It is interesting to see great cricketers indulging in the same fun excercise of selecting all time sides. Let me try to put here those I can locate with the year of selection to understand which was the pool the selector was looking at.
Selector # 1 : Alec Bedser
Legendary England Medium pacer, ranked as the third in a great line of purveyors of medium pace. The first two being SF Barnes and Maurice Tate. Bedser, of course was an England Chairman of Selectors for a very long time
Year of Selection : 1981
Pool : Post WW II (1945 to 1981)
The Team : Aussie Post WW II
- Arthur Morris
- Bobby Simpson
- Don Bradman (captain)
- Lindsay Hassett
- Greg Chappell
- Neil Harvey
- Keith Miller
- Richie Benaud
- Don Tallon (keeper)
- Ray Lindwall
- Dennis Lillee
12th Man : Alan Davidson
Bedser explains some of his selections thus :
Bradman as captain because "no one could equal his intuition and technical knowledge - the best captain of all time and the best number three of all time"
Openers : "After a lot of thought I make Bobby Simpson to partner Morris before Sid Barnes (because of ) his specialist slip fielding and ability to support Benaud with his leg breaks"
Greg Chappell : "by far the best modern Australian batsman and the only one who could have made the 1948 Australian side to England"
On dropping Davidson : " his (Miller's) inclusion blocks the way for Davidson, whose fielding was magical; but he was not a Miller as a batsman.
The Team : ENGLAND Post WW II (1945-1981)
- Len Hutton
- Geoff Boycott
- Peter May (captain)
- Dennis Compton
- Ken Barrington
- Ian Botham
- Godfrey Evans
- Tony Lock
- Jim Laker
- Freddie Trueman
- Frank Tyson
12th Man Drek Randall
Tyson and Trueman : "Tyson at his peak and Trueman just edge out Statham. . . . Trueman for his ability to swing the ball and his close catching"
Laker and Lock are automatic choices but the latter must "adopt his later style of slow left-arm bowling - that is slower and with flight"
Botham edges out Bailey as the all rounder due to his being the more attacking bowler, his extra pace and his aggressive batting to follow the yorkshire openers, May and the superb Compton and the dour Barrington.
May is his choice as captain over Hutton due to his being "less affected by responsibility and a little more understanding of man management"
The Team : India - 1946 - 1981
- Pataudi Jr (captain)
- Engineer (keeper)
- Abid Ali
- Kapil Dev
12th Man : Borde
On the choice of Abid Ali : To balance the attack and because "Kapil deserves new ball support . . .His (Abid's) accuracy, an ability to continue with his cutters after the new ball shine disappeared and his all round competence.
On which spinners to choose : Unfortunately, one of the famed Indian spinners has to go. Bhagwat Chandrashekhar, a potential match winner, is essential. and Erapalli Prasanna is, by general consent, the best off-spinner. Sadly no place for Bishen Badi or Subhash Gupte. Mankad , the pivot of the side, is the third spinner.
Openers ; pick themselves
Middle order : Hazare's professionalism and cool head in a crisis . . . I rate tiny Gunduppa Viswanath worthy of a place
Captain : Tiger Pataudi . . . has all the requirements for captain . . . also a brilliant and widely experienced batsman
Keeper : Engineer . . . despite an inclination to be flashy, has strong claims to be keeper . . .also a dangerous batsman
to be continued