Shoaib Akhtar recently picked his all-time eleven in ODI cricket, and there were a boatload of surprises waiting for the cricket fans.
Most of the fans weren’t really happy with the names chosen by him, however, going by the impressive legacy of the players he chose, one moment of individualistic brilliance from even a single player can define the day for the team.
The Rawalpindi Express chose his favourite ODI team on his YouTube channel and gave out a few concrete reasons to back his choices.
One of the most astonishing aspects of the team was the exclusion of Ricky Ponting, one of the most illustrious captains and batsmen of all time. He also didn’t opt for the current Indian skipper, Virat Kohli in his side despite the Indian skipper being one of the best batters in recent history and the most dominant moniker in chases.
The top order of Shoaib Akhtar’s dream team
He picked two openers in Gordon Greenidge and Sachin Tendulkar, both being absolute virtuosos in the art of batting. Greenidge starred in 128 fixtures, while Tendulkar’s solitary comparison to date is Sir Donald Bradman.
He picked up a very strong middle-order that featured the likes of Pakistani opener, Saeed Anwar, former Pakistani captain, Inzamam-ul-Haq, former Indian World Cup winning captain, MS Dhoni and Australian wicket-keeper, Adam Gilchrist.
There were quite a few questions about the selection of Saeed Anwar as a middle-order batsman, but Shoaib clarified his selection of the legendary southpaw.
He clarified by saying, “People might be surprised by seeing Saeed Bhai in the middle, but in today’s day, he would have murdered the bowlers.”
The biggest surprises came at the end
In another surprising move, he also picked Yuvraj Singh but the Indian hard-hitter was chosen for the seventh spot, which was exceptionally untoward for the two-times World Cup winner.
It seems that Akhtar’s admiration for the Indian cricketers is simply overwhelming, as the next name on his list was Kapil Dev, the legendary all-rounder and the captain who led India to their first World Cuo triumph in 1983.
The bowling line-up was short enough, but comprised three menacing monikers that on any given day would end up spooking the batters. The names were Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis and Shane Warne.
If you believe the surprises are over, there is still an explosion waiting. Guess what, despite the team comprising five captains already in the form of Kapil Dev, MS Dhoni, Wasim Akram, Inzamam-ul-Haq and Adam Gilchrist, he picked Shane Warne as his team’s captain.
Shoaib Akhtar’s dream ODI XI: Gordon Greenidge, Sachin Tendulkar, Inzamam-ul-Haq, Saeed Anwar, MS Dhoni, Adam Gilchrist, Yuvraj Singh, Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis, Kapil Dev, Shane Warne (c).