Auction draft II - ODI voting thread
After everyone's named their sides, which I list below - which do you think is best?
R Kaluwitharana (wk)
H Cronje (c)
S al Hasan
G Chappell (c)
B Haddin (wk)
V Richards (c)
R Dravid (wk)
S Fleming (c)
B McCullum (wk)
S Waugh (c)
M Boucher (wk)
R Ponting (c)
AB de Villiers (wk)
MS Dhoni (wk)
Kapil Dev (c)
A Gilchrist (wk) (c)
A Stewart (wk)
C Lloyd (c)
A Flower (wk)
S Warne (c)
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!
Marc's ratings part 2 - middle order
For middle order I have only counted batsmen between 3 and 6, as other players are covered by other categories later on. From best to worst I rank them as follows:
honestbharani - This line-up just oozes class for me, without an easily identifiable weak link, and topped off with one of the best finishers in history in Hussey.
G.I.Joe - In Viv Richards, we see another of the greatest batsmen in ODI's - personally I rate him higher than anyone else. Waugh was primarily an opener, so that does slightly detract and possibly costs top spot, as Jones and Dravid making up a powerful contingent capable of dealing with almost any conditions.
Blakus - As a player of yesteryear, Zaheer Abbas often slips under the radar when we think of ODI batsmen, but his talent in this group is ideally complemented by the dependable (if a little selfish) Kallis, the incredibly talented and flexible Dhoni and the mercurial Hooper. IMO, the placing of Hooper so low does deduct a bit from the unit, leaving him potentially batting out of position.
Pskov - A big West Indian flavour here sees some fine players topped off by a brutal Andrew Symonds ready to flog the demoralised bowlers. The weakest link is Kanhai, but this is mainly due him being relatively unproven in ODIs.
weldone - Although collectively some good players, I feel a couple of these are out of position to perform to their best and this costs in my final analysis. Obviously Bevan is the star man, but being capable of such wonderful batting at 6, it seems odd to me to put Jayawardene down there and as it's my ranking, that's why they're only 5th.
Somerset - The 2 subcontinental batsmen are amongst the most elegant you can expect to see, and with Andy Flower also in the mix, I only really mark them down because the once-in-a-generation player Sobers was a generation too late for ODIs.
Cevno - This group lacks a natural number 3 for my liking, with Clarke, Pietersen and Chappell all better suited to 4 or 5. Adding in Amarnath doesn't help lift them much higher in my eyes.
Himannv - I found it a tough ask to split this one from Cevno, and it's just the fact that none of these players are really top drawer that tips the balance, even though I feel Rhodes' fielding excellence did mean his batting got somewhat overlooked andthus under-rated.
Pothas - With Morgan still unproven and Tikolo IMO over-rated because of the nation he played for, I had to put these 4 down the list.
Noble One - With Gibbs and Fleming more suited to opening and Imran and Klusener definitely too high up the order for my liking, I had to put these guy's bottom of the pile I'm afraid.
Marc's ratings part 3 - power hitting
As time has gone on, 6-hitting has become more and more important in the context of an ODI. From best to worst I rank them as follows:
Noble One - With Afridi and Klusener in the line-up, no side can counter their power (that's before you look at the likes of Gibbs)
Pothas - From Gilchrist at the top of the order through Yuvraj and Morgan in the middle to Botham, this side would regularly clear the ropes.
G.I.Joe - Viv Richards was the original master blaster and tail-enders like Cairns and Morkel have reputations to envy.
Cevno - Chris Gayle at the top, KP in the middle and big Freddie at the end - throughout the innings there's maximums on show.
Blakus - Hayden and Dhoni are both big hitters when the mood takes them.
Pskov - If Symonds and Kemp got together, there'd be some worried bowlers.
Somerset - Bizarrely, this team contains the 2 batsmen to hit 36 from an over in a first class match - this alone puts them up the order a bit.
weldone - Only Jayasuriya would be backed to regularly clear the ropes, most of the team relying on placement over power.
Himannv - Kaluwitharana could certainly hit them when he got going, but with the exception of Tendulkar at times, his team mates didn't really go aerial that often.
honestbharani - Although many of them have the ability, they don't often show it, so I'm afraid they're bottom.