Last edited by watson; 03-02-2013 at 07:19 PM.
“I'm writing a book on magic”, I explain, and I'm asked, “Real magic?” By real magic people mean miracles, thaumaturgical acts, and supernatural powers. “No”, I answer: “Conjuring tricks, not real magic”. Real magic, in other words, refers to the magic that is not real, while the magic that is real, that can actually be done, is not real magic.”
― Lee Siegel, 'Net of Magic: Wonders and Deceptions in India'
Played 19 tests over 10 years before the War at an average close to 70, all backed up the third highest first class average in th history of the game, and those were games primarily played while on tour or againts near test strength British touring sides. Unlike Pollock his career wasn't over a five year period of arguably his prime againts select opposition, but againts only the top two teams of his era and spread over a decade mostly spent in test cricket isolation, yet he maintained his form on an icedibly weak team and batting line up where he was the sole difference between victory and defeat. That is the pressure he endured for his entire playing career and he shined.
He played plenty and our Greatest Batsman.
Simpson^ | Hayden | Bradman | Chappell^ | Ponting | Border* | Gilchrist+ | Davidson3 | Warne4^ | Lillee1 | McGrath2
Greenidge | Hunte | Richards^ | Headley* | Lara^ | Sobers5^ | Walcott+ | Marshall1 | Ambrose2 | Holding3 | Garner4
Richards^ | Smith*^ | Amla | Pollock | Kallis5^ | Nourse | Cameron+ | Procter3 | Steyn1 | Tayfield4 | Donald2
Hobbs | Hutton*^ | Hammond^ | Compton | Barrington | Botham5^ | Knott | Trueman1 | Laker4 | Larwood2 | Barnes3
1. Jack Hobbs
2. Len Hutton
3. Charles Macartney (6)
4. Sachin Tendulkar
5. Viv Richards
6. Garfield Sobers (5)
7. Adam Gilchrist
8. Imran Khan (3)
9. Malcolm Marshall (2)
10. Harold Larwood (1)
11. Bill O'Reilly (4)
(SF Barnes 12th)
I've slotted Macartney in there for a couple of reasons - firstly, his quality is not represented in his career average. At number three after the war, he averaged 71 (mostly in England).
Additionally, he was dynamic - a quality I want from my number three, considering he's following Hobbs and Hutton. Yes, Richards could provide this, but why not have both? Richards drops to 5 so as to slot Tendulkar in between them, in the 'Roebuck Role' as I now call it.
And as an added bonus, Macartney could chip in with some more-than-handy left arm spin, balancing the right arm quick legspin of O'Reilly. He could field, too.
So I'd have Sobers at first, Tendulkar at second, Richards at third. I'm not sure where Hutton generally fielded, so either him or Hobbs in the gully.
I see Macartney more as a specialist three. I've considered opening with him in a Bradman-inclusive Australian XI, but then Trumper and Simpson are set there IMO.
Trumper - Simpson - Bradman - McCabe - Waugh - Miller - Gilchrist - Davidson - Lillee - O'Reilly - McGrath (probably forgetting someone obvious there)
Yeah, Greg Chappell proved himself to be one of the best players of fast bowling of all time, if not the best. In a decade where most batsman's averages headed south, Greg Chappell's average climbed and then peaked during the 1970s.
What did Larwood have that guys like Marshall, Hadlee, Khan, Lillee etc didn't? He wasn't even massively successful at test level.
The way Larwood was treated by England as a test player was a joke though. His first class career is unbelievable, and he should have played so many more tests.
and to a lesser extent
Gregory not successful enough at test level to justify inclusion, but , and Imran only down there because of my colour 'problems'. Larwood only down here because I am not sure his body would be strong enough for lots of long test series, at least in comparison with superhuman specimens like Procter.
Players that deserve to be in the discussion but who were ****s on the field/not 'teamy' enough include...
Oh for a strong arm and a walking stick
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