Cricinfo completed its selection for an all-time World XI.
I have no complaints about the final eleven, but Cricinfo has left one question unanswered: who should captain the side?
The World XI combines some of the greatest players in history, with ego’s to match. It would require someone special to earn the respect of these players and get them playing as a team.
The World XI: Jack Hobbs, Len Hutton, Don Bradman, Sachin Tendulkar, Viv Richards, Garry Sobers, Adam Gilchrist, Malcolm Marshall, Shane Warne, Wasim Akram, Dennis Lillee.
So who to pick as captain?
Adam Gilchrist and Sachin Tendulkar are both out of the question. They seem too gentle to captain this team.
And as a rule, I don’t think fast bowlers should captain any side, so that is another three out of the question.
Garry Sobers has enough on his plate as the team’s allrounder and Jack Hobbs never captained his county of country, ruling him out too.
So that leaves me with Len Hutton, Don Bradman, Viv Richards and Shane Warne as possible captains. Four formidable cricketers.
The most exciting choice would be to pick Warne (“the greatest captain Australia never had”), but I am not sure he is the man to lead this eleven.
Warne’s captaincy is about being daring and inventive. Great when your the underdog, but the World XI is just about dominating the opposition into submission.
That’s something you could leave up to Richards, who never lost a Test series as captain of the West Indies and won the first two editions of the World Cup. And Richards is a man who knows how to handle fast bowlers off course.
But he won’t be my pick for captaining the World XI.
And neither will Hutton, despite his cunning captaincy of England on some of the hardest tours ever in Australia en West Indies, leading England to victories there.
Lets be honest. There really is only one man fit to captain the all-time World XI. The greatest cricketer ever: Donald Bradman.
In every sense a world beater, both as batsman and captain, Bradman is the natural leader for the all-time World XI.