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The all-time Pakistan Test XI, as based on the ICC rankings

by Wisden Staff 5 minute read

Pakistan has been the birthplace of a number of legends to take the field in Test cricket over the years. We pick an all-time Pakistan Test XI, which is based solely on the ICC rankings.

To help us make the XI, we have followed a few rules: the five highest-ranked batsmen, the highest-ranked wicketkeeper, the top-ranked all-rounder and four highest-ranked bowlers have been selected. We’ve also ensured there is at least one spinner and at least three seamers in the XI.

Hanif Mohammed (wk)

All-time batting ranking: 91, peak batting rating: 819
55 Tests, 3,915 runs @ 43.98

The Original Little Master was flamboyant and has a high score of 337 in his career. He batted 970 minutes for his triple ton, one of the great match-saving knocks, making it the longest innings in Test history.

Javed Miandad

All-time batting ranking: 43, peak batting rating: 885
124 Tests, 8,832 runs @ 52.57

One of the greatest players from Pakistan, Miandad was also a shrewd leader, who led his team in 34 Tests. He started his career with a hundred, and ended with 23 centuries in total, including six double tons. He’s somewhat out of place as an opener, but did do the job on three occasions.

Younis Khan

All-time batting ranking: 46, peak batting rating: 880
118 Tests, 10,099 runs @ 52.05

The leading run-scorer for Pakistan in Tests, Younis excelled under adversity and remains the only player from the country to score more than 10,000 runs in the format. He also scored a triple ton and five double centuries and ended his career with 34 Test hundreds.

Mohammad Yousuf

All-time batting ranking: 15, peak batting rating: 933
90 Tests, 7,530 runs @ 52.29

Mohammad Yousuf is the top-ranked Pakistan player in the ICC Test rankings and the only player from the country to achieve a high of above 900 rating points. He had a stunning average against England and West Indies, averaging a combined 75.36 against them, whilst scoring 13 of his 24 Test tons against them.

Inzamam-ul-Haq

All-time batting ranking: 62, peak batting rating: 870
120 Tests, 8,830 runs @ 49.60

An all-time Pakistan Test team would be incomplete without Inzamam-ul-Haq. He is only one of the four Pakistan batsmen to score a triple ton in the format and remains the third highest run-scorer in Tests from the country. The technically sound player also smashed 48 sixes in his career.

Misbah-ul-Haq

All-time batting ranking: 77, peak batting ranking: 842
75 Tests, 5,222 runs @ 46.62

The former Pakistan skipper once scored fifties in six consecutive innings and is joint-fifth, though with plenty of others, on the list of most hundreds in consecutive innings, reaching three figures three times in a row in 2014. Misbah led the side in 56 games and averaged 46.17 when he led the side, as against 38.76 when he was not the skipper, and guided Pakistan out of the mire of the ball-tampering scandal to the No.1 world ranking in 2016.

Imran Khan

All-time all-rounder ranking: 6, peak all-rounder rating: 517
88 Tests, 362 wickets @ 22.81
88 Tests, 3,807 runs @ 37.69

Imran Khan is the highest-ranked all-rounder from Pakistan in the ICC list, and not without reason. He is also ranked No.3 in the bowler’s list, and his batting heroics can in no way be ignored either. One of the most charismatic captains there has been, Imran averaged 52 with the bat and 20 with the ball when he was leading his side. He ended with eight Player of the Series awards in Tests and is one of the few players to pick up a five-for and score a hundred in the same Test match.

Fazal Mahmood

All-time bowling ranking: 32, peak bowling rating: 895
34 Tests, 139 wickets @ 24.70

Fazal Mahmood played only 34 Tests but has been bestowed with heavy praise for his contribution to Pakistan cricket. The fast bowler took just 22 innings to scalp 100 Test wickets and ended his career with four ten-wicket match hauls. His best match figures as skipper are the 12-100 that he picked up against West Indies in 1959, the fourth-best haul in Tests by a captain.

Waqar Younis

All-time bowling ranking: 12, peak bowling rating: 909
87 Tests, 373 wickets @ 23.56

The Pakistan quick was at his peak from 1990 to 1994, where he picked up 86 wickets in just 17 Tests at an average of 21.88 away from home at a strike rate of 39.2. He became the captain of the side when he was just 22 years old and picked up 67 wickets in 17 games that he led, with best match figures of 13-135.

Yasir Shah

All-time bowling ranking: 42, peak bowling rating: 878
46 Tests, 235 wickets @ 31.08

The lone spinner in the side, Yasir Shah is the fastest bowler to 200 Test wickets, reaching the milestone in 33 Tests. He has five Player of the Series awards to his name and has made Pakistan a force in Asia, where he has picked up 164 wickets in just 26 Tests at an average of 25.39.

Shoaib Akhtar

All-time bowling ranking: 59, peak bowling rating: 855
46 Tests, 178 wickets @ 25.69

The Rawalpindi Express was especially lethal in Asia, where the conditions were not always conducive to fast bowling. Akhtar picked up 125 wickets in Asia at an average of 24.24 and a strike rate of 44.50: his best figures in any continent. His method can be gleaned from the fact that 64 of his Test wickets were taken bowled. Akhtar was coming for your stumps, and he was going to get them.

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