Video: Alec Stewart picks his all-time XI, includes Brian Lara and Sachin Tendulkar
Former England wicketkeeper leaves out Ponting and Dravid from his all time XI
Former England skipper and wicket-keeper Alec Stewart has followed the recent trend and selected his all-time XI. The selection criteria entitles him to include players with whom he had played with or against during his career. Stewart who played 133 Tests and 170 ODIs for his country is considered one of the best wicket-keeper batsman of his time.
He has gone with the opening partnership of Graham Gooch and Desmond Haynes. Gooch was Stewart’s first Test captain and he describes him as a "wonderful player". Stewart played a couple of series against Haynes and a lot of county cricket. “He was a destructive batsman and always looked to take the attacking option ” Stewart said.
He picks the former New Zealand captain Martin Crowe to come in as his first down batsman. He considers Crowe as one of the most graceful players he had played against. “He always looked in full control be it a new ball and old ball”, Stewart said.
The most important position in the batting order was handed to the Caribbean legend, Brian Lara. Stewart regards Lara as the best player in the mid-90s. “Lara made batting look ridiculously easy and his bat looked about 4 ft wide” he added.
It was a surprise that Sachin Tendulkar wasn't featuring at No. 4 but instead, but he handed him the No.5 slot in the batting order. “His records speaks for itself, quality player and a quality person” Stewart added.
At No. 6 he has gone with the former Aussie captain Steve Waugh. He hails Waugh as the toughest guy he played against. "He wasn’t a naturally gifted player but was a wonderful person to come at No. 6, whether the team was in trouble or placed in a comfortable position”, Stewart said.
Adam Gilchrist was bestowed with the wicket-keeping duties. The former wicket-keeper regards Gilly as the greatest ever wicket keeper batsman the world has seen. The bowling department comprises of 3 fast bowlers and a spinner. Wasim Akram comes in at No. 8 followed by Malcolm Marshall, Shane Warne, and Curtly Ambrose.
According to Stewart, Wasim was a destructive bowler both with the new ball and the old ball and apart from his bowling skills, he was a handy batsman too. One of the most feared fast bowlers of all time Malcolm Marshall will come into bat at No.9. “He was probably the best bowler the world has ever seen. He was quick and could swing the ball both ways. He had a wonderful strike rate and was a tough customer to play against”, the former wicket-keeper said.
He wants the King of Spin Shane Warne to lead his side. Stewart considers Shane as a cricketing mastermind. “He always took the attacking options and mastered the hardest art in the game which is leg spin. His records speak for himself”, Stewart added.
Last but not the least he has gone with the Caribbean lanky fast bowler Curtly Ambrose. “He hardly bowled a bad ball and it was tough to bat against him”, Stewart said.