Shane Warne pits a dream team from 90s with world's current best
In what should be a fascinating thought, Australian spinner Shane Warne has joined hands with former rival Mike Atherton and Rameez Raja to pick the greatest from the 90s era to take on the best of the current lot in collaboration with Sky Sports.
Currently commentating in the ongoing third Test between England and Pakistan at Edgbaston, the trio have decided to indulge in a fantasy battle by pitting the crème de la crème of cricket’s present generation with that of its predecessor.
In his official Instagram account, Warne revealed,“This morning @skysports asked Athers, Ramiz & myself to pick two world 11's ! 90's/00's & a Current one. This was the consensus after our selection meeting. Thoughts ? Agree / Disagree ? The two unlucky players to miss out in my opinion are Amla & Williamson. This is also a squad, the final 11 would be picked depending on conditions.” (sic)
Warne overlooks Steve Waugh
The opening combination for the 90s generation comprises of Michael Slater and Saeed Anwar. Some of the other competitors include Atherton himself, Sanath Jayasuriya and Gary Kirsten.
Ricky Ponting, Sachin Tendulkar and Brian Lara form the middle-order as expected while South Africa's Jacques Kallis gets the all-rounder's slot. The exclusion of Steve Waugh raises a few eyebrows given the fact that his 18 Test tons in the 90s was only behind Tendulkar’s 22 centuries.
Another interesting selection sees Kumar Sangakkara getting the nod ahead of Adam Gilchrist for the wicket-keeper slot. The new-ball will be taken by Wasim Akram and Curtly Ambrose making it a threatening swing-seam pairing.
Among those in the team, Wasim had the best captaincy record in the 90s and rightfully leads the side. Forming a nightmare spin set in tandem, Warne and Muttiah Muralitharan complete the bowling attack. Glenn McGrath steps in as the 12th man and should make the playing eleven depending upon the pitch.
90s World Team: Michael Slater, Saeed Anwar, Ricky Ponting, Sachin Tendulkar, Brian Lara, Jacques Kallis, Kumar Sangakkara (wk), Wasim Akram (c), Shane Warne, Curtly Ambrose, Muttiah Muralitharan, 12th Man – Glenn McGrath
Virat Kohli named skipper
Possessing contrasting methods towards batting, David Warner and Alastair Cook open the proceedings for the current era. While Murali Vijay has a well balanced record in all conditions, Warner’s aggression on placid pitches tilts the jury in his favor.
Among the quartet of Joe Root, Virat Kohli, Steve Smith and Kane Williamson who have been anointed for greatness, the Kiwi misses out in the jostle for middle-order spots. The dynamic AB de Villiers has been asked to take up the gloves while England's Ben Stokes offers a seam bowling option in the top seven.
James Anderson's exploits under cloudy and swinging conditions have earned him entry even as Mitchell Starc's raw pace sees him pip ahead of even accomplished fast bowlers such as Dale Steyn and Stuart Broad.
Currently engaged in an enthralling competition for becoming the world's best spinner, Ravichandran Ashwin and Yasir Shah have been entrusted to outfox the opposition batsmen. Since he provides extra bounce from an awkward angle, Morne Morkel waits in the wings as the reserve member.
Current World Team: David Warner, Alastair Cook, Joe Root, Virat Kohli (c), Steven Smith, AB de Villiers (wk), Ben Stokes, Ravichandran Ashwin, Mitchell Starc, Yasir Shah, James Anderson, 12th Man – Morne Morkel