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by Cricket World Sunday 31 May 2020
1. Mathew Hayden: Looks like some warrior from game of thrones or Vikings has walked on to the field. Big brut could destroy attacks and was amazing against spin as well. The great Sunil Gavaskar once said Openers in test cricket need to be “Mad and fearless” that’s another reason I picked him over Gary Kirsten.
2. Virender Sehwag: He redefined opening batting in test cricket. He has a slight weakness with the moving ball but thats mostly because he plays fearless cricket and when teams/openers on the first morning are trying to get through the first session, this guy would butcher the new ball.
3. Rahul “Wall” Dravid: With Sehwag opening the batting, Dravid is a no brainner. The grit and determination to bat and bat and bat and bat. A bowlers’ nightmare. Would fit in any cricket team in the world and with competition from Ponting and Sangakkara who are great players themselves, speaks volumes about his talent.
4. Sachin Tendulkar: The GOD of cricket. His records speak for themselves. The only other contender is Brian Lara, by common consensus Tendulkar's greatest batting contemporary and his closest contender for the title of the best batsman.
5. Jacques Kallis: He is a highly underrated all-rounder. Unlike most all-rounders, Kallis is a technically proficient batsman. While many all-rounders tend to score runs in a rather unorthodox fashion, Kallis has a very classical approach, playing a range of controlled shots and prized his wicket.
6. Steve Waugh (Captain): One of Australia’s finest cricketers and captains. He might have lacked flamboyance but had that hunger to score runs. The only competition was from the Chanderpaul, crabbiest technique but was a West Indian “Southpaw”.
7. Adam Gilchrist: He revolutionised the role of a keeper batsman. If “my team” is tottering at 30-5, he would be the only reason I would believe that my team could reach 200-250. Also, he was one of the few batsmen in the world who would walk, now that’s a rare quality.
8. Wasim Akram: World’s best left arm fast bowler till date. The Sultan of Swing. Enough said.
9. Shane Warne: One of the greatest spinners of all time. Comes from a country like Australia, which pitches favours fast bowlers and not spinners.
10. Saqlain Mushtaq: Regarded as one of the best spin bowlers in the history of cricket, he is best known for pioneering the “Doosra”. I cannot justify picking him over Murali. I guess I like Saqlain more.
11. Glen McGrath: Immaculate line and length and the ability to nip the ball just that little bit. The consistency with wick he bowled made him such an economical bowler.
©Cricket World 2020