Pakistan XI
ESPNcricinfo picks the best Test teams of all time


One from five

Pakistan were never short of allrounders. Imran Khan would be the overwhelming choice but there are four others, all also captains, in this shortlist

Osman Samiuddin

April 27, 2010

Comments: 121 | Text size: A | A

Imran Khan shines the ball, England v Pakistan, 5th Test, The Oval, 4th day, August 10, 1987
Imran Khan would make it to many world XIs as an allrounder © PA Photos
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How often has a Pakistan side turned out on the field without a very decent and capable allrounder in their XI? Not very, for just as the land has always produced fine fast bowlers, it has also provided, if not the same flood, then a steady stream of allrounders from the very off.

Right from AH Kardar in the first Tests, even through men such as Majid Khan and Asif Iqbal, who were good enough bowlers to open early in their careers, through the 1970s trio of Intikhab Alam, Mushtaq Mohammad and Wasim Raja, through Imran Khan and Wasim Akram, Pakistan has been blessed with men who bring enviable balance to their line-up. In his earliest days, even Javed Miandad was a more than useful leggie.

Some have been modest in nature, the extent of their ability being merely to chip in with bat and ball. Others have been unpredictable but explosive game-changers. At least one has bestridden the game like a behemoth, good enough to win matches with bat, ball and both regularly. The best ones, curiously but inevitably, have also captained Pakistan.

The one pick for the all-time XI should not be a difficult one. Imran would probably make it to a number of world XIs as an allrounder, so a Pakistani XI should be a formality. But there has never been, as was the case with Ian Botham, an interminable, debilitating search for the next Imran, proof that Pakistan have been well-served in this role.

Akram's arrival helped but even when his potential with the bat never fully materialised, no one really agonised. Abdul Razzaq and Azhar Mahmood don't find their names in this list, but they have both had moments others can only dream of; Razzaq has a Test hundred from one-down and a hat-trick to his name, for example, while Mahmood's three Test hundreds came against strong South African pace attacks.

Imran may tower over everyone, but stiff competition is at hand.

The contenders

AH Kardar
By the time he led Pakistan in their first Test, his best days as a player had gone (he had already played for India and enjoyed a productive spell at Warwickshire). But Kardar still brought a feisty southpaw balance to sides with his left-arm spin - he was once a medium-pacer - and naturally aggressive middle-order batting. If the numbers look ordinary it is because they don't take into account his leadership and that trait nudges him into allrounder territory. Like Mike Brearley, he is almost worth a place in the side for his captaincy, for no Pakistan leader - not even Imran - did as much as Kardar to ensure Pakistan arrived with such gusto to the cricket world.

Imran Khan Imran was widely considered by many to be the most accomplished from cricket's golden quartet of allrounders in the 80s; that he was the most successful captain strengthens the case for favourable comparison alongside Sir Garry Sobers as simply the greatest allrounder ever. A devastating fast bowler for 12 years through the 70s and 80s - among the quickest at one stage - and a technically accomplished middle-order batsman, for the last 10 years of his career Imran averaged over 50 with the bat and under 20 with the ball, almost incomparable anywhere. As well as London's swankiest nightspots, he was most often found at the very heart of all Pakistan's most sensational cricketing moments.

Intikhab Alam After the retirement of Kardar, Intikhab plugged a crucial gap through the 60s and early 70s as Pakistan's leading allrounder. Always a quality legspinner - his first ball in Test cricket got him a wicket, and it was, the legend goes, a wrong 'un - Inti was at his best with the bat lower down the order and the side in a fix. The most memorable of his nine 50-plus scores came from No. 10 - 51 in the epic ninth-wicket 190-run stand with Asif Iqbal at The Oval in 1967. He led Pakistan nobly and with good grace, much needed after the captaincy fiascos of the 60s.

Mushtaq Mohammad Mushtaq was arguably Pakistan's best allrounder pre-Imran. Unlike Inti, his legspinning allrounder contemporary, batting was comfortably Mushtaq's stronger suit. But from the resumption of his career in the late 60s, his bowling improved considerably. On his day, as West Indies found out in 1976, when the flipper came out right, he could be seriously dangerous. He was an imaginative, significant captain as well and is only one of four men in Test history - Jacques Kallis, Sobers and Botham are the others - to have scored a hundred and taken five wickets in an innings more than once; also, one of two to score a double-hundred and take a five-for.

Wasim Akram For many years the heir apparent to Imran, Akram has few equals in Pakistan when it comes to turning matches with a short, sharp burst with the ball, or an equally brief but effective swing of the bat. His batting was never sound enough to form the basis of prolonged, consistent success, but Imran thought him to be more talented than himself and on days - Lord's 1992, the the MCG 1992, Adelaide 1989-90 - he could change a game with the bat and show enough flexibility to strongly suggest greater application might have produced greater results. Bowling, though was, more often than not, where it was at with Akram.

We'll be publishing an all-time Pakistan XI based on readers' votes to go with our jury's XI. To pick your allrounder click here

Osman Samiuddin is Pakistan editor of Cricinfo

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by gallant_cricketer on (April 30, 2010, 23:52 GMT)

Beat this team:

1: Hanif; 2: Majid, 3: Zaheer, 4: Miandad, 5: Inzamam, 6. Mushtaq, 7: Imran, 8: Imtiaz, 9: Wasim, 10: Waqar, 11: Fazal.

Qadir will play instead of Fazal if the wicket is anticipated to be a spinning wicket.

Posted by Murtaza. on (April 30, 2010, 20:54 GMT)

If South africa can choose two all rounders for all time elleven Aubrey Faulkner and Mike Procter, then why not Pakistan as Wasim Akram and Imran Khan in the same elleven. THINK about that...

Posted by kiraj777 on (April 30, 2010, 20:00 GMT)

RezaThahir - man u just posted the best possible 11. So totally agree with u. Other dimwits who mention Afridi and some of the other newer players for an all time pak 11 - go learn your cricket history kiddos. That's the 11...and please don't ever try and compare Shoaib Chuckter with Waqar....plzzzz, it is blasphemy, sacrilage...Waqar was the swing bowling god...he could swing the ball even when god couldn't...with a perfectly legal action and so much more class....

Posted by   on (April 30, 2010, 16:28 GMT)

1. Saeed Anwar (A.Sohail, S.K.Afridi) 2. Hanif Muhammad (Mudassar, Mohsin) 3. Javed Miandad (Ramiz Raja) 4. Inzamam-ul-Haq (Muhammad Yousuf) 5. Zaheer Abbas 6. Kamran Akmal (Rashid, Moin) 7. Abdul Razzaq (Sarfaraz Nawaz) 8. Wasim Akram 9. Imran Khan (Fazal Mehmood) 10. Saqlain Mushtaq (M.Ahmed, A.Qadir, I.Qasim) 11. Waqar Younis (Shoaib Akhtar)

Posted by Faisal_Sherwani on (April 30, 2010, 15:36 GMT)

Only & Only Imran Khan and also as a Captain.

Posted by Cricconnoisseur on (April 30, 2010, 14:23 GMT)

I am an Indian, but waiting eagerly to see the final All time Pakistan XI. I literally live on Cricinfo, but if they are stupid enough to ask us choose between Wasim and Imran, thereby eleminating one of them, I would stop following this website altogether. Where did you guys get this ridiculous idea from? The last 6 in Pakistan all time XI shoudl read: Imran, Wicket keeper (Latif is my choice), Akram, Waqar, Qadir,Saqlain

Posted by vikasbindra on (April 30, 2010, 8:10 GMT)

imran khan is a better bowler than wasim akram as i suspect to the knowledge in my bellief there is a bowler named waqar younis who is a really quick but imran khan is a bowler who has make pasistan cricket better in globe.

Posted by adnan.abid on (April 30, 2010, 0:27 GMT)

I'll go for Imran Khan and Wasim will easily be among the bowlers.. rather whosoever you choose, the other one will be among the bowlers. Apart from this, both of them shall be the members for all time Pakistan teams for all 3 formats of the game.

Posted by Murtaza. on (April 29, 2010, 11:10 GMT)

I am going for Great Wasim Akram, We are going to choose team against best batsmen in the world. Wasim was no. at batsman and Imran was no.5 at batting order, No team in the world can be compleet with out Wasim.

Posted by SomilNanda on (April 29, 2010, 3:42 GMT)

i thought this would be the easiest pick till i saw Imaran and Akram both nominated for single slot. This is ridiculous. Both of them can easily fine a place in all time world best XI and here they are competing for 1 place in Pakistan XI.

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Osman SamiuddinClose
Osman Samiuddin Osman spent the first half of his life pretending he discovered reverse swing with a tennis ball half-covered with electrical tape. The second half of his life was spent trying, and failing, to find spiritual fulfillment in the world of Pakistani advertising and marketing. The third half of his life will be devoted to convincing people that he did discover reverse swing. And occasionally writing about cricket. And learning mathematics.

Pakistan Jury

Arif Abbasi
Arif Abbasi
Served Pakistan cricket in a number of administrative capacities through the 1980s and 90s. Was a key member of the organising committee for the 1996 World Cup.
XI: Aamer Sohail, Saeed Anwar, Mohsin Khan, Javed Miandad, Saleem Malik, Imran Khan, Wasim Akram, Saqlain Mushtaq, Waqar Younis, Rashid Latif, Mohammad Zahid
Kamran Abbasi
Kamran Abbasi
A cricket writer for Dawn, Cricinfo and The Wisden Cricketer. Advised on the change in the throwing law; once hit Michael Atherton for three successive boundaries, and also bowled former Pakistan prime minister Nawaz Sharif.
XI: Hanif Mohammad, Saeed Anwar, Majid Khan, Javed Miandad, Zaheer Abbas, Inzamam-ul-Haq, Imran Khan, Moin Khan, Wasim Akram, Abdul Qadir, Waqar Younis
Qamar Ahmed
Qamar Ahmed
Played first-class cricket for Sindh, South Zone and Hyderabad, and coached in Holland. Has reported on 370 Tests, over 700 ODIs and eight World Cups for such media outlets as the BBC, Reuters, AFP, The Times, The Guardian, Dawn, ABC, ESPN and Ten Sports.
XI: Hanif Mohammad, Majid Khan, Zaheer Abbas, Javed Miandad, Inzamam-ul-Haq, Imran Khan, Wasim Akram, Moin Khan, Waqar Younis, Abdul Qadir, Sarfraz Nawaz
Intikhab Alam
Intikhab Alam
Played 47 Tests (captained in 17) and four ODIs for Pakistan as a legspinning allrounder between 1959 and 1977. Was manager-coach of the 1992 World Cup-winning side, and had two stints as coach of the national side.
XI: Hanif Mohammad, Majid Khan, Zaheer Abbas, Javed Miandad, Inzamam-ul-Haq, Wasim Bari, Fazal Mahmood, Imran Khan, Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis, Abdul Qadir
Khadim Baloch
Khadim Baloch
The Pakistan Cricket Board's first advisor on Archives, Museum and Library. Has written on the history of Karachi cricket as well, and an encyclopedia of Pakistan cricket.
XI: Hanif Mohammad, Majid Khan, Javed Miandad, Mohammad Yousuf, Inzamam-ul-Haq, Imran Khan, Wasim Akram, Wasim Bari, Fazal Mahmood, Mushtaq Ahmed, Waqar Younis
Shaharyar Khan
Shaharyar Khan
Managed the Pakistan side on the 1998-99 tour of India. Served as chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board in the 2000s. Has also written two books on the game.
XI: Hanif Mohammad, Saeed Anwar, Zaheer Abbas, Inzamam-ul-Haq, Javed Miandad, Imran Khan, Rashid Latif, Abdul Qadir, Wasim Akram, Fazal Mahmood, Waqar Younis
Chishty Mujahid
Chishty Mujahid
Former director of the Pakistan Cricket Board. Radio and television commentator for over 40 years, for the likes of PTV, Ten Sports, SABC and All India Radio.
XI: Hanif Mohammad, Mudassar Nazar, Younis Khan, Javed Miandad, Inzamam-ul-Haq, Mohammad Yousuf, Imran Khan, Rashid Latif, Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis, Abdul Qadir
Salahuddin Mulla
Salahuddin Mulla
Played five Tests for Pakistan in the 1960s, and club cricket in Scotland. Served on nine different national selection committees from 1980 on, twice as chief selector.
XI: Hanif Mohammad, Saeed Anwar, Zaheer Abbas, Javed Miandad, Inzamam-ul-Haq, Mohammad Yousuf, Imran Khan, Wasim Akram, Wasim Bari, Waqar Younis, Abdul Qadir
Ramiz Raja
Ramiz Raja
Played 57 Tests (five as captain) and 198 ODIs for Pakistan between 1984 and 1997. Served as CEO of the PCB in the first half of the 2000s. Currently a commentator.
XI: Saeed Anwar, Hanif Mohammad, Inzamam-ul-Haq, Javed Miandad, Mohammad Yousuf, Imran Khan, Wasim Bari, Wasim Akram, Abdul Qadir, Shoaib Akhtar, Waqar Younis.
Osman Samiuddin
Osman Samiuddin
Pakistan editor of Cricinfo
XI: Hanif Mohammad, Saeed Anwar, Zaheer Abbas, Javed Miandad, Saleem Malik, Inzamam-ul-Haq, Imran Khan, Rashid Latif, Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis, Abdul Qadir.

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