Dream team

JAVED MIANDAD would love to participate in one match he has been dreaming of for long. That is to figure in a combined India-Pakistan team to take on a World XI. Here's our formidable Indo-Pak. combination with a wish that Miandad's dream comes true.

Sunil Gavaskar and Hanif Mohammad pick themselves as openers.

Gavaskar, the first to cross 10000 runs in Tests, and Hanif, a Test average of 44 and a champion against the fast bowlers with a highest score of 337. An ideal pair. A pity there is no place for the majestic Majid Khan.

At number three we have Zaheer Abbas, once hailed as the Asian Bradman. He wins the nod ahead of stalwarts like G. R. Visvanath, Dilip Vengsarkar, Mohinder Amarnath, Asif Iqbal.

Zaheer has been the most comfortable in all conditions and has come up with huge scores overseas with two double centuries in England. The best man to walk in, just in case the openers fail.

No better batsman than Sachin Tendulkar at number four. He outscores everyone, even the legendary Vijay Hazare.

Javed Miandad is my number five. A master at finishing a job, and the most doughty fighter one can imagine, Miandad, the trusted matchwinner, is my choice to carry the innings.

Kapil Dev is the classic number six with the ability to slaughter any attack. He can whip the fast and spin bowlers with ease.

Lala Amarnath, the crafty cricketer, will be the captain. Blessed with an astute brain, he is the best suited to take on a challenge and get the best out of the boys. Widely respected to command loyalty from all quarters.

Imran Khan walks in at number seven. And Wasim Akram at number eight. What great privilege to have such grand all-rounders.

One was tempted to pick Fazal Mahmood, but Imran and Akram outscore everyone.

Syed Kirmani shall be the undisputed wicketkeeper, ahead of Wasim Bari, who was not so comfortable when the ball did a few things. To have a batsman of Kirmani's calibre at number ten adds to the depth.

Left-arm spinner Bishan Singh Bedi is the only specialist spinner in my team ahead of a number of slow bowlers. He was the only bowler in the sub-continent who never required assistance from the pitch. The team can do with just one spinner, what with fast bowlers like Kapil, Imran and Akram in the ranks along with the versatile Lala Amarnath.

Mohinder Amarnath will be the 12th man for the simple reason that if included in the main team, he can bat at any position and also bowl medium-pace.

The team:

Sunil Gavaskar; Hanif Mohammad; Zaheer Abbas; Sachin Tendulkar; Javed Miandad; Kapil Dev; Lala Amarnath (Captain); Imran Khan; Wasim Akram; Syed Kirmani; B. S. Bedi. 12th man : Mohinder Amarnath. — Vijay Lokapally