Tuesday, October 03, 2006

All-time XIs

Reading cricinfo's tribute to Ray Lindwall and how he was a "shoo-in" for any all-time Australian XI got me thinking. Me and a friend of mine (who doesn't read this blog) made a few all-time XIs this summer (because those conversations were a lot more interesting than watching Sami get thrashed around for five an over). Perhaps we could go over a few interesting ones over the new few days, with comments and suggestions from readers. We'll start, of course, with Pakistan. I think this one is fairly easy, because there's no real controversial selections. But tell me if you disagree. Ok, here goes:

1. Hanif Mohammad
2. Saeed Anwar
3. Zaheer Abbas
4. Javed Miandad
5. Inzamam-ul-Haq
6. Imran Khan (c)
7. Wasim Akram
8. Wasim Bari
9. Abdul Qadir
10. Waqar Younis
11. Fazal Mahmood
12th man: Younis Khan (to field in the slips once Saeed or Zaheer fakes an injury)

The batting is pretty strong, though Imran/Wasim/Bari at 6/7/8 might be a tad weak. But as always with Pakistan, the bowling is phenomenal. Fazal and Wasim with the new ball to exploit any early morning moisture, Imran first change zipping it all around, and then Waqar coming in with the old ball, just boomeranging it everywhere. And don't forget Qadir, with his wily leggies. The only problem would be the fielding, as usual. Only Wasim and Imran (and I guess Inzi in the slips) can be counted as good fielders. Not even great, just good. But overall, a strong team, yes? The best thing about this team would be it's versatility depending on the pitch. If it's a difficult pitch to bat on, we have Hanif and Javed to bat ALL DAY. But if it's a 4.5 an over type pitch, let Zaheer and Saeed go to work. How many cover drives would a Zaheer/Saeed partnership produce? And of course, don't forget the ultimate versatile batsman, Inzi, who can do whatever we need, whether its block all day or go ballistic. None of the bowlers, except for Fazal I guess, really need a helpful pitch so the pitch won't matter to them.

By the way, can you imagine this team if they scrapped the ball-tampering law? Would any opposition pass 100?

Update: Javed Miandad is the best fielder on this team. The fact that I didn't mention him when talking about good fielders doesn't reflect his true abilities in the field. More likely, it reflects my severe distaste for him and his attitude.


Anonymous said...

Saeed Anwar remains my favorite player to watch, even compared to Brian Lara. Still, I hestitate from placing him in an all-time Pakistan 11. There WERE seasons when he was consistent, but he could be unreliable as well. He could be sketchy outside the offstump - in fact that was his weak area. Actually a LOT of good openers have problems with their off-stump, but coupled with Anwar's average record in pressure games, i was wondering who else would u choose in that opener's slot if not Anwar?
I have a feeling that if someone bowled the kind of line to Anwar as flintoff bowled to Gilchrist during the 05 Ashes (around the wicket tightly in the offstump channel).
So if you HAD to take out anwar, who would it be? Shoaib Mohammad is one who comes to my mind.

Anonymous said...

By the way, as to my last post, i meant to say that if someone bowled a line to anwar the way flintoff did to gilchrist, saeed would be as helpless as gilly was.