Shoaib Akhtar selects his all-time ODI XI, excludes Virat Kohli and Babar Azam
Shoaib Akhtar went with a total of 8 players from India and Pakistan while there were two Australians and one lone West Indian.
Updated - Jul 18, 2021 12:02 pm
Shoaib Akhtar has been quite vocal about his opinions on cricket in recent times. Since his retirement, the Pakistan fast-bowler has transitioned into a cricket expert and is well known for his Youtube channel. Recently, he selected his all-time favorite ODI XI. Unsurprisingly, there were four Pakistani cricketers, while there were four Indians too.
During a recent interaction, Akhtar revealed his XI, with openers being Gordon Greenidge and Sachin Tendulkar. Greenidge was one of the two players on the list, alongside whom the Rawalpindi Express had not played. Meanwhile, against Tendulkar, Akhtar had one of the fiercest rivalries during his career.
After this, the middle order consisted of a bit of a strange call. At no. 3, he had Inzamam-ul-Haq, followed by Saeed Anwar. Both the batsmen are probably two of the most accomplished ODI batsmen Pakistan cricket has ever seen. Anwar was an opener and played almost the entirety of his career, opening the batting.
Akhtar explained this strange call on in chat with Sportskeeda. “People might be surprised by seeing Saeed Bhai in the middle but in today’s day, he would have murdered the bowlers.”
Shoaib Akhtar names Shane Warne as his captain and calls Kapil Dev ‘greatest fast-bowler
Going forward, Akhtar chose MS Dhoni as his wicketkeeper calling the former Indian skipper ‘classic.’ After this, the Pakistani pacer went on to make another strange selection call, that was of choosing Adam Gilchrist at no. 6. It is unusual because Gilchrist batted at no. 6 or 7 in Tests, meanwhile, he opened the innings for most of his career in the ODIs.
For his no. 7 spot, the former pacer went with former Indian batsman Yuvraj Singh. During his career, Yuvraj had played some wonderful knocks against Pakistan with the fast-bowler being on the receiving end of a few of his memorable knocks. After this, the bowling attack which Akhtar selected had two of the most accomplished Pakistan bowlers, both of whom played alongside the Rawalpindi Express.
Akhtar chose Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis. Going forward, he selected Kapil Dev, calling him ‘the greatest fast-bowler’. And his team contained only one spinner, and that is the form of Shane Warne. He also selected the legendary Australian spinner as his captain of the ODI team.
Shoaib Akhtar’s all-time 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)