball. He’s just got a ca­reer best 265 for New South Wales against Queens­land. Him at seven af­ter all the oth­ers and you’re do­ing all right!

8. Azhar Mah­mood

He’s good with both bat and ball – he likes to score runs and he’s a bit of a wizard when it comes to bowl­ing, with the skills and tricks he’s got. The skill and con­trol he has is truly in­cred­i­ble. Back in the day, when he had a bit more gas in the tank, I can imag­ine he was even more of a hand­ful than he is now.

9. Gareth Batty

You need a twister in there. He’s prob­a­bly the best spin­ner I’ve had the priv­i­lege of play­ing with – it’s great to see how he goes about his game weekin week-out, the way he al­ways wants to im­prove even though he’s an old git now! He may have been cap­tain, too, but not with Smith and Ponting in there.

10. Wa­hab Riaz

He’s got a bit of gas, the abil­ity to re­verse swing the ball and he’s a tricky cus­tomer, too. He’s a left-armer as well, so that adds a bit of bal­ance to the at­tack. It’s key to have vari­a­tion in there if you can.

11. Jade Dern­bach

He’s got great skills, and he’s my mate so he’s get­ting in. His slower ball is bril­liant and he can swing a white ball su­perbly, and if you swing a white ball, you’re def­i­nitely swing­ing a red ball.

PIC­TURES: Getty Images

He­roes all: Ja­son Roy, Gareth Batty, Hashim Amla and Ricky Ponting

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