The Ultimate Test XI is done and the fans have made their votes count, overruling a panel of experts and the SportsMax Zone to pick two spinners in their line-up.

From jump street, the fans looked as if they would not be swayed by the opinions of the Zone and the panel, who had to get their ducks in a row if they wanted the final say on who makes SportsMax’s Ultimate XI.

Whereas all were agreed that India’s Sunil Gavaskar was probably the greatest opener the world has ever seen as was a shoo-in for the first opening spot on offer, the fans disagreed with the panel and the Zone on the other opener. Hands down, Fanalysts believed Gordon Greenidge, despite boasting a lower average than most in the Ultimate XI Test shortlist, was the man for the job.

The Fanalysts were outvoted as the Zone, who had 30% of all votes and the panel, who had another 30, believed Australia’s Matthew Hayden the man to walk to the crease in partnership with Gavaskar.

Then there were other differences of opinion. According to the panel, the greatest middle-order batsmen of all time, read Brian Lara, Sachin Tendulkar, and Sir Vivian Richards.

The Zone team, despite being made up of solely Caribbean journalists, disagreed. Sir Viv, they said could not fill the third spot in that middle order ahead of an Australian, Sir Donald Bradman.

The Fanalysts agreed and put the weight of their 40% of the vote squarely behind the Australian great.

So now the fans missed out on one of their picks for opener and the panel missed out on one of their picks for a middle-order batsman.

At the allrounder position and the wicketkeeper position, there was unison as Fanalysts, Zone and panel believed Sir Garfield Sobers should fill the former position, while Australia’s Adam Gilchrist is the best the world has ever seen don gloves.

It is in the bowling category that the most controversy was expected and that’s where the most variance occurred.

According to the Zone, Malcolm Marshall, Curtly Ambrose, Wasim Akram and Muttiah Muralitharan would provide the greatest bowling attack the world has ever seen.

The panel disagreed.

The panel, believed Marshall a shoo-in, New Zealand’s Sir Richard Hadlee could not be left out, and South Africa’s Dale Steyn was the final pacer to make up a bowling attack that had one spinner in Muttiah Muralitharan.

Hadlee never stood a chance for the Fanalysts, and neither did Steyn for that matter.

For the Fanalysts, a choice between Muralitharan and Warne, the two bowlers with the most wickets in the history of Test cricket, was too difficult to make and they picked both.

That left space for just two pacers and the all-West-Indian pairing of Marshall and Ambrose was the obvious choice.

With 30 per cent of the vote going to Hadlee, and another 30 per cent going to Steyn, Warne easily made his way into the Ultimate XI with the Fanalysts offering him up with their 40.

Based on all the Ultimate XI profiles have told you about these players, tell us who was right.

Were the fans who got their way with Bradman and the two spinners right? Or is there something to be said for the experts who went with Hadlee and Steyn, or even the Zone, who decided on Akram?

Were the Fanalysts accurate in going against the grain with picking Greenidge ahead of Hayden, or were the Zone and the panel correct in overruling them?  

Crazy or not, we are trusting the Fanalysts again with our Ultimate XI ODI team. 

Check out the shortlist below, tell me who you would pick in the comments section on Facebook and Twitter then go and vote after we tell you how wrong you are. Voting begins later today after the SportsMax Zone on SportsMax.tv.

 

Inzamam-ul-Haq is perhaps one of the most well-known and respected Pakistani cricketers of all time. Inzamam made his ODI debut in 1991 in a series against West Indies, where he delivered a good performance, scoring a half-century in one of the two matches he played. Inzamam was handpicked by Pakistani cricketing legend Imran Khan for the 1992 ICC Cricket World Cup to be held in Australia and New Zealand. The relatively unknown player was disappointing at the start of the tournament. However, he started delivering crucial performances at the most important stages. He guided Pakistan to victory in the semi-finals by scoring 60 runs off just 37 balls. This was followed by another side-savings innings of 48 runs, leading to Pakistan’s maiden World Cup triumph.

 

Career Statistics

Full name: Inzamam-ul-Haq

Born: March 3, 1970, Multan, Punjab

Major teams: Pakistan, Asia XI, Faisalabad, ICC World XI, ICL Pakistan XI, Lahore Badshahs, Multan, National Bank of Pakistan, Rawalpindi, United Bank Limited, Yorkshire

Playing role: Batsman

Batting style: Right-hand bat

Bowling style: Slow left-arm orthodox

 

ODI Career: Pakistan (1991-2007)

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

378     350     53  11739  137*    39.52   15812  74.24     10  83  971     144     113     0 

 

Career Highlights

  • Second batsman to score 10,000 runs in One-day Internationals
  • Won Allan Border medal in 2003.
  • 60-run innings from just 37 balls guided Pakistan to 1992 Cricket World Cup final.  
  • 2nd batsman to score 10,000 runs in ODIs
  • Once held record for most half-centuries in ODIs (83)
  • Pakistan’s highest run-scorer in ODIs (11,739)
  • Scored 10 ODI centuries      

With technique and temperament to succeed in every condition and format, Virat Kohli cutting loose is one of the exalted sights of the modern game — be it for India, Delhi or Royal Challengers Bangalore. He is already at the rarefied top of the ODI and T20 formats.  His style is based on the sound fundamentals of batting, topped with the finishing flair of god-gifted genius.     

 

Career Statistics

Full name: Virat Kohli

Born: November 5, 1988, Delhi

Major teams: India, Delhi, India A, India Blue, India Emerging Players, India Red, India Under-19s, Indian Board President's XI, North Zone, Oil & Natural Gas Corporation, Rest of India, Royal Challengers Bangalore, Surrey

Playing role: Top-order batsman

Batting style: Right-hand bat

Bowling style: Right-arm medium

 

ODI Career: India (2008–present)

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

248      239    39    11867    183   59.33    12726   93.25       43     58       1116    121   

 

Career Highlights

  • ICC ODI Player of the Year (2012, 2017, 2018)
  • Highest average (min 5,000 runs) in the history of ODI cricket
  • 2nd most ODI centuries (43)
  • Fastest to 8,000; 9,000; 10,000; and 11,000 runs in ODIs
  • Has scored 5,388 runs in successful run chases at an average of 96.21
  • His 22 hundreds are the most in successful run chases
  • Has scored more than 1,000 runs in ODIs in a calendar year on 7 occasions
  • Reached the 1,000 ODI run mark in a year in record time – 11 innings

Probably the best player of the pull shot, Ponting played almost all the textbook shots to perfection.

He sits firmly enthroned as one of the all-time top Australian batsmen, with only Don Bradman and perhaps Greg Chappell and Allan Border claiming a comparable rank.

While his early days were marred by disciplinary issues and alcohol problems, he overcame them with talent and tenacity to stamp his greatness on the landscape of the game. And then the story was of piling up runs in the most dominating of manners. And when his job with the willow was over, he could prowl the outfield like a panther, swooping down on travelling balls and sending returns homing in on bull’s-eye.

 

Career Statistics

Full name: Ricky Thomas Ponting

Born: 19 December 1974 (age 45), Launceston, Tasmania, Australia

Height: 1.75[1] m (5 ft 9 in)

Batting style: Right-handed

Bowling style: Right-arm medium

Playing role: Batsman

 

ODI Career: Australia (1995–2012)

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

375     365   39     13704    164  42.03  17046    80.39    30      82     1231    162

 

Career Highlights

  • Most capped captain in ODIs (230 matches)
  • Holds the record for scoring the most runs in ODIs as captain(8497)
  • First batsman to score centuries in ODI cricket against all Test-playing nations
  • He holds the record for the most Cricket World Cup matches played (46)
  • Third overall and the first Australian batsman to pass 13,000 One Day International runs
  • Most ODI runs by an Australian (13,704)
  • Most ODI centuries by an Australian (30)
  • Most centuries by an Australian in World Cups (5)
  • Undefeated as captain in World Cups (35 matches)
  • Equal most Cricket World Cups won as captain ( 2)

From a guy who used to play a sheet anchor role for his team and had limited playing shots in his book, Kumar Sangakkara swiftly evolved into an attractive batsman who has almost every cricket shot in his arsenal.

He was always a good back-foot player and was brilliant at playing cut and pull shots. But Sangakkara made changes to his batting style and became a confident front-foot player as well. His cover-drives are still one of the best in the business though he always strived to play straight drives like Sachin.

 

Career Statistics

Full name: Kumar Sangakkara

Born: 27 October 1977, Matale, Sri Lanka

Batting style: Left-handed

Bowling style: Right-arm off-break

Playing role: Wicketkeeper, Batsman

 

ODI Career: Sri Lanka (2000–2015)

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

404       380    41   14234  169    41.98   18048   78.86    25       93       1385   88    402    99

 

Career Highlights

  • ICC ODI Cricketer of the Year (2011 & 2013)
  • 1st Sri Lankan to pass 14,000 runs
  • 2nd most half-centuries in ODIs (93)
  • 1st player to score 4 centuries in a single World Cup
  • Most consecutive centuries in a single World Cup (4)
  • Most runs as wicketkeeper-batsman in ODI history (13,262 runs)
  • First wicketkeeper-batsman to score over 10000 runs in ODIs
  • Most wicketkeeping dismissals in ODI cricket

Retired South African middle-order batsman Jacques Kallis has not been getting a lot of respect lately from the Ultimate XI panellists on the Sportsmax Zone.

Martin Guptill has all the tools to be a prolific Test opener but it is on the One-Day International scene where he has truly made his mark, becoming only one of five batsmen to ever score a double hundred in the format back in 2015 on no lesser a stage than at the World Cup.

Guptill’s 237 not out is still the second-highest ever ODI score, the tally playing no small part in making him the leading runscorer at the 2015 tournament, beating all-time greats like Sri Lanka’s Kumar Sangakarra and South Africa’s AB de Villiers.

Guptill is the first New Zealand batsman to score 6,000 ODI runs and the 34-year-old is not far from becoming the first from his country to score 7,000.  

 

Career Statistics

Full name: Martin James Guptill

Born: September 30, 1986, Auckland

Major teams: New Zealand, Auckland, Barbados Tridents, Derbyshire, Guyana Amazon Warriors, Kings XI Punjab, Mumbai Indians, New Zealand Academy, New Zealand Under-19s, St Kitts and Nevis Patriots, Sunrisers Hyderabad

Playing role: Opening batsman

Batting style: Right-hand bat

Bowling style: Right-arm offbreak

 

ODI Career: New Zealand (2009-Present)

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

183      180     19      6843      237*    42.50    7825    87.45     16       37      694    176     

 

Career Highlights

  • 2nd player to score 200 in a World Cup innings, 5th in ODIs
  • Most runs by an opener and remain unbeaten (237)
  • Only Kiwi to have crossed the 180 run mark three times in ODIs
  • Fastest fifty by a New Zealand batsman (17 balls)

Regularly dubbed the world's best limited-overs batsman, Michael Bevan was an essential part of Australia’s one-day outfit for a decade, especially when orchestrating calm chases in crises that often ended in last-over or last-ball heroics.

He will long be remembered for his pair of sensational innings against West Indies at Sydney in 1996 and New Zealand at Melbourne in 2002, when nerveless batting and juggling of the tail secured nail-biting victories.

Picking the gaps, running hard and knowing the right moment - and place - to hit a boundary were the hallmarks of his success. He was also a fine fieldsman and his left-arm wrist spin, which swung from erratic to more than useful, added to his lure and allowed him to play Tests as a batting allrounder.

 

Career Statistics

Full name: Michael Gwyl Bevan

Born: May 8, 1970, Belconnen, Australian Capital Territory

Major teams: Australia, Chennai Superstars, Kent, Leicestershire, New South Wales, South Australia, Sussex, Tasmania, Yorkshire

Playing role: Batsman

Batting style: Left-hand bat

Height: 1.80 m

 

ODI Career: Australia (1994-2004)

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

232        196        67           6912      108*      53.58     9320      74.16       6           46           450        21       

 

Career Highlights

  • Named as a batsman in Australia's "greatest ever ODI team."
  • He remained not out in 67 of his 196 ODI innings
  • ODI batting average never dropped below 50
  • Credited for initiating the art of finishing matches

A batsman of breathtaking enterprise, AB De Villiers was a cricketer overflowing with talent and the temperament to back it up.

De Villiers is a 360-degree batsman who can hit any ball, anywhere, against any bowler. Indeed, his range of inventive shots has grown as his career has unfolded.

He has been ranked among the top Test and ODI batsmen in the world.

He holds the records for the fastest 50 (16 balls), 100 (31 balls) and 150 (64 balls) of all time in One Day Internationals by any batsmen, and also holds the fastest hundred by a South African in Tests and the fastest 50 by a South African in T20Is.

He is a three-time ICC ODI player of the year, winning the award in 2010, 2014 and 2015.

 

Career Statistics

Full name: Abraham Benjamin de Villiers

Born: February 17, 1984, Pretoria

Major teams: South Africa, Africa XI, Barbados Tridents, Botha XI, Brisbane Heat, Delhi Daredevils, Jacques Kallis Invitational XI, Lahore Qalandars, Middlesex, North Eastern Transvaal, Northerns, Pretoria University, Proteas, Rangpur Riders, Rest of South Africa, Royal Challengers Bangalore, South Africa A, South Africa Under-19s, Titans, Tshwane Spartans

Playing role: Wicketkeeper batsman

Batting style: Right-hand bat

Fielding position: Wicketkeeper

 

ODI Career: South Africa (2005-2018)

Mat        Inns        NO         Runs      HS          Ave        BF           SR         100s        50s     Ct        St

228          218        39           9577      176        53.50     9473      101.09          25          53     176        5

 

Career Highlights

  • Holds the record for the fastest ODI century (31 balls)
  • Holds the record for the fastest ODI 50 (16 balls)
  • Holds the record for the fastest ODI 150 (64 balls)
  • Named ICC ODI Player of the Year thrice

Brian Lara made his ODI debut against Pakistan on November 9, 1990. He made just 11 then but he would go on to amass more than 10,000 runs in his career, which perhaps was not as exceptional as one might have come to expect from one of the greatest batsmen who ever lived.

He made his first ODI hundred, 128, on February 19, 1993, against Pakistan and would add 18 more over the span of the next 14 years until his final game in 2007. His 169 against Sri Lanka in October 1995 was his best score in the limited-overs format, averaging 40.48 over the course of his career.

Along with his 18 ODI hundreds, the little magician from Trinidad also fashioned 63 half-centuries in the 299 matches he played.

 

Career Statistics

Full name: Brian Charles Lara

Born: May 2, 1969, Cantaro, Santa Cruz, Trinidad

Major teams: West Indies, ICC World XI, Marylebone Cricket Club, Mumbai Champs, Northern Transvaal, Southern Rocks, Trinidad & Tobago, Warwickshire

Playing role: Batsman

Batting style: Left-hand bat

Height: 5 ft 8 in

 

ODI Career: West Indies (1990-2007)

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

299         289          32         10405    169     40.48     13086      79.51        19           63          

 

Career Highlights

  • 2nd most runs in ODIs for the West Indies
  • Scored 19 centuries and 63 fifties in ODIs
  • 1st player for the West Indies to pass 10,000 ODI runs
  • Scored 10,405 runs at an average of 40.48

In 2005, he was voted the "World's Scariest Batsman" in a poll of international bowlers. And, they would know after being the recipients of the remorseless and relentless savagery of this dexterous Western Australian destroyer. His strike-rate is amongst the highest in both Tests and ODIs.      

A big-stage player, Gilchrist is the only player to chalk up 50-plus scores in three successive World Cup finals – all three being match-winning efforts.         

 

Career Statistics

Full name: Adam Craig Gilchrist

Born: 14 November 1971 (age 48)

Place of birth: Bellingen, New South Wales, Australia

Height: 1.86 m (6 ft 1 in)

Batting: Left-handed

Role: Wicket-keeper–batsman

 

ODI Career: Australia (1996–2008) 

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

287      279       11    9619       172   35.89    9922     96.94     16      55     1162    149     417     55

 

Career Highlights

  • Named Wisden Cricketer of the year in 2002
  • Won Allan Border medal in 2003.
  • One-Day International Player of the Year  2003
  • One-Day International Player of the Year - 2004
  • Walter Lawrence Trophy 2010

Chris Gayle had a relatively quiet start to his international career but eventually established himself at the top in both Tests and ODIs for the West Indies. His aggressive streak sees him fit into the Virender Sehwag and Viv Richards school of batting. He is unstoppable on his day, smashing hapless bowlers, regardless of whether they bowl pace or spin. Gayle built a niche for himself in international cricket: it gets in the zone, the ball usually disappears. Though his average is on the lower side at 37.83, his 25 centuries and 54 half-centuries mark the most by a West Indian, and that is saying much, given that Brian Lara hails from the Caribbean as well. Gayle is also handy with the ball, bowling his gentle offspin from about nine feet up, he has bamboozled 167 batsmen with variations in flight and pace.

 

Career Statistics

Full name: Christopher Henry Gayle

Born: 21 September 1979 (age 40)

Place of birth: Kingston, Jamaica

Batting style: Left-handed

Bowling style:   Right-arm off-break

Playing role: Opening batsman

 

ODI Career: West Indies (1999– present)

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

301      294    17      10480    215    37.83    12019     87.19      25      54      1128   331   

 

Career Highlights

  • Highest run-scorer for the West Indies in ODIs
  • Second West Indies player (after Brian Lara), and 14th overall, to pass 10,000 runs in ODIs
  • Most centuries by a West Indian (25).
  • In World Cup 2015, he hit the fastest ever ODI double century, against Zimbabwe, off 138 balls
  • Is one of just two batsmen to ever score a World Cup double century

As an opening batsman for Sri Lanka in ODI cricket, Jayasuriya is believed to have revolutionized batting style.

Playing against legendary bowling names like Glenn McGrath, Shane Warne, Wasim Akram, etc., he has smashed runs against all of them. But the revolution came in the way teams approached the first 15 overs where there were fielding restrictions.

Dismissing the convention of opening the innings by carefully building a partnership for your middle order to build on, accelerating later because of wickets in hand, Jayasuriya went on the attack from ball one, increasing the average totals his ODI team was able to achieve.

At the 1996 Cricket World Cup, Jayasuriya’s all-round performance was also a major reason for Sri Lanka’s maiden victory. For his performances he was adjudged the ‘Man of the Tournament’.

 

Career Statistics

Full name: Sanath Teran Jayasuriya

Born:   30 June 1969 (age 50)

Place of birth: Matara, Sri Lanka

Height: 5 ft 7 in (1.70 m)

Batting style: Left-handed

Bowling style: Slow left-arm orthodox

Playing Role: All-rounder, Opening Batsman

 

ODI Career: India (1989–2011)

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

445   433    18     13430    189   32.36      14725     91.20        28      68        1500       270

 

Career Highlights

  • Has scored four 150 + scores in his ODI career and taken four 5-wicket hauls. The most for any player who has achieved both these feats
  • Holds the record for the highest ODI innings by a Sri Lankan, 189 runs against India
  • Only all-rounder to score over 10,000 runs, capture more than 300 wickets and take over 100 catches in ODI cricket.
  • Only all-rounder to score over 1,000 runs and capture more than 25 wickets in Cricket World Cup history
  • Fourth-highest run-scorer in ODIs with 13,430 runs

Sachin Tendulkar holds the record for the highest tally of runs in Test as well as ODI cricket.

He was the first batsman to score a double century in the white ball game. 

He was a nightmare for captains setting the field, as his range and repertoire of strokes had multiple answers to questions posed by bowlers. If there was one stroke from his wide cornucopia which left onlookers spellbound it was his back drive - often just a defensive half-push - that blazed to the straightest part of the ground.

 

Career Statistics 

Full name: Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar

Born: 24 April 1973 (age 47)

Place of birth: Bombay (now Mumbai), Maharashtra, India

Height: 1.65 m (5 ft 5 in)

Batting style: Right-handed

Playing role: Top-order batsman

 

ODI Career: India (1989–2012)

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

463     452     41       18426      200*  44.83  21368   86.23    49       96     2016  195    

 

Career Highlights

  • Leading run-scorer in One-Day Internationals, with 18,426 runs.
  • Holds the record of the highest number of centuries in ODIs (49)
  • Holds the world record for playing the highest number of ODI matches (463).
  • Has scored over 1000 runs in a calendar year in ODIs 7 times
  • In 1998 he scored 1,894 runs, the record for the highest number of runs scored by any player in a single calendar year for ODIs.
  • He is the first male cricketer to score a double-century in one-day cricket.
  • 1997 Wisden Cricketer of the Year
  • 1998, 2010 Wisden Leading Cricketer in the World.
  • 2003 – Player of the tournament in 2003 Cricket World Cup.
  • 2004, 2007, 2010 – ICC World ODI XI.

Matthew Hayden was admittedly a much better Test opener than ODI batsman, which is strange since power and aggression were the hallmarks of his batting. Joining the ranks of Australia’s more notable ODI openers took time, with Hayden going from averaging 25 in 1993 to 54 in 2002.

However, his form would dip from 2003 to 2005, when he averaged at highest, 41 in any calendar year. In 2004 he scored 946 runs in 23 games but just 482 in 16 the following season, and saw his average fall from 41.13 to 32.13. Australia’s selectors duly dropped him.

As his form in Test cricket improved, so did the expectation that he would do well again in the ODI team and the selectors were proven right. Hayden only played two ODIs in 2006, but his average of 51.50 in that year may have prompted a recall and he went to the 2007 World Cup in the Caribbean.

There he showed his worth,  where his domination had no equal. Hayden averaged 73.22 in the tournament, scoring 659 runs with a fractured toe and a broken bone in the other foot. His 66-ball century against South Africa earned him honorary citizenship in St Kitts. To boot, he lifted the World Cup for a second time. That year he played 26 ODIs, batting in 25 and averaged 62.18, his highest since 2002 when the six innings he played yielded 315 runs at an average of 105.

 

Career Statistics

Full name: Matthew Lawrence Hayden

Born: October 29, 1971, Kingaroy, Queensland

Major teams: Australia, Brisbane Heat, Chennai Super Kings, Hampshire, ICC World XI, Northamptonshire, Queensland

Playing role: Opening batsman

Batting style: Left-hand bat

Bowling style: Right-arm medium

Height: 1.88 m

 

ODI Career: Australia (1993-2008)

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

161     155     15      6133     181*   43.80    7767    78.96      10      36      636     87    

 

Career Highlights

  • Former Australia record holder for highest ODI score (181*)
  • 5th fastest century at a World Cup (66 balls)
  • 3 centuries at 2007 World Cup, highest run-getter
  • ODI player of the year 2007
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