Friday, December 25, 2015

2015 in review .. Sport.

So, it has been a busy year in sport. For me the highlight of the year would be the All Blacks becoming the first team to win two consecutive Rugby World Cups.  Other contenders:

  • NZ performance at the Cricket World Cup. (no they didn't win, but how the game is played matters more than results to me). 
  • The start of the Women's Big Bash League
  • The Matlida's performance at the World Cup in Canada. Australia's first Quarter-Finalist at the Football World Cup. The US performance against Japan in the Final, was virtually flawless
  • Yep, I wanted the Silverferns to win, but the Diamond's achievement in winning the Netball World Cup. (The last game of the Constellation Cup was also super impressive, were NZ beat the Diamonds by 12 goals, falling just short of the 14 they needed to win the cup.
  • Michelle Payne - not really a fan of Horse-racing, but her achievement to get the ride, and win the cup, in a male dominated industry was very impressive
  • The Socceroos winning the Asian Cup. 
  • The Highlanders winning the SuperXV tournament. Yes, I do support the Hurricanes, but I've always had a soft spot for the Highlanders.
  • Thurston's field goal to win the NRL Grand-Final
  • Djokovic and Serena Williams were possible the sports-stars of the year. Both won three out of the four majors. 
The less said about the AFL season the better - it was really soured by treatment of Adam Goodes, and another lack-lustre Grand Final. 

Test Cricket team of the year:
Now I'll turn my attention to my test team of the year. Yep, there's still two tests to go (Australia v West Indies & South Africa v England), but don't think that any performance would change my team.

1. Daivd Warner (Australia)
2. Alistair Cook (England)
3. Kane Williamson (New Zealand), capt.
4. Steven Smith (Australia)
5. Younis Khan (Pakistan)
6. Virat Kohli (India)
7. Sarfraz Ahmed (wk), (Pakistan)
8. Stuart Broad (England)
9. R. Ashwin (India)
10. Joshua Hazlewood (Australia)
11. Mitchell Starc (Australia)
12. Yasir Shah (Pakistan)

Captain, hard choice - have to admit, not impressed with any current/former captains, Steven Smith is too conservative for me, so maybe I'd give it to Kane Williamson. Conversely found it hard to pick the middle-order (5-6) and wicketkeeper.

The easiest picks: Williamson (the rankings don't lie, the best batsman in the World this year, 1172 runs at 90.15), Ashwin (best performing bowler this year, 62 wickets at 17.2), Warner and Hazlewood. Taylor's 290 against Australia in Perth, and Stuart Broad, whose 8/15 v Australia was the bowling performance of the year.

In ODI Cricket, hard to go past AB de Villiers 44-ball 149 as the ODI innings of the year, and Mitchell Starc's 6/28 (against NZ) as the bowling performance of the year.

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