Former Australian batsman Greg Chappell recently picked a Test XI from the past 60 years comprising of cricketers that he would love to pay to watch in the stadium.
The legendary Australian batsman, in his column for Sydney Morning Herald, picked destructive opener Virender Sehwag and current Indian skipper Virat Kohli as the two Indians in his playing XI that consists of four Australians, two West Indians, and a player each from South Africa, England, and Pakistan.
Chappell hailed Sehwag as the best striker of a cricket ball that he has ever seen.
“Viru was the best ball-striker I have seen. His record of double and triple hundreds, though, shows that he was more than a kamikaze-style basher. Once he summed up the opposition and conditions and found things to his liking, he toyed with opposition bowlers. He had an uncanny ability to smash boundaries to all parts of the field, but his great strength was square of the wicket on the offside,” Chappell wrote in the Sydney Morning Herald.
The former Indian coach picked former England opener Colin Milburn, who played nine Tests during the 1960s before tragically losing his eyesight, as Sehwag’s partner.
As far as the No.3 spot is concerned, Greg Chappell picked the legendary Sir Vivian Richards over his compatriot Ricky Ponting purely because of the former’s flamboyance and his ability to dictate terms to the opposition irrespective of conditions.
He went on to pick former Proteas batsman Graeme Pollock as his quintessential No.4 for his ability to destroy pacers as well as spinners with equal disdain.
He picked India’s Virat Kohli over Master Blaster Sachin Tendulkar. Chappell lauded Tendulkar’s hundreds in Sydney and Perth as an 18-year-old in 1992 and his defiant 241 at the SCG 2004 besides terming Virat’s twin tons in Adelaide in 2014 as his finest.
Chappell said that the fact that both Sachin and Virat triumphed despite shouldering the expectations of a billion Indians gives them his nod over the likes of Steve Smith, Brian Lara, and Neil Harvey.
He, however, went with Virat Kohli because of the passion and intensity he brought on the cricket field.
“Virat Kohli gets in at No.5, ahead of compatriot Sachin Tendulkar. I still recall Sachin’s brilliant century as an 18-year-old at the SCG in 1992 and also his 241 there in 2004, but Kohli’s twin centuries in his first Test as captain at Adelaide Oval in 2014 were equally sublime. His 141 in the second innings stands out as one of his finest in Test cricket. I particularly admire his energy and the fierce will to win that he brings to every game,” he said.
Chappell picked Sir Garfield Sobers as the captain of his playing XI. He picked Adam Gilchrist as the designated wicketkeeper-batsman with the legendary MS Dhoni as his backup.
Wasim Akram triumphed the likes of Imran Khan, Kapil Dev in the all-rounder’s department while Shane Warne and the pace-bowling duo of Dennis Lillee and Jeff Thomson rounded off the bowling department.
Greg Chappell’s most-exciting Test XI:
Virender Sehwag, Colin Milburn, Sir Vivian Richards, Graeme Pollock, Virat Kohli, Sir Garfield Sobers [C], Adam Gilchrist [WK], Wasim Akram, Shane Warne, Dennis Lillee, Jeff Thomson