After Ramiz Raja recently picked the combined ODI XI of India and Pakistan, Sunil Gavaskar came up with his combined Test XI of the two arch-rivals.
His lineup consisted of greats from the two sides, who played in the golden generation predominantly. As a result, there was no place for the likes of MS Dhoni and Virat Kohli.
In his combined XI, the ‘Little Master’ of Indian cricket, went ahead with six Indians and five Pakistan cricketers. He made his selection during a conversation with Rameez Raja.
At the opening slot, he picked ‘Nawab of Najafgarh’ Virender Sehwag, and Pakistan stalwart Hanif Mohammed. Hanif was the first cricketer from Pakistan to post a triple-century.
Then, Sunny chose Pakistan’s most significant number three batsman Zaheer Abbas and ‘Master Blaster’ Sachin Tendulkar to complete his top order. Tendulkar holds the record for the most international runs – the game has witnessed thus far.
Gavaskar, during his stint at the commentary box, made it very lucid about being an ardent fan of Gundappa Vishwanath’s batting. Therefore, he included Vishwanath at number five. Sunny has often praised Vishwanath for his beautiful wrists while playing his strokes.
It was a no-brainer to include the two greatest all-rounders produced by the arch-rivals, Imran Khan and Kapil Dev. The two formed one-half of the golden quartet of all-rounders during the 80s and 90s, also featuring Ian Botham and Richard Hadlee.
The wicket-keeping duties were appointed to Gavaskar’s former teammate Syed Kirmani. Bowling great Wasim Akram is the only specialist seamer in the lineup. Whereas, the two spinners in the side are Abdul Qadir and B.S. Chandrashekhar.
Chandrashekar was one part of the famous spin trio of Bishan Singh Bedi, Erapalli Prasanna, and himself.
Sunil Gavaskar’s combined India-Pakistan Test XI:
Hanif Mohammad, Virender Sehwag, Zaheer Abbas, Sachin Tendulkar, Gundappa Viswanath, Kapil Dev, Imran Khan, Syed Kirmani, Wasim Akram, Abdul Qadir, B.S. Chandrasekhar