One of my favorite exercises is choosing an all time XI.
One of my fundamental problems with one day cricket is that it is really hard for me to remember matches. Only a few matches stick in mind – like Kapil against
Zimbabwe, or Sachin vs Shoaib. It is easier to retain an overall impression of how people performed rather than individual performances.
Anyway, here goes.
Sachin takes up a slot. Ganguly, Sehwag, Srikkanth, Sidhu are all contenders for the other slot. Saurabh is my choice. A left-right combination is always good, and Dada is a little too slow for other slots. Srikkanth is a pioneer, but his record is not too good. Dada is better than Sidhu any day. Dada vs Sehwag is a tough choice. Sehwag’s explosive power at the top, even if doesn’t last beyond the first ten overs, is always welcome. But my choice for the opener is Dada.
One, two and three downs:
Kohli and Yuvi take two slots. Gambhir, Azhar, Dravid, Jadeja, and Raina are all candidates for the other slot. I choose Kohli at 3, Yuvi at 4, and Dravid at 5. Dravid played a great role as a finisher for 2-3 years until the 2003 world cup and he provides stability against tough bowling. Azhar would be the main backup – despite his tarnished record.
Four and Five downs:
Dhoni is #6, wicketkeeper and captain. Dravid can keep in an emergency. For #7, I choose Sehwag. Sehwag will really be a floater. We have always lacked firepower at lower middler order positions and Sehwag will provide it. And anyway his average innings lasts only 40-50 balls. Between Sachin, Saurabh, Sehwag, Yuvi, and Kohli we can squeeze in 10-15 overs.
Kapil, Zak, Kumble And Sri. Bajji is too defensive, but will be the spin backup. Prabhakar/Prasad/Agarkar will provide pace backups.
So the team is: Sachin, Saurabh, Kohli, Yuvi, Dravid, Dhoni, Sehwag, Kapil, Sri, Kumble and Zak. Reserves are: Azhar, Raina, Prabhakar, Agarkar and Bhajji.