New Delhi: The only current cricketer to be named in ESPNcricinfo's all-time World XI, Indian batting icon Sachin Tendulkar says he finds it "unreal and extraordinary" to be placed alongside legends such as Don Bradman with whom he would have loved to play.
Tendulkar is the only Indian in the team which features four Australians, three West Indians, two Englishmen and a Pakistani.
"It would have been great to play in this dream team, to walk out with Bradman after lunch, or build a partnership with Viv Richards, and talk to Sobers about cricket," Tendulkar told ESPNcricinfo.
"Just playing and having a conversation with them about cricket. I would have liked to have asked (Jack) Hobbs and (Len) Hutton what it was like to play on uncovered wickets, who were the best bowlers they had faced, and of course, the mental aspect of the game," the 37-year-old, who has been in international cricket for over two decades, added.
Tendulkar said he is glad that he played with or watched live nearly 60 per cent of the selected side.
"I played with Malcolm Marshall in county cricket, I played against Viv Richards in an exhibition game, and Lillee bowled to me at the nets at the MRF Pace Academy , when I was 15," he said.
"It was such a thrill. I remember I called my brother and said to him that Dennis Lillee had bowled to me. So to now find myself in this company is unreal. I first met him when I was 12.
Pace legend Wasim Akram, the only Pakistani to have made the elite XI, said it was one of his biggest achievements to be named in the star-studded line-up.
"I never thought I would play for Pakistan , let alone be picked for an all-time World XI like this. It is a very special thing, to be picked by these judges and even more of an honour to be in the same team as guys like Sir Don Bradman, Sir Viv Richards, Sir Garry Sobers, Sachin and the others," he said.
"A lot of people ask me who was the best bowler I ever saw. Imran was great, no doubt, very hardworking and shrewd. Dennis Lillee I never really saw, but people tell you obviously about how good he was. But when I rate a bowler, I look at how he did around the world, on different pitches in England, the subcontinent and Australia, and Malcolm Marshall, I feel, was the best of the lot," he added.
Former Australian wicketkeeper Adam Gilchrist, who currently plays in the Indian Premier League, said, "to be one of only four Australian players to be chosen is an absolute honour, although I do think there were several other wicketkeepers, like Rod Marsh, Ian Healy, Mark Boucher or Alan Knott, who could have easily been picked ahead of me in this team."