Originally Posted by kyear2
George Headley never opened a test innings. When we start forcing people in positions they didn't play regularly or at all (Hutton) to cover other perceived weaknesses and forces as many stars into the team as possible and become too stat driven, this is a team one ends up with. Though Sobers and Worrell actually opened (and together).
Unbeatable, but is it right?
The way I go about this is, I think a balance needs to be struck between the batsman's abilities and his preferred position. I think Headley's ascendancy over Hunte as a batsman is large enough to overcome the positional problem. I know Sobers and Worrell have opened (though I didn't know they have done it together), and that actually illustrates my point in so far that great batsmen tend to do well wherever they are put on the line-up. Many examples could be provided. Such as Lara's preferred position being at 5, but him scoring tons of runs at number 3 when the team needed him to at an average of almost 60. Sehwag prefers to bat at number 4, but has been a hugely successful opener. Sobers did very well when he played up the order, either opening or at number 3 or 4. Same goes for the 3 Ws. They kept alternating their positions, and all of them did very well. Kallis has done fabulous work at both number 3 and 4. Ponting did well at number 5 in the 90s, when he wasn't anywhere near his best. Gavaskar scored 236 when coming in at number 4 against the Windies with India at 0/2. Border played 80 tests at number 3 and 4, and did as well there as he did lower down the order. Dravid did a great job as an opener when the need arose. There are many such examples.
Hutton being the great batsman that he was, is amply suited to the number 3 position. This has the additional benefit of not breaking up perhaps the greatest opening partnership in test history in Hobbs and Sutcliffe. How do you leave out Sutcliffe for Pietersen, May, or Jardine is beyond sense for me. The guy averages 60 for pete's sake. Similarly for Headley, picking him as an opener gives me two very important benefits. First, Viv at number 3, where he was the best Windies ever had, and the best position for him. Plus, it gets in Worrell. This is not about packing in as many stars as possible (otherwise I would have Weekes ahead of Greenidge and Walcott ahead of Dujon). Worrell as a captain is invaluable to a Caribbean side, as many Windies fans would agree. He would bring them all together.
What do you say?