January 7, 2007

Australian cricket

Top ten Test teams

Nishi Narayanan





Bradman may have got out for a duck in his last Test but he continued to hunger for runs in the first-class matches he played thereafter in England © Getty Images
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Simon Wilde has drawn up his Ten Best-Ever Test teams, in The Sunday Times with Warwick Armstrong's 5-0 winning Australia side of 1920-21 sitting at No.10 and Bradman's 1948 Invincibles not reigning at No.1. He writes:

Australians are short on cultural history, which may partly explain the deification of the Invincibles led by Bradman on his final tour of England

Meanwhile, Robin Marlar, in the same paper, recounts watching The Invincibles as a schoolboy

I was fielding at long leg at Oakham school. In front, our bald-headed opening bowler wheeled away; behind, a gardener weeded vegetables. We listened to events almost as dire as the dark days of 1940. A couple of weeks later, with my appetite already whetted by two schoolboy appearances at Lord’s, I caught the bus outside the family farm at Mayfield in East Sussex, changed at Heathfield for the slow old Southdown to Hastings, and joined the horde heading to watch these giants play against the South of England.

Thousands sat on the grass. Bradman, bowled for a duck in his last Test innings by a rather obvious Eric Hollies googly, presumably misty-eyed, was suddenly hungry again. His pulling was astonishing, daring and decisive: another hundred! England had to wait five long years before Len Hutton reclaimed the Ashes.

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Nishi Narayanan is a staff writer at ESPNcricinfo

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