Recently, Wisden Almanack celebrated its 150th anniversary by naming an all time Test XI, but while the team was a good one, I still feel there can be a better XI than the Wisden XI, therefore I decided to make my own.
There have been some really great opening batsmen coming from different countries e.g Len Hutton and Jack Hobbs from England, Sunil Gavaskar from India, and Hanif Mohammad from Pakistan.
It is very hard to choose between these lads but I will go for two Englishmen, Jack Hobbs and Len Hutton, as my opening batsmen.
The number three spot will go to Sir Don Bradman, as I see no one near the great Australian batsman.
The middle order has some great contenders in Viv Richards, Sachin Tendulkar, Brian Lara and Javed Miandad.
There can be no denying Viv Richards’ greatness, so he is automatically the number four spot.
Sachin Tendulkar is very good, but the era Javed and Viv played had better bowlers than Sachin’s era and the Indian batsman was fragile in pressure situations, therefore I’ll pick Miandad at number five.
The all rounder spot easily goes to Sir Garfield Sobers, as there is none compare to him as an all rounder – only Imran Khan comes near to him in greatness but not good enough to be picked.
At number seven I’ll pick my wicketkeeper batsman and, unlike others, I will go with Rodney Marsh to keep wickets for my team. He was as quick as a flash behind stumps and I see no one better than him as a keeper.
I will have three pace bowlers in Malcolm Marshall, Michael Holding and Sir Charles Aubrey Smith.
The selection of the latter may sound stupid, as he played only one Test and was an amateur fast bowler, still his record is so impressive against strong opponents of his time, and his accuracy was flawless.
Aubrey Smith will not only play for my team but will lead the team too, as he led his Sussex county club to victories against much stronger oppositions.
Aubrey can play in any XI. Wasim Akram is the third best pace bowler after Michael Holding and Malcolm Marshall, but I picked Aubrey Smith for his accuracy, captaincy skills and his ability to bowl long spells without getting exhausted.
Finally I’ll have Muttiah Muralitharan as my lone spin bowler.
Many may think Shane Warne is a better choice, but Muralitharan’s record as compared to Warne against every opponent was far better, therefore the Sri Lankan deservingly takes the spinning role.
That concludes my all time XI: Jack Hobbs, Len Hutton, Don Bradman, Viv Richards, Javed Miandad, Gary Sobers, Rodney Marsh (wicketkeeper), Malcolm Marshall, Michael Holding, Charles Aubrey Smith (Captain), Muttiah Muralitharan.
Wisden all time XI was: Jack Hobbs, W.G Grace, Don Bradman, Sachin Tendulkar, Viv Richards, Gary Sobers, Alan Knott, Shane Warne, Wasim Akram, Malcolm Marshall, Sydney Barnes.