Tom Moody, the Australian cricket coach and commentator, has revealed his T20 XI in a recent chat with renowned commentator and expert Harsha Bhogle on Cricbuzz. It was a team full of finest cricketers marked by some surprising omissions. The only English cricketer that made it into the squad is speedster Jofra Archer.
Moody was the head coach at IPL franchise Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) for seven years and even guided them to the trophy in 2016. Trevor Bayliss, England’s World Cup-winning coach, replaced Moody in 2019 as the head coach.
The IPL-winning coach chose his compatriot David Warner and Rohit Sharma for the opening position, citing left-right combination as one of the primary reasons for going ahead with this pair. Further, Rohit was also chosen as the captain of the team ahead of Virat Kohli.
The No. 3 position was a no-brainer as there’s hardly any batsman across all formats of the game to challenge Indian skipper Kohli who has made this place his own. Following Kohli at No. 4 is AB de Villiers, another explosive batsman Moody or any sane mind would not afford to miss.
Picking up the fifth batsman of his T20 XI proved to be a puzzling task for the cricketer-turned coach as he didn’t want to miss either Jos Butler and Nicholas Pooran. However, he picked Nicholas Pooran to maintain the left-right combination in the middle order.
The talisman Andre Russel and his Caribbean colleague Sunil Narine occupied No. 6 and No. 7 position as an all-rounder, while Rashid Khan was the first choice as a spinner in Moody’s team.
Moody is a big fan of Rashid, and he recalled an amusing anecdote about his first impression of the spinner when he was acquired by SRH team management.
“I got a couple of our senior players including David Warner to face him [Rashid Khan] and within 20 minutes I realised we picked a gem. His level of competitiveness in that net scenario was to me ‘right this kid is ready to go’. He is not worried about who he is bowling to. He is delivering so consistently,” said Moody.
On the fast bowling front, Jasprit Bumrah, Mitchell Starc and Archer were picked ahead of anyone else. Indian all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja was roped in as the 12th man.
Here is Tom Moody’s current T20 XI:
David Warner, Rohit Sharma(Captain), Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers, Nicholas Pooran, Andre Russel, Sunil Narine, Mitchell Starc, Rashid Khan, Jasprit Bumrah, Jofra Archer, Ravindra Jadeja (12th man).