Former Pakistan all-rounder Yasir Arafat picks combined India-Pakistan all-time T20 XI, MS Dhoni to lead

Arafat chose Rohit and Virat as the openers.

Yasir Arafat
Yasir Arafat (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

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Perhaps no cricket rivalry matches the standard of the Indo-Pak rivalry. Strictly from a cricketing point of view, some might rate Australia and England the fiercest rivals, but when looked at from the larger lens, India and Pakistan’s rivalry is stretched far beyond the realm of cricket.

The tense relationship between the two nations has existed ever since the partition of British India in 1947. Despite similar heritage and history, the two nations have hardly come to an agreement, with all the political and diplomatic feud translating into an all-time sporting rivalry, too.

While that has led the two nations to not participate in bilateral cricket events anymore, the discussion around the two teams never stops. In one of such events, the former Pakistan all-rounder Yasir Arafat named his all-time India-Pakistan T20 XI in a recent interaction with Sports Yaari.

Yasir Arafat’s all-time T20I India-Pakistan XI

“The first name is going to be captain MS Dhoni,” said Arafat without any hesitation. He opted three-pronged pace attack comprising Sohail Tanvir, Umar Gul and Jasprit Bumrah.

“Imran Nazir has not played as much cricket as Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma, so these two will be my openers”, reasoned the former player while selecting the top-order of the team.

“One down, I will go with Hafeez, while Yuvraj Singh and Umar Aqmal will walk at No. 4 and 5, before MS Dhoni,” he added. Going ahead on the spinners, Arafat chose right-arm off-break Saeed Ajmal alongside all-rounder Shahid Afridi.

Speaking about his all-time team’s captain, MS Dhoni, Arafat lauded him for his cool and humble attitude. “Dhoni is a quality player. He is mentally and physically very strong, and as a person, he was extremely cool and humble.”

“He knew the art of man-management. His chemistry with his players was fantastic. If a team wins big titles, there has to be something in the captain. MS Dhoni was one captain who backed his players and I never saw him criticize any of them, ” he added.

Arafat’s XI: Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Mohammad Hafeez, Yuvraj Singh, Umar Akmal, MS Dhoni (C & WK), Shahid Afridi, Sohail Tanvir, Umar Gul, Jasprit Bumrah, Saeed Ajmal