Saturday, 26 October 2013

...and yielding to the zero-sum urge

Further to the post below, I kept thinking about the team I'd pick to play the Wisden All-Time XI. This would be my side - each selected at their peak:

1. Geoffrey Boycott
2. Barry Richards
3. Ricky Ponting
4. Brian Lara
5. Jacques Kallis
6. Steve Waugh (c)
7. Adam Gilchrist (wk)
8. Ian Botham
9. Jeff Thomson
10. Glenn McGrath
11.  Muttiah Muralitharan

Had they been available I'd have certainly had Warne, Marshall, Wasim Akram and Sachin. The quantity of batting above is in part a response to the first three of those.

There was a hair between Boycott and Sehwag, who, to my mind, readjusted the boundaries of modern batting. In the end, the thought of Boycott in that dressing room was irresistible - and he knew how to play Malcolm Marshall.

Only Kallis' wickets got him in ahead of Miandad and the great Dravid. Imran is the equal of Botham, but Beefy had that golden arm: he'd probably get Bradman with a wide long-hop. Thommo's there because a game like this one deserves to have the fastest man ever to have bowled running in.

I thought about players from previous eras - CB Fry, Larwood, Ranji - but things change. They couldn't live in the modern game, just as these players might not flourish in theirs. The canyons of time are unbridgeable.





10 comments:

Brian Carpenter said...

Interesting stuff as always, OB.

Personally I would always opt for Gavaskar ahead of Boycott (or either of the openers in the Wisden side), but he always seems to be forgotten about these days when the Indian greats are discussed. Few people seem to go beyond Tendulkar and Dravid.

ɓɸɗɨʂɒʄʄʌʌɑ ⱣⱤⱥⱳⱷš said...

Instead of Beefy Botham, i would have gone with Marshall, and instead of Mcgrath Lillie or Waqar. Imagine what the opposition will think when they see Marshall, Thompson and Lillie coming to bowl (at their peaks), its terrifying to even imagine.

Freyalyn Close-Hainsworth said...

Of course, you do have the problem of Boycott falling out with the other players! A not infrequent occurrence.

John Halliwell said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
John Halliwell said...

It’s pouring down outside, the allotment’s rained off, refurbishing the garden bench will have to wait, decorate the stairs and landing? Oh please, do me a favour. What does an old bloke do? I know, I’ll choose a team from the 1950s to wallop the OB’s lot. And here it is:

Len Hutton

Frank Worrall (C)

Peter May

Everton Weekes

Dennis Compton

Godfrey Evans (WK)

Keith Miller

Jim Laker

Fred Trueman

Ray Lindwall

Frank Tyson

What a team! And that bowling attack - I’ve gone dizzy contemplating it: Tyson, who Benaud believes was faster than Thomson, opening with Lindwall, perhaps the greatest of all fast bowlers of the period, then Trueman, who Fred believed was the finest fast bowler that ever drew breath, and Miller the truly great all-rounder, and then the incomparable Laker.

My great regret is that there is no room for my boyhood hero, Brian Statham. Obviously, cricket should be a twelve a-side game.

Damn it, it has stopped raining.

The Old Batsman said...

Freyalyn, that exactly why he's in there. Gavaskar's an interesting one - there's a genuine case to say he should be. Think his 'commentary' career may have affected opinion on him (seriously).

Mr Halliwell, it would be quite a match...

Cricket Passion said...

Hmmm …This is first time I am not agree with your opinion, in fact it is very difficult to see Wisden All-Time XI without any Indian player , at least you can pick Dravid or Tendulkar in place of Ricky Ponting. Also I am not agree with Gef Boycott name superseding the Gavaskar's  name , I don’t think his commentary skill is nothing to do with his contribution in international Test Cricket.

Cricket Passion said...

Hmmm …This is first time I am not agree with your opinion, in fact it is very difficult to see Wisden All-Time XI without any Indian player , at least you can pick Dravid or Tendulkar in place of Ricky Ponting. Also I am not agree with Gef Boycott name superseding the Gavaskar's  name , I don’t think his commentary skill is nothing to do with his contribution in international Test Cricket.

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