Here is a mouth-watering fantasy clash for Roarers to ponder over – A best of three Test series between a New South Wales All Time XI and a Rest of Australia All Time XI.
Here are the teams:
New South Wales All Time XI
(48 Tests, 3163 runs, average 39.04, 8 centuries, 13 half-centuries)
Haha, I must laugh, for you would pay a pretty penny just to go and watch this sublimely elegant opening pair bat together.
Focussing on Trumper, lauding his style is indeed compulsory, but his respect us centred around being the master of any type of challenging conditions, which made him be among the most respected batsmen in the game’s history.
( 35 Tests, 2131 runs, average 41.78, 7 centuries and 9 half-centuries)
The aptly nicknamed ‘Governor General’ in honour of how he ruled over bowling with the combination of his immense skill and majestic elegance. He was born an entertainer, as seen in his feats of daring, that would often see him leg glance yorkers from off and middle stump!
Outside of his batting genius, he was more than a useful left-arm spinner as his 45 Test scalps at an average of 27.55 shows.
Sir Don Bradman (Captain)
(52 Tests, 6996 runs, average 99.94, 29 centuries and 13 half-centuries)
I rarely write anything when I am making comment on the immortal ‘Don’, for I always view my words as never giving due homage. So just take these words as an explanation of my stunned awe of the best sportsman ever.
(156 Tests, 11174 runs, average 50.56, 27 centuries and 63 half-centuries)
Most people think of Allan Border when the Baggy Green is mentioned.
With him being the epitome of its meaning, due to not only his immense skill, but also his heart and never say die attitude. You could batter, bruise and even break Border, but you could never beat him, especially in a crisis, where you knew that he would perform.
The man who gave birth to Australia’s greatest ever era through his passion and inspiration.
(46 Tests, 3533 runs, average 46.48, 12 centuries and 12 half-centuries)
Yes, I know Morris is an opener and I am batting him out of position, but I am being selfish out of wanting to see Trumper and MacCartney bat together.
Plus, Morris in his two innings at number five averaged 145, so there is some sense in the move.
Away from me, this left-hander was one gem of a batsman with him being known for his elegance, and delighted the Australian masses for his penchant on beating up on the Poms in the Ashes.
(168 Tests, 10927 runs, average 51.06, 32 centuries and 50 half-centuries)
Very much a Border clone, in that he was so very tough in the mind.
In his play, he was a real stylist with his back-foot square drive being moorish. Just ask the English bowlers from the 1989 Ashes series in England about it.
A great player, in all regards, and also one of the best captains Australia has ever had.
Away from his batting and leadership, also, he was also a very skilful medium pacer.
Adam Gilchrist (WK)
(96 Tests , 379 catches, 37 stumpings)
A very astute gloveman that arguably changed his game with his extraordinary batting that saw him average 47.6 with 17 centuries.
The figures only tell the tale of his batting class, for it was more the style of his batting, that was destructive in the extreme that left all in awe.
(44 Tests, 186 wickets, average 20.53)
It always bemuses me that every time the issue of left-handed bowlers come up, that without hesitation, all proclaim Pakistan’s Wasim Akram as the very best.
With all due respect to the great Akram, Allan Davidson, was every bit as good, and in my humble (and biased ) opinion, indeed better.
Also like Akram, ‘Davo’ was a very dangerous lower order batsman, and an elite fieldsman.
(61 Tests, 228 wickets, average 23.03)
Express pace to go with his precocious skill made Ray Lindwall one of the most respected strike bowlers in the game’s history. Outside of this, his batting was also deadly dangerous with two Test centuries to underline its pedigree.
(124 Tests, 563 wickets, average 21.64)
The man known as Pigeon, and I am sure worse things under batsmen’s breath, is arguably the best fast bowler ever.
Need I say more?
(27 Tests, 144 wickets, average 22.59)
One of the greatest leg-spinners in the style of Anil Kumble, with him delivering at near medium pace with an assortment of top spinners, googlies and leg breaks, all equally as lethal.
The Rest of Australia XI
Matthew Hayden (Queensland)
(103 Tests, 8625 runs, average 50.73, 30 centuries and 29 half-centuries)
In a word, intimidating, from his Adonis like physique to his dominating presence at the pitch.
He would destroy teams in their mind through his play, whether it being the resolute Hayden that was impossible to usurp, or the more domineering one that destroyed attacks.
Bill Ponsford (Victoria)
(29 Tests, 2122 runs, average 48.22, 7 centuries and 6 half-centuries)
The archetypal opener with his powers of concentration of such a degree that it allowed him to bat an eternity in scoring huge scores. Astute against any type of bowling, but with a reputation as being one of the greatest players of spin.
Ricky Ponting (Tasmania)
(168 Tests, 13378 runs, average 51.85, 41 centuries and 62 half-centuries)
Amazing batsman at number three for Australia with him playing the role in such a domineering fashion. He was, in a sense, a throwback with how powerful his hooking and pulling was that dazzled all.
He could play all the shots and put the fear of God in any attack. And was an incredible fielder too.
Greg Chappell (South Australia)
(87 Tests, 7110 runs, average 53.86, 24 centuries and 31 half-centuries)
A great player who had a regal nature about him at the crease that exuded through his natural elegance. He was about as complete as you got; whether it be against pace or spin, he dominated all.
Also, a very useful medium pacer and one of the best slips fieldsmen ever seen.
Neil Harvey (Victoria)
(79 Tests, 6149 runs, average 48.41, 21 centuries and 24 half-centuries)
The Fred Astaire feet of Harvey were a true delight to behold, unless you were a spinner that he was dismantling of course.
He was equally adept against fast bowling as well, and after Bradman, is seen by many as Australia’s best ever batsman.
Keith Miller (Victoria)
(55 Tests, 2958 runs, average 36.97, 7 centuries, 13 half-centuries/170 wickets at an average of 22.97)
Other than Don Bradman, the great all-rounder Keith Miller was Australia’s greatest ever player. He could do anything with bat or ball, but was a showman first, meaning his true genius was never fully defined in his career stats.
Knowing Miller, you could bet his first ball to Bradman in this series would be a searing bouncer.
Ian Healy (Queensland)
(119 Tests, 366 catches, 29 stumpings)
The heartbeat of the great Aussie Team with him being such an inspiration through his relentless desire to succeed and sheer hard work, which took him from an already great gloveman to among the best ever, and from a handy batsman, to one that could be relied on to be decisive in any situation.
Hugh Trumble (Victoria)
(32 Tests, 141 wickets, average 21.78)
Trumble, with his lethal off-spin as well as accomplished lower order batting, gives this team a lovely balance. He was a very heady bowler, that had a swag full of variation, which were delivered at pace ranging from slow to brisk medium.
Shane Warne (Victoria) (Captain)
(145 Tests, 708 wickets, average 25. 41)
The best ever batsman in this clash is Don Bradman, so we need to include the best ever bowler as well.
Plus, I would make him captain of this line-up, seeing he was the greatest captain that Australia never had.
Jason Gillespie (South Australia)
(71 Tests, 259 wickets, average 26.13)
The selecting of Gillespie in this team might be seen as a tad controversial, but in my mind he is one of the most under-rated bowlers ever.
I say this for his figures give scant regard to how great he was, with his skill being comparable to anyone’s as well as being one very smart bowler.
You just have to revert back to his poster card performance in India in 2004, where he took 24 wickets at 16.15 in one of the greatest bowling feats in the modern era.
Dennis Lillee (Western Australia)
(70 Tests, 355 wickets, average 23.92)
Went from a frighteningly quick tear away with real menace in the early 70s, to be revered as the smartest bowler ever seen. He was incredible with his skill and ability to out-think batsmen.
And to think he was viewed as one of the best ever, even after injury threatened his career on more than one occasion.