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- Apr 26, 2015
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If Test matches are the simple puzzle, then One-Day Internationals are by far and away the most complex. A perfectly balanced ODI side has to fill fifteen roles, which means either that you will have to find four dual-role cricketers, or you'll have to forego one or more of said roles. That was what made the England World Cup side so good: in Stokes, Buttler, Moeen and Woakes they had those four dual-role cricketers, although Stokes' bowling role was the least pronounced.
So that's fifteen roles to fit into eleven players. Often it doesn't quite work, leading teams to forego one of their stock or deceptive bowlers, or one of their hitters or accumulators. This is the format with the most variables built into the template, which is what makes it so tricky for a team to get it right in all conditions.
- Two top-order hitters - These are the sort of players who can score fast but also score big. The prototype of such a player is Rohit Sharma.
- One anchor accumulator - This is the sort of player who can score a run-a-ball hundred without anyone really noticing. Someone like Joe Root.
- One dynamic accumulator - This is a slightly more dynamic version of the last player - someone who runs fast but can also find the boundary if needs be. This is a very complex role, and is sometimes served for England by Ben Stokes. They often forego this to utilise him as an extra hitter though, which can backfire on challenging surfaces.
- Three middle-order hitters - These guys can find and clear the boundaries from the word go, even with five men out on the boundary. If they lose their wickets trying to do that, then so be it. Jos Buttler is one of the best in the world at this role.
- One firefighter - A player who can be promoted to stop a collapse, or held back to see that the last 30 or 40 runs are scored in a chase. They might not make big scores but do make big contributions. Even as his powers waned, MS Dhoni remained very good at this role.
- One wicket-keeper - In ODI cricket more than the other formats, the keeper should be able to fulfil one of the batting roles as well.
- Two stock bowlers - Usually, this will be one seamer and one spinner, but it varies depending on who is available in your team. The best in the world are/were Liam Plunkett and Mohammad Nabi.
- Two deceptive bowlers - Again, in an ideal world this would be one seamer and one spinner, but it varies depending on who is available. The best in the world are usually wrist spinners - Rashid Khan immediately springs to mind - but a good deceptive seamer is very valuable.
- One death bowler - Usually but not always a seamer who can hit their yorkers. Nobody is better at this than Jasprit Bumrah.
- One express pace bowler - Again, even in ODI cricket there's sometimes no substitute for outright pace, as Mark Wood showed throughout the World Cup.
I think you put my teams weakness on hisWeakness
I don't know how often it's going to come up, but this team has a lot of accumulators. Had it just been Ponting alongside Gooch or Yousuf (or Joyce as one of your Associates) then it would have been no problem at all, but instead you've a few players here that never proved themselves to have an enormous change of gear. Not that that's necessarily ruinous, but it puts a lot of pressure on Gilchrist and Ponting.
Tait is the kind of bowler where you really need to already have five good bowlers in the side, because he could also just go 2-0-28-0 (5 wd, 4 nb) on any given dayYeah Tait was the really tempting one for me due to the sheer raw pace but I wanted to use Flintoff for raw pace in the end and opted to shore up the batting strength instead with Walcott.