Babar Azam picked, Shahid Afridi snubbed as Imam-ul-Haq picks Pakistan’s all-time best XI for ODIs

Babar Azam and Imam-ul-Haq

Pakistani batsman Imam-ul-Haq picked the all-time starting XI of the Pakistan national cricket team. The opening batsman picked only one player from the current squad and it was none other than captain Babar Azam who is rated as one of the best ODI batsmen out there.

For the opening pair of his all-time ODI XI, Imam-ul-Haq picked Saeed Anwar as the number one batsman. Anwar is arguably ranked as the best batsman to have played for the team. Along with him, Babar Azam was backed as an opening batsman by Imam-Ul-Haq in his team.

Citing the reason for Babar Azam’s inclusion in the team, Imam-ul-Haq stated that he found it difficult to pick in the middle order and that is why he picked him as an opener. He stated that the batsman has been consistent in ODIs for the last 7 years. Speaking on a TV show, he explained:

“As I found it very difficult to establish [him] “In the middle order, so I picked Babar Azam as an opener. The way he has performed in ODI cricket over the last seven years, his performances for Pakistan are very good.”

Javaid Miandad, along with Inzamam-ul-Haq and Mohammad Yousuf are the three batsmen picked by Imam-ul-Haq in his all-time ODI XI. The trio was one of the main reasons behind the team’s success in the ODIs and was the backbone of the team in the 50-overs format.

Imam-ul-Haq chose Imran Khan as his leader, who guided Pakistan to victory in the World Cup. The all-rounder was one of the best to have played for the team in all three formats, particularly the ODIs. He was one of the main reasons why Pakistan dominated in the 90s and won the World Cup.

He backed Kamran Akmal as the team’s wicketkeeper-batsman. The batsman claimed that he had a lot of options to choose from but he picked Kamran because he had played many match-winning innings for the team in the ODIs. He explained:

“I will pick Kamran Akmal as the wicketkeeper-batsman. It was a bit difficult for me. There were many options like Moin bhai and Saifi bhai, but I will pick Kamran Akmal because he has many match-winning performances in ODIs.”

In the bowling department, Imam-Ul-Haq picked spin maestro Saqlain Mushtaq while Mohammad Asif was selected with the legendary duo of Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis. The opening batsman did not include Shahid Afridi in the playing XI but backed him as the 12th man in the team. Pakistan has always been a factory of fast bowlers. Akram and Younis were the most threatening bowlers in world cricket.

Imam-ul-Haq picks Pakistan’s best XI for ODI

Here is Pakistan’s all-time ODI starting XI according to Imam-ul-Haq:

Saeed Anwar, Babar Azam, Javed Miandad, Inzamam-ul-Haq, Mohammad Yousuf, Imran Khan (c), Kamran Akmal (wk), Saqlain Mushtaq, Mohammad Asif, Waqar Younis and Wasim Akram.