World XI leave out Gayle, Ntini for opening Super Series ODI
MELBOURNE, Australia, Oct 4 (AFP): Chris Gayle and Makhaya Ntini have been left out of the World XI team for the opening Super Series cricket one-dayer with Australia at Docklands Stadium here Wednesday.
Skipper Shaun Pollock, faced with the difficult task of accommodating some of the world's best 14 cricketers in a 12-man team, said Tuesday West Indian Gayle and South African Ntini would not play and he would decide on the super sub on the day of the game.
So formidable is the World XI that the first nine batsmen in the order have scored Test centuries and England's Ashes hero Andrew Flintoff may be forced to bat as low as number seven.
Selector Sunil Gavaskar confirmed that Sri Lankan wicketkeeper Kumar Sangakkara will open the batting with India's Virender Sehwag in the first of three one-dayers here this week.
They are likely to be followed by Indian Rahul Dravid, South African Jacques Kallis, West Indian champion Brian Lara and England's Kevin Pietersen ahead of Flintoff.
Australian captain Ricky Ponting said that all-rounder James Hopes and late inclusion fast bowler Stuart Clark will not be playing, meaning that young leg-spinner Cameron White will get a run after replacing injured Brad Hogg Monday.
Ponting said Simon Katich will open with wicketkeeper Adam Gilchrist. Katich gets his promotion up the order after long-time opener Matthew Hayden was dropped.
Australia - Adam Gilchrist, Simon Katich, Ricky Ponting (captain), Damien Martyn, Michael Hussey, Michael Clarke, Shane Watson, Andrew Symonds, Cameron White, Brett Lee, Glenn McGrath, Nathan Bracken (super sub to be named).
World XI - Virender Sehwag, Kumar Sangakkara, Rahul Dravid, Brian Lara, Jacques Kallis, Kevin Pietersen, Andrew Flintoff, Shahid Afridi, Shaun Pollock (captain), Daniel Vettori, Shoaib Akhtar, Muttiah Muralitharan (super sub to be named).
Umpires: Simon Taufel (AUS) Aleem Dar (PAK)