My fifth selection kinda completes the first phase of this process. I had to think through these five positions in depth and take the final call after much deliberation. The remaining six, on the other hand, are sure shots in any of my XIs. For example, the spinner of my choice here is Shane Warne.
Arguably the greatest spin bowler of all time, Warne looks like a certainty in everyone's all-time XI. Honestly, he shouldn't be. Murali is his equal in every way, and if you look at cold stats, he is probably superior to Shane. We should see Murali's name in half of these dream teams. But we don't.
I select Warne for the same reasons as others. He had bucket loads of match winning quality, a sense of theater, that beautiful-beautiful bowling action, the never say die spirit, and a sharp cricketing brain that plotted the batsman's downfall many overs in advance.
This doesn't mean his stats are bad.
Mat Inns Balls Runs Wkts BBI BBM Ave Econ SR 4w 5w 10
145 273 40705 17995 708 8/71 12/128 25.41 2.65 57.4 48 37 10
Except against India anywhere and versus West Indies in West Indies, Warne excelled against all other opposition. He was a great strategist and a useful lower order bat. And he seems to be a good guy to have with you in post-match festivities.