Tuesday, 18 September 2007

Greatest Test XI

So I have now picked what I believe to be the Greatest Test XI of those who made their debuts in 1908 or later. The side (click on a player's name to read the piece on them) is:

Herbert Sutcliffe
Len Hutton
Don Bradman
Wally Hammond
Garry Sobers
Imran Khan (captain)
Adam Gilchrist
Malcolm Marshall
Shane Warne
Curtley Ambrose
Muttiah Muralitharan

This is the XI I have picked to play on an unknown surface. To lend a little more realism to the task, here is my 'second XI' for them to play against:
Jack Hobbs
Sunil Gavaskar
George Headley
Brian Lara
Graeme Pollock
Keith Miller
Les Ames
Richard Hadlee
Alan Davidson
Dennis Lillee
Bill O'Reilly

What's your verdict? Which of these teams would win?

62 comments:

Gana said...

what made you leave out Sachin Tendulkar ? Certainly he is better than Hammond in his prime.

Anonymous said...

gOOD JOB!!! GREAT JOB ACTUALLY!!!people Maaay argue on Gavaskar against Hutton.

But there's definitely greater fast bowlers than Ambrose(despite his imposing height and record!!!) right? Lindwall,Truman,Garner/Holding etc.
Greatestof them ? Barnes.

Tim said...

Anon - Barnes made his debut before 1908, so therefore wasn't eligible for my side. Otherwise, he'd almost certainly have been in?

Gideon said...

Just stumbled upon your blog; very interesting, and I shall enjoy reading the content. My own blog documents the results of All-Time Great matches that I play using a detailed statistical simulation program, and purely based on the stats generated in these games, my XI would be:

JB Hobbs
SM Gavaskar
DG Bradman
RG Pollock
IVA Richards
MJ Procter
Imran Khan (c)
APE Knott (wk)
J Garner
SF Barnes
WJ O'Reilly

As Barnes is not eligible for your side though, I would bring in Ray Lindwall instead.

Stuart said...

Great XI - it is really hard to pick a best ever XI as there are so many amazing players that miss out. I couldn't argue with any of your selections, although naturally you could subsitute players in for almost any of them (except Bradman and Sobers) and still end up with a fantastic side.

A players who haven't been mentioned could include Clyde Walcott as 2nd XI keeper (he kept for the Windies for a while before giving up the gloves to concentrate on batting), Wasim Akram (amazingly skilled left armer), Sachin Tendulkar (although not in place of Hammond) and possibly someone like Jim Laker. There was also this good fielder (shame about his battting) called Viv Richards who used to do OK. We could keep going on (and its fun to do so :)

Well done.

Tim said...

Cheers guys.

I considered Walcott (probably a better batsman than Gilly) but decided he did not really keep enough for the West Indies.

Gideon said...

I'd be happy to play a series involving your first and second XIs. I'd need to finish my current IND v NZL match-up first, then I could play the games. Let me know how many Tests you want played, and also the venue for the series. Finally, do you want me to play the same XIs in each Test, or shall I allow for injuries? If it's the latter, I'd need the names of a few reserves.

Tim said...

Gideon - thanks for the reply.

If you could, a five Test series played in five different countries (on a variety of wickets) would be ideal. And it'd probably better with no injuries.

Anyway, it would be fantastic if you could do the series, and I'll be sure to plug it here.

Gideon said...

Well, I've played the series and will be posting the results on my blog shortly. I made Gavaskar captain of the 2nd XI and played all five Tests on 'autoplay' to ensure impartiality. The venues I chose were Cape Town, Lord's, Barbados, Mumbai and Melbourne.

It proved a very interesting exercise, and you'll soon see how your selections got on!

Soulberry said...

Err...is that simulator available online?

And any direction towards where I could find more details about it would be much appreciated.

Gideon said...

Soulberry

Unfortunately, the computer version of the game is not available any more, but the original dice and chart version ('International Cricket') can be bought on www.owzatgames.com. All the information you need should be there.

Anonymous said...

Excellent JOB. Absolutely justifiable. My personal observation if you will is Barnes(universally accepted as greatest bowler) over Murali(dicey action!) and maybe just maybe Lillee/Lindwal over Ambrose? Maybe not. Ambrose's height added to him being Lethal. Fantastic batting order with atleast 2 of the first 5 would always make 100s and then the Don..always.
Only regret: Wonderful wonderful Graeme Pollock cannot fit in. he surely was the greatest timer and gapfinder of a cricket ball!!!

Hemant Nayak Chicago

srini said...

I feel that you should not have put a condition of 1908 as the year. Why 1908 ? Why not 1928 ? or 1936 ?

I feel that you should attempt to have a team across all generations to bring out the very best as per your judgement.

I feel that Bradman, George Headley, Brian Lara, Sangakarra, Jack Hobbs, Gary Sobers, George Faulkner, Sydney Barnes, Colin Croft, Muttiah Muralitharan and Hugh Tayfield can form one great team.

Anonymous said...

Somebody said, sachin tendulkar is better than wally hammond. Rubbish statement. Wally Hammond was a great batsman whereas Sachin Tendulkar is a good batsman. There was one series of two test matches between England and New Zealand (1932-33). Wally Hammond scored 563runs in 2 innings at an average of 563 !. In the entire series, all the players both sides together scored only 1,472 runs and Wally alone scored 563 out of them (over 38% of all the runs). Show me one such performance of Sachin Tendulkar matching the performance of Wally Hammond.

Let us list out three of Sachin's best batting performances.

(1) 2004-05 Bangladesh India series. He scored 284 runs in two innings at an average of 284. All the players both sides together scored 1,799 runs.(15% for Sachin)
(2) 2006-07 Bangladesh India series. He scored 254 runs in 3 innings at an average of 127. In this series, all the players both sides scored 1,720 runs.(above 14% for Sachin)
(3) 1999-00 India New Zealand series. He scored 435 runs in 6 innings at an average of 109. In this series, all the players both sides together scored 2,912 runs. (over 14% for Sachin)

Let us not ignore the past masters or belittle them.

Anonymous said...

Walter Hammond was in no way a better batsman than Sachin Tendulkar. Just because his best performance in a single series (against NZ, that too, which at that time did not have a test team worth speaking about!) is better than Tendulkar's best performance in a single series does not make him a better batsman. Wally Hammond made big scores before the war when there were no great opposition bowlers (apart from O'Reilly and Grimmett, but he was a good player of spin) and fizzled out when the Don unleashed Lindwall and Miller on him after the war. Sachin has consistently scored against every modern bowling attack (decimating legends like Akram and Warne). Further, he is considered the greater batsman by those like Richie Benaud Don Bradman himself who had a chance to watch both batsmen in action

Tim said...

Great to see this XI is still generating lots of debate!

Re Sachin: his cause has been enhanced by his amazing antics down under, but I definitely stand by my decision to exclude him. In terms of genuinely 'match winning' knocks, few would dispute that Dravid has actually played more.

Josh said...

Interesting...

Wouldn't have picked Sutcliffe or Imran. No Sibers?

My XI:

Sunny Gavaskar
Jack Hobbs
Don Bradman (vice capatain)
Sachin Tendulkar
Viv Richards (captain)
Gary Sobers
Adan Gilchrist
Richard Hadlee
Shane Warne
Malcolm Marshall
Muttiah Muralidaran

Twelth Man: Jonty Rhodes or Roger Harperfor their great fielding skills.

Josh said...

Also, any chance of a greatest ODI side. Mine would be

Sanath Jayasuriya
Adam Gilchrist
Ricky Ponting
Sachin Tendulkar
Viv Richards
Jacques Kallis
Michael Bevan
Wasim Akram
Waqar Younis
Muttiah Muralitharan
Glenn McGrath

Josh said...

While I'm at it, greatest Twenty20 International team

Brendan McCullum (keeper)
Matthew Hayden
Ricky Ponting (captain)
Shoaib Malik
Misbah-ul-Haq
Shahid Afridi (vice-captain)
Justin Kemp
Daniel Vettori
Umar Gul
Dale Steyn
Harvir Baidwan (taken 14 wickets in 6 matches for Canada)

Very hard side to choose. On slogging ability Gilly wouldve got in but he has a very low average and not as good glovework.

Just missed out: Abdur Razzak (B'desh), Ajantha Mendis (Sri L), RP Singh (India), Sanath Jayasuriya, Graeme Smith, Andrew Symonds, Marcus Trescothick

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