Selecting an all-time World Cricket Eleven
I have greatly enjoyed the discussion and debate over the All time West Indian and Australian teams both here on The Roar and on Cricinfo. The selections were by no means straightforward or unanimous.
Of particular interest to me, and the biggest point of contention, was the inclusion of Brian Lara. My initial reaction was utter shock that anyone could leave Lara out of an all time West Indian XI, but after reading the arguments for leaving the great Lara out, I too am uncertain he belongs in that side.
Many believe that Vivian Richards should take the spot over Lara due to his aggressive batting style and similar average.
But surely there is room for both great players, right?
You would think so, but upon closer inspection, the answer to this question becomes very difficult indeed.
So I got to thinking about an all time World XI and realized that I could go mad trying to whittle down my short list to just eleven players. Not just the best eleven players, but the best players in each position.
So I thought I would throw the cat among the pigeons and put this conundrum to everyone on the Roar. I have no doubt the debate will be fierce, but perhaps with the help of all the Roar readers, some degree of consensus can be reached.
I will begin with the easy picks first.
I don’t see how anyone can argue with the inclusion of my opening pair.
1. W.G GRACE
Generally regarded as the greatest player of all time. Cricinfo has a great documentary about W.G on their website,part of the legends of cricket series if you haven’t watched it yet, take a look.
2. Sir Donald George Bradman
Test batting Average 99.94. Enough said.
That’s the easy part, from here it gets tricky but I’m gonna start the debate by naming my full eleven
1 W.G Grace
2. Sir Donald Bradman
3. Sachin Tendulkar
Holds every record worth owning in the game. 48 hundreds, 56 fifties at an average over 56
4. Ricky Ponting
Test average against all sides is consistently impressive.
Ponting is the player I am most uncertain about. With the batting talent in the side, I am on the fence a bit as to whether I drop Ponting and bring in another all rounder, moving Viv Richards up to 4 and bringing in Shaun Pollock.
5. Viv Richards
Average of 50.23, the most feared batsmen of all time. His ability to score very quickly and also a handy part time bowler gets him in above the likes of Lara. Also better average than Lara.
6. Imran Khan
Great all rounder – 362 wickets at average of 22.81, batting average of 37.69 and excellent captain.
7. Adam Gilchrist
5570 test runs at an average 47.60 and an amazing career test strike rate of 81.95, high score 204 n.o. Exceptional wicket keeper, and among the most devastating batsmen of all time.
8. Sir Richard Hadlee
431 test wickets at average of 22.29. Devastating control and intelligence, first to take 400 Test wickets, a genuine all rounder with a batting average of 27.16 and a high score of 156 n.o.
9. Wasim Akram
414 test wickets at average of 22.64. Perhaps the best left-arm fast bowler of all time, mastery over swing and seam, moved the ball both ways in one delivery. Batting average of 22.64 and high score of 257 n.o.
10. Malcolm Marshall
376 wickets at an average of 20.94. Could do it all, fierce pace, swing and cut both ways, a vicious bouncer, and above all, the ability to out think any batsman.
11. Shane Warne
708 wickets at an average of 25.41. Figures not quite as impressive as Muralitharan, but Warne was more attacking and was competing for wickets with other greats like McGrath and Brett Lee.
12. Sir Jack Hobbs
Test career was restricted by WW1. Nobody has scored more first-class runs than his 61,760, or more hundreds than his 199, Might have scored many more had the Great War not intervened or if he hadn’t been inclined to get out shortly after reaching 100 to let someone else have a go.
A for Captain, W.G Grace is the father of cricket. He literally wrote the book on technique, so he is my choice. but in this XI, nearly anyone could be the captain.
I am sure many of you will disagree with my selections and am looking forward to hearing why.
Let the debate begin!
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