Originally Posted by Monk
Yeh, but surely for the sake of the discussion, you're fitting them in to a team setting somehow?
Which is why most people pick four, then have Sobers as an extra. Therefore discussion on whether you include Imran as fifth option is somewhat relevant.
If you want to consider the batting component while selecting the best possible bowling attack then we make the assumption that a top 6 consisting of Hobbs-Hutton-Bradman-Lara-Tendulkar-Gilchrist would make enough runs to defend. For the sake of argument we'll say enough runs is about 350.
You also then make the assumption that Imran-Marshalll-Lillee-Warne-Murali would then knock over the opposition's batting order for less runs, on any type of wicket
, even though their top 6 would be about as strong.
The advantage of playing 3 quicks plus Warne and Murali is that the attack has maximum potency on a variety of wickets. On a flat track that gives the fast bowlers absolutely nothing you really need 2 high-quality spinners operating at both ends to bowl-out a high-class team twice in 5 days. At least I think so.