The Cricinfo jurors have completed their exercise of selecting the All-Time World XI squad. And it looks a good one too (as it was bound to)! Here's a look at it:
Now, 7 of my XI that I had chosen here have been selected in the First XI by the Cricinfo jury. 2 find a place in the Second XI... and 1 finds himself in the Third XI, which was not officially selected but was mentioned here.
The 1 player in my XI to miss out completely was Ken Barrington, which is a shame really. A man with a batting average of 58.67 with 20 tons during the 1950s and 60s missing out... well, one cannot help it when spoiled for riches!
I was surprised to see Wasim Akram in the First XI... not that I think he was not good enough! I was expecting Wasim Akram in the Second XI definitely though.
I was disappointed to see Virender Sehwag absent from the First XI as well as the Second XI. Ian Chappell mentions in his interview that his choice had been Sehwag for opening... and he has a very sound logic too. You select teams to win matches... and with Sehwag taking on bowlers right at the top with consistency unmatched in modern day cricket, you had a guy who can win matches on his own.
I have always believed that bowlers win you Test matches. The same can be said about very few batsmen. Virender Sehwag, in my opinion, is one of them.
Otherwise, the team looks awesome. In respect of the Readers' XI, it is obvious that the team has been voted for by readers who have not bothered to consider cricket played before 1970s. Only Sir Don Bradman from that team played exclusively before the 1970s, and Sir Garry Sobers played before and through the 1970s.
One last word... the biggest surprise, disappointment and shock was to see that Jacques Kallis is missing from the First XI, the Second XI as well as the Third XI. An all rounder of his capability... one I regard as equal to Garry Sobers amongst the best batting all rounders of all time... if he's missing from such a list, it's more than just a shame... it's a tragedy! If such an exercise of picking the All-Time XI were to be repeated in a few years' time (after Kallis' retirement), I wouldn't at all be surprised to see him even replacing Sobers in the First XI, because a guy as good as him with the bat and the ball, you just cannot ignore!