No place for Babar, Rohit in Akram’s India-Pakistan all-time ODI XI

Dubai: The idea of fielding a combined XI comprising cricketers from India and Pakistan may sound unreal, but it did happen once, albeit for an exhibition match, back in 1996 at Colombo.
Legendary cricketers like Sachin Tendulkar, Saeed Anwar and Mohammad Azharuddin lined up together to face hosts Sri Lanka in that fixture.
Wasim Akram, who also featured in that game, was recently asked to name his all-time combined India-Pakistan ODI XI. The names revealed by the former Pakistan fast bowler were undoubtedly iconic but there were certainly some shocking omissions as well. Rohit Sharma and Babar Azam were two players who did not find a place in Akram’s Dream XI.
“I’ll start off with a leftie from Pakistan, ‘Saeed Anwar’. Not the best fielder but as a batter one of the best Pakistan has produced; an all-round player,” Akram said during an interaction with Fox Cricket.
“Opener with him [Saeed Anwar], I pick Virender Sehwag. He changed the mindset of Test cricket as an opener. Before Sehwag, it used to be three slips and a gully and Sehwag just started whacking everyone,” the former Pakistan captain added.
Wasim Akram did face some difficulty in forming the middle order and he eventually decided to opt for a deadly triumvirate comprising Sachin Tendulkar, Virat Kohli and Javed Miandad. Akram also revealed the reason behind not picking big names like Rohit Sharma and Babar Azam.
“Number three, the great man, Sachin Tendulkar. 100 international hundreds, can’t go wrong. Number four is very difficult to pick. I have Mohammad Yousuf, Babar Azam, Javed Miandad, Zaheer Abbas, Misbah-ul-Haq, Inzamam-ul-Haq and from India Rohit Sharma. It’s difficult not to pick Rohit Sharma. But four, I go for Javed Miandad because of the way he bats and assesses the situation and he was a gun fielder in his heydays. Number five, I’ll go with Virat Kohli. You can’t just have Virat Kohli in the playing XI as a selector,” Akram explained.
Akram named Pakistan’s World Cup-winning captain Imran Khan as the leader of the team. India’s 2011 World Cup-winning skipper MS Dhoni was chosen for the wicketkeeper’s role. Along with Imran, legendary Indian cricketer Kapil Dev will feature in the team as an all-rounder.
The bowling department has two prolific pacers- Waqar Younis and Jasprit Bumrah. Apart from Waqar and Bumrah, Wasim Akram named former Pakistan spinner Saqlain Mushtaq in the bowling unit.
Akram is quite certain about his dream squad’s performance. “Nobody can beat this team,” Akram stated.
Check Wasim Akram’s combined India-Pakistan ODI XI here:
1. Saeed Anwar 2. Virender Sehwag 3. Sachin Tendulkar 4. Javed Miandad 5. Virat Kohli 6. Imran Khan (c) 7. Kapil Dev 8. MS Dhoni (wk) 9. Saqlain Mushtaq 10. Jasprit Bumrah 11. Waqar Younis

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