Sachin Tendulkar only Indian in Graeme Swann's All-Time XI
What’s the story?
Former England spinner Graeme Swann has presented his All-Time XI, listing out the eleven best international players according to him. Apart from James Anderson, who makes it as the 12th man, no other current cricketer has been enlisted in his XI.
From India, only Sachin Tendulkar makes the cut, finding a place in the fifth spot in the line-up, just below two more batting greats: Sir Donald Bradman and Sachin’s biggest competition from his batting days, Brian Lara.
He did not name any captain for his team.
In case you didn’t know…
The Lord’s Cricket Ground began a series featuring current and former cricketers, asking them to choose their best XI from players of different eras, compiling them into a team format, complete with batsmen, bowlers and a wicketkeeper. Recently, his former captain Andrew Strauss had picked his All-Time XI that had only one Indian, Sachin Tendulkar, same as Swann.
The heart of the matter
Swann starts off by adding Sir Jack Hobbs, one of the greats of the pre-World War-II era, whom he describes as “his grandfather’s best player”. He adds Gordon Greenidge as his opening partner, saying that he liked that he “was mean”, just edging out Desmond Haynes.
Sir Donald Bradman and Brian Lara as three and four, describing the West Indian as the best bowler he has bowled at. Sachin Tendulkar follows them at No.5, with Sir Garfield Sobers, “the best all-rounder ever”, coming next.
Adam Gilchrist dons the gloves, selected by Swann because of his attacking batting, as well as his competency in keeping to the bowling of Shane Warne, who follows next, the best bowler of all-time according to the off-spinner.
The troll that he is, Swann, surprisingly or unsurprisingly, adds himself to the list, following it with Glenn McGrath as the first pacer and Wasim Akram as the second pacer. James Anderson, his former teammate, gets listed as the 12th man.
Graeme Swann’s XI: Sir Jack Hobbs, Gordon Greenidge, Sir Donald Bradman, Brian Lara, Sachin Tendulkar, Sir Garfield Sobers, Adam Gilchrist (WK), Shane Warne, Graeme Swann, Glenn McGrath, Wasim Akram, James Anderson (12th man).
Swann’s team is a mixture of most of the game’s all-time greats, as well as those he grew up admiring. Although the batting order might seem a bit irregular: Sachin Tendulkar and Wasim Akram finds themselves way below their usual batting order, he’s kept the team composition fine. It’s Swann’s own discretion, but the choice of opening batsmen is rather unconventional, just like Swann himself was on the cricket’s field. Adding himself to the list gives a light and funny twist to the otherwise serious exercise of picking an All-Time XIPublished 30 Jan 2017, 21:42 IST