Former New Zealand cricketer James Franklin has joined the recent trend of selecting ‘all-time’ XIs. In a video posted on Lord’s Cricket Ground’s official YouTube channel, the southpaw veers towards his Mumbai Indians team-mates.
The selection criteria entitles the team members to have played with or against Franklin during his career. The all rounder’s side contains three each from New Zealand, India, Australia to go with an Englishman and West Indian.
For the opener’s slot, he decided to opt for a combination of fiery stroke-play and gritty technique. One of the most underrated batsmen of the late 90s and early 2000s era, Nathan Astle is paired alongside current England skipper Alastair Cook.
Aside from the usual suspects in Sachin Tendulkar and Brian Lara, the middle-order also features the elegant Rohit Sharma. Franklin explains, “I’ve gone with Rohit Sharma at number five. His record recently has been outstanding. Especially in one-day cricket, he is a devastating batsman.”
Adding that he has based this team around to survive in all three formats, the seam bowler pits the charismatic duo of Harbhajan Singh and Andrew Symonds together. Following the infamous ‘Monkey-Gate’ scandal, they have buried the hatchet and even played for Mumbai Indians with one another.
Not surprisingly, Franklin chooses compatriot Brendon McCullum to take up captaincy duties for his squad. The bowling attack sports an exciting look with the likes of Mitchell Johnson, Brett Lee and Shane Bond bringing in the heavy artillery through their rapid pace.
Franklin represented New Zealand in more than 175 international matches across all three forms with over 2500 runs and 180 wickets to his name.
James Franklin’s All Time XI: Alastair Cook, Nathan Astle, Sachin Tendulkar, Brian Lara, Rohit Sharma, Andrew Symonds, Brendon McCullum (c & wk), Harbhajan Singh, Brett Lee, Mitchell Johnson, Shane Bond