Shahid Afridi reveals why he chose Virat Kohli over Sachin Tendulkar and MS Dhoni in his all-time World Cup XI
Shahid Afridi revealed the reason behind excluding both Sachin Tendulkar and MS Dhoni from his all-time World Cup side on Thursday. The former Pakistan captain picked current Indian skipper Virat Kohli for his all-time World Cup XI team but his decision to leave out Tendulkar and Dhoni surprised many.
Afridi, however, clarified that both Tendulkar and Dhoni are among his favourite Indian cricketers. “Sachin and Dhoni are greats and they have achieved a lot for Indian cricket. I picked Kohli because he just looks so majestic and beautiful to watch while batting,” Afridi told PTI.
Afridi went ahead with Saeed Anwar and Adam Gilchrist as his openers in the side, meaning there was no place of either Sachin or Dhoni. The only Indian in his XI was Virat Kohli, whom he kept at No. 4 behind former Australia captain Ricky Ponting.
Shahid Afridi’s all-time World Cup XI: Saeed Anwar, Adam Gilchrist, Ricky Ponting, Virat Kohli, Inzamam ul-Haq, Jacques Kallis, Wasim Akram, Glenn McGrath, Shane Warne, Shoaib Akhtar, Saqlain Mushtaq
WATCH: Afridi Autobiography: Reveals real age, takes dig at Gambhir
Afridi also went on to express his admiration for Indian cricketers. “I have enjoyed each and every tour of India because of the love and affection I and other Pakistani players have got always there. I admire Indian cricket because of the way the sport is run there and how the money they earn is invested back into the game and players.
“I still believe that cricket is one way to reduce tensions between the two countries and we should have regular bilateral matches. Because when we tour each other’s countries there will be more people to people contact and misunderstandings will be lessened.” He recalled how in 2004 when the Indian team toured Pakistan, Pakistani people had shown respect, love and hospitality to all the Indian players, officials, people and government dignitaries who came to watch the matches.
“It was a fantastic atmosphere and I believe we must do it again. Pakistan and Indian people love their players and want to see bilateral matches.”
Afirdi has been in the news ever since snippets from his autobiography Game Changer became public. The former Pakistan all-rounder has not only revealed his real age but has also made controversial remarks against former Pakistan cricketers and former India opener Gautam Gambhir in his autobiography.
(With agency inputs)