Legendary England opener Graham Gooch has picked iconic Indian batsman Sachin Tendulkar and revered Pakistani pacer Wasim Akram in his all-time XI. The 65-year old revealed his selections through Lord's Cricket Ground's official Youtube channel.
Gooch opted for a fascinating opening combination of Barry Richards and Geoffrey Boycott. While the South African stalwart is held in high esteem for his dynamic stroke-play, the Yorkshireman's defensive technique is widely considered the go-to manual for any promising Test batsman.
The star-studded middle-order sees the likes of Sir Viv Richards, Sachin Tendulkar and Allan Border follow one after the other. The Caribbean luminary's trail-blazing pyrotechnics helped in carving a niche for himself among the greats of the game. The sight of the West Indies giant striding out to bat at number three would send shivers down the spines of any bowling attack.
On the prospect of Tendulkar holding the pivotal number four spot in his all-time eleven, Gooch lauded his insatiable appetite for runs on the field and his humble personality off the field. The erstwhile right-hander went on to refer the unbreakable Border as his 'good friend'.
Gooch selected his long-time teammate Sir Ian Botham for the all-rounder's spot. The latter got the nod for his 'ability to make things happen'. For someone regarded as one of the greatest wicket-keepers in the history of Test cricket, it does not come across as any sort of surprise that he leaned towards fellow Englishman Alan Knott for the gloveman's role.
With Botham already presenting a formidable fourth-seam option, the bowling attack in this distinguished lineup witnesses the rendezvous of three indefatigable pacemen. The inimitable presence of Wasim Akram, Malcolm Marshall and Dennis Lillee should intimidate even accomplished batsmen.
The tussle for the new ball could be interesting as three legendary seamers aside from the fabled Botham are in the mix. There's only one specialist spinner in this cross-generational lineup. Gooch deservedly referred to Australian wizard Shane Warne as the best spin bowler of his time.
Three Englishmen, three Australians, two West Indies stars form the fulcrum of Gooch's all time eleven. One colossus each from India, Pakistan and South Africa complete a truly intoxicating lineup.
Graham Gooch's All Time XI: Barry Richards (South Africa), Geoffrey Boycott (England), Sir Viv Richards (West Indies), Sachin Tendulkar (India), Allan Border (Australia), Sir Ian Botham (England), Alan Knott (wk) (England), Shane Warne (Australia), Wasim Akram (Pakistan), Malcolm Marshall (West Indies) and Dennis Lillee (Australia)