Michael Holding wants Sarfraz Ahmed in World Test XI instead of AB de Villiers

AB de Villiers
Michael Holding wants AB de Villiers to be replaced by Sarfraz Ahmed. (Photo Source: BCCI)

Yes! You read it right. The former West Indies bowler Michael Holding, who was one of the most dangerous bowlers of his heydays feels that the Pakistan wicket-keeper Sarfraz Ahmed should have been a preferred choice for the World Test XI instead of the South African skipper AB de Villiers.

Nowadays, he is also a part of the commentary box as well. As a part of the Sky Sports team, he questioned the selection by the broadcaster through former cricketers such as Shane Warne, Ramiz Raja, and Michael Atherton a month ago.


In an interview with, the 62-year old expressed his disapproval in the selection of AB de Villiers as he wants the dream team to have Sarfraz behind the stumps.

“Sarfraz Ahmed, in particular, is a brave cricketer and I have a lot of respect for him and not just for his wicket-keeping but his batting also. I recently saw they were picking a current World XI for Test cricket and Sarfraz’s name came up as the wicket-keeper batsman. But sadly, without having seen too much of him in the current series and not knowing what he is capable of, they wouldn’t have thought too much about him and they would instead have been thinking of someone like AB de Villiers which would be a little unfair,” claimed Holding.

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The trio of Warne, Ramiz and Atherton have selected two squads – the current World eleven and the 90’s world eleven, with Virat Kohli of India leading the current eleven having AB de Villiers as the wicket-keeper batsman.

De Villiers and Sarfraz in numbers:

Although De Villiers is primarily a batsman, the 32-year old has kept wickets for 45 innings and has 98 dismissals with the gloves, whereas the pure wicket-keeper batsman Sarfraz has effected in 78 dismissals from 25 matches.

Considering the batting, AB de Villiers had represented South Africa in 106 Test matches and has scored over 8000 runs at an average above 50. Whereas Sarfraz is still new to Test cricket with just 25 matches under his belt, has scored 1489 runs at an average around 43.

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De Villers has 21 Test centuries to his name all around the world, whereas Sarfraz has just 3 centuries against his name where 2 of the centuries came on the flat tracks at UAE and the third one against Sri Lanka in Sri Lanka, which means he is yet to score a century in England, Australia, South Africa, New Zealand.

Questioned a lot of tactics of Misbah:

When asked about the influence, the Pakistan skipper, Misbah-ul-Haq had in the team, he said that his leadership and man-management skills were top-notch but he admitted that his tactics could be questioned.

“He’s (Misbah) a cool character and a calming influence on the team and he don’t seem to get too excited or lose his cool so easily. I think that’s what the players need, someone who they can look up to, who they can respect and someone who will respect the players and treat them well. It seems as if he is that sort of a person,” he said.

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”I questioned a lot of tactics in the Test series particularly in the Edgbaston Test match which I think Pakistan should have won but if you have a lot of ticks in different boxes and you are not brilliant in all areas as a captain that should not mean that you have not done a very good job. I think he has done a very good job as Pakistan captain,” concluded the iconic fast bowler.