Kumar Sangakkara picks his all-time best XI
Sri Lankan batting legend and former skipper Kumar Sangakkara doesn’t believe Sachin Tendulkar has the credibility to be included his All Time XI in which he selected four Australians and three from Sri Lanka.
In the latest video published on social media by the Lord’s Cricket Ground, Sangakkara chose his compatriot and former batsman Aravinda De Silva as the captain of the team and selected Mathew Hayden and Rahul Dravid as the opening batsmen.
Caribbean legend Brian Lara, World Cup winning Australian captain Ricky Ponting and one of the best allrounders in the world Jacques Kallis complete the batting line-up, the wicketkeeping spot occupied by legendary Adam Gilchrist. Shane Warne and Muttiah Muralitharan are the two specialist spinners in the squad.
The fast-bowling department is spearheaded by Wasim Akram and Chaminda Vaas, who Sangakkara picked over Glenn McGrath.
Earlier in March, there was enough controversy when Kumar Sangakkara became the overwhelming fans’ favorite for the crown of a reputed Australian cricket website’s One-Day International Greatest of All Time after an exhaustive online polling process.
Sangakkara’s highly motivated and extremely passionate supporters delivered the title to the Sri Lankan star, who received more votes than India’s Sachin Tendulkar in the final.
Sangakkara’s prowess in one-day cricket is proven. He scored 14,234 runs in 404 matches, averaging 41.98 with 25 centuries to his name.
While his batting was his chief contribution – only Tendulkar has more ODI runs – he was also a worthy gloveman, and kept wickets with aplomb to Muthiah Muralidaran, to claim 482 dismissals behind the stumps.
After 40 days and millions of votes, Sangakkara and Tendulkar rose above a cavalcade of the world’s greatest ODI players to be considered the top two by the voting audience.
Does all this mean Sangakkara is better than Sachin? Every Indian cricket fan believes, no. Tendulkar achieved his greatest feats in the 90s against some amazing bowlers and had tremendous longevity which gives him an edge. But, let us be honest and accept that Sangakkara belongs up there with the great batsmen against of the last 20 years like Lara, Tendulkar, Ponting, Kallis, Steve Waugh etc.
Here is greatest all-time XI:
Rahul Dravid, Matthew Hayden, Brian Lara, Ricky Ponting, Aravinda de Silva (c), Jacques Kallis, Adam Gilchrist, Shane Warne, Muttiah Muralitharan, Wasim Akram, Chaminda Vaas