A Test XI with a difference: the Ians XI
Spiro’s article yesterday mentioned a number of Ians: Botham, Chappell and Bell. This had me thinking, that “the Ians” would have a pretty handy first Test XI. I’ve put together the following team:
Ian Redpath – Opening batsman of the 1960s and ’70s. Played 66 Tests over a 12-year career. Test average of 43 with 14 centuries. Waited until his 66th and final Test before hitting his first six, upon which he promptly hit his second.
Ian Davis – Also from the ’70s. Averaged 26 in Tests with one century. Had a long first class career with WA.
Ian Chappell – Legend of the ’70s. Inspirational leader credited with the resurgence of Australian cricket and the aggressive way it’s played today. Often regarded as the best all wicket player of his generation. Averaged 43. Great slip fielder and handy part-time leg spin bowler.
Ian Bell – Lauded all the way through the England junior ranks and named ICC emerging player of the year in 2006. Now making his mark in Tests. Averages 42 and has 12 Test centuries to his name.
Ian Craig – Became the youngest ever player to play for NSW, play for Australia, make a double hundred for NSW, and captain Australia. Was often compared to Bradman after his NSW debut. Illness cost him his spot in the Australian side. His Test average of 19 doesn’t reflect his immense talent.
Ian Botham – The premier all rounder in the era of all rounders. Botham could dominate a game with bat or ball. At one stage held the Test record for most wickets when he passed Dennis Lillee’s mark. Took almost 400 Test wickets, scored over 5000 runs and took over 100 catches.
Ian Healy – Held the record for Test dismissals for a time. Excellent keeper to spin or pace but the highlight was watching him keep to Warnie. Also scored four hundreds and became a genuine all rounder by the time of his retirement.
Ian Johnson – Off spin bowling all-rounder who was a member of the 1948 Invincibles. Took a hundred wickets and scored a thousand runs in Tests, including five 50′s. Captained Australia 17 times in the 1950s.
Ian Meckiff – Left arm pace bowler who used to bowl at incredible speed off just 16 paces. Had his career controversially finished when no balled for throwing in 1963 (although he’d be right these days with the 15 degree bent arm law). Also a big hitting lower order batsman who played in the famous tied Test against the West Indies.
Ian Bishop – Regarded as the quickest bowler in the world when he burst on the scene in the late 80′s. Tragically, back injuries cut short his career but not before he claimed 160 Test wickets at an average of 23.
Ian Peebles – English leggie of the 1930s. Regarded for a time as the best leggie in the world (high praise as O’Reilly and Grimmett played in the same era). Was Wisden cricketer of the year in 1931 and dismissed Bradman for 14 in 1930. Took 45 Test wickets at an average of 30.91.
Outstanding attack with right arm Bishop and left arm Meckiff opening the bowling, Botham at first change and an offie and a leggie.
Any other teams out there to beat the Ians?
Roar expert Glenn Mitchell's video review of Day 4 of the second Ashes Test at Adelaide Oval