1. Sunil Gavaskar
2. Roy Fredericks
3. Ian Chappell*
4. Brian Lara
5. Keith Miller
6. Frank Woolley
7. Farohk Engineer †
8. Kapil Dev
9. Jason Gillespie
10. John Snow
11. Derek Underwood
12. Michael Clarke
In the end, I am very happy with this team.
The early rush and consequent taboo-ing of many great quick bowlers meant that selections had to be a little more “selective” than in an uncompromised draft. The pace attack I selected has plenty of variety and I believe the capacity to take twenty wickets. Miller is an ATG quick, no doubt, and his average and SR are phenomenal. Snow has a great reputation, he was before my time, but Ian Chappell rates his as the best quick he faced. That says a lot considering the era. Gillespie, remembered as the third bowling cog in the McGrath/Warne era, is another outstanding, somewhat underappreciated quick. Many a good batsman said he was trickier to face than Warne. Kapil, a clever and skillful swing bowler will bowl all day if need be. Underwood provides a first rate spin option with his left armers, and if conditions suit spin, he will rip through the opposition. Engineer was chosen specifically as a player who can keep to spin effectively, and in partnership with Underwood damage would be done. Woolley can provide some steady left arm medium pace as required.
Two openers who compliment each other Fredericks and Gavaskar, left and right, flamboyant and disciplined, Gavaskar is, in my opinion, history’s greatest opener. Fredericks an aggressive left hander. My middle order will score big and score quick. Chappell, Lara, Miller and Woolley combine left and right handedness with highly aggressive play. All tough characters, and tough cricketers. Engineer and Kapil at 7 and 8 provide a lot of depth, and I am the only drafter to have a double century maker at 9.
This is a draft focus of mine, and I am happy here. Fielding matters a lot. Chappell, Lara, Miller and Woolley are four of the top ten slippers of all time, and all can field elsewhere equally comfortably. Fredericks is a great in-fieldsman, and Kapil, Gillespie and Snow will do the work in the outfield. Engineer (sometimes forgotten) was an outstanding wicketkeeper, tidy and dynamic. 12th man Clarke is one of the great modern fielders.
Chappell is a great tactical captain, and a great leader of men. Miller will provide VC support, and Kapil, Gavaskar and Lara all captained their countries.
Miller. Enough said. Lara, one of the top five bats of all time, and ultra aggressive. A big partnership between Lara and Miller would be the ultimate.