Cricketer-turned-expert Shoaib Akhtar has been very active on social media. Be it slamming Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), or commenting on the fitness of the players, Akhtar is always vocal and seems to be as straightforward as it gets. After retiring from the game, the former pace bowler is majorly seen giving expert opinions on his YouTube channel.
Recently he selected his all-time ODI XI. While the team looks very strong, exclusions of Virat Kohli and Babar Azam has left many scratching their heads. Virat Kohli is arguably the greatest white- ball player of the modern era while Babar is also on the way to greatness.
Players from India and Pakistan form a large chunk of Akhtar’s XI. Sachin Tendulkar and Gordon Greenidge were picked as openers. While the former turned out to be one of the best cricketers ever seen, the latter dominated the batting in the golden era of West Indies from the 70s to 80s.
At number three and four, he went with Inzamam-ul-Haq and Saeed Anwar. Both of them need no introduction, as the duo were stalwarts of the game and contributed to many Pakistan wins. Although Anwar played majority of his matches for Pakistan as an opener, Akhtar felt he is more suitable at the number four position.
Akhtar explained this strange call in a 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.”
Akhtar named two wicketkeeper-batters in his all-time ODI squad and picked MS Dhoni at five and Adam Gilchrist at number six. At number seven, he picked former India all-rounder Yuvraj Singh. Akhtar appreciated the contribution of the southpaw during his prime as a batter.
He rounded off the team by picking Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis, Kapil Dev, and Shane Warne. He named the former Australia leg-spinner as captain of the team and hailed Dev as ‘the greatest fast-bowler.’
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)
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