Shane Warne’s greatest Pakistan XI with Wasim Akram as captain
September 23, 2015
Continuing to name best XIs from countries he has played against, Shane Warne on Tuesday turned his attention to Pakistan. Like with all other teams he has named so far, the Australian legend has once again come up with some interesting selections and omissions.
In Warne’s greatest Pakistan Test team of the past 25 years, legendary paceman Wasim Akram has been captain, while leg-spinner Mushtaq Ahmed has been left out in favour of current Pakistan Twenty20 captain Shahid Afridi. Ahmed played 52 Tests between 1990 and 2003, capturing 185 wickets at 32.97. Afridi played 27 Tests for Pakistan, the last of which was in mid-2010, scoring 1716 runs at 36.51 and taking 48 wickets at 34.6.
Explaining his decision, Warne said Afridi’s all-round prowess had given him the edge when it came to a place in the greatest XI. “Lots of good players unfortunately miss out, the toughest player to leave out was my friend and amazing leg spinner Mushtaq Ahmed,” Warne wrote on his Facebook page.
“But went with Afridi as the leg spinning all-rounder, otherwise Saqlain would have had to miss out.” Warne said that if he had tried to fit Ahmed in the team, he may have to leave out Saqlain Mushtaq, Waqar Younis or Shoiab Akhtar. From the current Pakistan Test team, only Younis Khan was included in the XI, while Afridi being the only other player named who is still representing the country in any format.
Saeed Anwar and Aamer Sohail form the opening partnership, with Younis slotted in at first drop ahead of former captain Inzamam-ul-Haq at No.4. Right-hand batsman Yousuf Yohanna (now Mohammad Yousuf), was included at No.5 thanks to his 7,530 Test runs at an average of 52.29, ahead of Afridi at No.6 and wicketkeeper Moin Khan at No. 7.
For his greatest Pakistan Test XI, Warne has retained the famous duo of Akram and Waqar (current Pakistan coach). Fiery quick Akhtar, widely regarded as the fastest bowler of all time, is the third seamer in the team. The player credited with being the first off-spinner to master the doosra, Saqlain Mushtaq, rounds out the attack. “Pretty imposing and talented team,” Warne said. “Abdul Razzaq and Azahar Mahmood pushed hard too.”
Warne’s criteria for selecting his best teams is that he must have played against each cricketer chosen, meaning Pakistan’s greatest Test run-scorer, Javed Miandad and their greatest captain Imran Khan was not eligible for inclusion. “Just to remind you, I have to have played a meaningful game against a player before being selected,” he said. “Hence no Botham, Richard Hadlee, Viv Richards or Imran Khan in any teams.”
SHANE WARNE’S GREATEST PAKISTAN TEST XI (since 1990)
Saeed Anwar, Aamer Sohail, Younis Khan, Inzamam-ul-Haq, Yousuf Yohanna (now Mohammad Yousuf), Shahid Afridi, Moin Khan, Wasim Akram (capt), Saqlain, Shoiab Akhtar, Waqar Younus.
Courtesy: ABP LIVE