New Delhi, Feb 27: England's limited overs skipper Eoin Morgan has picked up his all-time Playing XI and named his teammate and former England skipper Alastair Cook as its captain for the Lord's Cricket Ground official social media.
There are two Indians (Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Anil Kumble) in the all-time eleven named by Morgan, but surprisingly the list doesn't features Indian cricketing legend Sachin Tendulkar, who is the leading run-scorer across all formats (18426 ODIs & 15,921 Tests).
Absence of Tendulkar from the list is surprising for he has been widely hailed as the second best batsman to have played the game after Sir Donald Bradman. Even the legendary Australian batsman, once said Tendulkar closely resembled his batting style.
Tendulkar is the only batsman to have scored 100 centuries (49 ODIs, 51 Tests) and aggregated over 33,000 runs.
Morgan's team comprises two Australians in Ricky Ponting, and Mitchell Johnson, one West Indian in Brian Lara, three South Africans in Jacques Kallis, AB de Villiers and Dale Steyn and one Sri Lankan in Kumar Sangakkara.
The list has veteran pacer James Anderson, another English player apart from Cook.
Revealing his all-time XI Morgan said, "Opening the batting for me is Alastair Cook (England) and Jacques Kallis (South Africa). The reason being to heavy run-scorers and the two leaders of their time. I think they'll both go down as all time greats."
Austrlain legend Ricky Ponting is at No. 3, who the England cricketer feels changed the dynamics of the game for his country.
At No. 4, Morgan placed West Indies batting legend Brian Charles Lara, whom the left-handed batter said he tried to emulate several of his shots.
"Somebody I had huge admiration for growing up as a cricketer and tried to emulate a lot of his shots. It's Brian Charles Lara," said the left-handed batsman.
Another South African batting legend AB de Villiers has been placed at No. 5 by the English limited-overs skipper. De Villiers is followed by Sri Lankan batting great Kumar Sangakkara, who he feels can fit in every format of the game, at No. 6.
At No. 7, Morgan has put former India skipper and wicket-keeper batsman MS Dhoni. Dhoni, according to Morgan, is a huge icon in India and is someone who has led them to a World Cup victory and to several overseas wins.
At No. 8, Morgan has put another Indian in legendary spinner Anil Kumble, who will go down as the all-time greatest spinner. The Irish cricketer feels lucky to have played under this gentleman in the Indian Premier League for the Royal Challengers Bangalore.
At No. 9, 10 and 11 are pacers James Anderson (England), Dale Steyn (South Africa) and Australian left-arm quick Mitchell Johnson who can rattle any formidable batting attack.
"At nine, ten, and eleven are my pace attack. Taking the new ball are James Anderson along with Dale Steyn. Two very formidable cricketers. Dale with a bit more pace, and Jimmy Anderson the king of swing. So I think the combination with the new ball will work wonders," added Morgan.
"At number 11 will be Mitchell Johnson. Left-arm fast bowler who has devastated the English batting lineup over the years and certainly has a huge ability to swing the ball," Morgan added further.
Morgan's all-time XI:
1. Alastair Cook (Eng)
2. Jacques Kallis (SA)
3. Ricky Ponting (Aus)
4. Brian Lara (WI)
5. AB de Villiers (SA)
6. Kumar Sangakkara (SL)
7. MS Dhoni (Ind)
8. Anil Kumble (Ind)
9. James Anderson (Eng)
10. Dale Steyn (SA)
11. Mitchell Johnson (Aus)