Sheek’s cricket selections: 1877-1966 and 1967-2016

sheek Roar Guru

By sheek, sheek is a Roar Guru

 , ,

61 Have your say

    Fellow Roarer Frank O’Keefe has just completed presenting his best 60 all-time Australian cricketers in five batches of 12. I have been inspired to do a similar exercise, but slightly differently.

    I have divided Australian cricket history into two eras, 1877-1866 and 1967-2016. The first 90 years (1877-1966) contains players I never saw live but have only heard and read about.

    The second 50 years (1967-2016) contains players whose careers I have – either completely or mostly – seen live.

    I have decided on a first XI, second XI and favourite XI for each era. The favourite XI is where I can indulge choosing whomever I please without reference to the record books! So without further ado, here goes.

    Baggy Greens first XI, 1877-1966
    Victor Trumper – b.1877, RHB, RM
    Arthur Morris – b.1922, LHB
    Don Bradman (c) – b.1908, RHB
    Neil Harvey – b.1928, LHB
    Charlie Macartney – b.1886, RHB, SLA
    Keith Miller (vc) – b.1919, RHB, RFM
    Don Tallon – b.1916, RHB, WK
    Ray Lindwall – b.1921, RHB, RF
    Clarrie Grimmett – b.1891, RHB, LBG
    Bill O’Reilly – b.1905, LHB, LBG
    Fred Spofforth – b.1853, RHB, RFM

    Baggy Greens second XI, 1877-1966
    Bill Ponsford – b.1900, RHB
    Bill Brown – b.1912, RHB
    Clem Hill (vc) – b.1877, LHB
    Stan McCabe – b.1910, RHB, RM
    Jack Ryder – b.1889, RB, RFM
    Warwick Armstrong (c) – b.1879, RHB, LBG
    Jack Gregory – b.1895, LHB, RFM
    Alan Davidson – b.1929, LHB, LFM
    Jack Blackham – b.1854, RHB, WK
    Hugh Trumble – b.1867, RHB, OB
    Charles Turner – b.1862, RHB, RFM

    Such is the enormous depth of early Australian cricket, that no place can be found for legends such as Richie Benaud, Monty Noble, Lindsay Hassett, Bill Woodfull, Arthur Mailey, Tibby Cotter and several keepers, Bert Oldfield, Sammy Carter and Wally Grout.

    A feature of both teams is the tremendous depth in batting, plus the depth and variety of bowling options.

    Baggy Greens favourite XI, 1877-1966
    Victor Trumper, Arthur Morris, Neil Harvey, Stan McCabe, Charlie Macartney (vc), Keith Miller (c), Jack Gregory, Alan Davidson, Ray Lindwall, Wally Grout (wk), Bill O’Reilly. Syd Barnes (12th man).

    While Bradman’s place as the greatest batsman in history remains mostly unquestioned (except in India, it seems), I have omitted him from my favourites in order to lighten the mood.

    This team is meant to provide and have fun, the Harlem Globetrotters of cricket, and with Miller in charge, he will set the right mood between effort and fun. 12th man Barnes will attend to drinks in full tails attire (as indeed he did in a Sheffield Shield match).

    Baggy Greens first XI, 1967-2016
    Bobby Simpson – b.1936, RHB, LB
    Bill Lawry – b.1937, LHB
    Ricky Ponting – b.1974, RHB
    Greg Chappell – b.1948, RHB, RM
    Allan Border (vc) – b.1955, LHB, SLA
    Steve Waugh (c) – b.1965, RHB, RFM
    Adam Gilchrist – b.1971, LHB, WK
    Mitchell Johnson – b.1981, LHB, LF
    Shane Warne – b.1969, RHB, LBG
    Dennis Lillee – b.1949, RHB, RF
    Glenn McGrath – b.1970 – RHB, RFM

    Baggy Greens second XI, 1967-2016
    Matty Hayden – b.1971, LHB
    Justin Langer – b.1970, LHB
    Ian Chappell (c) – b.1943, RHB, LB
    Michael Clarke (vc) – b.1981, RHB, SLA
    Michael Hussey – b.1975, LHB, RM
    Doug Walters – b.1945, RHB, RM
    Ian Healy – b.1964, RHB, WK
    Jason Gillespie – b.1975, RHB, RFM
    Craig McDermott – b.1965, RHB, RF
    Jeff Thomson – b.1950, RHB, RF
    Stuart MacGill – b.1971, RHB, LBG

    You will note the teams from this era are configured slightly differently, with just one first-choice spinner, and four primary bowlers with 3-4 backup bowlers. Thomson remains the fastest bowler I have seen.

    Notable players to miss out are Mark Taylor, Rod Marsh, Dean Jones, Mark Waugh, Brett Lee, Graham McKenzie, to name just a few. I haven’t chosen either Steve Smith or David Warner because their careers are still evolving.

    Baggy Greens favourite XI, 1967-2016
    Michael Slater, Keith Stackpole, Ian Chappell (c), Greg Chappell (vc), Mark Waugh, Doug Walters, Adam Gilchrist (wk), Gary Gilmour, Shane Warne, Dennis Lillee, Jeff Thomson. David Hookes (12th man).

    Once again, the purpose of the favourites is to play an attractive style of cricket to have fans flocking to the game, or to watch it on TV.


    A former rugby lock, cricket no.11 bat and no.10 bowler, and surfboat rower. A fan of the major team sports in Australia.

    Rebuild announcement

    Have Your Say

    If not logged in, please enter your name and email before submitting your comment. Please review our comments policy before posting on the Roar.

    Oldest | Newest | Most Recent

    The Crowd Says (61)

    • January 18th 2016 @ 3:01pm
      TomCarter'ssprintcoach said | January 18th 2016 @ 3:01pm | ! Report

      Agree generally with your team, and don’t think it’d be a lot of fun trying to get a set AB and S Waugh out, let alone face Johnson and Lillee on a WACA pitch that actually has bounce.

      Just re. the M Waugh comments (and I’m a massive fan, and you’ve partially hinted at it), one thing that works against him is that stats don’t necessarily rate the quality of a dig. He was a bit of a master at frustrating fans, but at the same point swung a lot of games and often played the innings that few others could (Port Elizabeth, being the attacking batsmen with a hundred when S Waugh got his 200). Hard to quantify that ability. I, for instance, rate him much higher than Taylor in terms of being able to influence a match (and one of the few that was better in the slips than Tubby).

    • January 18th 2016 @ 4:04pm
      Johnno said | January 18th 2016 @ 4:04pm | ! Report

      Dean Jones+Greg Matthews, have to be in the favourites 11.
      Steve Smith, already I’d put ahead of “Mike Hussey” in the 2nd 11.

      • Roar Guru

        January 18th 2016 @ 4:58pm
        JGK said | January 18th 2016 @ 4:58pm | ! Report

        No Chris Cairns, Johnno??

        • January 18th 2016 @ 5:28pm
          Johnno said | January 18th 2016 @ 5:28pm | ! Report

          lol kiwi JGK. Lance was a bigger crowd favourite anyway, hitting DK Lillee for 6 with 1 hand.

    • January 18th 2016 @ 4:52pm
      MikeTV said | January 18th 2016 @ 4:52pm | ! Report


      I think David Warner is destined to replace Justin Langer in your Second IX (1967-2016) team. I would already pick him ahead of the other opening batsman from that era including Simon Katich, Michael Slater, Mark Taylor, David Boon, Geoff Marsh, etc, but not sure if he’ll perform well enough to replace Bob Simpson or Bill Lawry in your First IX.

      Most of your batsman in the 1967-2016 teams have batting averages above 47, which is one of the reasons why Mark Waugh always falls short. But his average of 41.81 is only marginally lower than Ian Chappell’s average of 42.42.

      Have you selected Ian Chappell on batting alone or because of his Captaincy ?

      I like your idea of the “favourite IX” but I would have Dean Jones at No. 3, drop Chapelli and let Warnie Captain the team.

      • Roar Guru

        January 18th 2016 @ 6:36pm
        sheek said | January 18th 2016 @ 6:36pm | ! Report

        Hi MikeTV,

        Chappelli averaged nearly 51 at no.3, so he is chosen for both that reason plus his captaincy.I think he is the best captain of my time, but I think I said that!

        In my favourties team there is no way Chappelli is going anywhere but batting at no.3 & captain.

        • January 18th 2016 @ 7:06pm
          MikeTV said | January 18th 2016 @ 7:06pm | ! Report

          You selected Jason Gillespie ahead of Brett Lee. Was that partly influenced by Gillespie’s double hundred ? …. only joking!

          I think its a close call, but while Brett Lee took more wickets per match, he did concede around 40% more runs compared to Gillespie.

          Also, would you consider a swing bowler like Terry Alderman in your second XI ? I wonder what his record might have been had it not been for injuries and the rebel tour.

          • Roar Guru

            January 19th 2016 @ 12:42am
            JGK said | January 19th 2016 @ 12:42am | ! Report

            Huh? It isn’t remotely a close call. Dizzy over Lee every day of the week and twice on Sundays.

            • Roar Guru

              January 21st 2016 @ 2:01pm
              The Bush said | January 21st 2016 @ 2:01pm | ! Report

              Agree, one was a decent fast bowler, the other was Dizzy… Bloody fantastic in his day…

    • Roar Guru

      January 18th 2016 @ 9:34pm
      The Bush said | January 18th 2016 @ 9:34pm | ! Report

      Great read sheek,

      Not knowing a huge amount about pre-WWII players, I find these articles great when I have the chance to get into them.

      One player I’ll admit to not knowing about was Charlie Macartney. Fascinating reading about his approach to batting, but also his comments on what was “modern” cricket in his later days (I presume the ’40s and ’50s). Apparently he found the batsmen boring and a bit pathetic or soft(?).

      We frequently bemoan the potential death of “proper” cricket, but I often wonder if some of the long dead greats of the game might watch a player like Maxwell and love what they see.

      • Roar Guru

        January 19th 2016 @ 12:43am
        JGK said | January 19th 2016 @ 12:43am | ! Report

        Not sure about Maxwell (although they would have marvelled at his fielding) but Macartney almost certainly would have seen T20 and thought “I’d be pretty good at that”.

    • January 19th 2016 @ 10:20am
      SP said | January 19th 2016 @ 10:20am | ! Report

      No Ryan Harris? Pushing for inclusion in the first XI but should easily make the 2nd XI.

    • January 20th 2016 @ 12:01am
      Prosenjit said | January 20th 2016 @ 12:01am | ! Report

      Syd barnes misses out.ryan harris could come in for mcdermott i think.he’s so underrated and will continue to be so it seems.haven’t seen him bowl badly in a match.

    , ,