Christopher Henry Gayle is arguably the greatest One-Day International batsman the West Indies has ever produced but today his innings in the Ultimate XI ODI edition came up short.

Gayle had, yesterday, avoided the cut and made the final six among contestants vying for the honour of being one of the two best openers the game has ever seen.

According to the SportsMax panel of experts, Rohit Sharma and Sachin Tendulkar would form the greatest partnership the game to ever grace an ODI cricket pitch.

That would leave other greats like South Africa’s Hashim Amla, Sri Lankan legend Tillakaratne Dilshan, Pakistan’s Saeed Anwar, and, of course, Gayle as bystanders.

According to the SportsMax Zone, Sharma and Tendulkar are also the best it could come up with from the shortlist of 12, of course, the Zone did not do the culling of the herd the panel did yesterday.

For the unitiated, Rohit Sharma has scored as many ODI double hundreds as there are people who have scored them, while Tendulkar is by far and away, the heaviest ODI runscorer in the history of the sport and their picks may be hard to disagree with.

Unless, of course, you’re a Fanalyst.

Fanalysts have, so far, chosen Chris Gayle as one of their two openers and have also disagreed with the choice of Tendulkar to be the man to join him, instead going for Sharma.

Tendulkar, is at this point, the reserve option for the Fanalysts, but that could all change.

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Saeed Anwar almost never hit a ball in anger, though the 938 boundaries and 97 sixes he struck over the course of his 14-year career would suggest otherwise. But in Anwar, grace and timing were equal to great power. The batsman was capable of destroying most bowling attacks the world had to offer at the time and the margin of error was very small for anyone facing the Pakistani. Anwar’s 194 was once the highest ODI score ever achieved until Sachin Tendulkar put paid to the record. Anwar’s foot movements were the picture of efficiency, little shifts of weight giving him the leverage to punish anything slightly offline. His favourite shots meant cover fielders had a lot of work to do recovering balls from the boundary, but they could at least forget about cutting them off, so good was the placement Anwar showed throughout his career.

   

Career Statistics

Full name: Saeed Anwar

Born: September 6, 1968, Karachi, Sind

Major teams: Pakistan, Agriculture Development Bank of Pakistan, Karachi, Lahore, United Bank Limited

Playing role: Opening batsman

Batting style: Left-hand bat

Bowling style: Slow left-arm orthodox

 

ODI Career: Pakistan (1989-2003)

Mat    Inns    NO     Runs     HS     Ave      BF          SR        100s     50s    4s          6s     

247     244      19     8824      194    39.21   10938     80.67     20          43     938        97

 

Career Highlights

  • Pakistan's leading century-maker in ODIs (20)
  • Broke VIV Richards 13-y-o ODI record score in amassing 194
  • Most runs for Pakistan (12,113)
  • Wisden Cricketer of the year in 1997
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