The former Pakistani leg-spinner Mushtaq Ahmed has announced his all-time eleven squad, being the second one from the current series to do so. Earlier the debutant Jake Ball who is playing first Test match of his career also announced his All time eleven squad. Mushtaq’s all time eleven was issued by the official twitter handle of the Lord’s cricket ground. Earlier the Lords ground also issued the All time eleven of Ashley Giles.
Interestingly Mushtaq who is currently busy assisting England spinners has chosen quite a fresh bunch of players. He has included players who have recently retired from the game to those who are still playing the game. Only one Pakistani and one Indian player make it to his list.
“(I pick) Alastair Cook as an opener. I choose him because he is a good Test cricketer, has good patience and has got 10,000 runs in his Test career. And I have got Hashim Amla (to partner Cook). He is a brilliant player.
“At number 3 is Ricky Ponting. He is very brave. (He took) took fast bowlers on. He is also a great leader. Sachin Tendulkar (at number 4). We all know he is the best so far. He has the best record. He is the kind of guy who you have to pick at No. 4. You can rely on him. He can score lots of runs for you,” he said.
These were top four players chosen by the leggie. The list includes two more proteas players viz AB De Villiers and all-rounder Jacques Kallis. The former wicket-keeper of Australia Adam Gilchrist as well makes it to the list of Mushtaq Ahmed.
“AB de Villiers is a brilliant cricketer. He can take the game away from the opposition. That is why I have him at number 5. At 6, I have all-rounder Jacques Kallis. He has a brilliant record in Test cricket. He can bowl as the fourth seamer. At 7 is Adam Gilchrist. He can damage the opposition straight away.”
Mushtaq has chosen quite a hefty bowling unit comprising on some all-time greats, “At 8 is Wasim Akram. He is deceptive, fast, (bowls) yorkers, (can) reverse swing and he is different. And he can also bat. He has a great record in Test cricket. Malcolm Marshall at No. 9. He was a great bowler and he was also smart. He was fast and got different variations.”
“One of the best leg-spinners ever – Shane Warne (at number 10). He is a match-winner. Glenn McGrath (at 11). You can rely on him with both new and old balls. He can take the game away (from the opposition). He is a brilliant fast bowler to have in the side,” he concludes.
Out of all the all time eleven squads announced by other players, this seems to be the best of all consisting of cricketers who were/are best at the business. His list includes one Indian, one Pakistani, one from England, 3 players from South Africa, 4 from Australia and one player from West Indies.
Mushtaq Ahmed’s all-time XI: Alastair Cook, Hashim Amla, Ricky Ponting, Sachin Tendulkar, AB de Villiers, Jacques Kallis, Adam Gilchrist, Wasim Akram, Malcolm Marshall, Shane Warne, Glenn McGrath.