India might have coasted to seven straight wins at this ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 before crashing and burning in the semifinal to Australia, but there was no room for a single player of the Men in Blue in the "Team of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015."
MS Dhoni's men did a pretty decent job of their title defence, winning all six of their group matches, including ones against Pakistan, South Africa and West Indies, before toppling Bangladesh in the quarterfinals to make it to the semis. While they were outthought by Australia in the final four match, it was still a pretty decent effort from India, considering there were only four players returning from their title run from 2011.
However, such was the team-like performance in those seven wins, that the experts who chose the World Cup team could not find place for a single Indian player, that is despite hundreds galore and 70 wickets out of 70 in the first seven games.
"The panel had an extremely difficult choice of selecting a 12-member squad at the back of an outstanding tournament, highlighted by some eye-catching individual performances including two double-centuries, 38 centuries, two hat-tricks and 28 four-wicket hauls," said ICC general manager of cricket Geoff Allardice, who was also the chairman of the selection panel which eventually selected the final XI.
"There were a number of other players that were discussed as possible selections in the team. These included batsmen Mahmudullah (Bangladesh) and Shaiman Anwar (UAE), fast bowlers Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Shami (both India), Wahab Riaz (Pakistan) and spinners Imran Tahir (South Africa) and R Ashwin (India).
"But there were so many brilliant individual performances during the tournament that it was not possible to fit them into the team. The panel eventually came up with this side, which, in their view, was the most balanced outfit that is capable of beating any side on any given day."
Of the players selected, five of them were from New Zealand, definitely the most exciting team in this entire World Cup, with Brendon McCullum given the honour of skippering the team littered with world stars.
Australia eased past the Black Caps in the final on Sunday to clinch their fifth CWC title, and three of their players – Steven Smith, Glenn Maxwell and Mitchell Starc -- were named in the side.
Team of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015: Brendon McCullum (New Zealand (capt)), Martin Guptill (New Zealand), Kumar Sangakkara (Sri Lanka (wicketkeeper)), Steven Smith (Australia), AB de Villiers (South Africa), Glenn Maxwell (Australia), Corey Anderson (New Zealand), Daniel Vettori (New Zealand), Mitchell Starc (Australia), Trent Boult (New Zealand), Morne Morkel (South Africa), Brendan Taylor (Zimbabwe) (12th man).
Selection panel: Geoff Allardice (ICC general manager), Michael Vaughan (Former England captain and broadcaster), Richard Kettleborough (ICC Umpire of the Year 2014), Harsha Bhogle (Broadcaster), Andrew Alderson (Journalist, New Zealand Herald), Chloe Saltau (Journalist, The Age).