The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Ones picked bring something very special to the table: Bedi
- Charismatic former India captain selects his dream Indo-Pak XI

Calcutta: Bishan Singh Bedi, Indiaís captain during the first Revival Series (1978-79, in Pakistan), picked his dream Indo-Pak XI for the benefit of The Telegraphís readers. The selection was limited to those who played from the late 1960s, the time Bedi got picked for India.

Here goes:

On the criterion in selecting his XI

Iíve picked solid players... Batsmen with that character and authority-stamping bowlers... I havenít, for example, selected a wristy artiste like Gundappa Viswanath... Then, Iíve wholly been guided by the playersí value to the team... The ones picked do bring something very special to the table.

On his XI (in batting order)

SUNIL GAVASKAR: There hasnít been a better batsman to drop anchor and compile runs... In my book, the best.

SAEED ANWAR: Given his attacking style, he would complement Gavaskar well... Plus, his selection makes it a left-right combination. That helps.

JAVED MIANDAD: I have him at No.3 largely to give him more time to get under the oppositionís skin! Iíve always rated him very highly.

SACHIN TENDULKAR: Just canít think of anybody else in that position... Do I actually need to justify picking him'

RAHUL DRAVID: Given his reputation and record, Rahul has to make the XI. But, as Iíve explained, not at No.3.

INZAMAM-UL HAQ: An attacking batsman who could be counted upon in a crisis.

WASIM BARI: Heís the best íkeeper Iíve seen... In fact, even Alan Knott would concede that Bari was better behind the stumps. Bari could bat, but that hasnít been a consideration. Iíve selected the best íkeeper. He rarely dived, rather he would reach the ball. And, so cleanly.

IMRAN KHAN: Few people know just how hard he worked at his bowling... He walks into my team.

WASIM AKRAM: He had such natural ability and could do anything with the ball.

WAQAR YOUNIS: Like Akram, could bowl in all conditions ... His record speaks for itself... Another hard worker.

ANIL KUMBLE: Is remarkably consistent... I love his never-say-die attitude and Iíve never seen him with shoulders drooping... Whatever the circumstances, his body language remains good. That he hasnít been a big turner and hasnít been an athlete has made no difference to me.

On his captain

Oh, Imran... A born leader... He made such an impact as captain... If somebody dropped a catch, people wouldnít look at the poor fielder but at Imran, to see how he reacted... He was that kind of a leader... Imran had that aura.

On having had to ignore a Kapil Dev

(After a pause) Iím feeling bad... But, then, the three new-ball bowlers Iíve picked were all better in their trade... Iíve selected the best for every position and, sadly, Kapil couldnít be there... He would be my 12th man, though... Nobody in India or Pakistan has been a better all-round fielder.

On his reserves

Viswanath, Erapalli Prasanna and Jawagal Srinath... Abdul Qadir and Sarfraz Nawaz have been unlucky to miss out.

On whether his XI could beat Clive Lloydís awesome team of the late Seventies and early Eighties

I think so... Both that West Indies side and Ricky Pontingís Australians... Itís for your readers to judge, but Iíve picked a team which could well be called invincible... I would pay to watch them...

Finally, on his choice for coach

(Laughs) Greg Chappell! Seriously, the XI Iíve selected wouldnít need a coach. No cricket manager either.

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