Kohli, de Villiers, Gayle in Warne’s World T20 team, Warner left out

Sankha Ghosh / 18 June 2016
AB de Villiers Kohli

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Royal Challengers Bangalore’s three superstars Virat Kohli, Chris Gayle and AB de Villiers were all selected by Australian spin wizard Shane Warne, as he decided to choose his best T20 team.

But the most surprising aspect of this team is, Warne has left out David Warner, who almost single-handedly gave Sunrisers Hyderabad their maiden IPL title this year, of his World T20 team.

Warner doesn’t have any Big Bash team as international duties made him unavailable for the tournament but his heroics in IPL cannot be ignored. It’s a real shock exclusion after seeing McCullum, who beat him as an opener, didn’t enjoyed the best of IPL tournaments this year.

However, he named Mitchell Starc, claiming that the pacer has already proven his worth to him since being severely criticised for flagging in humid condition during the 2014 Test against India at the Gabba.

Warne Then alleged Starc’s body language as “soft” but since then it’s a wonderful journey for the Australian paceman as he has now established himself as one of the world’s premier fast bowlers right now, and was even crowned the player of the tournament at the 2015 World Cup.

That’s why Starc’s incredible qualities being a spearhead were rightly acknowledged by Shane Warne when he posted his World T20 team on Facebook on Saturday.

Allrounder Shane Watson, who enjoyed his 35th birthday on Friday, remains the only other Australian among Warne’s chosen ones.

The former leg-spinner has actually preferred power, aggression and excitement by selecting West Indies batsman Chris Gayle as an opener; Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers boost the strong batting line-up with all-rounder Andre Russell sitting firm in the middle order.

Russell was one of the star players of the recently concluded Indian Premier League for Kolkata Knight Riders and Big Bash League for Sydney Thunder earlier this year, establishing his status as a T20 superman with some outstanding efforts in all three departments.

Meanwhile, Warne’s team brings a Calypso theme, an exact reflection of the West Indies triumph at the last World T20 in India and the utter dominance of the Caribbean players in tournaments across the world with Dwayne Bravo and Sunil Narine finding their name with Russell and Gayle.

Recently retired New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum partners Gayle creating a destructive opening combination while England’s Jos Butler is Warne’s wicketkeeper. Butler was quite exceptional for his team in the ICC T20 World Cup 2016.

Warne’s prestigious bowling attack also has Bangladesh cricket’s new poster boy Mustafizur Rahman.

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