Sri Lankan umpire Kumar Dharmasena picks his all-time XI

He has picked quite a comprehensive XI and almost covers all ends.

Kumar Dharmasena
Kumar Dharmasena. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

He was recently praised by former Indian captain Sourav Ganguly for his umpiring in the fourth Test between England and India in Southampton. Kumar Dharmasena has now picked up his all-time XI and his choice is bound to earn him more accolades. The former Sri Lankan spinner, who was appointed to the Elite Panel of ICC Umpires in 2011, however, kept his choices confined to players from the latest eras.

Dharmasena picked two dashing openers to kick off the innings in Australia’s Matthew Hayden and compatriot Sanath Jayasuriya. Both left-handers have been known for their murderous batting styles and featured in their respective countries’ World Cup-winning squads. The inclusion of the Sri Lankan also gives the side the added option of an effective all-rounder, especially in the ODIs.

At No.3 comes former Australian captain Ricky Ponting. The Tasmanian has not only been one of the most successful captains in world cricket but also a batsman who dominated at will. Ponting is the highest run-scorer in Tests for Australia.

Next in is Tendulkar, the relentless run-machine of his era. The highest scorer in Tests and ODIs, Tendulkar has 100 international hundreds in his career and nobody else apart from current skipper Virat Kohli looks in a position to threaten that milestone. Tendulkar needs no added introduction and can eclipse any bowling on a given day.

Dharmasena’s iron solid middle order features Brian Lara at No.5. The West Indian could kill any bowling attack on his day and did not know to stop when on song. He played knocks of 375, 400 not out and 501 not out in international and first-class cricket which suggests what a class he was.

The former spinner picks another compatriot at No.6 and it is Kumar Sangakkara, arguably the best batsman the island-nation has produced in history. The fastest batsman to score 8,000; 9,000; 11,000 and 12,000 runs in Tests, the stylish but gritty left-hander makes the middle-order an unbeatable final touch.

At No.7 comes all-rounder Jaques Kallis. Though the South African played much higher up in the batting order for his country, but we are sure the idea team man in him will not hesitate to follow a line-up of great men because he himself is no less great either with the bat or the ball.

Former Pakistan captain Wasim Akram, also known as the ‘Sultan of Swing’ comes in at No.8. The bowling coach of Multan Sultans could not only change a game with his bowling but also make an impact with the bat too.

The line-up has a perfect finishing with the likes of Muttaiah Muralidharan, Shane Warne and Glenn McGrath filling up the last three spots. While Muralidharan and Warne are the top two wicket-takers in Tests, McGrath is the joint with Englishman James Anderson as the fast bowler with most Test wickets (563) at the moment.

Kumar Dharamsena’s XI: Matthew Hayden, Sanath Jayasuriya, Ricky Ponting, Sachin Tendulkar, Brian Lara, Kumar Sangakkara, Jacques Kallis, Wasim Akram, Muttiah Muralidharan, Shane Warne and Glenn McGrath.

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