What’s the story?
Former Pakistan skipper Shahid Afridi has come up with his all-time ODI XI. With the criterion for selection being those whom he played with or against, the 37-year-old picked a dream team consisting of numerous legendary cricketers such as Sachin Tendulkar, Kumar Sangakkara, Wasim Akram and Shane Warne.
Shahid Afridi’s All-Time ODI XI: Sachin Tendulkar (India), Adam Gilchrist (Australia), Ricky Ponting (Australia), Brian Lara (West Indies), Inzamam-ul-Haq (Pakistan), Kumar Sangakkara (Sri Lanka), Jacques Kallis (South Africa), Wasim Akram (Pakistan), Shane Warne (Australia), Glenn McGrath (Australia) and Courtney Walsh (West Indies).
Since making his ODI debut against Kenya at Nairobi in the 1996 KCA Centenary Tournament, Afridi represented Pakistan in a whopping 398 matches until his last appearance in the 2015 World Cup quarter-final against Australia at Adelaide.
The maverick all-rounder scored 8064 runs at an average of 23.57 and strike-rate of 117 including six centuries and 39 fifties. With the ball, he picked up 395 wickets at an average of 34.51 and economy-rate of 4.62 with 9 five-wicket hauls.
The heart of the matter
S Afridi's all-time ODI XI of players he's played with/against:— Saj Sadiq (@Saj_PakPassion) June 3, 2017
In Afridi’s dream team, Tendulkar opens the proceedings with Australian wicket-keeper batsman Gilchrist. The duo form a menacing combination of aggression and dexterity at the top of the order.
The middle-order is made up of Ponting, Lara and Inzamam. With all three of them being dynamic batsmen, they can adapt their game to different situations. The likes of Sangakkara and Kallis complete the batting lineup. It could also be a fascinating tussle for the gloves between the former and Gilchrist. Even though the South African mostly batted up the order in his stellar career, he comes in at number seven on this team.
Extra Cover: All-Time ODI XI – The men who matter
The pace attack contains some of the most dangerous options in Akram, McGrath and Walsh. Be it sparkling swing or relentless accuracy, the fearsome trio possess plenty of weapons in their armoury. Shane Warne slots in as the sole specialist spinner on this side.
Parallels from history
A few days ago, Afridi’s former teammate and legendary batsman Younis Khan selected his all-time Test XI. Tendulkar, Kallis, Lara, Gilchrist and McGrath are the names which feature in both the ODI and Test sides picked by the two Pakistani players.
Armed with an enterprising batting lineup as well as a threatening bowling attack, Afridi has indeed picked a star-studded ODI side. Although a couple of batsmen have been selected out of position, his dream team seems to have most bases covered.