Ranatunga finds fault with Benaud's world XI

Published: Sunday, August 29, 2004, 23:53 [IST]
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New Delhi:Setting off a debate over Australian cricket legend Richie Benaud's choice for world XI, former Sri Lankan skipper Arjuna Ranatunga has objected to the exclusion of bowlers like Muttiah Muralitharan and Wasim Akram from the elite list.

The controversial but highly successful Sri Lankan off-spinner Muralitharan would figure in Ranatunga's all time team and so would Pakistan's legendary bowler Wasim Akram.

Benaud's team has only one slow bowler in Shane Warne.

"In my team Murali will be first choice for a spinner. I prefer him as he is a better bowler. Even in the record books, he will come earlier than Shane Warne," said Ranatunga, who led Lanka to victory in the 1996 World Cup.

"Wasim Akram should also be there. These two will get into my side any day, whether it is a One-day or Test team," he said.

Benaud's XI comprised Jack Hobbes (England), Sunil Gavaskar (India), Don Bradman (Australia), Sachin Tendulkar (India), Viv Richards (West Indies), Imran Khan (Pakistan), Garfield Sobers (West Indies), Adam Gilchrist (Australia), Shane Warne (Australia), Sidney Barnes (England) and Dennis Lillee (Australia).

On Tendulkar, Ranatunga said, "He is the best I have ever seen. Unfortunately, Tendulkar is struggling with injuries and form but I think, class cannot be kept out for long. So he will come back strongly soon," Ranatunga said.

Tendulkar is at present suffering from "tennis elbow" and had to miss out on the Holland tri-series which was won by Australia on Saturday.

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