World All Time XI Test Teams in Alphabetical Order
A: Anwar | Amiss | Attapattu | Amla | Abbas | Azharuddin | Ames +| Akram* | Ambrose | Appleyard | Adcock |
Close: Atherton, Anderson, Akhtar, Alderman, Ahmed, Ajmal
A was pretty straightforward in most respects. The only real selection dilemma came in the choice of the spinner. In the end, I went for Bob Appleyard ahead of Mushtaq Ahmed and Ajmal, but I think they would be as good. Akhtar and Anderson missed out to Adcock. Great pace attack. Good balance in batting too.
B: Barnes | Boycott | Bradman* | Barrington | Border | Botham | Boucher +| Bedi | Barnes | Bishop | Bedser |
Close: Boon, Bailey, Benaud, Bond, Bowes
The batting line-up pretty much wrote itself and is a real winner. The real problem was in leaving out Benaud, whose batting and captaincy really add to the side. I am still not absolutely sure, but I gave it to Bedi for sheer variation. Pretty good bowling attack. Bishop and Botham to bowl fast, and Barnes to do whatever magic he did. Bedser was a part of Bradman's all time XI, so must be something great.
C: Cook | I Chappell* | Crowe | G Chappell | Compton | Chanderpaul | Cameron +| Croft | S Clark (Aus) | Chandrasekhar | Cowie |
Close: M Clark, Cowdrey, Caddick, Cairns, S Clarke (WI)
I couldn't find a good opener to partner Cook, so I went with the tenacious Ian Chappell, who I wanted as the skipper anyways. Very solid middle order. Cameron from South Africa as the wicketkeeper, was very competent, and a good batsman averaging 30 with 10 fifties. Left out Sylvestre Clarke to accomodate Cowie.
D: Dempster | Dilshan | Dravid* | Dexter | De Villiers +| Donnelley | Duleepsinghji | Dev | Davidson | Donald | Doshi |
Close: Dujon, Dhoni, A De Silva, S De Silva
The first real head turner was when I had to leave out Aravinda De Silva. Perhaps he could replace Duleepsinghji. Maybe. I went for De Villiers as the keeper purely to bolster the batting. The bowlers all picked themselves.
F: Fredericks | S Fleming* | K Fletcher | Flower +| Fingleton |Faulkner | Flintoff | Fairfax | Finn | D Fleming | Freeman |
Close: Fraser, Foster
Taking Finn ahead of Fraser the only controversial decision here, I think. Maybe I should just take Fraser ahead of Fairfax, but since the side's batting is really weak, I thought that batting deep would be a real plus, and Fairfax was a good all rounder. Freeman as the spinner.
G: Gavaskar | Greenidge | Grace | Gooch* | Gower | Gambhir | Gilchrist +| Garner | Gillespie | Grimmett | Griffith |
Close: Ganguly, Graveney, Greig, Gupte, L Gibbs, Gough
Number 6 was the head scratcher for me here. Gambhir, Ganguly or Greig? Greig gives a useful bowling option, but is a weaker batsman than the other two. Plus, with Grace in the side, does it really require another bowling option? I thought no. I rate Gambhir as a slightly better batsman than Ganguly. Had to leave out two spin legends in Gupte and Gibbs.
H: Hobbs | Hutton* | Hammond | Headley | Harvey | Hussey | Healy +| Hadlee | Holding | Hall | Hordern |
Close: Hayden, Haynes, Hazare, Haddin, Heine, Higgs, Herath
Fantastic batting line up. Incredibe. Only problem here: Hussey or Hazare? I think Hussey bats well with the tail, so gave it to him. Really good pace attack. Hordern ahead of Herath as spinner.
J: Jayasuriya | Jaques | D Jones | M Jayawardene | Jardine* | A Jackson | P Jayawardene +| W Johnston | M Johnson | A Javed | S Jones |
Decent team. Not too many options available to be honest. Bowling is on the weaker side.
K: Kirsten | Katich | Kallis | Kanhai | Kalicharran | Y Khan | Knott +| I Khan* | Kumble | Z Khan | Kasprowicz |
Again, not too many options, but the Khans saved the day here. Plus a good middle order.
L: Langer | Lawry | Laxman | Lara | Lehmann | Lloyd* | Lindsay +| Lillee | Laker | Lindwall | Larwood (Lohmann comes close) |
Great bowling attack. Lohmann or Larwood? Difficult choice. Otherwise, good openers and middle order here.
M: Mitchell | Morris | McCabe | Miandad | Martyn | May | Miller* | Marsh +| Marshall | Murali | McGrath |
Close: Merchant, Melville, Macartney, H Mohammad
How do you leave out Macartney, Merchant and Hanif Mohammad? This one was a tough decision on the batting front. On the bowling front, easy as pie. The best bowling attack here.
P: Ponsford | Prince | Ponting | G Pollock* | Paynter | Pietersen | Prior +| Procter | S Pollock | Prasanna | P Pollock |
Close: Philander, Parfitt
Put in Prince as I could not find a good opener. Otherwise, brilliant middle order. The Pollocks dominate. Wanted to put Philander in ahead of Peter Pollock, but it's too early in his career. Maybe in an year or two.
R: Rhodes | Richards | Richards* | Richardson, Richie | Ranjitsinghji | Russell, Charles | Rice | Russell +| Ramadhin | Reid | Roberts |
Close: M Richardson, Redpath, Rae, Reiffel
Roberts, Reid and Rice are a decent pace combination, with Ramadhin and Rhodes in a spin tandem. Charles Russell was a difficult choice, ahead of Redpath and Rae. Could pick Reiffel ahead of Ramadhin if another pacer is required.
S: Sutcliffe, Herbert | Simpson | Sangakkara | Sehwag | Sobers* | G Smith | Stewart +| Swann | Spofforth | Steyn | Snow |
Close: Sutcliffe (bert), Samaraweera, Slater, Statham
Can I pick Graeme Smith at number 6? I didn't want to pick Samaraweera so the answer is yes. Snow just edged it over Statham.
T: Trumper | Turner, Glenn | Taylor*, Mark | Tendulkar | Tyldesley | Trott | Tillakaratne +| Trueman | Tyson | Tayfield | C Turner |
Close: Tallon, Thorpe, Tate
The biggest omission was Maurice Tate. I couldn't decide for a long time. Trueman is an automatic choice, of course. Would any of you leave out Tyson or Turner?
W: Woodfull | Worrell | Walcott | Weekes | Waugh, Steve | Woolley | Waite +| Warne | Willis | Wardle | Walsh |
Close: Waugh (Mark), Washbrook, Walters
Mindblowing batting. Walsh, Willis and Woolley to bowl pace, and Warne and Wardle as a spin tandem. Leaving out both Doug Walters and Mark Waugh was quite excruciating.
I think H, B, S and M are the strongest all round sides, with W just behind.
Do post your comments even if they are not flattering of the above effort.