This weeks dream team selection focuses once again on the Test Match arena, using the latest Cricket World Most Valuable Player (MVP) Ratings system. John Pryor picks the best XI.
With England’s disappointing performance last week making the headlines and the West-Indies versus New Zealand series getting under way let’s see how things have changed from our last Test Match dream team which was: Alviro Petersen (South Africa), Graeme Smith (South Africa), Younus Khan (Pakistan), Shivnarine Chanderpaul (West Indies), AB de Villiers (South Africa), Kumar Sangakkara (wicket-keeper, captain, Sri Lanka), Saeed Ajmal (Pakistan), Vernon Philander (South Africa), Shane Shillingford (West Indies), Ben Hilfenhaus (Australia), Monty Panesar (England).
After a stunning 131 against England, the South African captain Graeme Smith is the first name on this team sheet and he will also captain this MVP team. Making it an unchanged opening partnership, Alviro Petersen keeps his place in the side. Despite being dismissed for a duck against England Petersen’s MVP ranking of seventh makes him the second highest opening batsmen.
Hashim Amla is the obvious selection at three, his unbeaten 311 against England means that he is the top-ranked MVP player. Continuing the theme of South Africans dominating the batting line-up, Jacques Kallis follows at four; his 182 not out against England moves him up to fifth in the MVP rankings.
At five there is finally room for a non-South African player - Shivnarine Chanderpaul of the West Indies maintains his place in the team and will hope to continue his fine form when he takes to the crease against New Zealand.
The Australian captain Michael Clarke follows at six; his huge scores against India in the winter keep him ranked at third in the MVP ratings despite some mediocre performances against the West Indies.
At seven Kumar Sangakkara maintains his place as wicket-keeper batsman in this side thanks to scores of 192 and 199 against Pakistan in June.
There is little change to the bowling line-up. Vernon Philander, Shane Shillingford, Ben Hilfenhaus and Monty Panesar all keep hold of their spots though Saeed Ajmal drops out in favour of an extra batsmen. This dream team suggests that by the end of the summer we may well see a new team at the top of the ICC Test rankings.
South African players dominate the batting line-up as well as featuring in the bowling quartet. Signs are also ominous for New Zealand as numerous West Indies players are selected for this team.
MVP Test Dream Team - 27th July 2012: Graeme Smith, Alviro Petersen, Hashim Amla, Jacques Kallis (all South Africa), Shivnarine Chanderpaul (West Indies), Michael Clarke (Australia), Kumar Sangakkara (Sri Lanka), Vernon Philander (South Africa), Shane Shillingford (West Indies), Ben Hilfenhaus (Australia), Monty Panesar (England)
© Cricket World 2012