I'd speculated here as to how many, or rather how few, professional players it would take to beat a club team. As with all things, someone else had got there first.
The inaugural Wisden Almanack, published in 1864 ['post-free for 13 stamps' at the time - worth a little bit more now] reported on Parr's team in Australia, 'including scorecards of matches in which EM Grace and either Jackson or Tarrant had taken on and heavily defeated elevens of places like Otago and Castlemaine'. I like the 'heavily'.
EM, older and possibly even more maverick brother of WG, 'had on one occasion singly challenged the best six of the opposition, batting first and making an unbeaten century'.
And even as the Grace dynasty rose in Downend, learning the game on their orchard pitch, the All England Eleven would take on teams of up to 22 players in odds matches, rarely losing.
NB: Derek Birley's Social History Of English Cricket points out that John Wisden's Almanack also included 'a short history of China, results of the classic horse races and useful facts about coinage and canals'. He worked up the formula after that, obviously...