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Pakistan's all-time ODI XI

Praveen Nvs
ANALYST
Top 5 / Top 10
17.77K   //    05 Nov 2017, 19:51 IST

New Zealand v Pakistan
Whatever the situation, Shahid Afridi batted in only way

In ODI history, Pakistan are probably the most exciting unit. They are often labelled 'the most unpredictable side' as they can play like world beaters on one day but struggle miserably like minnows on the following day.

Under the leadership of Imran Khan, they fought like 'cornered tigers' and overcame all the gigantic obstacles in their path to triumph in the 1992 World Cup. Not surprisingly, they have produced a fair share of great cricketers in all formats of the game.

Just like their arch-rivals, India, people in the country worship cricket, treating cricketers like superheroes.

On that note, here is Pakistan's all-time ODI XI.

Cut-off: A player should have played in a minimum of 100 ODIs.

Openers

#1 Shahid Afridi

Shahid Afridi was one of the most flamboyant characters of the modern era and a batsman ahead of his time. Much before the T20 format arrived, he batted in a way perfectly suited for that format.

If the batting of Saeed Anwar was all about elegance, Afridi's was all about merciless hitting. The 1990s witnessed the rise of many aggressive batsmen such as Sanath Jayasuriya, Adam Gilchrist and Sachin Tendulkar but Afridi overshadowed them all in terms of Strike Rate.

Afridi had an irresistible urge to batter the ball right from the moment he came to the crease, a trait that he never abandoned regardless of the team's situation. As a result, he had a paltry average of 23 but he was not the kind of player unduly concerned with averages. With him, it was all about Strike Rates.

In the second half of his career, Afridi became a vastly improved bowler and retained his place in the team purely by virtue of his bowling. From a 'batsman who could bowl', he made a remarkable transformation to a 'bowler who could bat.' Afridi will open the batting for this great side and provide the fireworks at the top of the order.

#2 Saeed Anwar

Saeed Anwar of Pakistan
Saeed Anwar's batting oozed elegance

Saeed Anwar belonged to a rare breed of batsmen who possessed the ability to score quick runs without resorting to brutal hitting. His batting was full of supremely elegant shots that were a great source of delight for the traditionalists. Throughout the 1990s, Anwar was prolific and remained the most prized scalp at the top of the order for the opponents of Pakistan.

He notched up 20 hundreds, the best of which was a magnificent 194 against India. For more than a decade, it remained the highest individual score in ODIs. No other Pakistani opening batsman enjoyed as much success in ODI cricket as Anwar did. In 247 matches, Anwar made 8824 runs at an average of 39.21 and a Strike Rate of 80.67. He was a key player in Pakistan's Test team as well.

The stylish southpaw will partner the audacious Shahid Afridi at the top.




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Praveen Nvs
ANALYST
An avid fan of cricket ...works as a software engineer
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