Watch: Rory Burns picks Wahab Riaz, Saeed Ajmal and Moises Henriques in his all-time XI
Following up on the recent trend of players selecting their dream teams, Surrey batsman Rory Burns has picked his own all-time XI. In a video posted on Lord’s Cricket Ground‘s Official Youtube Account, the 26-year old went for quite a few left-field choices with the criteria being mentioned as those who have played with, against or have influenced him.
Burns has participated in 76 first-class matches and scored over 5000 runs at an average of 41.54 apart from 31 List A games which have yielded him more than 1000 runs at an average of 37.85. He was also an integral member of the Surrey side which won the 2015 division two county championship.
His opening combination include the South African duo of Graeme Smith and Hashim Amla. Aside from being a left-right partnership, they are familiar with each other’s mode of operation and have over 30,000 runs between them across all the three formats. At one down is Kumar Sangakkara with whom he has batted often at Surrey during the last few seasons. A proven campaigner across various conditions, the southpaw also takes up the gloves.
The middle-order comprises of the dynamic Ricky Ponting as well as the flamboyant Kevin Pietersen. Capable of changing games from nowhere, they offer stability against different types of bowlers.
West Indies’ bulwark over the years, Shivnarine Chanderpaul comes in at six. The left-hander combines an unorthodox technique with classical temperament and should deflate the spirits of most bowing attacks by digging in for longer periods of time.
While the batting lineup seems to go by popular norms, Burns springs multiple surprises in the bowling department. A couple of utility players have been named in order to lend balance to the eleven. Referring to their nasty collision during a Natwest T20 blast match in 2015, Burns calls Henriques as his head-butt buddy and quips, “Obviously, I’ve spent a lot of time with him. He offers me a bit with both bat and ball.”
Former New Zealand seamer Andre Adams joins the Portugal-born cricketer in the all-rounders clique. Although the right-armer took part in only 47 international matches across all the three formats, he has made a name for himself in the County circuit.
Mercurial Pakistani bowlers Wahab Riaz and Saeed Ajmal make the cut as well. Burns reasons, “Wahab Riaz bowls rockets, is a left-armer so he is gold dust. Saeed Ajmal was the best spinner I faced with his ability to spin the ball both ways.”
Rounding up the eleven will be Durham’s Graham Onions who has picked up 32 scalps from 9 Tests. A handy new-ball operator whose international career was impeded by a major back injury, his last appearance for England came at Birmingham in 2012.
When compared to some of the other all-time XI selections, Burns’ side does appear to be a fascinating one with the bowling attack in particular possessing a quirky look.