Saturday, July 18, 2015

All Time India-Pakistan Test XI

We have a hyperactive WhatsApp group preoccupied with lists. Lists of any sort, Top 5 Bollywood directors, Indian Prime Ministers, Female Playback Singers, you name it, we have listed it. It was a matter of time before we reached the wet dream of every cricket lover in the sub-continent - India-Pakistan Test XI. Even as a Sri Lankan supporter of Murali-esque proportions, I have to agree the glamour and enigma of an India-Pak XI is hard to beat in the world of cricket.

Before you could say Warnakulasuriya Patabendige Ushantha Joseph Chaminda Vaas all 10 of us had our 11s ready, and to a large extent they were mirror images of each other, with the difference of a Saqlain here and a Laxman there. I decided to take my favourite route, keeping all emotions, and nuances out of the debate and diving into the depths of that work of beauty, ESPNCricinfo Statsguru, to let the raw numbers speak for themselves. I know this approach is fraught with Swiss cheese sized holes, but at least it's one where there can be no debate over the facts, even though the process can be questioned.

I decided that my team will have the following composition:

2 openers
3 middle order batsmen
1 all rounder (min. 100 Test wickets)
1 wicketkeeper
2 seamers and
2 spinners

Again, you may question the strategy, but the numbers are there for all to see.

Also, due to the huge difference in tracks and quality of performance of players playing in the sub-continent conditions (India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Banglades, and UAE) and the rest of the world I decided to create 2 Test XIs. Sub-Continent and Overseas.

8 players made it to both sides without any questions asked. Among the remaining 6 I feel there was one real surprise. So, without further ado, here's the India-Pakistan all time XI.

Both teams:

Openers: Virender Sehwag and Sunil Gavaskar

Middle Order: Rahul Dravid and Sachin Tendulkar

Wicketkeeper: Mahendra Singh Dhoni

All Rounder: Imran Khan

Seamer: Wasim Akram

Spinner: Anil Kumble



Sub-Continent ONLY

Middle Order: Younis Khan

Seamer: Kapil Dev

Spinner: Harbhajan Singh

Overseas ONLY

Middle Order: VVS Laxman

Seamer: Waqar Younis

Spinner: Bishen Singh Bedi (this was the big surprise for me)

The notable omissions were: Javed Miandad, Inzamum Ul Haq, Mohammad Yousuf, Sourav Ganguly, Zaheer Khan,

Go ahead, share your all time XIs in the comments.
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