*This article is courtesy of ICC Cricket World Cup 2015
The close bond shared between ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 host countries Australia and New Zealand is reflected in their national day of remembrance – ANZAC Day.
To acknowledge ANZAC Day, we have selected an all-time ANZAC One Day International XI. In true ANZAC spirit, the load is evenly shared with six players from each nation making the lineup.
1: Adam Gilchrist (Australia)
As one of the hardest and most feared hitters of all time, Gilchrist is an automatic choice at the top of the order. For more than a decade Gilchrist struck fear into bowlers around the world as he smashed his way to 9,619 ODI career runs at an incredible strike rate of 96.94.
He also knew how to perform on the big stage with three ICC Cricket World Cup titles to his name – including a player of the match performance in the 2007 final with 149 off 104 balls.
2: Nathan Astle (New Zealand)
With a New Zealand record of 16 ODI centuries, Astle was a proven match winner at the top of the order for the Kiwis.
Astle would form the perfect complement to Gilchrist’s power. As a master of pacing an innings and controlling the tempo of a game, he would manipulate the fields during the middle overs by turning the strike and running fast between the wickets.
His medium-pacers also come in handy, taking 99 ODI wickets at a tidy runs per over (RPO) of 4.71.
3: Dean Jones (Australia)
Jones was a trailblazer in ODI cricket. Hitting the ball over the infield, charging fast-bowlers and running fast between the wickets made Jones one of the world’s premier ODI players in the late 80s and early 90s.
His record of 6,608 runs at an average of 44.61 is testament to his class and match winning abilities – an automatic choice at number three in any ODI lineup.
4: Martin Crowe (New Zealand)
As one of the greatest New Zealand players of all time, Crowe is an instant selection in any ANZAC team.
Crowe was a stylish batsmen who made batting look easy. His finest hour came when he was named player of the ICC Cricket World Cup 1992 with 456 runs at an average of 114.
5: Ricky Ponting (Australia) - Captain
Although Dean Jones has the number three spot, room had to be made for one of the finest batsmen of the modern era – Ricky Ponting.
With his free-flowing stroke play, Ponting would be well-placed to come in during the middle overs and keep the score ticking over with regular boundaries.
In a team stacked with leaders, none are more suited to captain this ANZAC XI than Ponting who led Australia through to two ICC Cricket World Cup titles.
6: Michael Bevan (Australia)
As one of the greatest finishers in ODI cricket history, Bevan is an easy pick at number six.
Bevan’s numbers tell the story of his unmatched ability to close out an innings – 6912 runs at an average of 53.58.
Throw in his partnership breaking left-arm chinaman and Bevan is an integral part of this team.
7: Chris Cairns (New Zealand)
As one of the rare all-rounders who could make his national team on either discipline, Cairns picks up the all-rounders spot.
His batting was all brute force while his bowling was sharp with one of the best slower balls in the game.
Cairns also loved the big occasion – as was seen in 2000 when he scored a century to lead New Zealand to the ICC Champions Trophy title in the final over India.
8: Brendon McCullum (New Zealand) - Wicketkeeper
With a middle-order made up of graceful stroke makers, McCullum provides the power, innovation and bravado needed to finish the innings on a high.
Having McCullum as the glove man also means that Gilchrist is free to open the innings without the fatigue of having kept wickets for 50 overs.
9: Shane Warne (Australia)
As arguably the greatest legspin bowler of all time, Warne provides no let up for the batsmen once the fielding restrictions are lifted.
Warne’s arsenal of big spinning leg-breaks, low skidding flippers and hard to pick googlys produced 293 ODI wickets at an average of 25.73.
10: Shane Bond (New Zealand)
In a career blighted by injury, Bond saved his best for Australia. Bowling consistently over 145kmh with late inswing, Bond picked up 44 ODI wickets against Australia at an average of 15.79.
Bond’s class was on full display at ICC Cricket World Cup 2003 where he took 6-23 against eventual champions Australia.
In this ANZAC XI, the Australia players will be glad to play with Bond and not against him.
11: Glenn McGrath (Australia)
McGrath’s ODI record is unrivalled amongst pacemen. In 250 matches, he took an Australia record of 381 wickets at an average of 22.02. Even more impressive than his wicket taking ability was his economy rate – a miserly 3.88 runs per over.
With his controlled aggression and immaculate line and lengthm, McGrath would take the new ball and the lead the ANZAC XI bowling attack.
12: Daniel Vettori (New Zealand)
As New Zealand’s highest ever ODI wicket taker and one of the craftiest bowlers seen in limited overs cricket, Vettori slots in at twelfth man.
Known for his subtle changes of pace and run strangling ability, Vettori’s bowling is tailor made for ODI cricket. Also provides handy lower order runs with his unorthodox batting technique.
Who would you pick in your ANZAC XI? Join the conversation on one of our channels and let us know by using #cwc15