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by Saksham Mishra & Cricket World Saturday 16 May 2020
Matthew Hayden, Virender Sehwag, Steve Smith, Sachin Tendulkar, Brian Lara, Ben Stokes, Adam Gilchrist, Imran Khan (c), Wasim Akram, Shane Warne, Glenn McGrath
It is tough to look past Matthew Hayden with an average in excess of 50 and a strike rate of more than 60. He scored his runs at venues all across the globe and was equally punishing against pace and spin. Sehwag finds a place for changing the opening template. Steve Smith, Sachin Tendulkar and Brian Lara were no brainers.
Ben Stokes, as someone who can accelerate when needed, narrowly beats Flintoff more for his batting. Adam Gilchrist had to be in there. Who else would suddenly blast a century when the match appeared all but gone? Imran Khan as the captain and all-rounder provides balance and leadership. Need I say anything about Wasim Akram, Shane Warne and Glenn McGrath.
Sanath Jayasuriya, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Kane Williamson, Jacques Kallis, Michael Bevan, MS Dhoni (c), Wasim Akram, Shoaib Akhtar, Curtly Ambrose, Muttiah Muralitharan
Sanath Jayasuriya changed opening batting, starting the 1996 World Cup. Rohit Sharma will be a great foil for him to begin with and will gradually accelerate. Once he does, a 200 is never too far away. Virat Kohli, Kane Williamson and Jacques Kallis provide great solidity in the middle order and can score at 6-7 RPO in the middle overs without taking any risks.
Michael Bevan and MS Dhoni are two of the best finishers ever and the best crisis men. Not that there will be many collapses with this batting order. Muttiah Muralitharan and Wasim Akram are the highest and the second-highest wicket-takers respectively in ODI cricket for good reason. Both Shoaib Akhtar and Curtly Ambrose provide something that is far from conventional.
Chris Gayle, David Warner, Kevin Pietersen, AB de Villiers, Shane Watson, MS Dhoni (c), Andre Russell, Sunil Narine, Samuel Badree, Jasprit Bumrah, Lasith Malinga
Chris Gayle has achieved in T20 cricket what no other player has. His sheer load of runs makes him a formidable opening option with David Warner who is no less threatening on his day. Kevin Pietersen and AB de Villiers are the mavericks that T20 as a format needs. One will walk towards off and flick everything to square leg. The other will sweep a 140 kph+ bowler and will hit the ball to strange parts of the park.
MS Dhoni, in his prime, just beats Gilchrist as the keeper-batsman and brings in that much extra for his leadership ability. If there is one batsman who can get you 60 runs off the last three overs, it is Andre Russell.
Samuel Badree bowls a tricky length in the powerplay which is almost impossible to get under. Same is the case with compatriot Sunil Narine with his bouquet of variations. Jasprit Bumrah and Lasith Malinga pick themselves as the best-ever death bowlers. Talk about landing a yorker at will.
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