We all India-Pakistan inhabitants are very fortunate people. Generally speaking cricket is a major sport in India and Pakistan. Both countries have produced some great, talented, pioneers of the cricket. Smart but cunning, hot-headed but talented, belligerent but admirer of the cricketing exhibitions. Javed Miandad , Sunil Gavaskar, Kapil, Imran, Sachin, Wasim, Rahul,Waqar and list can go on and on.
Yes, these are the people who inspired the Indian sub-continent and the Cricketing world to go beyond the world records and setup formidable records which will take quite a man to challenge these milestones. Who would have thought that one can use the electric tape on a tennis ball to perfect the swing bowling? Who would have thought getting the tennis ball soaked in water then practice on a cemented strip can equip you encountering the bouncy pitches. The ingenuity of coaches, players and fans played a vital role in pushing cricket to such undisputable heights.
It all came from India and Pakistan where these geniuses improved the game dramatically.
That’s why the expression “invented by British and perfected by Indians” can be heard every now and then. Indians relate to every human being who lives in Indian sub-continent, which includes Sri Lanka, Pakistan and more. The real intent of this article is not to undermine but to answer a ‘What If’ question. Ever since I watch a IND vs PAK, this question roams in my subconscious mind.
What if India and Pakistan was a single entity and you had the liberty to choose a cricketing team best of all time, who would you choose. Who would you choose as your strike bowlers, who will be your akin of the spin, who will keep wickets and who will bat in the lower middle order to give your batting a depth it craves for. Trust me when I say this, there are too many players in India and Pakistan who can make the cut. So, I am choosing only eleven members team and there are going to be more than deserving candidates who will fall short due to one reason or another. It may be where some didn’t make the cut without any explained or unexplained reasons. So, please don’t mind that.
Let’s start with the opening slot. Of course this will be a T20 team, so the traits of aggressively utilising the Power Play will be very crucial. Another thing will be the left-right combination. Saeed Anwar and Virender Sehwag will be my openers. Sehwag provides the boldness and Anwar will help anchor the innings from another end.
Viral Kohli,will own the number three, to provide the fire power if the team gets a good start. If the openers fail, you need someone who can play all the orthodox cricketing shots with minimal or no risk. Virat will provide that balance to the team. This will help anchor the innings just in case. My next cricketer has to be as good as any cricketer in the cricketing skill set. However he should be ten step-ahead when it comes to cricketing sense. Javed Miandad will be the number four because my team would need a street smart and cunning guy who can return the favour in case our opponent needs it.
Number five, six, seven and eight
Number five is all too crucial and given that we already have picked three right hand batsmen. A lanky left hander is the ask of the moment. Suresh Rain or Yuvraj Singh will suit best. I would pick Yuvraj for his unprecedented batting skill which is as brilliant as it is powerful. Along with that, left arm pie bowling will be another advantage. The number six is the place for an all-rounder, who can keep wickets and can contribute with the bat. MSD and Moin Khan are competing for that slot. MSD is the best wicket keeper the Indian sub-continent has produced. Moin was also a brilliant wicket keeper; however MSD cool and calm head will always prevail. Hence the number six has to be MSD. The seven and eighth slot Is open for the spinners. R Ashwin at seven and Musthak Ahmed will be my second spinner.
If you look at the spinner at our disposal there are too many Squlain, Anil Kimble, Harbhajan Singh, Abdul Kaadir, Bishan Singh Bedi list can go on and on. R Ashwin is an off spinner and so adding Squlain means another off break bowler. In my opinion Musthak Ahmed was a great bowler and he was a master of the spin bowling.
Number Nine, Ten and Eleven
Finally the fast bowlers, Wasim and Waqar are unmatchable. They are the epitome of vicious, strong, aggressive fast bowlers who will be a mighty force to contend with. Wasim, Waqar and Zaheer Khan will be our bowling spearhead.
I am very sure, you would think differently, what will be your top eleven.
More than honourable mentions:
- Sachin Tendulkar
- Rahul Dravid
- Injmam Ul Haq
- Shahid Afridi (He retired so don’t want him to postpone it. )
- Umar Akmal Sarfaraz Ahmed