Imran Khan and Sachin Tendulkar headline former Pakistan batsman Younis Khan's all-time favourite XI

Waseem Ahmed 30/03/2018
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The former Pakistan man has picked his all-time XI.

Pakistan batting great Younis Khan has picked his all-time favourite cricket XI and it is West Indies which dominate the make-up of the team.

The former Pakistan international has picked up West Indies players in his side – Brian Lara, Sir Garfield Sobers and Sir Viv Richards.

Speaking to the Lord’s Cricket Ground’s social media team on Thursday, Younis selected his choice of XI which included two compatriots from Pakistan.

Former batting maestro Sachin Tendulkar was the only Indian player to feature on the Pakistan man’s list.

“I will start with two little masters — Hanif Mohammad and Sachin Tendulkar. Why is that? Because they are both little masters,” Younis said.

The all-time leading Test run-scorer for Pakistan opted for South African legend Jacques Kallis in the number three slot, calling him as one of the ‘greatest’ all-rounders to have ever played the game.

“Then the Prince, Brian Charles Lara. Then the King, again another West Indian, Sir Viv Richards. And then Sir Gary Sobers,” Younis added.

As his skipper, Younis elected to go with World Cup-winning Pakistan captain Imran Khan, calling him his all-time favourite cricketer.

For the wicket-keeper’s role, Australia great Adam Gilchrist was Younis’ choice. When it came to the pace battery, the former Pakistan batsman went for a New Zealand-Australia partnership.

“Sir Richard Hadlee. The great companion, the fastest bowler. After that the great, Glenn McGrath from Australia. The way he performed everywhere made me a great admirer of him,” he went on to add.

Sri Lanka stalwart Muttiah Muralitharan completed the XI, taking up the sole spinner’s slot.

Younis, who retired from all forms of cricket after Pakistan’s series against the West Indies last year, made 10,099 runs in 118 Tests for his country, registering 34 hundreds along the way.

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Yuvraj Singh, Gautam Gambhir, Ravichandran Ashwin and other Indian stars show support for Australia's Steve Smith

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Steven Smith has had a really tough week or so ever since being involved in the ball-tampering scandal, in the Newlands Test against South Africa that resulted in a one-year ban for him along with David Warner and a nine-month ban for Cameron Bancroft.

The 28-year old though, accepted full responsibility of his actions and the shame it brought to his country, in a tearful press conference on Thursday.

And ever since pictures and videos circulated of Smith’s emotional media addressal and his arrival in Sydney, Indian cricketers have come in support of the ex-Australian captain.

Among those who have come to the defence of the under-fire trio were Gautam Gambhir, Ravichandran Ashwin, Rohit Sharma, Yuvraj Singh and a few others as well.

Here we take a look at what they had to say about the crisis in Australian cricket.

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Tim Paine hoping to 'repair the damage' after taking on Australia captaincy amidst ball-tampering saga

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Paine became the 46th Test captain of Australia following the scandal.

The first ball had not even been bowled at the Wanderers before new captain Tim Paine signalled a new era for Australian cricket.

At his suggestion, the Australian and South African teams lined up and shook hands with each other before starting play in the fourth and final Test of what has been a fractious and controversial series.

Appointed after former captain Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft were banned following the third Test ball-tampering scandal, Paine said it was a gesture that he hoped would ease the tension between the two teams.

“I’ve been watching soccer,” he said. “I noticed they do that every game and I thought, cricket’s a gentleman’s game.

“I spoke to our players about bringing it in. It’s not something we’ll do every Test match but I think it’s not a bad way to start a Test series.

“It’s something we’ll probably do going forward. I think it’s just a good show of sportsmanship and respect.”

He said he had discussed the idea with South African skipper Faf du Plessis before the toss.

“He was happy to that. I think he thought it was a good idea.”

Paine admitted that relations between the teams needed to be improved.

“There’s been a lot of water gone under the bridge and a bit of tension between the two sides. We want to be super-competitive but we also want to respect the opposition and it was important to show that today.”

Paine said he had not thought too far ahead but he wanted to repair the damage done to the game by the events of the past week which had seen Smith, Warner and Bancroft banished over what has become dubbed ‘Sandpapergate’.

“We’re trying to take it one day at a time, trying to build back the respect of the cricket world, our fans and the cricket public,” said the 33-year-old Tasmanian.

Paine had a talk with Faf du Plessis ahead of the toss in the final Test.

Paine had a talk with Faf du Plessis ahead of the toss in the final Test.

“We know we’ve got a really long journey to get where we want to get to. The last couple of days have been the start of that long journey.”

There was a noticeable lack of the aggression that marked Australia’s approach in the first three Tests.

“I still think it was competitive,” said Paine after a day which had seen South Africa, 2-1 up in the series, pile up 313-6 at stumps.

“There wasn’t too much verbal going back and forth between the sides. We’ve spoken a bit about that as a group that going forward that’s not the way we’re going to play our cricket. It still felt like a Test match.

“We still want to keep a really competitive brand of cricket but there’s got to be times where we’re more respectful of our opposition, of the game of cricket.

“At times we’ve tended to push the boundaries as far as possible. We’ve seen that people probably don’t like that. It’s time for us to change. We’re happy to do that.

“I think it actually suits this group of players. We’re a different group of players than Australia have had for a long time. We haven’t got too many guys that like to verbalise and have that really hard-nosed Australian approach. We want to create an environment where guys can just come in and play cricket and be themselves.

“If we can achieve that I think we can achieve better results as well.

“It is important for us to realise how lucky we are and how privileged we are to be playing cricket for Australia.”

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