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Thread: World Class list

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    Global Moderator Prince EWS's Avatar
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    World Class list

    I've always had a difficult time defining the term "world class player", and until recently I generally just went along the lines of "a player who would be in vague contention for my World XI". A couple of weeks ago, though, I saw tooextracool define it as "a player who you would select in any Test team in the world" (paraphrasing, but yeah). I liked that definition, and I've been thinking about it a lot on and off since.

    Who, using the above definition, what would be in your world class player list, right now? I've had a stab:

    Shane Watson
    Michael Clarke (yeah out of form but I think he'd be picked anyway)
    Michael Hussey

    Andrew Strauss
    Alastair Cook
    Johnathan Trott
    Kevin Pietersen
    Stuart Broad
    Graeme Swann
    Chris Tremlett (don't expect many others to agree)
    James Anderson

    Virender Sehwag
    Gautam Gambhir
    Rahul Dravid ?
    Sachin Tendulkar
    VVS Laxman
    Harbhajan Singh
    Zaheer Khan

    Graeme Smith
    Hashim Amla
    Jacques Kallis
    AB De Villiers
    Dale Steyn
    Morne Morkel

    Kumar Sangakkara
    Mahela Jayawardene
    Thilan Samaraweera

    Younis Khan

    Ross Taylor
    Jesse Ryder
    Daniel Vettori

    Chris Gayle (probably not as opener in most teams though)
    Shivnarine Chanderpaul

    Shakib Al Hasan



    It's easy to come up with a very different list, though. If you don't happen to think Dravid is all but finished you'll come up with with less top order players. Ironically Dravid still made my list despite being the one to be replaced/kicked down the order by another player a lot of the time. That most teams are carrying a weak #6 meant a lot of batsmen were picked, and it was hard in mind to slot borderline bowlers like Gul and Roach into England's attack.

    Funnily enough I ended up with zero wicket keepers. I wouldn't drop India's captain to play Prior but I wouldn't drop Prior from the England team for Dhoni. I also wouldn't drop Haddin for Dhoni given I don't think Dhoni would be much chop playing half his games in Australia. Maybe I'm over-thinking all that a little though.

    I was a little liberal with some of the spinners. England wouldn't play Harbhajan all the time at all, but they'd come into the reckoning in the subcontinent so I've included him anyway. Sri Lankan spinners were difficult because I wouldn't even pick Herath is in his own team even though he'd probably make every other, and Mendis is difficult to rate in general. Randiv could be a fair shout but his Test record so far is average and he can't even make ri Lanka's team.

    I didn't consider Pakistan's suspended trio.
    Last edited by Prince EWS; 14-01-2011 at 09:47 AM.
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    International Debutant M0rphin3's Avatar
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    No Mahmudullah?
    Quote Originally Posted by mudrunner View Post
    give 21yo smith a break. bradmans figures for his first few tests were comparable.....

    Proud Supporter of: Shakib Al Hasan, Kane Williamson, Adam Milne

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    Global Moderator Prince EWS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by M0rphin3 View Post
    No Mahmudullah?
    Haha nah there are a few teams I wouldn't pick Mahmudullah for.

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    International Debutant M0rphin3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prince EWS View Post
    Haha nah there are a few teams I wouldn't pick Mahmudullah for.


    If based on current form, Clarke shouldn't be there, andt Ponting performed better recently in India etc. don't you think?


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    Global Moderator Prince EWS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by M0rphin3 View Post


    If based on current form, Clarke shouldn't be there, andt Ponting performed better recently in India etc. don't you think?
    Ponting's been on the decline for a while though. Clarke had an awesome two to three years and then suddenly hit the wall and had two bad series in a row. I know which one I'd rather at this point.

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    International Debutant M0rphin3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prince EWS View Post
    Ponting's been on the decline for a while though. Clarke had an awesome two to three years and then suddenly hit the wall and had two bad series in a row. I know which one I'd rather at this point.
    Yeah fair enough then.

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    Hall of Fame Member Howe_zat's Avatar
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    It is an interesting question.

    Expanding the idea outside of cricket to any skill or trade, it's "those who are among the best in the world in their field".

    So in cricketing terms, that means players who you can't reasonable say are out of the question for a composite world team, be it on form, reputation or both. Hence I wrote an initial list of players I'd consider, and then deleted names I could think of a good reason to leave out.

    Ended up with a (frustratingly batting-heavy) expanded squad for a World XI.

    Cricket has a very specific skills for different positions, so you are bound to come up with more names than in most other sports.

    Openers


    Strauss, Cook, Smith, Sehwag, Gambhir

    Middle Order


    Trott, Amla, De Villiers, Tendulkar, Laxman, Sangakkara, Jayawardena, Clarke

    All - Rounders


    Kallis, Watson, Shakib

    Keepers


    Prior, Dhoni, Haddin

    Spinners


    Swann, Harbhajan, Vettori

    Pace Bowlers


    Anderson, Roach, Steyn, Morkel, Zaheer
    Every 5 years we have an election and have to decide who are the least obnoxious out of all the men. Then one gets in and they age really quickly. Which is always fun to watch.

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    Global Moderator Prince EWS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Howe_zat View Post
    It is an interesting question.

    Expanding the idea outside of cricket to any skill or trade, it's "those who are among the best in the world in their field".

    So in cricketing terms, that means players who you can't reasonable say are out of the question for a composite world team, be it on form, reputation or both. Hence I wrote an initial list of players I'd consider, and then deleted names I could think of a good reason to leave out.

    Ended up with a (frustratingly batting-heavy) expanded squad for a World XI.

    Cricket has a very specific skills for different positions, so you are bound to come up with more names than in most other sports.

    Openers


    Strauss, Cook, Smith, Sehwag, Gambhir

    Middle Order


    Trott, Amla, De Villiers, Tendulkar, Laxman, Sangakkara, Jayawardena, Clarke

    All - Rounders


    Kallis, Watson, Shakib

    Keepers


    Prior, Dhoni, Haddin

    Spinners


    Swann, Harbhajan, Vettori

    Pace Bowlers


    Anderson, Roach, Steyn, Morkel, Zaheer
    Yeah, that was my old method of defining "world class", basically. I think tooextracool's way (what I did in the OP) gives a more definite criteria, but it can be really harsh on wicket keepers and spinners because there are usually only one of each in each team.

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    Cricket Web: All-Time Legend Uppercut's Avatar
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    My definition was always that if they have a semi-reasonable case for being the best in the world at what they do, they're world-class. Although that can be a bit too tight at times and a lot would disagree with it.

    Using your definition:

    Openers
    Sehwag, Gambhir, Smith

    Watson, Strauss and Cook surely wouldn't make the Indian side? Well, Cook perhaps if he were to maintain his current form for any length of time, and I guess Watson's bowling would be a huge bonus for the Indian side, but definitely not Strauss. Dropping Gambhir for Strauss would be a joke.

    Middle Order
    Tendulkar, Laxman, Amla, Kallis, De Villiers, Hussey, Clarke, Trott, Pietersen, Jayawardene, Samaraweera, Sangakarra, Younis, Yousuf, Taylor, Ryder.

    The presence of Collingwood, Pujara and Prince in the middle orders of the three top nations makes the definition especially wide here. Breaking into the Sri Lankan side is probably the acid test here. Would Sri Lanka drop Angelo Matthews for Ross Taylor? I'd definitely expect so, but it's at least vaguely open to debate.

    Spinners
    Swann, Harbhajan, Shakib.

    Swann would definitely make the Indian side outside the subcontinent and Harbhajan would definitely make the England side in the subcontinent. I think Shakib's good enough that both teams would find a place for him somewhere- probably batting at six. Vettori might make the Indian side as a top-six batsman but I've opted to leave him out.

    Fast bowlers
    Anderson, Tremlett, Broad, Steyn, Morkel, Zaheer, Roach.

    I suppose it's predominantly down to whether they'd make the England side here. I honestly think Peter Siddle might well do but I've left him out anyway. I don't think any of the others are controversial.

    Keepers
    Prior, Dhoni

    Horses for courses I guess. It's better than picking no one.
    Quote Originally Posted by zaremba View Post
    The Filth have comfortably the better bowling. But the Gash have the batting. Might be quite good to watch.

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    Global Moderator Prince EWS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Uppercut
    Watson, Strauss and Cook surely wouldn't make the Indian side? Well, Cook perhaps if he were to maintain his current form for any length of time, and I guess Watson's bowling would be a huge bonus for the Indian side, but definitely not Strauss. Dropping Gambhir for Strauss would be a joke.
    I'd drop Dravid or Pujara. No reason Strauss, Cook or Watson couldn't bat three.

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    Hall of Fame Member Marcuss's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prince EWS View Post
    I'd drop Dravid or Pujara. No reason Strauss, Cook or Watson couldn't bat three.
    MSTTPHFTSB

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    Cricket Web: All-Time Legend Uppercut's Avatar
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    Hmm, Watto would definitely find a way in somewhere actually.

    You're right, but I'm pretty sure Angelo Matthews would also make any side in the world. India and England are basically faced with a choice of number sixes with excellent first-class batting records, why on earth wouldn't they pick the one who's only 23, already has a load of international experience and bowls decent medium-pace? That suggests to me that the definition doesn't really work for batsmen.

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    Global Moderator Prince EWS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Uppercut View Post
    Hmm, Watto would definitely find a way in somewhere actually.

    You're right, but I'm pretty sure Angelo Matthews would also make any side in the world. India and England are basically faced with a choice of number sixes with excellent first-class batting records, why on earth wouldn't they pick the one who's only 23, already has a load of international experience and bowls decent medium-pace? That suggests to me that the definition doesn't really work for batsmen.
    Would South Africa pick him? They have Kallis so his bowling wouldn't really be used, and he's not a better batsman than Prince. I don't think they would.

    It's evidently a lot easier to be a world class batsmen than a world class bowler by tooextracool's definition because - best #6 batsman in the world is usually worse than the best fourth bowler in the world.
    Last edited by Prince EWS; 14-01-2011 at 10:58 AM.

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    Cricket Web: All-Time Legend Uppercut's Avatar
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    It's debatable, but I think they probably would. If there's any doubt at all over someone's position then you just don't ignore a 23-year-old batting all-rounder who averages close to 60 in domestic FC cricket, 35 over his first 13 tests and has been an almost unqualified success in his first 30-odd ODIs.

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    Global Moderator Prince EWS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Uppercut View Post
    It's debatable, but I think they probably would. If there's any doubt at all over someone's position then you just don't ignore a 23-year-old batting all-rounder who averages close to 60 in domestic FC cricket, 35 over his first 13 tests and has been an almost unqualified success in his first 30-odd ODIs.
    Well they don't pick Duminy over Prince, and he's young, has a good First Class record, has been awesome in ODIs, offers a more useful bowling option to them than Mathews and tasted Test success early on before falling away a bit.

    Let me put it another way - I wouldn't pick Mathews over Prince.

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