Saturday, May 17, 2008

Dream ODI Team

For years now, I have been putting down my dream teams for both one day international and test cricket and I feel it is finally time to let the world know of the eleven players who comprise my ODI team. Cricketers whom I haven’t seen play on live television, at least not enough to make a proper judgement unfortunately miss out and that means there is no Sir Vivian Richards, Joel Garner, Imran Khan or even Dean Jones in my eleven. My team is as follows.

  1. Sachin Tendulkar: Without question the greatest ODI batsman of all time, the inclusion of Tendulkar does not require any explanation.
  2. Mark Waugh: The second opener’s position essentially comes down to a choice between Mark Waugh and Saeed Anwar. Anwar was a fantastic one day batsman and I had the privilege of watching his magnificent 194 at Madras, which remains the highest ever ODI score, from the stands. But Waugh’s additional abilities as a part time off break bowler and the fact that he is in my opinion the greatest all round fielder of his generation means that Anwar has to be left out of the eleven.
  3. Brian Lara: Very often only Lara’s great test innings are talked about. But it must be remembered that Lara was an equally good one day cricketer. He scored more than 10000 one day runs at an average above 40 which is no mean feat. Ricky Ponting was the other player in consideration for the number 3 spot, but I guess my admiration for Lara’s genius entails the current Aussie skipper to be overlooked.
  4. Inzamam-Ul-Haq: Inzamam is without doubt one of the finest one day batsmen the world has ever seen. The time that he seemed to possess while playing his strokes was quite simply remarkable. I have always felt that purely on talent, Inzamam is right up there with the best.
  5. Mohammed Azharuddin: Azhar as I have mentioned in previous posts is a personal favourite of mine. He was all elegance and prettiness and some of the strokes he played are incapable of replication. His ability to rotate the strike and score vital half centuries together with his supreme fielding ability means that he occupies the crucial number 5 spot in my ODI team.
  6. Steve Waugh (c): Steve Waugh is not as renowned for his contributions to ODI cricket as he is for his test match abilities. But Waugh in my opinion is one of the most complete ODI cricketers of all time. His grit and determination together with his ability to play the big shots in the slog overs are qualities that are highly admirable. But the aspect, which ensures Waugh’s presence in the eleven, was his superb ability with the ball at the death. They did not call him ‘Iceman’ for nothing.
  7. Andy Flower (wk): The selection of the wicketkeeper is one of toughest decisions to make. Most people would probably put Adam Gilchrist in there but I feel that the only way Gilchrist can find his way into my team as a wicketkeeper is if I select him as an opener. However, considering the talents of Tendulkar, Mark Waugh and Saeed Anwar, Gilchrist can quite simply not be accommodated. This means that Andy Flower, one of the best batsmen of his generation would play as the wicketkeeper. Whilst his glove work was more than decent, his batting abilities were fabulous to say the very least. He was capable of astonishing improvisation and is regarded as one of the best players of spin bowling of all time. The presence of Flower also allows greater flexibility in the batting line-up as he can easily bat at the top order in case the team wants to utilize Inzamam or Azhar down the order.
  8. Wasim Akram: The ‘Sultan of Swing’ was the first name on my team sheet. Wasim when in full flow was magnificent to watch. The things he could do with the ball made me believe that he possessed supernatural powers. Brian Lara described him as the most outstanding bowler he had ever faced in tests and one day internationals and he faced a fair few.
  9. Shane Warne: Warne’s ability to retain his attacking instincts irrespective of the situation has been the most exceptional characteristic of his terrific career. The great variations that Warne at his best possessed would be an asset to any squad and he walks into my team without a hint of competition.
  10. Curtly Ambrose: A choice has to be made between Ambrose and McGrath, but it isn’t as difficult a decision as some of the others were. Ambrose invoked genuine fear in the batsman and was unquestionably the most lethal fast bowler of his generation. Ambrose was just as effective with his line and length as McGrath was but he had the ability to move the ball around a fair bit more than McGrath did and was also able to extract steeper bounce considering his immense physique.
  11. Waqar Younis: Waqar’s ability to swing the ball late caused most batsmen problems and his toe-crushing yorkers at exceptional pace were amongst the hardest balls to face. His 7/36 against England is the finest spell of fast bowling I have ever seen in ODI cricket. He finds a place in my team purely on the basis of his great wicket taking ability.


A.K. Visalakshi said...

So all that time and paper spent in class seem to have produced something finally :)

But I have to rethink linking your blog to mine! Such blasphemy is quite unacceptable! :P

A Couch-side View said...

But I have said so many nice things about McGrath in the previous posts. Maybe he will find a place in my test team. Wait and watch.

ayan said...

What about hayden? Should he not replace mark waugh?

A Couch-side View said...

I certainly considered Hayden, but Mark Waugh's class as a batsman and as I said his all round ability is something that I would never let go of as far as the ODI team is concerned. Hayden though will without any doubt make it into my test team.

A.K. Visalakshi said...

I'm telling you, if Glenn McGrath doesn't open both the bowling and the batting in your test team, its too little, too late! *hrrrrmph*