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Windies top shots


MK

Windies top shots

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THE VOTES ARE IN, they have been counted and there are three West Indians in the BBC Sport greatest One-Day International XI of all time.

Master blaster Sir Viv Richards, the brilliant Brian Lara and the swashbuckling Christopher Gayle, are in the elite XI.

Over the last week, readers of Sportsday Live on the BBC Sport website have been voting for the different components of the team from a list of players nominated by the Test Match Special team.

The only criterion was that the players must have appeared in a One-Day International. Performances in World Cups did not carry any extra weight.

That squad is broken down into opening batsmen, middle-order batsmen, all-rounders, wicketkeepers, pace bowlers and spin bowlers.

Tens of thousands of votes were received and the results were revealed at the Tuffers And Vaughan Show and then discussed by former England players Michael Vaughan and Ashley Giles, and former Australia bowler Jason Gillespie.

Gayle earns his pick as one of the most feared opening batsmen in the history of the One-Day game. He has more tons (21) than any other West Indian.

Lara, who played 299 matches, and is the only West Indian with more than 10 000 One-Day runs.  Most famous for his individual records in Test cricket, Lara is one of only three non-Asian batsmen (along with Australia’s Ricky Ponting and South Africa’s Jacques Kallis) to have registered more than 10 000 ODI runs.

Of his 19 hundreds, 12 of them have been scored batting at number three, five of them opening and two batting at number four.

Sir Viv, with a maroon cap and chewing gum, destroyed the world’s best attacks and had a strike rate of 90 and an average of 47.

He was a two-time World Cup winner and had a Man Of The Match performance in the 1979 final. However, it is for an unbeaten 189 against England that he is best remembered, an ODI record that stood for 13 years.

The majestic Sachin Tendulkar, who has the records for most ODIs, most ODI runs, most ODI hundreds, was, as expected, chosen as Gayle’s opening partner.

A.B. de Villiers, arguably the best batsman in the game at the moment, earns a spot in the middle order with compatriot Jacques Kallis, Lara and Richards.

Dashing Australian Adam Gilchrist was an easy choice as the wicketkeeper. Omnipresent at the top of the Australia order during their World Cup successes of 1999, 2003 and 2007, Gilly is the only man to have scored half-centuries in three successive finals.

The fast bowlers are Glenn McGrath, fellow Aussie Brett Lee and Pakistan’s Wasim Akram, the finest left-arm swing bowler of all-time. The first man to 500 ODI wickets, Wasim was the leading wicket-taker in the 1992 World Cup, to date Pakistan’s only success.

The irrepressible Shane Warne was the spinner. Other bowlers may have played more matches, taken more wickets and appeared in more than two World Cups, but Warne’s impact on the One-Day game was profound. His attacking mindset ensured spin was no longer seen as simply a means of drying up the runs, and his respective figures of 4-29 and 4-33 in the semi-final and final of Australia’s triumphant 1999 World Cup are those of a man who always rose to the occasion.

The full team is: Sachin Tendulkar, Chris Gayle, Brian Lara, Viv Richards, A.B. de Villiers, Jacques Kallis, Adam Gilchrist, Shane Warne, Wasim Akram, Brett Lee and Glenn McGrath. (MK)

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