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World Cup 2019: Shane Warne picks his all-time dream World Cup XI

04 Jun 2019, 10:56 IST

Shane Warne and Sachin Tendulkar
Shane Warne and Sachin Tendulkar

What's the story?

Australia's legendary leg spinner Shane Warne picked his all-time Dream World Cup XI, with Sachin Tendulkar being the only Indian player to feature in his playing XI.

In case you didn't know...

Shane Warne played for Australia for more than 12-years. The leg-spinner was a part of the legendary Australian team in the last decade. He is also a three-time World Cup medal winner. 

The heart of the matter

The former Australian captain picked the players with whom he had played the game. This means that the current cricketers and the legendary cricketers of the 80s were not a part of his dream XI. He picked Sachin and Adam Gilchrist for the opening slot, followed by Ricky Ponting and Brian Lara. Strangely, Warne went with Mark Waugh, a career opener, as a middle-order batsman. 

"It's a pretty good top-four. No.5 wasn't as clear-cut as the top-four. I wanted an all-rounder at No.5 and I went with Mark Waugh because he was the greatest all-rounder cricketer I played with", Warne said. 

Warne went for Sangakkara for the No.6 slot, and also as a backup wicketkeeper. He said,

"For No.6, I wanted a left-hander and I went with Kumar Sangakkara. If you wanted to change it up, he could go up the order. If something happened to the wicketkeeper, Sangakkara could keep wickets."

Making a strange choice, the Australian leggie picked Flintoff for the all-rounder spot ahead of his own teammate, Andrew Symonds. Giving some backing to his choice he said,

"Andrew Flintoff can bowl a good yorker and he has good hitting capabilities. I thought of Andrew Symonds but went with Flintoff at the end."

The most surprising one was the selection of Shahid Afridi as a bowler, rather than as a batsman. Muttiah Muralitharan was the other spinner in his team. Wasim Akram and Glenn McGrath were the pacers that he picked. 

"Shahid Afridi's bowling was underrated and his fielding was good. Akram at No, 9 is a good fielder and could smash it out of the park. At No.11, there would be so many options but I ended up going with my mate," Warne said.

Adding to these strange choices, Warne also said that in this line-up everyone knew what to do and did not need any coach.

Shane Warne's dream XI: Adam Gilchrist (WK), Sachin Tendulkar, Ricky Ponting, Brian Lara, Mark Waugh, Kumar Sangakkara, Andrew Flintoff, Shahid Afridi, Wasim Akram, Muttiah Muralitharan, Glenn McGrath.

What's next?

Australia won the opening game against Afghanistan quite convincingly. The defending champions will play the in-form West Indies on this Thursday and will look to break past the massive Windies line-up to win their second game on the trot.

Also read - Cricket world cup prize money

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