One of the above combo's should be plenty.
Jack Hobbs | Len Hutton* | Wally Hammond | Dennis Compton | Ken Barrington | Ian Botham | Les Ames + | Fred Trueman | Jim Laker | George Lohmann | Sydney Barnes
That opening combo is one to die for...
Gilchrist making it into an Australian AT XI upsets me somewhat - seems a keeper's batting is now well and truly more important than their glovework these days
1. Jack Hobbs
2. Herbert Sutcliffe
3. Wally Hammond
4. Peter May
5. Denis Compton
6. Douglas Jardine
7. Alan Knott
8. Harold Larwood
9. Hedley Verity
10. Sydney Barnes
11. Fred Trueman
No Ian Botham?
Gilchrist did drop some easy-ish catches late in his career, and to his credit he retired quickly, as he knew he was declining.
I think there is a certain element of golden nostalgia associated with guys like Tallon, who were probably very very good, but I can't think of any reason why they were any more effective as keepers than Gilchrist, other than their peers saying they were good.
If we were comparing Andy Flower, for example, to Don Tallon that it's the latter every time. However, Gilchrist's wicketkeeping was fantastic, it just kept getting overshadowed by his batting. As a package, Gilchrist > Tallon.
Sir Donald Bradman
Sir Leonard Hutton
Sir Jack Hobbs
Sir Ian Botham
N Kapil Dev
Sir Frank Worrell
Sir Vivian Richards
Sir Garfield Sobers
Sir Clyde Walcott
Dan I think you place too much importance on the batting skills of wicketkeepers, at least for my liking. Gilchrist, Walcott, Lindsay and Latif are very much outclassed with the gloves by the likes of Healy, Dujon, Waite and Bari - it's all preference though, of course
Walcott is far too good to leave out, and kept with distinction to Ramadhin and Valentine. Ideally I'd play him as a specialist bat and pick Dujon, but the other middle order options are far too strong.
Waite was extremely close to pushing Lindsay out, but once again I didn't feel like there was a huge difference in their wicketkeeping.
And I originally did pick Bari, however I wanted to play Fazal and Akram isn't a Test number 7. If I played MoYo in place of Fazal, I would select Bari and bat him at 10.
Not much love for Sutcliffe on these pages?
1st xi : Hobbs, Sutcliffe, Hutton, Hammond, Compton, Woolley, Knott *, Botham, Trueman, Laker, Barnes
2nd xi : Boycott, Amiss, Barrington, May, Dexter, Leyland, Ames *, Verity, Larwood, Bedser, Statham
3rd xi : Gooch, Edrich J, Mead, Paynter, Pietersen, Jackson FS, Tate, Evans *, Underwood, Snow, Lohmann
1st xi : Ponsford, Simpson, Harvey, Bradman, Chappell G, Miller K, Gilchrist *, Davidson, Warne, O'Reilly, Lillee
2nd xi : Trumper, Barnes, McCabe, Macartney, Border, Waugh S, Healy *, Lindwall, Grimmett, Turner, McGrath
3rd xi : Morris, Lawry, Hill, Hassett, Walters, Hussey, Gregory, Tallon *, Gillespie, Grimmett, Johnston
It has two fast bowlers to share the new ball (one fast bowler is at least 50% short) and two very different spin bowlers who give excellent variety to the attack. Verity is preferred over Laker because he is just as skillful, but has the added bonus of being a left-armer. And a left-armer that Bradman happens to dislike facing.
I still prefer John Snow over Verity, but that's just me being overly pedantic with the 'fire-power' thing. I'll leave Bradman to the angry skill of SF Barnes who would be more than capable of holding his own.
I also think that a left-handed batsman gives added strength to the middle-order because they are better equiped to play leg-spinners. Gower, Leyland, and Woolley were all fabulous against leg-spin and would play Warne and O'Reilly exceedingly well in an Ashes battle.
I don't think that the team loses anything at all by replacing Hutton with Sutcliffe. Both were defensive batsman with near perfect techniques, although Hutton probably had slightly better footwork against spin bowling.
In a 5 Test match Ashes series I predict a 2-2 result with Australia having the better of the draw.
Agreed in regards to Sutcliffe/Hutton - pairing Sutcliffe with Hobbs gives you the boost of the greatest opening partnership of all - near telepathic running in between wickets, attack blending with defense etc.
Does anyone know if Barry Richards batted in the middle order at any time during his FC career?
Don't know about Barry playing in the middle order, never saw it happen.
With regards the England ATXI, it always puzzles me why so few people have all 3 Hobbs, Sutcliffe and Hutton in the team. It makes perfect sense. To leave out any one of them borders on the incredulous.
Hobbs* | Sutcliffe | Hutton | Hammond | Barrington | Botham | Knott +| Larwood | Laker/Verity | Trueman | Barnes
Why would you leave Sutcliffe out when he was part of the greatest opening partnership in English history, and has a standalone average of 60 for goodness sake. As I said earlier, a difference of 5-7 runs in the averages is fine, but a difference of >10 should not be overlooked.