I don't think of Sutcliffe as a better opener than Hutton, and if forced to choose to one between the two, will always take Hutton. However, when it comes to picking the Pommie XI, it makes at least a little bit of sense to have Sutcliffe opening with Hobbs, since they are perhaps the best opening partnership in history, and then have Hutton at number 3.Quote:
Just want to know why all of a sudden everyone sees him as a better opener than Hutton, or would want to play Hutton in the middle order instead of a specialist who is a more efficient and fluent a scorer.
What I want to know is where this notion of the likes of May and Compton being fluent scorers came from. When compared with known statistics, May and Compton have SRs of 39 and 38, to Hutton's 37 and Sutcliffe's 34. Fluent scorers. Really? I don't think you can ignore a difference of 10 in batting average for a difference of 4 in SR. Hammond's SR is 38; Barrington's 42. So, Barrington was perhaps a more fluent scorer than May or Compton.
Let's face it. England have not had too many great batsmen who scored fluently. The only ones who can lay claim to that title are Gower (SR 50) and Pietersen (SR 63). So, yes, you can leave Barrington/Sutcliffe out for either Gower or Pietersen. A fluent Eng XI top order could be:
Hobbs | Hutton | Hammond | Gower | Barrington | Pietersen |
But I prefer
Hobbs | Sutcliffe | Hutton | Hammond | Barrington | Pietersen | Knott +|
This would require dropping Knotty for Ames or Stewart - who was perfectly fluent in an era of truly vicious fast bowling, and was routinely picked over Healy in contemporary world XIs - to shore up the batting properly at 6 and let Beefy be his volatile self at 7.
Then we could have ourselves four specialist bowlers to boot, and personally I'd pick:
1. JB Hobbs
2. L Hutton
3. WR Hammond
4. DCS Compton
5. MJ Brearley* (specialist captain in the English tradition), otherwise KF Barrington and Hutton as captain
6. AJ Stewart+
7. IT Botham
8. H Verity
9. AV Bedser
10. JA Snow
11. FS Trueman
Personally I don't see how Knott is an auto-pick anyway; it's not like he kept to anyone truly difficult except perhaps Underwood.
Also severely skeptical of SF Barnes' routine selection - record significantly inflated against a seminal South Africa and preferred to beat up amateurs in league cricket instead of giving his all for his county. In fact, his Ashes record is worse than Hugh Trumble's, who doesn't even enter ATG discourse.
Botham opened the bowling around half the time. So my attack is...
Trueman - Bedser - Botham - SF Barnes - Verity
Brearley is probably the worst top 6 batsman to ever play more than 20 tests for England or Australia.
I think captaincy skills are important, and as I concluded in the feature I wrote about him Brearley was one of the very best, but with the likes of Hobbs, Hutton and Jardine available he's far too expensive a luxury in an ATG team
If a specialist Captain had to be selected as mandatory in English team, I would go for Jardine although Brearley was a great scholar and Captain but Jardine was not behind Brearley from tactical point of view as well and additionally he brings in batting depth. The thing with specialist Captain selection means the team has to be constructed around the Captain and Captain's name should be first on the list. So points to be noted that if anyone constructs a team with specialist Captain, then that Captain will need close to those sets of players that he had success with; therefore, if Jardine is selected, the team will definitely need likes of Larwood, Verity, Ames and if Brearley is selected, that team will need likes of Botham, Bob Willis. My point is if specialist Captain is selected in an ATG XI, different sorts of combination of players are required and if not, we can't shoehorn a specialist Captain into a side of players that the Captain is not familiar with at all.
Is the purpose of this thread to actually drive consensus?
The specialist captain theory is a load of **** if you're leaving our guys of the calibre of Barrington, Hutton, Ranji or Woolley to accommodate Brearley in the top 6.
Not a stupid concept at all - good captaincy is vital to the success of a side.
Most people think here that making one of these world XI's would be an instant success with all these stars but I very much doubt it, we've seen before how compilations of players for 'world representative' sides function... poorly, no motivation etc.