Azhar Mahmood, the former Pakistan cricketer, was recently a part of the national team in its campaign in the 2019 World Cup in England and Wales. He was the bowling coach and would’ve been delighted with the way the likes of Mohammad Amir, Shaheen Afridi and Wahab Riaz weaved their magic. But he would be disappointed that the Men in Green couldn’t qualify for the semis.
Amidst all the hard-work, Mahmood took time out to pick his all-time cricketing XI. He went for the left-right combo of Matthew Hayden and Sachin Tendulkar as the openers. Hayden, the Australian cricketer, was one of the most destructive batsmen of his generation. Sachin, also known as the Master Blaster, is currently the leading run-scorer in international cricket with as many as 100 centuries.
Even six years after his retirement, a number of his records remain unscathed. Sir Vivian Richards is Mahmood’s number three. The Windies great had a strike-rate of 90 in a generation when runs weren’t easy to come by. At number four, Mahmood picked Brian Lara, who has the highest individual Test score of 400 under his belt. Mahmood picked Jacques Kallis as his specialist all-rounder.
Only one specialist spinner
Kallis scored over 25,000 international runs and picked up over 570 wickets at the highest level to be regarded as one of the greats of the game. Steve Waugh, who led Australia to their second World Cup title in 1999, was Mahmood’s captain in the eleven. The swashbuckling Adam Gilchrist tormented oppositions throughout his career and he was picked as the specialist wicketkeeper.
Mahmood picked only one spinner in the form of Shane Warne, who finished his career for Australia with over 1,000 wickets. In the fast bowling department, Mahmood went for retire Aussie fast bowler Glenn McGrath, the all-time leading wicket-taker in the World Cup.
Shoaib Akhtar broke a lot of helmets and terrorized the batters a number of times. Mahmood didn’t have any hesitation in picking the Rawalpindi Express. Wasim Akram, known as the Sultan of Swing, was Mahmood’s second Pakistani cricketer in the all-time eleven.
Here is Mahmood’s All-Time XI
Matthew Hayden, Sachin Tendulkar, Sir Vivian Richards, Brian Lara, Jacques Kallis, Steve Waugh (c), Adam Gilchrist (wk), Shane Warne, Wasim Akram, Glenn McGrath, Shoaib Akhtar.
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