Sachin Tendulkar was the only current cricketer named in ESPNcricinfo’s all-time Test World XI which did not include Australian captain Ricky Ponting and the likes of Brian Lara, Glenn McGrath, Sunil Gavaskar.
Tendulkar has been chosen at number four batting position along with legends like Don Bradman, Vivian Richards, Garry Sobers and Shane Warne.
Others in the World XI, dominated by Australians and West Indians, were Jack Hobbs, Len Hutton, Adam Gilchrist, Malcolm Marshall, Wasim Akram and Dennis Lillee.
Gavaskar and Lara found themselves in the second World XI along with Barry Richards, George Headley, Wally Hammond, Imran Khan, Alan Knott, Bill O’Reilly, Fred Trueman, Muttiah Muralitharan and SF Barnes.
Ponting was not in any of the two teams, the same as McGrath and India’s world Cup winning captain Kapil Dev.
The jury comprised one former captain from each of the top Test-playing teams -- Ian Chappell, Clive Lloyd, Tony Greig, Duleep Mendis, Ali Bacher, Intikhab Alam, John Wright, Ajit Wadekar -- and four cricket historians and writers.
Warne, Gilchrist and Akram were the other players from the last two decades to make it to the XI, which featured seven players who made their debuts after 1970.
Four Australians, three West Indians, two Englishmen, an Indian and a Pakistani make up the XI.
Three players were unanimous choices, figuring in the first XIs of each of the 12 members of the jury (each juror was asked to pick a first XI and a second) -- Don Bradman, Garry Sobers and Shane Warne, each of whom got the maximum points possible in the exercise, 60. Tendulkar followed with 51 points.
The biggest surprise the XI threw up was the gap between Warne and Muralitharan, the two leading wicket-takers in cricket history. Muralitharan made it to the World Second XI, tallying 34 points fewer than Warne.
The closest battles were for one of the opening spots and for number five. Gavaskar lost out to Hobbs by one point and Headley by two to Richards.
Hutton (47 points) partners Hobbs at the top. They are followed by Bradman, Tendulkar, Richards and Sobers. While there was no competition to Sobers for the all-rounder’s spot, Imran (19) narrowly edged out Keith Miller to make it to the Second XI.
Gilchrist beat Alan Knott to the wicketkeeper’s spot by eight points. The next closest contender was Kumar Sangakkara, who got nine points.
The bowling positions were all decided by handsome margins. Three of cricket’s most highly rated fast bowlers -- Dennis Lillee, leading with 48 points, Wasim Akram and Malcolm Marshall (in addition to Sobers, who could bowl left—arm fast, spin and chinamen) -- accompany Warne.