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Paul Stirling picks Virender Sehwag and Sachin Tendulkar in his All Time XI

Ireland all rounder chooses Ricky Ponting to lead his dream team.

Virender Sehwag Sachin Tendulkar
Tendulkar and Sehwag regularly feature in various all time sides

What’s the story?

Ireland all rounder Paul Stirling has picked the legendary Indian duo of Virender Sehwag and Sachin Tendulkar in his all time eleven. The 26-year old chose the iconic Australian skipper Ricky Ponting to lead his star-studded dream team.

Paul Stirling’s All Time XI – Matthew Hayden (AUS), Virender Sehwag (IND), Ricky Ponting (AUS) (C), Sachin Tendulkar (IND), Damien Martyn (AUS), AB de Villiers (RSA) (WK), Andrew Flintoff (ENG), Shane Warne (AUS), Muttiah Muralitharan (SL), Mitchell Johnson (AUS) and Glenn McGrath (AUS)

The Background

A highly commendable initiative of Lord’s Cricket Ground, Stirling joins an array of both former and current cricketers who have selected their dream teams. In a video posted on the stadium’s official Youtube account, the right-hander revealed his all-time eleven.

According to the prevailing rules and regulations, ‘the criteria for selection is players they have played with, against or have been influenced by’.

The heart of the matter

Stirling opted for a power packed opening combination of Matthew Hayden and Sehwag. A nightmarish proposition for the opposition’s new-ball bowlers, the duo can launch a menacing attack from both ends.

The middle-order comprises of Ponting, Tendulkar and Damien Martyn. At the vital number three position, the former Australian captain can dominate any bowling attack. He will be followed by both Test and ODI cricket’s all time leading run-scorer. Even if there might be batsmen with better records to choose from, Martyn’s presence at number five brings versatility and class to the lineup.

AB de Villiers has been assigned to take up the mantle of wicket-keeping in Stirling’s team. Although he has not donned the gloves on a regular basis for South Africa, the dynamic cricketer more than held his own on those occasions during which he kept wickets. England’s Andrew Flintoff occupies the highly influential all rounder spot. A game-changer in his prime, he can make decisive contributions with both bat and ball.

The new ball will be taken up by Mitchell Johnson and Glenn McGrath. While the left-armer’s raw pace and awkward angles can trouble even accomplished batting lineups, the metronomic accuracy of the latter is incredibly hard to tackle.

Even if the opposition batsmen are somehow able to get through the early burst of the two fast bowlers, a dangerous spin pairing awaits in the form of Shane Warne and Muttiah Muralitharan. Needless to say, it will be quite a sight to witness the top two Test wicket-takers operating in tandem.

What’s next?

With Lord’s Cricket Ground providing the platform for plenty of cricketers to put forth their opinions and choose the best in the business, it will be interesting to see whose turn comes up next.

Author’s Take

Having picked three world class seamers and two of the best spinners in the modern era, Stirling’s team seems to cover most bases. In tune with his attacking nature, he has also selected a batting lineup which can take the attack to the opposition bowlers.

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