In a country that has produced so many cricketing greats, any opposition cannot afford to blink an eye when playing Pakistan. Currently the fourth most successful side in the history of the format, Pakistan has always been a very good five-day team. In this article, we take a look at the all-time best Pakistan XI in Test cricket history.
Openers: Mudassar Nazar and Saeed Anwar
One of the highest-scoring openers for Pakistan, Mudassar Nazar made his Test debut in 1976. Although he was known to be a very ‘slow’ batsman, Nazar’s impact was enormous when Pakistan toured England or Australia. After retirement, the right-hander held a position as the Head Coach of the Kenyan Cricket Team for a while in 2005.
Saeed Anwar enjoys more popularity in the ODI format, but he has equally done well in Tests. The left-handed opener scored 4052 runs in 55 games and did decently well for his country in the five-day format. Hence, he features in the all-time best Pakistan XI in Test cricket history.
Middle-Order: Younis Khan, Javed Miandad, Inzamam-ul-Haq and Moin Khan (WK)
The highest run-scorer for Pakistan in Tests, Younis Khan was a tough character in the squad. Called the fourth-innings specialist, Younis has an average above fifty, a triple-hundred and a doubled hundred in India against India in Tests. He was also a good captain and a terrific fielder with 139 catches in his account. Younis was recently appointed as the batting coach of the Men’s Team.
One of the greatest batting personalities to have been produced by Pakistan, Javed Miandad will bat at No.4 in this XI. The former coach of the men’s team did not exhibit orthodox technique but found ways to score runs in almost every situation. The second-highest run-scorer for Pak, Javed has an average of 52.57, the highest for his country.
Inzamam-ul-Haq was a brilliant batsman for Pakistan in both Tests and ODIs. The former coach of Afganisthan, Inzy scored a total of 8830 runs in 120 games. At No.6, we have Moin Khan, one of the best wicket-keeper batsman for Pakistan. The player 2741 Test runs apart from executing 148 dismissals behind the stumps.
All-Rounders: Imran Khan (C)
There were very few all-rounders who were better at their trade than Imran Khan. The current Prime Minister of Pakistan, Imran scored 3807 runs and collected 362 wickets in his 88-match Test career. He captained Pakistan in 48 games, and although his win percentage was just 29.16%, if there is an all-time XI for Pakistan in any format, Imran Khan deserves to be the captain for the kind of impact that he used to bring to the table.
Bowlers: Wasim Akram, Yasir Shah, Waqar Younis and Saqlain Mushtaq
Pakistan has always had a fiery bowling attack at their disposal. However, none of it was better than the era where Pak used the field Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis together. A master at swing and seam, Wasim has 414 Test wickets, the highest for his country. Interestingly, Wasim also has a Test double-hundred while batting at No.8.
On the other hand, when it came to reverse swing, Waqar Younis hardly had competitors. Until Dale Steyn broke the record, Waqar had the best strike rate of any bowler with over 200 Test wickets. After retirement, the right-arm pacer has operated as a coach of Pakistan in various spells and profiles.
When Saeed Ajmal was banned in 2014, there were concerns as to who would carry the spin attack. However, in the debut match against Australia itself, by picking 12 wickets, Yasir Shah announced his arrival on the scene. The quickest Pakistan bowler to 50 Test wickets, a feat he achieved in nine games, Yasir once earned the praise by Shane Warne as the ‘best leg-spinner in the world’. Yasir also has a Test century to his name.
Saqlain Mushtaq, the first bowler to master the ‘Doosra’, was a fine off-spinner for Pakistan, collecting 208 wickets in 49 games. He was the architect of the Chennai Test match in 1998-99 when a ten wicket-haul helped Pakistan to execute a 12-run win against India. After retirement, Saqlain helped the England Cricket Team to play spin better, especially on the subcontinent pitches. Hence, he features in this list the all-time best XI for Pakistan in Test cricket.