The ‘Rawalpindi Express’ Shoaib Akhtar played in a lot of India vs Pakistan matches in his career. Akhtar is still considered as one of the fastest bowlers to ever play the game. He had an interesting rivalry with many Indian players particularly with Sachin Tendulkar during his career. The former fast bowler recently named top 10 ODI cricketers from India and Pakistan with a few surprising exclusions.
Akhtar who is an often headliner in the cricketing world missed out on quite a few big names. From India, players such as Virat Kohli, MS Dhoni and Sourav Ganguly were not a part of his top 10 cricketers list. Akhtar started with the names of Sachin Tendulkar and Saeed Anwar.
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The two openers dominated ODI cricket in the 1990s and won several matches for their respective teams. Next, he picked two all-time greats who amassed more than 10,000 runs in their ODI career. Rahul Dravid who according to Akhtar was one of the hardest batsmen to dismiss in his career is at third. Inzamam, on the other hand, is the leading run-scorer for Pakistan in ODIs with more than 11,000 runs.
No place for MS Dhoni and Virat Kohli:
In the middle order, he picked 3 destructive batsmen which were Virender Sehwag, Abdul Razzaq and Yuvraj Singh. Sehwag scored more than 8000 runs at a strike rate of 103 throughout his ODI career. Both Razzaq and Afridi were considered match-winners as they contributed with both bat and ball as all-rounders.
In the bowling department, he included 3 players from his own country. Saqlain Mushtaq was the lone spinner in the top 10 list. The deadly combination of Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis concluded his top 10 list of ODI cricketers from both countries.
Akhtar did not include Virat Kohli who is considered as arguably the greatest ODI batsman of all time which raised a few eyebrows. Other surprising exclusions were of two great former captains of India MS Dhoni and Sourav Ganguly. The two batsmen scored more than 10,000 runs in their illustrious ODI careers.
Shoaib Akhtar’s Top 10 ODI cricketers from India and Pakistan:
Sachin Tendulkar, Saeed Anwar, Inzamam-ul-Haq, Rahul Dravid, Virender Sehwag, Abdul Razzaq, Yuvraj Singh, Saqlain Mushtaq, Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis