By popular demand, Get Lost XI is back! It has been the talk of Twitter, and considering the vast number of suggestions – there have been thousands of you contributing! – it was only fitting that we give you our official Get Lost XI once again - the worst team of the World T20.
Guidelines for the selection panel:
1. Players should have been consistently abysmal – outstandingly poor one-off performances are taken into consideration, but consistency is preferred to a ‘one-shit wonder’. Spectacularly bad one-off performances are eminently worthy of consideration, however.
2. A key criterion for selection is whether or not a cricketer is playing to the best of his ability. An under-performing and over-hyped superstar is far more worthy of a spot in our Get Lost XI than an equally appalling journeyman.
3. Strike-rate (S/R) is important – anything sub-110 is poor, unless your specific role in the team to be MS Dhoni, in which apparently you’re allowed to do whatever you feel like, regardless of the match situation.
1. Richard Levi (South Africa)
“Who was Richard Levi?” Our grandkids will ask us in years to come. We will let out a brief chuckle, and reply: “The first ever man to gain entry into two Get Lost XI teams.”
It would be remiss of us to not start off with the beefy man from Johannesburg, he of IPL ignominy, and now somewhat inevitably, World T20 embarrassment. Levi’s tournament served to confirm to us what we already knew: he is an excellent hitter of rubbish bowling, and struggles against anything approaching international quality.
Richard Levi is 15/1 to top score in the #CLT20. For those who don't understand betting, it means that if you bet £10, you will lose £10!
Levi’s World T20 was textbook in this regard – albeit a textbook that you wouldn’t find any half-decent batsman taking notes from. An unbeaten fifty against a hapless Zimbabwe served to raise hopes of Proteas fans, but much like a bird caught in an airplane engine, Levi was brought crashing back down to earth against quality bowling.
A first-over dismissal off a Nuwan Kulasekara slower ball came as no surprise to seasoned observers of Levi (four runs). In the next match, Levi could have been auditioning for a future spot in the England middle order with a horrendously misjudged reverse-sweep off Saeed Ajmal (eight runs).
It therefore came as no shock to see Xavier Doherty opening the bowling to the future Get Lost XI Hall-of-famer in the next game, where he seemed to stop mid-delivery for a prayer to VVS (aka The Almighty God of Spin), close his eyes, and swing blindly. Zero runs.
While some play spin with surgical precision and decisive footwork, Levi bumbles like Bambi on ice, with a distinctly English ability to make even the most innocuous ball behave like a Shane Warne-Muttiah Muralitharan hybrid.
Richard Levi can’t play spin, and the whole world knows it.
2. William Porterfield (Ireland)
“Make it quick and painless.”
Two balls. Two platinum ducks.
Usually it’s a high compliment to suggest that someone convinced us of their place in an XI after just two balls, and Porterfield certainly made himself an auto-selection for our team.
We have a soft spot for the Associates. So, in spite of his twin failures, we tried our best to convince ourselves that there were more deserving candidates.
But, what is failure if not two consecutive dismissals off the first ball of a match?
3. Virender Sehwag (India)
Although using his feet has never been a strong point for Sehwag, at least he used to be able to see them.
In isolation, three innings and 54 runs in this World T20 cannot be used as evidence of Virender Sehwag’s terminal decline. However, increasingly lazy and daft dismissals have led many observers to compare the pudgy Indian’s batting to that of Shahid Afridi – a sure sign that you’re doing something horrifically wrong.
For years, Sehwag has worked his samosawallah harder than his personal trainer. And boy, does it show!
Whereas once Sehwag struck fear into the hearts of bowlers everywhere, his reflexes are now in decline, and though Zaheer runs him close, Viru is undoubtedly the most unfit man in world cricket. MS Dhoni bravely dropped him after just one game, a rude shock to one of the ‘undroppables’.
His aversion to strolling anything more than a single at any given time means that his ‘Plan B’ now involves sulking in the dressing room, and surely it’s only a matter of time before India to decide to thank him for the memories and move on to a more deserving and less paunch candidate.
4. Johnson Charles (West Indies)
If only cricket were as easy a game as Johnson Charles seems to think it is.
Flashing more often than Lindsay Lohan on a night out, Charles’s World T20 was cringe-worthy. Although his brand of Levi-esque brainless slogging came off against England as he hoicked his way to 84, our Get Lost selectors always kept faith in the man. Charles’s five other innings in the tournament fetched just 46 runs.
5. George Bailey (Australia, captain of #GetLostXI)
Bailey is a controversial selection in this line-up, but much like his Australian selection, he gets in for highly contentious reasons that nobody can quite put their finger on.
With Man, Hunk, and All-Round Star of the Tournament, Shane Watson being the key protagonist in Australia’s success, it is up for debate as to whether Bailey actually had much input in their run to the semi-finals.
However, it is certain that Bailey cocked up key decisions. Ostensibly in the side as a specialist captain, Bailey made the shrewd call to drop David Hussey – the most prolific run-scorer in T20 history – and only recall the ring-rusty 35 year old for the semi-final.
Crucially, during this semi-final, Bailey made what turned out to be a match-sealing mistake. Australia’s Captain Fantastic bowled Xavier Doherty at the death to the bloodthirsty duo of Kieron Pollard and Chris Gayle, but he might as well have drawn blood from his childhood buddy and thrown him into a shark tank! It was a hopeless situation for Doherty, and it was a hopeless decision by Bailey. Six balls and 25 runs later, Australia’s fate was sealed.
Bailey’s sprightly 63 in his final knock of the tournament was the cricketing equivalent of giving a participation certificate to the chubby kid at your school’s sports day.
6. Kamran Akmal (Pakistan)
The eldest Kamral Akmal brother is living proof that mankind is inherently evil. In cricketing terms, it is a miracle that Kami has survived at international level, with the only explanation being that he has signed some sort of Faustian pact. We say this because he has survived match-fixing allegations in 2010 (and 2008, 2009, 2011, 2012), was subsequently accused of “living a charmed life” by the chief prosecutor in a spot-fixing trial, and has been in perpetually patchy form with the bat.
Logic would dictate that such a player has no redeeming feature at international level, but ‘logic’ is a term you use loosely when referring to the Pakistan Cricket Board – the same board that breached patient confidentiality by proudly announcing to the world that Shoaib Akhtar was suffering from co*k rot, but asserted that spot-fixing allegations were a ‘conspiracy to defraud Pakistan cricket’.
A promising stint in the Sri Lankan Premier League led us to believe that Kamran might finally be on the cusp of forming a devilish partnership with younger brother Umar, but as it turned out, he ended the tournament with just 64 runs in six innings. By batting two slots above Umar, Kamran ate up crucial time at the crease, denying Pakistan the chance to build momentum during the middle overs.
The Spawn of Satan’s travails with the gloves are well-documented, though as empathetic beings, it would be a low-blow to point out that Kamran Akmal was born with the crippling congenital deformity of having cymbals for hands.
7. Shahid Afridi (Pakistan)
Pakistan’s talisman in 2007 and 2009 is no more. The halcyon days of Afridi smashing a first-ball six, followed by smashing his second ball straight down long-on’s throat are now gone.
The former Pakistan captain’s decline into mediocrity has been so alarming that Pakistan fans now yearn for the days where he used to score an Afridi special: ‘the six-and-out’. In the World T20, Afridi scored just 30 runs in six innings, including two ducks. What was most concerning – but not in the least surprising – was the pigeon-brained manner of his dismissals. When the situation required a calm head, Afridi’s neurons inevitably short-circuited.
However, Afridi’s legion of ‘Lalaists’ will tell you that he has been focusing on his bowling, and that these days, he should be considered as a specialist bowler. Four wickets in the tournament @ 42.7, and we wonder whether Lala will enjoy a last flicker of his cricketing flame before he reaches his 30th birthday.
8. Jacob Oram (New Zealand)
Not usually uneasy on the eye at the crease for someone with such a hulking frame, Oram in this tournament batted like Godzilla playing swing ball.
Oram was another player who enjoyed a phenomenal Sri Lankan Premier League but was shown up on the international stage – 23 runs in three innings, together with an economy rate of 9.68, and you wonder whether at the age of 34, Oram’s international days are numbered.
9. Piyush Chawla (India)
A choice perhaps substantially less obvious than his googly, the King’s Punjab XI leggie actually had to work quite hard to get into the Get Lost line-up after taking 2 for 13 against England, a side notoriously adept against spin on the subcontinent.
However, unlike Sachin Tendulkar, never underestimate the merry-cheeked pie-lobber because his single over against Australia in the Super Eights – his last of the tournament – went for 14 as Shane Watson maximized the whorish long-hop and sluttish half-volley which book-ended some other non-turning porridge.
Back home in Sydney, Steve Smith immediately reversed his recent decision to stop bowling leg-spin: “Piyush has shown me I still have so much to offer,” he said.
10. Zaheer Khan (India)
Bowling half-trackers at 78mph is usually a skill reserved exclusively for Stuart Broad and IPL trundlers – the latter of which Zaheer has certainly devolved into.
India’s spearhead has become flatter as the years have gone on. Zaheer has now failed to take a Test five-for in two years, and an ODI four-wicket haul in over four years. In the World T20, Zaheer Khan went wicketless for India’s first three games, before taking three wickets in a dead rubber against South Africa.
Dhoni said, "Zaheer is the Sachin of our bowling." Rubbish haircut, ageing, struggling to score runs...yup, they're identical! Overweight and unfit, with overgrown hair that seems to have been inspired by Ramiz Raja, Zaheer has totally lost it.
11. Jade Dernbach (England)
Running in, looking like the lovechild of a 1950s juvenile delinquent and Robbie Williams, Dernbach’s much-vaunted ‘variations’ are now easier to pick than Harbhajan Singh’s ‘straight-on’ delivery.
Dernbach’s emphasis has been on ‘variety’, but in this tournament he only managed to serve up a variety of utter dross. Rather than getting destroyed by Virat Kohli and friends during the winter, on this tournament’s showing Jade might be better off staying at home to fill the brash, trash-haired South African-sized shape likely to once more soon come available in the Surrey dressing room.
(The above article is written by written by Alternative Cricket staff, with special thanks to Pavilion Opinion and Halftracker. The article is reproduced with permission from AlternativeCricket.com. AlternativeCricket is currently developing a scholarship for young Afghan cricketers. You can follow them on Facebook (facebook.com/