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Team of the Month: A November-born World Cricket XI

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Roar Guru
26th November, 2023

This is the most watchable team in the entire series, and one of the strongest. I’d travel far, and pay a lot, to see it. Many players are crowd favourites who regularly delivered match-winning performances. The inclusion of four pre-WWII batsmen gives its top order a vintage flavour. It also includes one current player.

1. Victor Trumper (Australia, born 2 November 1877)

48 Tests, 1899-1912, 3163 runs at 39.04, eight centuries

Trumper was a batting genius adored by spectators, and known for his skill on rain-affected pitches. Beldam’s photograph of him jumping out to drive is iconic. Many experts declared him the greatest batsman that they had ever seen. Cricinfo named him in its all-time Australian XI in 2010.

While his career strike-rate of 67.1 is unsurpassed among pre-WWII batsmen, his average and aggregate suffered from regularly giving away his wicket to a deserving bowler when victory was not at stake. Sadly he died at the age of 37, after years of ill-health.

In his second Test, he scored 135 not out at Lord’s. In Australia’s three-run win at Old Trafford in 1902, he scored a century before lunch on a soft pitch. Against England in 1903-04, he scored 574 runs at 63.77, including 74 from 80 deliveries in a total of 122 on a wet pitch at the MCG.

(Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Cricinfo recently rated his innings of 159 against South Africa at the MCG in 1910-11 as one of the best 100 ever played. He amassed 662 runs at 94.57 in that series.


2. Herbert Sutcliffe (England, born 24 November 1894)

54 Tests, 1924-1935, 4555 runs at 60.73, 16 centuries

Sutcliffe was one of England’s greatest opening batsmen, with concentration and the hook shot among his greatest strengths. His average innings lasted 163 deliveries, a figure exceeded only by Don Bradman with 164. WWI had delayed his first-class debut until the age of 24.

He averaged 66.85 in Ashes games, with six centuries in 14 Tests in Australia alone. He formed an outstanding combination with Jack Hobbs, with whom he added 157 and 100 in their first Ashes match together, and 283 in the next one. In that series in 1924-25, he scored 734 runs at 81.55.

3. Dudley Nourse (South Africa, born 12 November 1910)

34 Tests, 1935-1951, 2960 runs at 53.81, nine centuries

Nourse is one of his nation’s greatest batsmen. Cricinfo named him in its all-time South Africa XI in 2010. WWII, which commenced when he was aged 28, deprived him of his peak years.


Two of his finest performances were achieved in England. At Old Trafford in 1947, he scored 115 on a rain-affected pitch. At Trent Bridge in 1951, he scored a match-winning 208 with a broken thumb. And previously in Johannesburg in 1935-36, he mastered Bill O’Reilly and Clarrie Grimmett to score 231 from 355 deliveries with 36 boundaries.

4. Younis Khan (Pakistan, born 29 November 1977)

118 Tests, 2000-2017, 10,099 runs at 52.05, 34 centuries, 139 catches

Younis was one of his nation’s finest batsmen. He often played at his best in adversity, or in a match’s fourth innings, or away from home.

Cricinfo recently rated three innings by him, all away, among the best 100 ever, a number exceeded only by Don Bradman and Brian Lara. In Bengaluru in 2004-05, he amassed 267 and 84 not out to mastermind victory over arch-rival India. In Pallekele in 2015, he scored 171 not out to anchor a successful 377-run chase. And at The Oval in 2016, he scored 218 to secure a series-levelling victory.

5. Stanley Jackson (England, born 21 November 1870) (c)


20 Tests, 1893-1905, 1415 runs at 48.79, five centuries, 24 wickets at 33.29

Jackson was English cricket royalty, a graceful batsman, and fast-medium bowler. He served in the Boer War and later as a member of parliament, Governor of Bengal, chairman of the Conservative Party, president of the MCC, and chairman of England selectors. He had previously been Winston Churchill’s fagmaster at Harrow.

In his first two Tests, he scored 91 and 103. The 1905 season was known as “Jackson’s Year” after he led England to a series victory, won all five tosses, topped the batting averages with 492 runs at 70.28 including two centuries, and the bowling averages with 13 wickets at 15.46. Being an amateur cricketer with so many interests, sadly he could never accept any of many invitations to tour Australia.

6. Keith Miller (Australia, born 28 November 1919) (vc)

55 Tests, 1946-1956, 2958 runs at 36.97, seven centuries, 170 wickets at 22.97

Miller was a born leader, classical batsman, fiery pace bowler, fighter pilot, VFL player for St Kilda, and blessed with film-star looks. He scored 181 on first-class debut, then lost his peak years to WWII. Cricinfo named him in its all-time Australian XI in 2010. His ICC all-rounder ranking peaked in 1952 as the fourth-highest of all time.

Against England in 1946-47, he scored 384 runs at 76.80, and took 16 wickets at 20.87. Then in 1950-51, he scored 350 runs at 43.75, and took 17 wickets at 17.70. In 1954-55 in the West Indies, he scored three centuries. At Lord’s in 1956, at the age of 36, he took 5/72 and 5/80 to set up victory.


7. Adam Gilchrist (Australia, born 14 November 1971)

96 Tests, 1999-2008, 5570 runs at 47.60, 17 centuries, 379 catches, 37 stumpings

The left-handed Gilchrist redefined the role of wicketkeeper-batsman, scoring at a rate of 81.95 runs per 100 balls, and averaging above 50 for almost his entire career. He also captained Australia to a historic series win in India in 2004-05.

Cricinfo named him in its all-time Australian XI and World XI in 2010, and recently rated his innings of 149 not out against Pakistan in Hobart in 1999-2000 among the best 100 ever played. Other batting highlights included an undefeated 204 in Johannesburg in 2001-02, and a 57-ball century against England at the WACA in 2006-07. His ‘keeping highlights in Ashes series included 26 dismissals in 2001, and 25 in 2002-03, and 26 in 2006-07.

Geraint Jones of England looks on as Adam Gilchrist of Australia celebrates reaching his century during day three of the third Ashes Test Match between Australia and England at the WACA on December 16, 2006 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

8. Ian Botham (England, born 24 November 1955)

102 Tests, 1977-1992, 5200 runs at 33.54, 14 centuries, 383 wickets at 28.40, 120 catches


Botham was an aggressive batsman and swing bowler, and one of the game’s finest all-rounders. His peak ICC bowling and all-rounder rankings, both in 1980, were the 10th and second-highest of all time respectively.

His Ashes-winning deeds in “Botham’s Year” of 1981 included 5/11 at Edgbaston, and 149 not out at Headingley and 118 at Old Trafford, both scored faster than a run a ball. He was averaging 38.80 with the bat and 23.06 with the ball at the halfway point of his career, his 51st Test in 1982.

Cricinfo named him in its all-time England XI in 2010. It also recently rated that innings of 149 not out in 1981 as the ninth-best-ever, and his haul of 7/48 in Mumbai in 1980 as the 22nd best of all time. In that same match in Mumbai, he also took 6/58 in India’s other innings, and scored 114.

9. Harold Larwood (England, born 14 November 1904)

21 Tests, 1926-1933, 485 runs at 19.40, 78 wickets at 28.35

Larwood was an exceptionally fast bowler best known for his role in the Bodyline series. He had a coal-miner’s strength, great accuracy, and a classical action which Ray Lindwall famously copied. Cricinfo named him in its all-time England XI in 2010.

In that controversial series in 1932-33, he took 33 wickets at 19.51, scored 98 as a nightwatchman, injured numerous batsmen, and spearheaded a 4-1 victory.


He never appeared again in Test cricket, despite being just 28 years of age at the time, after refusing to sign a letter of apology for employing his captain Douglas Jardine’s tactics. He continued playing at first-class level until 1938, for a career haul of 1427 wickets at an average of 17.51.

10. Waqar Younis (Pakistan, born 16 November 1971)

87 Tests, 1989-2003, 373 wickets at 23.56

Waqar was an outstanding pace bowler with a devastating inswinging yorker, and a career strike-rate of one wicket for each 43 deliveries. His partnership with Wasim Akram and Imran Khan dominated most opposing sides. His ICC bowling ranking peaked in 1993 as the 12th-highest of all time.

Cricinfo named him in its all-time Pakistan XI in 2010, and recently rated his haul of 5/22 in Hamilton in 1993 among the best 100 of all time. Against Zimbabwe in Karachi in 1993-94 he claimed 13/135, a record haul by a captain. In 1990-91 at just 18 years of age, he claimed match figures of 10/106 against New Zealand in Lahore. In that three-game series, he claimed 29 wickets at 10.86.

11. Nathan Lyon (Australia, born 20 November 1987)

122 Tests, 2011-present, 496 wickets at 31.00


Off-spinner Lyon is the most prolific Australian finger-spinner ever, and may play on for a few more years. Earlier this year he became only the sixth player to appear in 100 consecutive Tests. Cricinfo recently rated two hauls by him among the best 50 of all time. In Bangalore in 2017, he claimed 8/50. And in Indore earlier this year, he took 8/64.

Nathan Lyon of Australia appeals.

Nathan Lyon. (Photo by Graham Denholm – CA/Cricket Australia via Getty Images)

Trumper, Gilchrist, Botham, Miller and Larwood in the same team… say no more.

Sutcliffe and Trumper comprise one of the finest and most contrasting pairs of opening batsmen in this entire series. While Sutcliffe would bat for long periods and blunt opposing bowling line-ups, Trumper would have free rein to attack from the outset of each innings. Had the duo not been November-born, then Stewie Dempster and Percy McDonnell would have been more-than-adequate substitutes.

The middle-order of Nourse, Younis and Jackson could be relied on to score heavily. They gained selection ahead of other great batsmen including Ken Barrington and Virat Kohli.

Removal of the side’s top order would merely provide batting opportunities for three destructive and match-winning all-rounders. Team balance would allow Miller to concentrate on run-scoring, rather than bear a high bowling workload. Gilchrist would occupy his usual position of fifth-drop. Following him at No.8 would be Botham, who normally batted two places higher.

Miller and Botham would also assume the first two places in the slips cordon. Gilchrist was the obvious choice as wicketkeeper, with Rod Marsh the unlucky alternative.


Sports opinion delivered daily 


The new-ball attack of Larwood and Waqar would be highly effective against even the best top orders. Miller, Botham and Jackson would provide unequalled support especially in favourable conditions.

Lyon is the side’s only current player. He is also its sole slow bowler, as no other eligible spinners are of comparable quality. Should conditions not suit pace bowling, then Charlie Turner would be a very useful addition to the team.

In the event that conditions did favour faster bowlers, then even Lyon might struggle to retain his place in the side. Selectors could instead call on Mitchell Johnson, Brett Lee, Merv Hughes or Peter Siddle. November has proven to be an extremely fertile one for Australian pacemen.

Next month, I’ll name a side with the best spin-bowling combination in the entire series, and a top order dominated by Englishmen.