Wasim Akram expressed deep admiration for Kapil Dev, his hero, and in his dream XI, he included MS Dhoni, Virat Kohli, and Sachin Tendulkar. In one of the most memorable moments in cricket history, India and Pakistan, long-time rivals, assembled a combined XI for an exhibition match against Sri Lanka in 1996 at Colombo.
This remarkable event at the renowned Premadasa Stadium featured cricketing legends such as Sachin Tendulkar, Wasim Akram, Saeed Anwar, and Mohammad Azharuddin, all part of this star-studded lineup that played an unforgettable match against the host team, Sri Lanka.
Wasim Akram chose Tendulkar and Kohli for his all-time India-Pakistan ODI XI before the World Cup
Sachin Tendulkar and Saeed Anwar opened the innings in the unique match, facing bowlers like Muttiah Muralitharan and Chaminda Vaas. Notably, Tendulkar even assisted Wasim Akram in dismissing the dangerous Romesh Kaluwitharana.
Akram, who was a dominant force in the late ’90s, was recently requested to provide an all-time India-Pakistan XI ahead of the 2023 ICC World Cup in India. In a conversation with FoxCricket before the 2023 ICC event, former Pakistan captain Akram chose his XI, comprising players solely from India and Pakistan.
The iconic fast bowler placed Tendulkar in the No.3 batting position and positioned the prolific run-scorer Virat Kohli at No. 5 in his lineup. However, Akram did not include the current captains Rohit Sharma and Babar Azam in his combined India-Pakistan XI.
“It’s a challenge not to select Rohit”
“Number three, the great man, Sachin Tendulkar. Hundred international hundreds, can’t go wrong. Number four is…. very difficult to pick.”
”I have Mohammad Yousuf, Babar Azam, Javed Miandad, Zaheer Abbas, Misbah-ul-Haq, Inzamam-ul-Haq and another great from India – Rohit Sharma.”
”It’s difficult not to pick Rohit. But at four, I’m going to go with Javed Miandad because of the way batted and how he assessed situations and he was a gun fielder in his heyday,” Akram explained.
“Kapil Dev holds a special place as my role model”
Wasim Akram praised Kapil Dev and named Imran Khan as the captain of his dream XI, which also featured Virat Kohli at number five. He emphasized the importance of having Virat Kohli in the lineup.
Imran Khan was designated as the captain and placed at number six, followed by Kapil Dev. MS Dhoni was picked as the wicketkeeper, and Saqlain Mushtaq was chosen as the sole spinner in the starting eleven. Akram expressed confidence that no other team could surpass this selection.
Akram’s combined India-Pakistan ODI XI includes:
Imran Khan (C), Saeed Anwar, Javed Miandad, Virender Sehwag, Sachin Tendulkar, Virat Kohli, Kapil Dev, MS Dhoni (WK), Saqlain Mushtaq, Jasprit Bumrah, and Waqar Younis.