Marc's ratings part 1 - opening batsmen
My first criteria is opening batsmen - I considered the ability of the 2, plus the way I felt the 2 would combine as a pairing. From best to worst I rank them as follows:
Blakus - with Hayden and Anwar as a pairing, both are capable of taking any attack apart, and if they got going together then it beats any other pairing IMO.
Noble One - One half of the pairing in Ganguly is part of arguably the best ODI opening pairing ever but Smith was just a tad below the top notch of ODI openers, hence me placing them 2nd.
Pothas - maybe a bit controversial but Gilchrist was a top opener, and Trescothick a true English great ODI player.
weldone - The modern ODI opening pairing requires 2 aggressors IMO, Kirsten's bat through the innings doesn't for me do that, so even with Jayasuriya with him, I can't put them any higher than the 4th best pairing here.
G.I.Joe - Great though he is in Tests, Sehwag hasn't quite done as well in ODIs for me yet. Watson is also slightly unproven so these 2 are ranked 5th, although come the end of their careers they could easily be right up the top of the tree.
honestbharani - Chanderpaul has a good record as an opener, but didn't do it enough for this pairing to be rated too highly in my eyes, in spite of Boon being more than capable at the other end.
Himannv - The other half of the best pairing of all time is also one of the top batsmen in ODI history. Unfortunately for him he's paired with a rather too much of a hit-or-miss man in Kaluwitherana, hence the lowly ranking here.
Cevno - As with weldone, the lack of a 2nd aggressive opener costs here. Gayle is definitely up to the case, but I'm afraid Gavaskar's over-riding ODI case for me is his 36* in 60 overs.
Pskov - Dilshan's recent improvement in his ODI batting doesn't compensate for the rest of his career when comparing him to some of the other partnerships above, especially when paired with Stewart who was also far from being one of the top echelon of opening batsmen.
Somerset - 2 words tell you why this pairing takes bottom spot for me: Michael Vaughan. Shame for Knight who was clearly a good opener.
To show how tricky it is to split these players, I've made 3 changes in team rankings in the process of writing this and only 3 of the 10 have not been moved!
marc71178 - President and founding member of AAAS - we don't only appreciate when he does well, but also when he's not quite so good!
Anyone want to join the Society?
Beware the evils of Kit-Kats - they're immoral apparently.