Originally Posted by L Trumper
I don't think even second opener is up for debate.
Hobbs - Hutton - Don - Sachin - Viv - Sobers can be considered the batting line up for best XI. And we can probably add Gilly, Marshall, Warne to that list. So probably 9 places filled.
Remaining are generally a fight between Lillee, Imran, Barnes and probably Akram(I personally prefer Davidson if we are to go for left arm variation, having said that with sobers there no need for another left arm) or Murali.
Also the great thing about that batting line up is, if we look at chronologically there are pretty much the best batsman of their era.
Don 29-38, 46-48
Hutton 38, 46-55
Its as if a baton passed from one generation to other. And they all pretty much perfectly fit into the 6 slots. I am not sure whether any future batsman can break into that line up. Would be very interesting to see.
Pretty much agree, though Gavaskar does push Hutton pretty hard. Lara is just a hair behind Tendulkar (but he is behind), Chappell looses out to Richards and Headley and Hammond were just unfortunate to play in the same era as the Don.
I do belive though that if Barry Richards and Mike Procter had played more they would have been certain slections for their positions of #2 and 8 respectively. The last two spots are the difficult ones though I belive that Mcgrath takes one. Hadlee is not in the same class as Mcgrath as he basically played all his cricket in Aus, N.Z and England and his S.C stats and boosted by playing a very weak Sri Lankan infant minnow side.
Bradman, Sobers, Hobbs, Warne and Richards are the Wisden cricketers of the Century, Tendulkar's numbers are beyond reproach, Marshall is the greatest fast bowler to play the game, who succeeded everywere and againts everyone and who dispite a changing and aging W.I team was the greatest match winner who never lost a test series and only four matches as an opening bowler (his prime). Mcgrath's case is similar to Tendulkars and he was also a match winner. Hutton played againts the greatest attacks bridged by a war and a horendous injury and broke Bradman's record with the great man at cover when he was 21 facing Tiger O'Reilly. Gilly changed the game while batting like Viv and keeping to the magician like a genius.
Mcgrath is the most contentious of those listed above, but with time I belive that we will appreciate more what he has accomplished. Until then he will fight with Barnes and Lillee for his place.