I've always had a difficult time defining the term "world class player", and until recently I generally just went along the lines of "a player who would be in vague contention for my World XI". A couple of weeks ago, though, I saw tooextracool define it as "a player who you would select in any Test team in the world" (paraphrasing, but yeah). I liked that definition, and I've been thinking about it a lot on and off since.
Who, using the above definition, what would be in your world class player list, right now? I've had a stab:
Michael Clarke (yeah out of form but I think he'd be picked anyway)
Chris Tremlett (don't expect many others to agree)
Rahul Dravid ?
AB De Villiers
Chris Gayle (probably not as opener in most teams though)
Shakib Al Hasan
It's easy to come up with a very different list, though. If you don't happen to think Dravid is all but finished you'll come up with with less top order players. Ironically Dravid still made my list despite being the one to be replaced/kicked down the order by another player a lot of the time. That most teams are carrying a weak #6 meant a lot of batsmen were picked, and it was hard in mind to slot borderline bowlers like Gul and Roach into England's attack.
Funnily enough I ended up with zero wicket keepers. I wouldn't drop India's captain to play Prior but I wouldn't drop Prior from the England team for Dhoni. I also wouldn't drop Haddin for Dhoni given I don't think Dhoni would be much chop playing half his games in Australia. Maybe I'm over-thinking all that a little though.
I was a little liberal with some of the spinners. England wouldn't play Harbhajan all the time at all, but they'd come into the reckoning in the subcontinent so I've included him anyway. Sri Lankan spinners were difficult because I wouldn't even pick Herath is in his own team even though he'd probably make every other, and Mendis is difficult to rate in general. Randiv could be a fair shout but his Test record so far is average and he can't even make ri Lanka's team.
I didn't consider Pakistan's suspended trio.