From Imran Khan to Wasim Akram, Pakistan has produced some of the best talents in the cricketing world. No wonder picking an all-time XI for the ‘Men in Green’ is a challenging task. Not so long ago, Junaid Khan was asked to select his all-time Pakistan XI but for the shortest format, and the 31-year-old had no problem whatsoever in revealing his team.
Starting with the openers, Junaid mixed youth with experience by naming Babar Azam and Saeed Anwar as opening batters. Babar has already proved his dexterity across formats. On the other hand, Anwar never played a T20 game, but his aggression at the top-order was enough to puzzle any bowler during his playing days.
Junaid went with the all-rounder duo of Mohammad Hafeez and Shoaib Malik for the third and fourth place, respectively. Both Hafeez and Malik are veterans of the T20 format who have played all around the world in various leagues.
Even in the international circuit, both the players are the leading run-scorers for Pakistan. While Hafeez has 2388 runs to his credit, Malik has amassed 2355 runs.
For the wicketkeeping duties, Junaid gave the responsibilities to Mohammad Rizwan, who has been remarkable this year. After Rizwan, Junaid picked out of favour batsman Umar Akmal.
The left-arm pacer further named former international Shahid Afridi for No. 7 slot. Afridi is the leading wicket-taker for his nation, with 97 scalps under his belt..
Among the bowlers, Junaid went with three pacers and one specialist spinner. He picked Umar Gul, Shoaib Akhtar, Sohail Tanvir as fast bowlers and Saeed Ajmal as the lone spinner. Both Gul and Ajmal are Pakistan’s second and third highest wicket-taker in T20Is. Both the bowlers have taken 85 scalps in the shortest format.
Here is Junaid Khan’s all-time Pakistan XI:
Babar Azam, Saeed Anwar, Mohammad Hafeez, Shoaib Malik, Mohammad Rizwan, Umar Akmal, Shahid Afridi, Saeed Ajmal, Umar Gul, Shoaib Akhtar, Sohail Tanvir.