Two Pakistani legends make it to Ravi Bopara’s All-Time XI
England all-rounder Ravi Bopara has picked his All Time XI which includes two Pakistani iconic bowlers and three Indian batsmen.
He chose former Indian opening batsman Virender Sehwag for his aggressive style of playing. “He was pleasing to the eye,” he said.
For a combination of right-handed and left-handed batsmen he selected Australia’s David Warner. “To bat alongside Virender Sehwag, I am going to go with someone I’ve actually had the opportunity to play with.
“I think he’s good to have in your side.”
He picked out Sri Lankan player and his team captain in Karachi Kings Kumar Sangakkara for the job with gloves on.
“I had the opportunity to play with him, watched him over the years. Unbelievable player. One of the best I’ve seen,” he said.
Ravi placed Indian player Sachin Tendulkar on fourth place and said, “Without any doubt, (he is the) best player of all time in my eyes.”
“(I) haven’t had the opportunity to play with him, but I have had the opportunity to play against him. But he was my cricketing hero (while) growing up.”
He chose another India player, current skipper, Virat Kohli for fifth place. “Probably, the best batsman in the world right now. Unbelievable player. Another good man to have in your side as well.”
The English player selected the best South African all-rounder Jacques Kallis for sixth position.
“(He’s) best all round cricket, I think, ever to grace a cricket field.”
Great West Indian batsman Brian Lara is Bopara’s choice for the seventh place for the fact that “ imagine you get a team five down and Brian Lara walks out to bat, (when) bowlers are a little bit tired, maybe into their third spells. Good luck bowling to Brian Lara.”
He proclaimed Pakistan Wasim Akram “one of the best left-arm seamers you’ll ever see”.
Bopara said Wasim had an influence on his career.
He picked ‘the King of Swing’ as his team’s captain saying “I think Wasim Akram comes across as a good leader. He’s a good presence as well and I think he’ll lead by example, with the bat and ball.”
The England player selected Sri Lankan Muttiah Muralitharan for seven down. “I think he’s the best spinner ever. He can turn it both ways. Absolute nightmare to play against.”
Then, he chose English player James Anderson to support his bowling line of attack. “One of the best swing bowlers I’ve ever seen or had the opportunity to play with as well. You know, if you give him the new ball he’s going to get you two early wickets no matter what (happens).”
He chose another Pakistani bowler Shoaib Akhtar, who is known for his deadly bouncers and toe-crushing Yorkers.
“He was the quickest bowler I ever faced and I always think you need that one guy who can bowl quick, and bowl as fast as he wants.”