School Boy/Girl Captain
Join Date: Nov 2012
LFD and Remmie went through in Group 2.
Group 3 below:
Happy with my team consideing the amount of cricket knowledge i have.
Just a quick basic write up from me.
Left handed batsman.
104 Caps for Australia.
Scored 7525 Runs at a average of 43.49,Top score of 334, 19 Centuries and 40 half centuries to his name.
157 Catches in the field and 1 test wicket.
Mark Taylor was such a masterful opening batsman, slip fielder and captain for Australia that he was looked upon as an allrounder. A heavily built left-hander who played classically late, Taylor made 839 Test runs on his first England tour (1989) and for most of his 104 Tests remained reassuringly solid. He was equally dependable at first slip, where he cradled most of his world-record 157 catches. After he inherited the captaincy from Allan Border in 1994-95 he began with a pair, but soon added such acute tactical vibrancy that the following year Australia toppled West Indies in the Caribbean to become unofficial world champions. Taylor's leadership and diplomacy marked him out as one of Australia's greatest captains, and saved his place during an 18-month batting slump that ended with a memorable century at Edgbaston in 1997. The following year he made an unbeaten 334 at Peshawar to match Don Bradman's highest score for Australia, then declared. Six months later, still only 34, but with the Ashes again safe and his timing as sound as ever, he retired to the commentary box.
Left Handed Batsman.
101 Caps for South Africa
Scored 7289 Runs at a aveage of 45.27,top score 275,21 Centuries and 34 half centuries.
His top score came over a 14 hour period showing the concentration and grit that runs through my opening three batsmen.
His average increased when playing in India(52.33) and Pakistan(88.16)
83 Catches and 2 test wickets
Gary Kirsten was never blessed with the flair and the almost pure technique of his half-brother Peter, but his discipline, temperament and his penchant for hard work stood during his days as a batsman, when he became so established at the top of the South African batting order that it's almost impossible to think how they would cope without him. Then, all those virtues brought him rich rewards after his playing days too, as he became one of the most successful and popular coaches of India. The side went to the top of the Test rankings during his stint, which ended, quite fittingly, with India's World Cup triumph in 2011.As a batsman, what stood out was his determination, the ability to concentrate for long periods and a burning desire to score runs. A left-hander with a relatively unique technique, Kirsten simply worked out his strengths and weaknesses and based his game around them. In this respect he was one of the most organised batsman to play for South Africa since their readmission. Calm and level-headed, he brought a healthy degree of common sense to the art of batting, which possibly explains why off the field and in the dressing room the dafter side of his personality came out. Periodically, Kirsten endured patches when he persistently got out in similar fashion - chopping the ball on to his stumps, for instance, or getting himself caught down the leg side.Each time this happened, though, Kirsten worked through the problem, made the adjustments and played himself back into form. He enjoyed particular success on the subcontinent - where other players have floundered against the turning ball. Kirsten, though, was drawn on patience and soft hands to see him through. And if there was any player likely to score a big hundred, then it was Kirsten. His best of 275, a result of batting for over 14 and a half hours as South Africa followed on against England at Kingsmead in 1999-00, was the second-longest in Test history. He then returned to haunt England in 2003 and gutsed out a crucial 130 in the Headingley Test, which South Africa won by 191 runs. His good form in that series persuaded him to postpone his retirement until the end of the New Zealand tour in 2003-04.Fittingly, he scored a century in the first Test of that series - his 99th - and scored a typically gritty 76 in his final game to help South Africa tie the series. After retiring, he spent some time with the Warriors as a consultant batting coach and, in 2006, set up his own academy in Cape Town. In December 2007, he signed up as coach of India, and his quiet and low-profile approach to the job was appreciated by current and past players. After coaching India to World Cup success, Kirsten moved on to see if he could repeat the magic with his home country.
Right Handed Batsman
107 Caps for Australia
Scored 7422 runs at a average of 43.65,top score of 200,21 centries and 32 half centuries.
Another superb player against the team from the sub continent especialy India
Averageagainst India 65 in India and 70.82 at home.
99 Catches in the field.
Possibly Tasmania's all-time favourite cricketing son, David Boon was a pugnacious right-handed batsman who served his state and country with enormous distinction. He was not always the most stylish player, but for what he lacked in fluency he more than compensated with his ardour for occupying the crease and accumulating runs when they were most needed. As an 18 year old, Boon played a starring role in Tasmania's history-making Gillette Cup win in 1978-79, the state's first interstate one-day title, and he never really looked back over the course of an elite-level career which spanned 17 years. Among many highlights were his roles in four Ashes series wins, particularly the 1989 triumph and his honour in hitting the series-winning runs; his flawless unbeaten 184 in the Bicentenary Test of 1988; and his Man-of-the-Match winning effort in the 1987 World Cup final. Predominantly in the No. 3 position, Boon's durability was a vital ingredient in Australia's resurgence as a cricketing power in the late 1980s and early 1990s. His courage was often at the core of Australian performances and it was common to see his belligerent square cutting, driving and pulling upsetting the rhythm of even the finest of bowlers.
Aside from a range of triumphs with Australia during 107 Tests and 181 ODIs, Boon also led Durham in the English County Championship between 1997 and 1999, guiding the side to its best finish in the last of these three years. He was also appointed to the post of Tasmania captain at different ends of his career and was at the helm when his state enjoyed a fruitful first-class season in 1997-98. After retiring from all cricket following the completion of the 1999 county program, Boon accepted a position in marketing with the Tasmanian Cricket Association in Hobart and in 2000 replaced Geoff Marsh, his mate and former opening partner, as an Australia selector. In 2011, he took a new step as an ICC match referee, with his first fixture coming in Bulawayo, where Zimbabwe took on Pakistan. His legend also lives on at the NTCA ground in his home city of Launceston where a major stand has been named after him.
Right Handed Batsman
93 Caps for Sri Lanka
6361 Runs at a average of 42.97,Top score of 267 with 20 Centuries and 22 Half centuries
After the grit and determination of my opening three comes a attacking small statured cricketer.
43 catches in the field
One of the game's best entertainers, de Silva possessed the strengths of many of the tallest short run-scorers: unruffable technique, strong at cutting and hooking, an unrepentant attacker. His record is unrivalled among countrymen, his place in history secure after a match-winning century in a World Cup final. He stands 5ft 3 1/2in and arguably there has not been a better smaller player. His enthusiasm was amazing: he was a virtual ever-present in the Sri Lanka side and also played first-class and club cricket in England, South Africa and Australia. His international career ended with the 2003 World Cup, where he batted with all the verve and panache of old, and bowled his offspinners cannily. Sri Lanka's cricket authorities ensured that his wealth of cricketing experience would not go waste, appointing him a national selector. His other main interests are cakes and cars (usually fast ones).
In at 5 is the star of the team and probably the greatest allround cricketer in the draft
Sir Garfield St Auburn Sobers
Left Handed Batsman Bowling/ Left-arm fast-medium, Slow left-arm orthodox, Slow left-arm chinaman
A former Captain with 93 Caps for the West Indies
Scored 8032 runs at 57.78,best score of 365, 26 Centuries and 30 half centuries
235 Test wickets at a average of 34.03,ecconomy rate of 2.22.
He took 6 5 wicket hauls with a best of 6/73
109 Catches in the field
Regulary destroyed England avg 60.64 and India avg 83.47
Rather than me waffle on about him ill leave it to those in the know
Richie Benaud described Sobers as "the greatest all-round cricketer the world has seen". Sobers, wrote Benaud, was "a brilliant batsman, splendid fielder, particularly close to the wicket, and a bowler of extraordinary skill, whether bowling with the new ball, providing orthodox left-arm spin or over-the-wrist spin".
Fred Trueman enjoyed a great rivalry with Sobers and later described him as a "sublime left-hand batsman" who was "one of the greatest cricketers ever to have graced the game, certainly the greatest all-rounder". Trueman went on to say that Sobers as a batsman "has a great cricketing brain and his thought processes are lightning quick"
Right Handed Batsman/Right Armed Spin/Legbreak googly
A former captain with 57 caps for Pakistan
Scored 3643 runs with a batting average of 39.17,Top score 201 with 10 centuries and 19 half centuries.
A spinner with 79 wickets at 29.22 average and a ecconomy 2.63.Best figures of 5/28 and 3 five wicket hauls
Mushtaq was not the most talented of the five Mohammad brothers who emigrated from Western India to Karachi, but he scored the most first-class hundreds, more even than Hanif, thanks partly to the greater opportunities he had in county cricket with Northamptonshire. He was also one of the first reverse-sweepers (a stroke he learned from Hanif), and one of the first bat-twirlers at the crease. As a bowler of the legbreak, googly and flipper, he also took more first-class wickets than any of his brothers. Northants were impressed enough to pay him to spend two years in qualifying for them, before instant registration began in 1968
Sir Richard Hadlee
Left Hander batsman/ Right Hand bowler
Another former Captain with 86 caps for New Zealand
The scorer of 3124 runs at a average of 27.16 a highest score of 151,2 test centuries and 15 fifties
A right Armed Fast/Outswing bowler
The first man to break 400 test wickets
431 wickets at a average of 22.29,ecconomy 2.63,best figures 9/52. 36 five wicket and 9 10 wicket hauls
39 catches in the field
Few players in the history of cricket have carried the fortunes of their team to quite the same extent as Richard Hadlee. By the time he retired from international cricket in 1990, at the age of 39 and with a knighthood newly conferred upon him for his services to the game, Hadlee had cemented his place as one of the great fast bowlers of all time, and lifted New Zealand to unprecedented feats in the Test arena.
As the first player to reach 400 Test wickets, Hadlee was always assured of immortality, but in addition to his matchless skills with the ball, he was also a hard-hitting batsman of unquestioned skill, and he is acknowledged as one of the four great allrounders of the 1980s, along with Ian Botham, Imran Khan and Kapil Dev.
One of five sons of Walter Hadlee, the former New Zealand captain, his cricket education began at an early age, and in 1971-72 he debuted for Canterbury, forming a penetrative new-ball partnership with his elder brother Dayle. In those days, however, Hadlee was a tearaway, placing speed far ahead of guile, an attitude that was matched by his unkempt, long-haired appearance. As his knowhow grew, however, so his run-up (and locks) shortened, and all the attributes of the model fast bowler fell into place. His lithe, whippy, side-on action made life uncomfortable for all the great batsmen of his era, as he extracted pace, bounce and movement from even the least responsive of surfaces.
His first great demolition job came in Wellington in February 1978 - five years on from his debut - when his 10 wickets, including 6 for 26 in the second innings, condemned England to a first defeat against the Kiwis. However, it was for the Australians that he preserved his finest efforts, and his 15-wicket haul in Brisbane in 1985-86 remains one of the most talked-of moments in Trans-Tasman rivalry. He needed just 79 matches to reach 400 wickets - a phenomenal strike-rate - and he was still very much at the top of his game when, in 1990, he bowed out against England at his adopted home of Trent Bridge - his second-innings haul of 5 for 53 included a wicket with his very last delivery.
Right Hand batsman/Wicket Keeper
Not a flashy pickbut playing 17 years for the west Indies shows his quality.
62 Caps over 17 years for the West Indies
Scored 1993 Runs at a average of 22.9,highest score 91,scoring 11 half centuries
Was only ever required to bat in just over 75% of West Indian innings
181 Catches and 8 stumpings
Deryck Murray was a thoughtful, composed figure in the West Indies side for 17 years. It started when Frank Worrell entrusted the wicketkeeping position in England in 1963 to a diminutive boyish figure, barely out of his teens - and was rewarded with a record 24 victims. Murray's influence on the improved status of cricketers in the Caribbean was immense, and in later life, after retirement, he took that diplomatic role on Trinidad's behalf to the United Nations. His keeping was compact, tidy and, bearing in mind some of his more exuberant successors, generally understated. Nowadays, when more runs are demanded of keepers, he might not have played as much as he did. But his batting was as dapper as his glovework. At Bombay in 1974-75 he made 91 and helped Clive Lloyd add 250 for the sixth wicket. He took to cricket administration and served as president of the Trinidad and Tobago Cricket Board. He lost the post to Azim Bassarath in 2009.
Mike Selvey November 2009
Right Handed Batsman/ Armed Offbreak/Doosra
49 Caps for Pakistan
Scored 927 Runs at a average of 14.48,highest score 101, scored one test century and 2 fifties
208 wickets at a average 29.83,ecconomy of 2.64,Best figures of 8/164, 13 5 wicket and 3 ten wicket hauls
Pioneer of the doosra,unlcky with Injuries and playing at the same time as Danesh Kaneria
A trend-setter. Saqlain Mushtaq was perhaps the first offspinner to master the doosra, a delivery that spins away from the batsman even though it is delivered with an offspinner's action. Saqlain has a fast, short-stepping action with a halting delivery, and has a propensity to bowl no-balls, unusually for a bowler with such a short run. He is criticised for attempting too much variation and he often throws in the doosra the first time a batsman faces. Saqlain's international career got off to a splendid start - he was the fastest bowler to 100 one-day wickets, and his phenomenal control meant that he regularly bowled at the death. But his finest moment arguably came in a Test match, at Chennai in 1998-99, when his ten-for allowed Pakistan to sneak nerve-tingling 12-run win against India
Right Handed Batsman/Right Armed Fast Med Bowler
67 caps for India
Scored 1009 runs at a average of 14.21,top score 76
236 wickets at 30.49,ecconomy 2.85,Best figures 13/132. 10 five wicket and 1 ten wicket haul
India Second highest wicket taking fast bowler
Arguably the nation's fastest-ever bowler, Javagal Srinath heralded a period of awakening for Indian pace bowling, after Kapil Dev's swing had fired popular imagination. And when he retired from international cricket of 11 years in 2003, Srinath was second only to Kapil in number of Test wickets by an Indian paceman.
Right Handed Batsman/Right Armed Fast swing bowler
87 caps for Pakistan
Scored 1010 runs at a average of 10.2,highest score 45
373 Test wickets at 23.56 average and 3.25 ecconomy
best figures 7/76 and 22 five wicket and five 10 wicket hauls
He has the best strike rate for any bowler over 350 wicket
The man who really put the reverse into swing. Waqar Younis bucked the 1980s trend of pitching fast and short by pitching fast and full. Not an obvious recipe for success until you factor in prodigious late inswing, which was designed to smash into the base of leg stump or the batsman's toes. In his youth, he was one of the fastest ever. Waqar's surging run was a glorious sight - and an incredible strain on his body. His method of aiming for the stumps rather than the batsman earned him the best strike rate of any bowler with over 200 Test wickets. It could have been better: back injuries cut short his prime, but determination has always resurrected him, although he was easily pushed over the line that divides aggression and intimidation.
Overall im really happy,i think i have a well balanced team.
The opening three batsman offer alot of grit and determination,DeSilva and Sobers in next should pick up the run rate before then the likes of Mushtaq Mohmammad and Hadlee come in before the tail of Murray,Srinath and Mushtaq who you would hope could add another 50 or so before Younis at 10.
The Bolwers are varied and pretty numerous.
Spin coming from Sobers,Mohammad and Mushtaq.
With Mohammad and Mushtaq both right handers offering variation of Off and Leg break and the left handed Sobers offering everything from orthodox,chinamna to even fast/med bowling.
Plenty of swing in the fast bowling deptartment with Younis and Hadlee with a nice compliment from Srinath.Though all three are right handed Sobers can bowl from fast with the left if a variation is required.
And all this forgetting the three wickets that Taylor and Kirsten has.
Desmond Haynes, opening batsman.
One of the best opening batsman the Windies produced, he amassed 7487 runs in 116 Test matches at an average of 42.29. He was strong against the pace attack and after a few problems early on mastered the art of facing spin. His partnerships alongside Gordon Greenidge paved the way for many a West Indies victory. The fact he went on to score 39 half centuries and convert 18 of them into centuries gives you some idea of his stick-ability in a difficult era when pitches suited bowling attacks.
Bob Simpson, opening batsman.
One of the older batsman who many of you wouldn't have seen. He only played 62 tests but hit 4869 runs at a healthy average of 46.81. He captained the Australian team on three separate occasions and also went on to coach the team which broke the West Indians dominance. he was also a handy leg spinner who Australia often turned to and the fact he took 71 wickets at an average of 42.26 proves his worth with the ball.
Nasser Hussain, number 3 batsman.
Love him or loathe him, you can't knock his ability to stick around at the crease in a difficult batting position for an England team who were struggling to find a number 3 batsman with some guile. In 96 tests he scored 5764 runs at a decent average of 37.18. Hussain showed under his captaincy that England could actually compete against the better teams. He was an excellent fielder with a safe pair of hands.
Mark Waugh, number 4 batsman.
Mark Waugh was an amazing cricketer in my eyes, one of, if not, the best slip fielder the game has ever seen. A gifted stroke player who played the shots correctly and with ease, in 128 tests he amassed 8029 runs at a healthy average of 41.81 and was especially good against spin bowling. He was also a decent turn to medium off break bowler taking 59 wkts at an average of 41.16.
Clive Lloyd, no 5 batsman and captain.
Clive lloyd was my favourite players as a kid. He oversaw the rise of the west Indies to become the most domineering test teams the game has ever seen. Captaining the team for an astonishing 11 years. He is one of the most successful captains of all time and was an amazing middle order batsman hitting 7,515 runs at an average of 46.67 in 110 test matches. A great fielder at middle cover and one of the players who read the game very well.
Chris Cairns, no 6 batsman and all-rounder. Medium fast bowler.
A destructive batsman to have in your middle order and a very good bowler indeed. Shane Warne's opinion is that Chris Cairns was the best all rounder in the World. In only 62 matches he hit 3,320 runs at an average of 33.53 and took 218 wickets at a very healthy average of 29.40. His slower ball foxed many a batsman.
Basil D'Oliviera, no 7 batsman and all rounder. Medium pace bowler.
It might seem strange to have two all-rounders in the same team but i think Cairns above was as good as many number 6 batsman and thus i chose to have a second all-rounder in the shape of Basil. In just 44 tests he scored 2484 runs at an average of 40.06, an average most top order batsman would be proud of. In the same short time he took 47 wickets at a decent enough average of 39.55.
Rod Marsh, no 8 batsman and Wicket-keeper.
Formed a great partnership with Dennis Lillee which yielded 96 wickets. Regarded as one of the best keepers in the game taking 343 catches and scoring 3,633 at an average of 26.51 over 96 test matches.
Jason Gillespie, no 9 batsman and fast-medium paced bowler.
In 71 tests he took 259 wickets at a healthy average of 26.13 making him Australia's sixth highest wicket taker. He also scored 1,218 runs at an average of 18.73, one of the best tail enders who annoyed many a bowler. he once scored 201 not out setting a World record for a night watchman.
Muttiah Muralitharan, no 10 batsman and off break spinner.
Alongside Warne the best spinner the game has ever seen. He holds the worl record for the highest wicket taker in both forms of the game (test/one day), 800 wickets in 132 test matches at a measly average of 24.44.
Courtney Walsh, no 11 rabbit and ****ing fast bowler.
Weirdly he has played the same amount of tests as Muri (132) and has exactly the same average of 24.44 and took 519 wickets. Held his own over a career which spanned 17 years against some great west Indian bowlers. 6'6" and full of muscle...a very economical bowler who took wickets regularly, his natural athleticism ensured he was both accurate and durable, even over very long spells and he extracted vicious bounce, even on pitches which were not exactly kind to fast bowlers.
Summary....i don't have one as such. We all have picked very good teams and it is all down to opinions. I hope you read my write up, took me ****ing ages.
8114 test runs at an average of 47.72. Top score of 246n.o.22 centuries.
Averaged over 100 in 1971 and 1979.33 catches.
Current England captain and youngest Englishman to reach 1000,2000,3000,4000,5000 and 6000 runs.Has 6545 runs with an average of 48.48 currently.Top score of 294 in tests 72 catches.
Only played 17 tests but had an average of 54.20 and a top score of 227 and 1084 runs overall.4 centuries.
Aussie captain for 5 years and one of only 5 Aussies to average over 50,53.86 to be precise.Only lost 13 Test Matches out of 48 and took 47 wickets with 5/61 his best figures.122 catches.
5444 runs at an average of 45.36 is pretty impressive for a New Zealand player and captain.Has a first class average of 56.02.Includes 17 test centuries.Top score was 299,a New Zealand record.Shared a 467 run partnership in 1991,a world record at the time.71 catches too.
Has world record test dismissals for a wicket keeper,532 catches and 23 stumpings.Has 5515 runs at an average of 30.30 and a high score of 125.
Former Pakistan captain and played from 1961 to 1985.3931 runs at an average of 38.92 with 8 centuries and a top score of 167.One of only 4 players to score a century before lunch,108 off 112 balls in 1976/77.Also took 27 wickets.70 catches.
Off spinner with 147 wickets at 38.40 apiece.Also high scored with 55 v Aussies in their pomp and was arguably Englands best player of Shane Warne in his early days.
Took 5 wickets 6 times and has a best of 7/78 in an innings.34 catches and an excellent slip fielder.
234 wickets at 29.91 apiece and 13 five wicket hauls.Best bowling 7/46 and has a top score of 49 n.o.21 catches.
202 wickets at 26.66 apiece. Six 5 wicket hauls and one 10 wicket haul with a best of 7/40.Only played 49 tests because of his non conformist nature.16 catches too.
291 wickets at 28.63 apiece.5 wickets in an innings 14 times and two 10 wicket match hauls.Best bowling 8/97.19 catches and a top score with the bat of 42 n.o.
Here is the simplified version of the AS XI in batting order (and preferred fielding positions)-
Andrew Strauss (c): 1st slip
Ed Barlow: 3rd slip / gully
Justin Langer: Bat pad / point (also reserve opening batsman)
Jacques Kallis: 2nd slip
Michael Clarke (vc): Gully / point / cover
Rohan Kanhai: Cover / mid-wicket / reserve wk
Denis Lindsay: Wicketkeeper
Shaun Pollock: Mid-off / sweeper / third man
Merv Hughes: Fine Leg / deep square leg (also reserve opening bowler)
Bhagwath Chandrasekhar: Mid-on / mid-off
Bruce Reid: Deep square leg / fine leg
Features of my team-
BATTING: I have 129 x 100's scored by my batting six, a left/right specialist opening batting pair, a top 4 that will grind the bowling opposition down and lay the foundation for a big score, then the stroke-makers from 5-8 to make said big score.
BOWLING: I have left-right opening bowlers who both offer a lot of control and wicket-taking in one, a workhorse who will do the dirty work, a match-winning spinner (supported by a left-handed spinner when the need arises) and all ably supported by two very capable change bowlers, one a swinger and one a seamer of the ball. Quality and variety in an a-****ing-bundance!
FIELDING: Catches win matches and my catching quintet behind the stumps would rival any in history. Good luck snicking something through that cordon!
LEADERSHIP: In my team I have 3 former (Strauss, Kanhai, Pollock) and 1 current (Clarke) successful Test captains, with Strauss being the pick of the bunch and Michael Clarke's steadily increasing reputation as Australian captain earning him the vice-captaincy.
And here is the unabridged version for you cricket nutters (like me!)-
Andrew Strauss (c)- 7037 runs @ 40.91 (21 x 100's) in 100 Tests.
Very solid opening bat who enjoyed occupying the crease taking the shine off the new ball by batting for long periods. When you consider that the majority of his innings were facing the new ball in English conditions, it makes his numbers even more impressive, as was his ability to convert 50's into 100's. Also a shrewd captain who led England to some of its finest results in recent memory (including yes, that annihilation of Australia in Australia in 2010/11, something that hadn't been done in nearly a quarter of a century). Also had a great pair of hands in slips, taking 121 catches.
Eddie Barlow- 2516 runs @ 45.74 (6 x 100's) in 30 Tests
In 140 years of Test Cricket, getting off to a flier has never been as important as seeing off the new ball and laying the foundation for the team. For that reason, Ed Barlow joins his skipper at the top of the order, forming a very gritty, left/right hand batting combination. Quite a handy change bowler (40 wickets at 34) and a great slips fieldsman too, with 35 catches taken there in his brief Test career cut tragically short by apartheid.
Justin Langer- 7696 runs @ 45.27 (23 x 100's) in 105 Tests
A great counter-attacking batsman who spent the first half of his career as a tough No.3 before forming one of the great opening combinations in modern times with Matthew Hayden, where he became a lot more expansive in his stroke play. Had the ability to bat for long periods and was known as a great team man. He was good in the slips, but more importantly, was great in under the helmet at bat pad during Shane Warne's time (taking 73 catches in all), making him ideal in close for Chandrasekhar's spinners.
Jacques Kallis- 12837 runs @ 57.30 (44 x 100's) & 280 wickets @ 32.73 in 156 Tests
Quite simply one of the most complete cricketers the game has ever seen. An impeccable batting technique along with his calm, composed temperament makes him the prized wicket in any game, having scored centuries in every part of the world against all types of bowling. His fast-medium swing bowling has yielded almost 2 wickets per match at a very tidy average, making him the perfect '4th' seamer. His slips fielding is rock solid and his 189 catches are a tribute to his sure hands. Maintaining such a record over 15 years will ensure he goes down as one of the all-time legends of the game.
Michael Clarke (vc)- 6356 runs @ 50.84 (20 x 100's) in 84 Tests
Scoring 151 on debut in India as a 23 year-old and against the spinning greats of Anil Kumble and Harbajhan Singh instantly told the world of the talent (and ability to play spin) of this precocious boy known as 'Pup'. However, a combination of rash strokes, off-field issues and form slumps meant he had a lot of learning to do in order to capitalise on his undoubted talent. That he has averaged 92 since becoming captain in March 2011 and 112 in 2012 (including 2 double centuries and a triple century) shows he has matured into a complete batsman, with a full array of strokes and the temperament to match. He is also a very handy left-arm spinner, with 2 Test 5-wicket hauls under his belt, an ideal partner for Chandrasekhar in the event of a dustbowl pitch or exploiting footmarks on the last day. His 95 catches in slips/gully, along with his deadly left arm make him a great in-close fieldsman. His captaincy record is improving with every Test, hence him being an able deputy to Strauss.
Rohan Kanhai- 6227 runs @ 47.53 (15 x 100's) in 79 Tests
A man who spent most of his career in the shadows of some West Indian greats like Weekes, Worrell, Sobers and Lloyd, he still managed to hold his own, to the point that the legendary Sunil Gavaskar rated him as the best batsman he had ever seen. One of the real flair players of the 60's, he had every stroke in the book and footwork to match. When you consider that he scored centuries in the varying conditions of England, Pakistan, Australia, India and the West Indies, against the frightening pace of Lillee and the subtle spin of Subhash Gupte, all over a 16 year period, Gavaskar's comments make a lot more sense. He kept wicket for the Windies in a number of Tests, making him a handy reserve keeper and an already good fieldsman with 50 catches in all.
Denis Lindsay (wk)- 1130 runs @ 37.66 (3 x 100's) + (57 catches, 2 stumpings) in 19 Tests
Yet another South African cut down in his absolute prime due to apartheid, Lindsay made the most of his limited opportunities at the highest level, including one of the most spectacular series ever by a wicketkeeper in the 1966/67 series against Australia, which was also the first time South Africa had ever defeated Australia in a series. He scored 606 runs, took 24 catches and, using one of the great indicators of a genuine gloveman, conceded only a staggering 6 byes in 5 Tests. An out and out stroke maker with the bat, he is perfectly placed at No 7, much like Adam Gilchrist in his prime, to flay a tiring attack to all parts.
Shaun Pollock- 421 wickets @ 23.11 & 3781 runs @ 32.31 (2 x 100's) in 108 Tests
The last of my 4 South Africans, Shaun Pollock was express pace in his early days, before easing up the pace (but only slightly) to develop into a McGrath-esque metronomical opening bowler of unerring line and length, as his career economy rate of 2.39 runs per over indicates. As well as being a strike bowler, he was more than useful with the bat, as his numbers suggest. . And something I have made a point of noting, his 72 catches as an almost-exclusive outfielder suggests a very safe pair of hands to go along with a bullet throwing arm.
Merv Hughes- 212 wickets @ 28.38 in 53 Tests
With a heart bigger than his infamous mo, Merv would bowl all day on the flattest of tracks if required. The real workhorse of the bowling attack, he also didn't mind throwing in a few bouncers when the opposition needed roughing up, offering batsmen some 'choice' words of advice or bowling an aggressive spell when his team needed a wicket. Though his bowling average isn't in the low 20's like the absolute elite bowlers, his strike rate of 57 and average of 4 wickets per Test played are certainly in the top bracket.
Bhagwath Chandrasekhar- 242 wickets @ 29.74 in 58 Tests
When Sir Vivian rates you alongside D K Lillee as the hardest bowler he has ever faced, you know you have something special. In pure numbers, there are plenty of bowlers with superior records. However, when you consider that in India's first ever Test match victories in both England and Australia respectively (7 years apart), neither of which are known as spin-friendly, 'Chandra' took a staggering 20 wickets from those 2 historicTests, the English victory also winning India's first ever series in that country and narrowly missing the same result in Australia. A tad erratic at times, I chose this man for his out and out match-winning ability to bowl the unplayable ball, and good luck to the batsmen facing his googlies and top-spinners if it is a last-day turner!
Bruce Reid- 113 wickets @ 24.63 in 27 Tests
Forming a very accurate left-right hand opening bowling combination with Pollock, Reid's career was cut short due to injuries from being overworked in his early career when he was one of the few shining lights in a very dark period of Australian cricket. However, he'd not encounter that problem due to my wide and varied bowling attack. His ability to straighten the ball to the right-hander (are you listening, Mitchell Johnson?) and to get steepling bounce from a good length were the features of his short but nonetheless very impressive Test career. Took his wickets at the very elite strike rate of 55.2
Bill Lawry – Hundreds - 13, Fifties - 27, Ave - 47.15
Marvan Atapattu – Hundreds - 16, Fifties - 17, Ave - 39.02
Rahul Dravid – Hundreds - 36, Fifties - 63, Ave - 52.31
Alvin Kallicharan – Hundreds - 12, Fifties - 21, Ave - 44.43
Saleem Malik – Hundreds - 15, Fifties - 29, Ave - 43.69
Matt Prior – Hundreds - 6, Fifties - 22, Ave - 42.61
Ray Illingworth – Hundreds - 2, Fifties - 5, Ave - 23.34; Wickets -122, Ave - 31.20
Chaminda Vaas – Wickests - 355, Ave - 29.58
Derek Underwood – Wickets - 297, Ave - 25.83
Jimmy Anderson – Wickets - 276, Ave - 30.40
Curtly Ambrose – Wickets - 405, Ave - 20.99
Lawry – The man described as “hard to watch as he was hard to dismiss” is the person I have opening and I think you need a bit of that in your opening partnership. Averaging 47 as an opener is an extremely impressive average considering the quality of bowlers and untreated pitches he would have been batting on.
Atapattu – To complement the dour yet effective Lawry I have one of the most exciting openers in Test cricket to play the game. Very much a boom or bust player, Atapattu could carve up opening attacks in the space of 20 overs with his beautiful cover drive and ever fluent strokes. Once he was in it was very hard to stop him, achieving 6 double hundreds – the fourth highest in Test cricket.
Rahul Dravid – I really don’t know how to describe how much I respect and love Dravid as a player, probably my favourite batsman ever. His stats speak for itself really, 36 hundreds is an astonishing achievement and whilst he may not got the recognition he deserves I have a feeling Dravid likes it that way.
Kallicharan – Only a diminutive batsman but one of the most effective for the West Indies in their pomp during the 70s. He had a full array of strokes to put away any bowling attack and his 12 hundreds and 21 fifties account for this. Unfortunately, his career was cut short due to the Packer incident but there’s no doubting he was a brilliant batsman in a brilliant team.
Malik – Another wristy player to add to my team, I brought in Malik to see off them pesky spinners if the others should have failed. The man who could bat against any spin attack in the world, he even saw off Warne in Pakistan, Malik was a strong choice for my 5th batsman. I’ll ignore the match fixing part of his career. *whistles innocently*
Matt Prior – One of the most modern players in my team and in my opinion the epitome of a modern day wicket keeper. An extremely aggressive yet extremely good batsman, Prior brings to the team that extra bit of urgency if needed. In my humble opinion he’s probably the best wicket-keeper at the moment and his second innings performance in India this week further enforces that.
Illingworth – A bit part player who had a decent average batting and bowling but he is there for his ability to captain this team. He had a decent average with his offbreak and was handy with his batting but he came into his element with captaincy, only losing 5 of his 31 games.
Vaas – One of my two swing bowlers, Vaas has achieved the most amounts of wickets as a seam bowler from Sri Lanka. His consistent line of length and his ability to nibble it away both ways made him a potent opening bowler and his 355 wickets attest to this.
Underwood – “Deadly” Derek as he was known had racked up the most amounts of wickets achieved by an English spinner and adds to my spin attack with Illingworth. He could probably hit a 50 pence on the pitch if you asked him to such was his accuracy – that combined with his spin made him England’s best ever spinner.
Anderson – The second swing bowler and one of the best too. There’s not many batsman who can handle Anderson when the ball sings; getting it going both ways and it literally hooping from one side to the other has made Anderson a feared opening bowler. In a period where swing bowlers are being negated by slow/flat pitches Anderson has managed to propel himself to a top class bowler.
Ambrose –A giant in every sense of the word. An extremely quiet man off the field yet turned into a different animal when on it, he could destroy any batting order with his brute pace and accuracy. No batsmen ever wanted to face Curtly and it’s easy to see why.
I feel my team has everything you need in a draft team – excellent openers who complement each other, a deep and strong middle order, a brilliant leader, a mixture of seam bowlers and a quality spin bowler. Then again you could say that for all other teams to be honest. What else do I have that could swing it? Erm. How about a player who was suspended for match fixing and a player who was ostracized for joining a rebel tour of South Africa? If that can’t convince you then I don’t know what will.
1. Graeme Smith (C)
2. Herschelle Gibbs
3. Hashim Amla
4. Allan Border
5. Zaheer Abbas
6. Hashan Tillakaratne
7. Brendon McCullum (WK)
8. Terry Alderman
9. Mushtaq Ahmed
10. Glen McGrath
11. Shoaib Akhtar
All my players have played a minimum of 40 tests, and the position I have picked them in is where they have their best batting average, the top 7 batsmen will all average 40+ in their respective positions(not career average).
Graeme Smith - Averages 50, the guy's a born winner. He was given the captaincy after just 8 test matches and captains my team as he has a better win percentage than Allan Border.
Herschelle Gibbs -Averages 47 opening the batting. Which is far higher than his career 40 where he was poor when further down the order.
As an opening pair, they average 55. Which is higher than any of the top 10 greatest openers. (where the top 10 is based on number of runs scored)
Hashim Amla averages 56, will undoubtedly go down as one of the greats when he retires.
Allan Border averages 50 is Australia's leading run scorer and most capped player. I need say no more.
Zaheer Abbass. One of only 2 players I haven't seen play, but was known as the Asian Bradman. Praise indeed. Averages 53.
Hashan Tillakaratne averages 46 coming in at number 6. I'd settle for an average like that.
Brendon McCullum averages 40 coming in at number 7 and will quickly take a game away from you with an impressive 60 runs per 100 balls.
Onto the bowlers.
Terry Alderman only played 41 matches mainly because of a 3 year ban from Test cricket, he still managed an impressive 170 wickets at an average of 27 and 1 every 10 overs.
Mushtaq Ahmed 185 wickets at an average of 33 and 1 every 11 overs.
Glenn McGrath, ladies and gents, only Monty could argue this isn't the greatest fast bowler of all time, 563 wickets at an average of 21. And a wicket around every 9 overs bowled. I don't even know why I need to argue a case for this true legend. The only bowlers on the all time list above him are spin bowlers.
Shoaib Akhtar, the fastest bowler in test history and a controversial pick. In his limited career he amassed 178 wickets at an average of 25, but crucially a wicket every devastating 7 overs.
That is my team. I'm very happy with the balance. My bowlers bowl. My batsmen bat.