Greatest non-Asia ODI XI of all-time
Picking an all-time greatest side is never a walk in the park as there is always a large pool of great players to choose from. The major non-Asian countries that play cricket are Australia, England, New Zealand, West Indies and South Africa.
There is no dearth of great players from these countries, which makes this entire exercise a gruelling one. Here is the list of all-time great players from the non-Asian countries in ODI cricket. Not surprisingly, Australia, which has been the best team for the major part of ODI history, dominates this list.
Adam Gilchrist's selection is a no-brainer. Think of wicketkeepers who can be in their respective teams by virtue of their batting ability alone and one can easily reel out a good number of names - Mahendra Singh Dhoni, AB de Villiers among them.
But it was not so till Gilchrist burst onto the international scene. Gilchrist's tremendous success with the bat irreversibly redefined the role of wicket-keeper and made it mandatory for the future keepers to be extremely good at batting too to merit a place in the team.
In ODIs, Gilchrist opened the batting for the Kangaroos and often gave them flying starts with his aggressive batting. His destructive ability with the bat was a crucial ingredient of the gigantic success of the world-beating Kangaroos.
In 287 matches, the Australian pouched 417 catches and inflicted 55 stumpings. With the willow, he scored over 9600 runs at a blistering Strike Rate of 96.94. Gilly, who is widely regarded as the greatest wicket-keeper in the entire history of the game, will be our gloveman.
With a height in excess of 6 feet and a slightly wide frame, Chris Gayle cuts an imposing figure. The bowlers though will have to endure a far more intimidating aspect of Gayle - his big hitting prowess. Without an iota of doubt, Gayle is peerless in T20 cricket and is one of the best in ODIs.
His record of 9394 runs in 273 matches at a strike rate of 85 and an average of 37 is commendable. And then there is the small matter of 252 sixes.
Gayle's selection may raise a few eyebrows and illustrious names like Matthew Hayden, Gordon Greenidge, Shane Watson, Herschelle Gibbs are worth considering.
But Gayle's off spin, which helped him fetch 163 wickets, clinches the tight contest in his favour. It is important to have the extra spinning option because the lack of it would prove to be a setback on spin friendly pitches. With two blazing guns at the top in the form of Chris Gayle and Adam Gilchrist, it is going to be a real nightmare for the bowlers.