Kumar Sangakkara is one of Sri Lanka's greatest batsman of all time © Getty Images
Kumar Sangakkara is one of Sri Lanka’s greatest batsman of all time © Getty Images

We have seen cricketers pick their all time XI in the last week or so. There has always been a debate or discussion when some of the heavyweights like Sachin Tendulkar, or MS Dhoni get left out of the cricketer’s all time XI. While it is alright to assess their choice, one cannot be too critical off it as it is their personal choice. For example England captain Eoin Morgan and Sri Lankan legend Kumar Sangakkara have not picked Tendulkar in his, while others like Ian Bell, Angelo Mathews, Jason Gillespie and Brendon McCullum have picked the little master in theirs. Some of them have also slightly tilted in picking their own countrymen as well. READ: Kohli, Gayle among others in Warne’s best T20 team

For instance McCullum has picked Trent Boult and Tim Southee in his team as his fast bowlers ahead of greats like Glenn Mcgrath, Wasim Akram and others. While the two are extremely talented bowlers, New Zealand have had other greats on the department. McCullum admits that he picked the duo as he has seen them transforming New Zealand from an ordinary team to a “tough to beat” team under his captaincy. READ: Sachin Tendulkar only Indian in Brendon McCullum’s all-time XI

Another important thing to be noted in everyone’s selection is that they have picked most players with or against whom they have played against. If that was not the case, how on earth does the great Don Bradman not make it to anyone’s list?

It gives the fans an idea of who some of the current players considered the best in their time. Morgan reveals that he put Brian Lara in his list as he watched and emulated the West Indies legend while growing up.

Many fans, journalists, critics will surely have a different all time XI, and not everyone will agree with it. But the person drafting it will surely have his reasons of including one player over the other. People who grew up in the 70s and 80s will have a different XI when you compare it to the people who grew up in the 90s and after that. There are great cricketers in every generation and the choice will obviously change with each generation.

The fact that Gillespie has picked Akram, Curtly Ambrose and McGrath does not necessarily mean, that they are the best and cannot be looked down upon people who pick Dale Steyn or James Anderson in their place. The fact that Morgan did not pick Tendulkar must not be looked down upon, as he was just giving his opinion.

Let’s look at everyone’s team from a neutral’s point of view and try to understand their reasons, without judging them.

(Pramod Ananth is a reporter at CricketCountry. He has represented Karnataka table tennis under-15, and is a hardcore supporter of Liverpool FC. His Twitter handle is @pramz)