XIs April 8, 2009

Unpredictable XI - part 2

134

After much deliberation, and the resignation of half of the selection panel (the nought-year-old Zaltzman junior), here is the remainder of the post-1980 World Unpredictable Test XI.

6. Shahid Afridi (Pakistan) (honorary captain)

The first name on the team sheet. Gives this team excellent balance, as he can be devastating with both bat and ball. To both his opponents and his own team. On and off the pitch.

Afridi – “the maddest of Mad Maxes” according to his Cricinfo profile – has taken unpredictability to and beyond its logical extremes, to the extent that the most unpredictable thing he could possibly do in the rest of his career (other than claiming that Asif Mujtaba was his role model and inspiration) is nail down a place in the Pakistan Test team and string together a steady run of solid performances.

Thus far, he has had a genuinely baffling Test career. Despite batting and bowling averages of 37 and 34 respectively, and despite scoring more centuries in his first 22 Tests than any of Ponting, Tendulkar, Lara, Inzamam, Dravid, Gooch, Yousuf, Gower, Kallis, Jayawardene, both Waughs, Saeed Anwar, Sangakkara or Hayden, Afridi has played fewer than one in three of his country’s Tests over the course of his career.

His average Test innings lasts for the same length of time as Jimmy Anderson’s, but contains more runs than Hussain’s, Cronje’s or Ranatunga’s. And with the ball, he dismissed Tendulkar three times in two Tests in 2005, which is as many times as Warne managed to snare the Mumbai Maestro in his entire career.

Afridi arguably had the potential to be Pakistan’s Sehwag and Kumble rolled into one explosive package, but it has proved impossible to predict whether he will blast an incredible hundred, swipe a less-than-incredible nought, spin out the world’s best batsman, get smashed about by Matthew Hoggard, retire, unretire, almost hit a spectator with a ball, almost hit a spectator with a bat, or audition for a part in the PCB’s annual charity ballet by pirouetting in the middle of the pitch.

Afridi therefore is honorary captain of this team. This XI would need little captaincy, if only because even attempting to mould it into a coherent, focused unit would be an act of wilful futility.

7. Kamran Akmal (Pakistan) (wicketkeeper)

In his short career to date, Kamran has veered from being a top-class keeper but underachieving batsman, to being the new Gilchrist with the bat and the new Coco The Clown with the gloves. After scoring five brilliant centuries in two months in 2005-06 (three in Tests, two in ODIs), he sunk into a fallow period in which his ineptitude with the bat often matched his seismically shaky wicketkeeping, in which he remained flawless apart from his glovework, footwork and headwork. At times, he has not so much been ham-fisted, as appeared to be keeping wicket with two live pigs strapped to ends of his arms.

His recent re-emergence suggests that he could have a long career of wildly undulating form, and cement a reputation for being both breathtakingly brilliant and utterly useless.

Kamran sneaks in to the team because MS Dhoni, who appeared to have the unpredictability world at his mercy, has disappointingly used the responsibilities of captaincy as an excuse to become disturbingly consistent and reliable, and ahead of Brendon McCullum – how did it take such an obviously extravagant talent with the bat four years and 35 matches to score a century against a major Test nation?

8. Craig White (England)

White was a curious cricketer. For the first six years of his sporadic Test career, he appeared to have been selected by mistake, or as one of the Australian double-agent players which the ACB intermittently plants in county cricket to undermine the England team. Then he emerged as an occasional master of reverse swing and a occasional player of brilliant innings.

He took 14 wickets in his first 10 tests, then back-to-back five-fors, then, after four more in his next test, took no more than two in an innings for 14 tests, before wrapping up his career with 12 in three innings in Australia. With the bat, he twice put together impressively inept sequences of eight single-figure scores in nine innings, but also played masterfully on turning wickets in Asia. By the end, it was hard to work out if he had overachieved or underachieved with both bat and ball. Or done exactly as well as he should.

9. Shoaib Akhtar

The man who puts the ‘liability’ into ‘unreliability’.There is a wealth of out-and-out pacemen from which to choose – Devon Malcolm, Patrick Patterson, Fidel Edwards, Lasith Malinga to start with – but the Rawalpindi Roller-Coaster is out on his own for both performance and behaviour.

On form, Shoaib has been the most spectacular sight in world cricket. At Colombo in 2002, he blasted out Ponting and the two Waughs in four balls, then Gilchrist and Warne in the next two overs – five legends of the game blasted out without requiring the assistance of a fielder in perhaps the greatest fifteen-ball spell in Test history.

With 178 wickets at 25, and a strike rate of 45, Shoaib clearly could have been one of the greats, if only his mood had not swung further, faster and more consistently than his yorker. The three Fs – form, fitness and focus – have been intermittent and reluctant travelling companions on his madcap journey through cricket, and he has played fewer than half of Pakistan’s Tests since his debut. He has not – how should I put this? – always taken a fast bowler’s tummy with him onto the field of play, and has broken down on the field more often than a cheapskate farmer’s home-made tractor.

He faced allegations of throwing, before his action was cleared due to natural hyperextension of the elbow. He has, however, been found repeatedly guilty of throwing tantrums, due to unnatural hyperextension of the ego.

Occasionally, amidst the controversies, injuries, bans, strops, drops, comebacks and court cases, there have been outbreaks of cricket. Against England in late 2005, Shoaib was a controlled, mature, focused match-winner, seeming to presage a vintage autumn to a turbulent career – since then, he has taken just 17 wickets at 34 in seven Tests. And tested positive for nandrolone, hit a team-mate with a bat, and faced a legal action from the chairman of his own country’s cricket board, amongst other escapades. He does not drink in Last Chance Saloon. He lives in it, has repainted it in his favourite colours, and is about to buy out the management and rename it after himself.

As Irving Berlin once said, “There’s no business like Shoaib business.”

10. Steve Harmison (England)

It is often said that England never know which Steve Harmison will turn up – the one who almost took Langer’s, Hayden’s and Ponting’s heads off on the first Ashes morning of 2005, or the one who almost took second slip’s kneecaps off with his first ball of the 2006-07 rematch with a delivery that challenged humanity’s assumptions about the laws of physics? Or the one who nibbles it about in the low-80s mph, trying to keep an end tight until Collingwood comes on to try to force a breakthrough?

Statistically, the Durham Dilemma’s career divides up into three distinct phases – not very good (28 wickets at 39 in his first 10½ Tests), very good (146 at 25 from his breakthrough second innings at the Oval in 2003 to his last triumph against a terrified Pakistan at a bouncy Old Trafford in 2006), and not very good again (47 at 46 in 18 Tests since then).

But even in his good phase, the wrong Harmison would pop up with alarming regularity (especially in South Africa in 2004-05), and in the midst of his struggles, there have been moments when he has looked a skull-shuddering world-beater once more (notably at the Oval last year). As the England selectors gaze lovingly at the fading, sepia-tinted photographs of the Australian captain dripping blood, and of a Jamaica scoreboard emblazoned with the figures 7 for 12, will they give this difficult marriage one last go?

11. Stuart MacGill (Australia)

This team has to have a front-line leg-spinner – until Warne spoilt the reputation of leggies by being persistently brilliant for almost his entire 15-year career, wrist-spinners had unpredictability written into their contracts. MacGill seemed like a throwback leggie, veering between unplayable and flayable, mixing genius with garbage like a drunken Einstein.

He failed to live up to his brief, brilliant early period of Warne supremacy – excluding relatively facile wickets against Bangladesh and in the so-called ‘Test’ against the ICC XI, he averaged 44 in his final 17 Tests with only one five-wicket innings − but remained one of cricket’s most compelling variables, with a fuse as short as some of his long-hops, and a glare as devilish as his googly.

MacGill narrowly edges out Abdul Qadir, who at one point followed up a spell of two wickets for 300 over five Tests by whirling out 40 victims at 16 in his next four matches. He then took only one more (expensive) five-wicket haul in the remaining three years of his career. Qadir’s Test average unsuccessfully tried to escape from both ends of the 30s throughout his career (excluding a one-match breakout to 29.64, after which it was recaptured and sedated back up to the mid-30s), but MacGill takes the main spinner’s spot in the team because the look on his face always suggested that something was about to explode, whether it was a fizzing leg break out of the rough, or, more likely, his own temper.

This then, is the full line-up:

1. Virender Sehwag (IND) 2. Marvan Atapattu (SL) 3. Aravinda de Silva (SL) 4. Kevin Pietersen (ENG) 5. Carl Hooper (WI) 6. *Shahid Afridi (PAK) 7. †Kamran Akmal (NZ) 8. Craig White (ENG) 9. Shoaib Akhtar (PAK ) 10. Steve Harmison (ENG) 11. Stuart MacGill (AUS)

That is a team that I guarantee could win or lose any match by an innings and 400.

Try as I might, I couldn’t find a place for a South African – for all Herschelle Gibbs’ mercurial efforts, unpredictability does not seem to be in the their South African players’ cricketing soul (was this the real reason for Pietersen’s defection?).

Perhaps in selecting three England players, I am guilty of national bias, of wishing that English cricket was more flamboyant and exciting than it really is, but the application of personal bias is historically one of the perks of being a selector.

Andy Zaltzman is a stand-up comedian, a regular on the BBC Radio 4, and a writer

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • funny on April 9, 2010, 3:29 GMT

    i didnt know the kiwis had a player named kamran akmal too. ... 6. *Shahid Afridi (PAK) 7. †Kamran Akmal (NZ) 8. Craig White (ENG) ...

  • Saad Khan on June 21, 2009, 21:37 GMT

    Now this is unpredictability from the captain you. Afridi man of the match for semi-final and final of the World T20 2009. When he was closing his eyes and trying to play his stupid shots against England in the pool matches, and when Ian Chapell said sumthing like Afridi has lost everything, and he couldnt believe that was Afridi, no one could have predicted abt what he did later. Well, what he did... Brilliant 50s at the greatest stage of all time, world cup semi and then final... His father says that before the final he advised him to play safely and dont try to hit on every ball. Well, I think his father would have been shocked to see how unpredictable he proved again as i bet his father would have definately said that (like always), but wouldnt have imagined that he would listen.

  • faraz ahmed on June 20, 2009, 5:45 GMT

    the players listed here really make cricket grand and add color and excitement to it. you buy a ticket to watch a cricket match with no knowledge about what is about to come your way. this makes it exciting and this is why these players are the flair of cricket. you put this team on a cricket field against the most predictable side in the world, the Dravid's, kallis's and Mcgrath's of the world, i am 100% sure that this unpredictable 11 is what everyone will come to see. simply because they are the unpredictables!

  • Dr.Khalid on June 19, 2009, 19:51 GMT

    A wonderfull team that can score the highest possible runs but can possibly get out at the lowest.I think the team should be called an unpredictable yet magnificent 11 that can draw a huge crowd in the hope of some good cricket but the crowd may get something very bad if the opposite bowling attack has Saeed Ajmal, Murali and Umar Gul.

  • Taha on June 19, 2009, 17:27 GMT

    Utter Genius i havent stopped laughing since i started reading it.

  • Rudy H on June 6, 2009, 16:05 GMT

    What no Dereck Randall .... unbelievable!!!

  • damien on June 5, 2009, 21:17 GMT

    you gotta put symonds in there now are maybe just the whole england after the performance against the dutch hilarious

  • Ali on June 5, 2009, 4:11 GMT

    Indians stop being jealous..

  • Andrew C on May 21, 2009, 12:10 GMT

    Isn't English a wonderful language when a 'long-hop' can be short!? That aside, am really enjoying your writing and looking forward to your 'commentary' on the Ashes.

  • Vaseem Siddiqi on May 15, 2009, 10:09 GMT

    I was surprised that there were only three Pakistanis in your Unpredictable XI. I would have thought most of the Pakistan team would be in your team and that is what is so exciting about Pakistan team, never a dull momment. Remember its only a game to be enjoyed and should not be taken too seriously!!!!

  • funny on April 9, 2010, 3:29 GMT

    i didnt know the kiwis had a player named kamran akmal too. ... 6. *Shahid Afridi (PAK) 7. †Kamran Akmal (NZ) 8. Craig White (ENG) ...

  • Saad Khan on June 21, 2009, 21:37 GMT

    Now this is unpredictability from the captain you. Afridi man of the match for semi-final and final of the World T20 2009. When he was closing his eyes and trying to play his stupid shots against England in the pool matches, and when Ian Chapell said sumthing like Afridi has lost everything, and he couldnt believe that was Afridi, no one could have predicted abt what he did later. Well, what he did... Brilliant 50s at the greatest stage of all time, world cup semi and then final... His father says that before the final he advised him to play safely and dont try to hit on every ball. Well, I think his father would have been shocked to see how unpredictable he proved again as i bet his father would have definately said that (like always), but wouldnt have imagined that he would listen.

  • faraz ahmed on June 20, 2009, 5:45 GMT

    the players listed here really make cricket grand and add color and excitement to it. you buy a ticket to watch a cricket match with no knowledge about what is about to come your way. this makes it exciting and this is why these players are the flair of cricket. you put this team on a cricket field against the most predictable side in the world, the Dravid's, kallis's and Mcgrath's of the world, i am 100% sure that this unpredictable 11 is what everyone will come to see. simply because they are the unpredictables!

  • Dr.Khalid on June 19, 2009, 19:51 GMT

    A wonderfull team that can score the highest possible runs but can possibly get out at the lowest.I think the team should be called an unpredictable yet magnificent 11 that can draw a huge crowd in the hope of some good cricket but the crowd may get something very bad if the opposite bowling attack has Saeed Ajmal, Murali and Umar Gul.

  • Taha on June 19, 2009, 17:27 GMT

    Utter Genius i havent stopped laughing since i started reading it.

  • Rudy H on June 6, 2009, 16:05 GMT

    What no Dereck Randall .... unbelievable!!!

  • damien on June 5, 2009, 21:17 GMT

    you gotta put symonds in there now are maybe just the whole england after the performance against the dutch hilarious

  • Ali on June 5, 2009, 4:11 GMT

    Indians stop being jealous..

  • Andrew C on May 21, 2009, 12:10 GMT

    Isn't English a wonderful language when a 'long-hop' can be short!? That aside, am really enjoying your writing and looking forward to your 'commentary' on the Ashes.

  • Vaseem Siddiqi on May 15, 2009, 10:09 GMT

    I was surprised that there were only three Pakistanis in your Unpredictable XI. I would have thought most of the Pakistan team would be in your team and that is what is so exciting about Pakistan team, never a dull momment. Remember its only a game to be enjoyed and should not be taken too seriously!!!!

  • IMetYouinMelbourne on May 15, 2009, 2:55 GMT

    Why was Craig White singled out, surely almost all the "The Next Botham" options from Botham's retirement to Flintoff's emergence would have been equally qualified or unqualified as it may be. Hmmm. That gives me an idea for the "The Next Botham XI"

  • kazim on May 14, 2009, 19:14 GMT

    Very funny article,I had a good laugh,and I agree with the players you mention on that list.But, I would have Shadid Afridi at the top of the list,even if he plays for NZ or Pakistan.

  • Aditya Mookerjee on April 26, 2009, 16:14 GMT

    I read all four(?) installments three times each, and I enjoyed them all in an increasing measure, from beginning to the end. I must be careful, in my wording, so that I am not at the mercy of the whim of Pietersen, who may sue you for libel. I must not get carried away by my enjoyment of happiness. I hope you comment on Mr Hussain's hairline, but ignore the others, for a long time to come. If I were Penguin, I would pray you to write a biography of Inzamam. I know that he is an 'institution', in Pakistan, but he is above all, a well meaning man. He will not sue you, since he comes from Pakistan. Seriously, if you had written many books on cricket, I would have procured each one, not bought them, so that you feel insecure about me not spending money.

  • VP on April 25, 2009, 8:25 GMT

    "At Colombo in 2002, he blasted out Ponting and the two Waughs in four balls, then Gilchrist and Warne in the next two overs – five legends of the game blasted out without requiring the assistance of a fielder in perhaps the greatest fifteen-ball spell in Test history."

    Pakistan played a test against Australia in Sri Lanka? Did I miss something?

  • Martin Vengadesan on April 24, 2009, 17:48 GMT

    Been away from computers awhile so I came to this article late ... just had to tell you how hilarious I thought it was ... the Afridi and Akthar bits in particular ...

    I laughed till I cried when I read this bit about Shoaib ...

    He faced allegations of throwing, before his action was cleared due to natural hyperextension of the elbow. He has, however, been found repeatedly guilty of throwing tantrums, due to unnatural hyperextension of the ego.

  • mel on April 21, 2009, 14:16 GMT

    That intro on afridi is priceless --- can not stop laughing..tears from my eys and all..

  • ted on April 21, 2009, 5:37 GMT

    great work but what about andrew symonds not only unpredictable when playing (except fielding)but you would not if he make it on the ground.isurpose nowadays he is just going to get out when he does bat

  • pranav m on April 16, 2009, 19:30 GMT

    Great article, left me in splits, as did part 1. would have preferred chris gayle in place of atapattu though.

  • karthik on April 16, 2009, 15:25 GMT

    I strongly disagree with the selection of White in the team. I believe Abdul Razzaq is as much a shoo in as Akhtar and Afridi. With a bat in hand,capable of certain death to opponents and audience alike either by brutal assaults at the death or by sheer obduracy at 1-drop.Bowling also consistently veered from unpalyable(Sachin had him as one of the 3 most difficult bowlers to face) to downright pedestrian.Nobody even knows when Craig White played and retired!Also, would have Slater,Ashraful and James Anderson at 1,4 and 10. Absolutely fantastic blog though. My team: 1.Slater 2.Atapattu 3.De Silva 4.Ashraful 5.Hooper 6.Afridi 7.Akmal 8.Abdul Razzaq(PAK)(a shoo-in) 9.Akhtar 10.James Anderson 11.McGill

  • Awais Malik on April 16, 2009, 13:21 GMT

    It would have been great if it was possible to play this team against World XI. Think Unpredictable XI v World XI, anyway, andy i think you have got this one right.

  • Aneeb on April 15, 2009, 21:59 GMT

    @Andy (The Rossi kind :p)and others:

    Akmal is a kiwi, really :p

    @Andy (Chief Selector) Zaltzman.. a pleasant surprise seeing my name in your blog, a friend of mine (a cricket nut like myself) pointed it out to me, and for some reason I felt very proud :p

    Good team, though mine would have been more along the lines of:

    1. Sehwag (India) 2. Jayasuriya (S.L) (Imagine the terror or glee with which bowlers all over the world will react when they see these coming out)

    3. Chris Gayle (Windies) 4. Herschelle Gibbs (South Africa) 5. Carl Hooper (V.C) (Windies) 6. Shahid Afridi (Captain)(Pak) 7. Brendon McCullum/Kamran Akmal (Both NZ) 8. Lance Klusener 9. Shoaib Akhtar (Pak, unfortunately (because Im from Pak too and I disown him) 10. Abdul Qadir (just for that crazy goatee he grew to look, in his own (translated) words "'More like a magician as Imran thought it would add to the aura of mystery around my bowling" 11. Fidel Edwards (Windies)

    Cheers

  • akshay on April 12, 2009, 15:55 GMT

    amazing..its the best piece of satire that i have ever read. i got bouts of laughter on reading abt akhtar..every selection in this article competes with the other in terms of the satire quotient..after the relative innocuousness of the part 1, this one really blew my mind...n then the NZ= not zulqarnain comment..ur articles are so funny that u forced me to add my comments amidst the plethora of declarations that Andy-is-the-best. keep going man, its too good..

  • Andy Rossi on April 12, 2009, 6:01 GMT

    Has Mr. Akmal changed his nationality or is he playing for NZ just to get a change to play??

  • jogesh99 on April 11, 2009, 3:41 GMT

    You guys just dont get it - Akmal is so unpredictible, you dont know which country he's going to turn up for next. (and you thought only white South Africans had that privilege).

  • Anil Rao on April 10, 2009, 20:40 GMT

    Shahid Afridi:Gives this team excellent balance, as he can be devastating with both bat and ball. To both his opponents and his own team. On and off the pitch. I just couldn't stop laughing ...i never read this type of satire on cricketers..loved it.

    Even the pieces on Harmison and craig white.. so funny...loved it..very refreshing.Thanks AZ and keep writing here.

  • S.M Arsalan Arif Khan on April 10, 2009, 14:31 GMT

    "retire, unretire, almost hit a spectator with a ball, almost hit a spectator with a bat, or audition for a part in the PCB’s annual charity ballet by pirouetting in the middle of the pitch."

    You crack me up so bad! LOL

  • Pedrozinho on April 9, 2009, 19:18 GMT

    Think Marlon Samuels was unfortunate not to get selected. At times absolute brilliant (see South Africa vs West Indies), at other times it looked like the bat in his hand had never been formally introduced to him before. )Marlon meet a bat, bat, this is Marlon). Also, you didn't know if he was going to bowl it properly or not... Regarding Kamran Akmal and the pigs in his hands comment, only people looking for offense would find it here. It is a joke on 'ham fisted' and nothing else. Come on people, enjoy the humour. McGain the new Aussie legspinner is 50% unpredictable... will he be hit for a 4, or a 6?! ;)

  • riaz on April 9, 2009, 10:57 GMT

    The whole team could be pakistani lol. but i think afridi and akhtar are the two most wasted talents of this generation of cricketers. akhtar i think could have been the greatest fast bowler of all time. the phrase mercurial talent was made for the whole damn paksitani team.

  • Dawn on April 9, 2009, 10:28 GMT

    quite a coincidence huh !!! all of them right-handers....

  • Ben on April 9, 2009, 10:03 GMT

    Fantastic stuff - incredibly funny

    On the subject of Pietersen, disregard the stats for a moment and just think of the utter unpredictability of his general behaviour: from the swaggering, nonchalant arrogance of the switch hit and the flamingo flick, to agonising gasps of horror when a ball - god forbid - keeps low once in a while on a dead pitch; from basking in the adulation of "feeling so loved", to mournful sojourns that he is "so unappreciated, so alone". Think about it, he is the master of over-the-top and unpredictable

  • monish on April 9, 2009, 8:30 GMT

    Now for an left handed unpredictable XI to beat this team of right handed unpredictable XI in a UPL. I'm sure you can think of it!

  • satish chawla on April 9, 2009, 6:34 GMT

    Cricketing satire at its best! Read & reread and cannot stop laughing! To cap it throw in best inept umpires and let's propose to ICC for a best of 3 matches of this team with ICC World Eleven. I bet this team will prove you wrong by making the ICC World Eleven as most unpredictable.

  • kishor kafle on April 9, 2009, 6:20 GMT

    you forgot one of the most. Shoaib's opening partner.. mohammad sami...9 wickets on debut and still an average of 50 (bowling not batting). he should be on the list

  • Vikas on April 9, 2009, 5:50 GMT

    I agree with a comment above that yuvraj should have replaced KP. Every alternate test series Yuvraj tries to rebuild his test career.

    Great to read otherwise.

  • Zohaib on April 9, 2009, 5:12 GMT

    Younus Khan is also a big unpredictable , Mr. Umair

  • Farrukh Momin on April 9, 2009, 4:26 GMT

    Amazing... what a true justification of pakistani players... every word is a true image of what they are. I enjoyed reading Andy.

  • Rajesh on April 9, 2009, 4:18 GMT

    Great work. Not only for getting the most unpredictable bating /bowling lineup in recvent times, but also for some absolutely awe inspiring literature here. Makes good reading. Some missed individuals - Graeme Hick, John Crawley (England), Craig Wishart(Zimbabwe), Rizwan Uz Zaman (Pakistan, if only for his highly overrated batting skills. He once ground out a measly 20 spread over 3 hours). There could be a fvew more if you take a look at the last 15-20 years of international cricket. But all said and done it was really nice reading.

  • tonyp on April 9, 2009, 2:41 GMT

    Fantastic stuff - has anyone mentioned Akmal didn't... Oh, they did?

    Is there any way to work up a list of the greediest/most selfish players (why no Geoffrey Boycott, I wasn't looking at you) as opposed to team-oriented players (I never saw Gilchrist play to pad his average even once)? I realise that this is a step away from raw statistical analysis but surely something can be done.

  • Rehan Qureshi on April 9, 2009, 1:47 GMT

    I wonder if someone could arrange an ODI and T20 between the Unpredictable XI and the best (rest) of the world :) that would be fun to watch!

  • Sheena on April 9, 2009, 0:25 GMT

    why is Aravinda listed ..was he unpredictable??

  • abid on April 8, 2009, 23:15 GMT

    what about rana naved ....imran farhat...danish kaneria or misbah ul haq

  • Asela on April 8, 2009, 22:45 GMT

    To Len Rogers, Arjuna Ranatunga was a very smart runner who saved his energy to beat up bowlers like shane warne and company in the 96 world cup finals. If you know anything about cricket you'll know that Arjuna was one of the fittest players to play cricket for sri lanka (if you can give me five ODI's that Arjuna had a runner). And Arjuna was a great captain who stood by his players against racist umpirers like Ross Emerson & Darryl Hair(for your record, sri lanka went on to win that game against England when Murali scored the winning runs) unlike many selfish captains we have today. Namely Kevin Pietersen who just couldn't handle the job for more than one series. So, Mr. Rogers know what you talk about before you start rambling usesless comments. i would really like to see a reply from you on my comments.

  • Asela on April 8, 2009, 22:20 GMT

    To Len Rogers, Arjuna Ranatunga was a very smart runner who saved his energy to beat up bowlers like shane warne and company in the 96 world cup finals. If you know anything about cricket you'll know that Arjuna was one of the fittest players to play cricket for sri lanka (if you can give me five ODI's that Arjuna had a runner). And Arjuna was a great captain who stood by his players against racist umpirers like Ross Emerson & Darryl Hair(for your record, sri lanka went on to win that game against England when Murali scored the winning runs) unlike many selfish captains we have today. Namely Kevin Pietersen who just couldn't handle the job for more than one series. So, Mr. Rogers know what you talk about before you start rambling usesless comments. i would really like to see a reply from you on my comments.

  • Kartik on April 8, 2009, 21:44 GMT

    The Shoaib Akhtar part is so funny that I think Andy thought of that first (over a lengthy period), and only came up with the idea of an unpredicatable XI after that, to be built around the Shoaib prose.

    The 'No business in Shoaib business' is something he probably thought up long ago, and has been dying to use.

  • Sriram on April 8, 2009, 21:06 GMT

    the biggest uncertainty about Afridi is, of course, his age. He was anything between 16 and 19 during his first international season, and he - unexpectedly - stayed in that range for the next 5 years.

  • Earsh Emier Xada on April 8, 2009, 20:58 GMT

    I dont know why the Indians always take it personal, dudes why cant you simply enjoy the fun part of the blog!! You always have to show your frustrations against Pakistanis. You have one Indian in this unpredictables and you cant take it. I bet this team if put under a real test, can beat any best in the world. Cheers

  • cric fan on April 8, 2009, 20:24 GMT

    I would rather put Yuvraj Singh rather than Kevin Peterson in the team as Yuvraj's each series is an extreme end of the spectrum!

  • Gaurav Bhat on April 8, 2009, 17:50 GMT

    Going by his current form, Ricky Ponting should have been named in the list of Unpredictable XI.

  • Vatsa on April 8, 2009, 17:18 GMT

    " ... r as one of the Australian double-agent players which the ACB intermittently plants in county cricket to undermine the England team." Hilarious ... Pls keep posting!!

  • Amarta on April 8, 2009, 17:18 GMT

    Unfortunately I do not agree with this list Andy. Some players in this list simply cannot be called unpredictable like attapattu or desilva or even sehwag. Statistically they might look as unpredictable, but from a spectator point they were not unpredictable.For example,if attapatu or desilva were in form, spectators would know that they would score a 100.But if they were out of form then again audience would know that they would fail.So they cannot be termed inconsistent. Even sehwag is consistently inconsistent now a days. either he scores a 50(or 40s)or a huge score. On the bowling side, steve harmission has been consistently poor for over 3 years now. so audience expects an ordinary performance from him whenever he takes the field and he does not surprise. so again he cant be termed inconsistent.some players that come to mind - srikanth(we never know if he scores 100 or 0),kleusner,jonty rhodes,abdur razzakh,gayle(never know when he is in form).Urge you not to go by statistics only

  • Frank on April 8, 2009, 16:59 GMT

    You forget we would need umpires and a commentator. I propose Shakoor Rana for descision making and Dickie Bird for his antics. Commentator - just has to be Johnners

    F

  • lakesidey on April 8, 2009, 16:49 GMT

    If you don't mind including an ICL player, how about the spineless ('cos his back keep breaking down) Shane Bond? In fact, that would solve the problem of no New Zealanders too! And what of Ajit Agarkar, he of the century at Lord's and the ducks in Aussieland? Other names I would submit for consideration: Alok Kapali, Ricardo Powell, Dwayne Leverock (remember that catch? what could be more unpredictable?!), Mohammad Ashraful, Lance Klusener, Sreesanth...

  • naveen on April 8, 2009, 16:45 GMT

    even though u have unpredictable players, your selection is predictable.... may be u have to think about putting up unpredictable squad, with no wicketkeeper or 7 bowlers... some thing like tha...

  • faisal afsar khan on April 8, 2009, 16:22 GMT

    I m grateful that Afridi has been made captain of the side. You know, national pride... And two other Pakistanis.. However,very good work Andy. Well done and looking forward for some more beautiful articles.

  • venki on April 8, 2009, 16:21 GMT

    Andy, you are the god of satire...

  • hh on April 8, 2009, 16:11 GMT

    A very enjoyable read and some very accurate descriptions!

  • R Pawnthing on April 8, 2009, 16:01 GMT

    As many have mentioned before, the pakistan team comes with the whole complete package, starting with team, coaching staff, team management, Cricket board officials, government offcials, did I mention Javed Miandad (I cant keep track of what he is doing and whether he is in or out of cricekt)

  • RSingh on April 8, 2009, 15:56 GMT

    Wonderful thoughts glued with great writing skills. I would take this team and defeat the present Wisden 08 team on a 3-match test or ODI series. Obviously, Sehwag and Pietersen stay with the Wisden team, and they are replaced with Butt and Ricardo Morton (WI). Hooper will be the captain as no motivation is required ( or any will work with this team,and, he is a better tactian than Afridi).

  • D.V.C on April 8, 2009, 15:41 GMT

    For the South African might I suggest Hansie Cronje as 12th man. As captain he could inspire a team to victory or pay them to lose - that would certainly create an air of unpredictability.

    I also think it's a bit harsh to include MacGill, the figures at the end of his career are blown out rather a bit by the Carpal Tunnel Syndrome he suffered and the attempted recovery. Is it really that unpredictable that a man with no feeling in his fingers will bowl a few too many loose deliveries? Otherwise MacGill was perfectly predictable, you could guarantee he'd bowl a long hop every two overs and that one in five of those would get you a wicket. Still I'm hoping that Bryce McGain gets a chance to qualify for your team. He's already half way there. How many people could have predicted that an Australian bowler would concede more runs per over in tests than in T20 games?

  • immy on April 8, 2009, 14:20 GMT

    how have ajit agarkar (surely, no explanation required) and potentially yuvraj (subject to both breathtaking strokeplay and the all too often lame poke) be missing from this list? Also, from what i remember, andy caddick deserves some mention!Your piece on shoaib had me in tears, hilarious.

  • Swami on April 8, 2009, 14:15 GMT

    What about Mohammed Younus or is it Yousuf Youhana ? The guy is so unpredictable he cant even keep his name constant. One day he is in ICL, tries to sign a IPL contract, goes back to ICL, suddenly wants to play for Pakistan, doesnt want to play in the team as long as Shoaib Malik is captain .. I cant keep up !

  • Sagar on April 8, 2009, 13:59 GMT

    How about a match between the Unpredictable XI and the Dullest XI....I bet no one can predict a result there :-)

  • Arvind on April 8, 2009, 13:35 GMT

    Absolutely hilarious. Some of the most delightful phrases:

    Shahid Afridi - get smashed about by Matthew Hoggard, retire, unretire, almost hit a spectator with a ball, almost hit a spectator with a bat

    Kamran Akmal - a reputation for being both breathtakingly brilliant and utterly useless.

    Craig White - it was hard to work out if he had overachieved or underachieved with both bat and ball.

    Shoaib Akhtar - amidst the controversies, injuries, bans, strops, drops, comebacks and court cases, there have been outbreaks of cricket.

  • faisal afsar khan on April 8, 2009, 13:34 GMT

    I m grateful that Afridi has been made captain of the side. You know, national pride... And two other Pakistanis.. However,very good work Andy. Well done and looking forward for some more beautiful articles.

  • Pradeep on April 8, 2009, 13:34 GMT

    Well done Andy!! I don't think any other team could beat this team for unpredictability. One of the most hilarious stuff I've ever read.

  • sharjeel ahsan on April 8, 2009, 13:02 GMT

    over all its amazing thinking but i would not like KP here.

  • Michael Paterson on April 8, 2009, 13:02 GMT

    Very funny indeed. Chris Cairns should be gutted not to be selected. But if he were selected, he might call off the night before after a lengthy phonecall with his dad. Allegedly.

  • sharjeel ahsan on April 8, 2009, 12:59 GMT

    why not u select imran nazir at the palce of attapattu??

  • Pritam on April 8, 2009, 12:23 GMT

    NZ = Not Zulqarnain? LOL. Better than the original piece. Amazing you remembered Zulqarnain.

  • adrian on April 8, 2009, 12:01 GMT

    ...and the Zaltzman is back! You make me laugh big fella!

  • Zohair on April 8, 2009, 11:56 GMT

    Beautifully written. I thoroughly enjoyed it. Especially the part about Shoaib!

  • Syed Naumanuddin Hassan on April 8, 2009, 11:48 GMT

    How about Imran Nazir!?? He along with Afridi form potentially one of the most destructive, unpredictable and unreliable opening partnerships of all time! Wasted talents ...

  • Moin on April 8, 2009, 11:02 GMT

    I could have been in serious trouble in my office while reading this article...i had no means to control my laughter...my friends totally confused on me laughing like a maniac....you are really the best. The piece on Afridi and Harmison are awesome...so is Akmal's description...not to mention shoaib akhtar...now am addicted to your blog...you rock...

  • Milesh on April 8, 2009, 10:19 GMT

    Sehwag has indeed scored more centuries and couple of triple tons too.. he has evolved to be a more reliable player now..may be getting out for 195 at melbourne was silly, but it happens to all..(remember martin crowe and azhar) etc., may be kris srikkanth would have been a better choice instead of sehwag..others made interesting reading

  • Sandeep on April 8, 2009, 9:56 GMT

    Great work Andy. Personally I would have included Jayasuriya, instead of Attapattu. And I think it is a bit cruel to include Stuey Mac Gill here- poor man didn't get to play for any consistent period of time as the great Warne played at the same time as he did.

  • dan on April 8, 2009, 9:52 GMT

    If you want a South African, there's always Lance "Zulu" Klusener...

  • Umair on April 8, 2009, 9:00 GMT

    Now Andy, make a list predictable XI. I hope in predictable XI list Gautam gambhir, Younus khan,Zaheer khan would take a place easily

  • MrKricket on April 8, 2009, 8:55 GMT

    I thought of a few unpredictable players but realised their unpredictability was quite predictable!

  • Andy Z on April 8, 2009, 8:45 GMT

    Re the Kamran Akmal being from New Zealand... I admit I don't have the evidence to back this up. I had had McCullum in the team, but replaced him at the last minute with Kamran (who I listed as from Pakistan in the main text), but I failed to change the nationaility as well as the name in the list at the end. And the NZ stands for "Not Zulqarnain".

    Thanks again for your comments -- concerning Sehwag and Pietersen, and others, I should point out that I consider unpredictability and unreliability to be different qualities that do not necessarily go together. So a player can be unpredictable but relatively reliable, like Sehwag, or unreliable but quite predictable (e.g. Ian Bell, perhaps, or Devon Malcolm).

  • Leprechaun on April 8, 2009, 8:36 GMT

    How about Scott Styris?? eh...

  • UmeshD on April 8, 2009, 8:24 GMT

    Hi Andy,

    Love this one. How about presenting your thoughts on players who predictably were very close to selection in the team and unpredictably missed out ? And as a footnote would you please add a 12th man and coach at least if not the rest of the support staff . .. maybe a media manager for the team as well ?

    Laughingly yours

    Umesh

  • Anonymous on April 8, 2009, 8:22 GMT

    well three Pakistanis and three English as well

  • Anindo on April 8, 2009, 8:14 GMT

    You have some talent! Keep it up

  • Kartik on April 8, 2009, 7:56 GMT

    To coach such a team, you need a weird-ass coach like 'flippin' David Lloyd.

  • Kartik on April 8, 2009, 7:52 GMT

    Pakistan is the craziest team. At times they appear to have 6 genuine all-rounders. Yet, they lose matches to weak opponents quite often.

    They did, however, manage to flop in the last 2 world cups, so their unpredictability is becoming a predictable mediocrity.

  • Tariq Hussain on April 8, 2009, 7:51 GMT

    I wish Kamran Akmal did play for NZ, He is rubbish

  • Zozoz on April 8, 2009, 7:51 GMT

    well , javed miandad is the king of unpredictables as he played the mythical, most unpredictable shot of cricket

  • Sportyspice on April 8, 2009, 7:43 GMT

    what about irfan pathan?

  • Muhid on April 8, 2009, 7:37 GMT

    Kamran Akmal (NZ)????????????????????......uhhhhhhh yea......

  • Zohaib on April 8, 2009, 7:28 GMT

    well, honestly ,if you want infinite unpredictablity just select all the pakistani team , especially salman butt.

  • Ketan on April 8, 2009, 7:17 GMT

    Well..the "Unpredictable XI" are predictable enough..but it's the writing..the phrases used..the comparisons made ..that make this article so much fun..keep going, Andy!

  • Amit on April 8, 2009, 7:17 GMT

    I believe Dhoni and yuvraj should be a part of this team. After all who else can provide that magical touch to this team, except him

  • Neeraj Sharma on April 8, 2009, 7:14 GMT

    Glad to be the first to comment... amazingly ludicrous stuff here... could'nt help smiling readin Afridi's description but was also amazed by the stats u've quoted.... he could've been a Sehwag for sure...nt so sure about a Kumble though... All in all a great read... kudo's to you and the other half of the selection panel who surely would've quit demanding a place for Sreesanth and Symonds...

  • RC Neyson on April 8, 2009, 7:10 GMT

    Oh my God! This is hilarious!

    Andy should be given an honorary PhD in hilariouness if there is one. What say, fellow commenters?

  • sunny on April 8, 2009, 7:08 GMT

    Andy, nice enough list. Although the comment about live pigs being tied to akmal's hands might offend some religious sentiments.

  • rahul-the mangoBoy on April 8, 2009, 7:05 GMT

    hey andy, ur incredibly funny...but again i think vvs laxman deserved to be a part of the line up.he is brilliance personified against Australians but against others he is just average[apart from his recent run of form]

    also chris gayle should have found a spot in the team.About south african's what about Neil McKenzie and paul adamS??

  • Chris on April 8, 2009, 6:56 GMT

    A fun team, though Kamran Akmal would be surprised to be tagged a Kiwi in the final list!

  • Bilal on April 8, 2009, 6:45 GMT

    This an unbelievable article.One of my alltime favortie. Keep up the great work Mr.Zaltzman

  • Theena on April 8, 2009, 6:39 GMT

    I am offended that you've included Aravinda de Silva and not included Dilhara 'No Ball Express' Fernando. WTF, mate?

    However, I am inclined to competely subscribe to your conclusion that this team will either win or lose by an innings and 400 runs. In one dayers, though, these guys could be a handful.

    Damn it, I am taking this too seriously.

  • Nawab on April 8, 2009, 6:30 GMT

    Very well posted!! just Akmal is from PAK and not NZL

  • Raj Datta on April 8, 2009, 6:26 GMT

    "Perhaps in selecting three England players, I am guilty of national bias" .. but in your defense, only Harmy is English!

  • Shafiq on April 8, 2009, 6:23 GMT

    Breathless! wonderful 'credit' to indicipline of afridi, shoaib & Akmal.

  • Junaid Asghar on April 8, 2009, 6:17 GMT

    Where is Abdur Razzaq (pakistan). This team needs an allrounder. once being hit for six consecutive fours by michael bevan in a match of Asia XI with the rest of the world XI and some times ripping through the indian lineup. he can score a 70 odd run innings on 30 odd balls or may limp for 200 balls for a 40+. Probably the only person to have hit five consecutive boundaries of Glenn McGrath. And Azhar mehmood also needs recognition.

  • typos on April 8, 2009, 6:15 GMT

    I think Carl the cracker should captain and Hershelle Gibbs should open instead of Marvan Atapatu. Also Andy Blignaut would be my allrounder with Aussies Colin Miller and Greg Matthews right in contention. Finally a team that Zaltman the younger has picked that does justice to his dad's inspiration.

  • Manojkumar TN on April 8, 2009, 5:31 GMT

    Great Andy, all worthy additions to be in a team led by afridi..may be there could be a place for agarkar in place of craig white..

  • Malik Nadeem Awan on April 8, 2009, 5:29 GMT

    yes Andy i think that you have choose a wonderful unpredictible team of the world but i think that u have missed the players like Chris Gayle, Yuvraj and Sanath jaysuria but i think u have done well.

  • Saravanan.NB on April 8, 2009, 5:21 GMT

    Andy, Seems like you are also against selecting ICL players!! How about having Imran Nazir as 12th Man??

  • DJ on April 8, 2009, 5:20 GMT

    hilarious as always! one who puts 'liability' into unreliability really cracked me up. way to go andy! you have surely reached the modest heights you aspire for :) what next? an analysis on the cricketers most likely to cause bodily harm to their opponents? would make for some sensational tabloid stuff DJ

  • Nayan on April 8, 2009, 5:16 GMT

    Ha ha ha (couldn't stop laughing for a while). I bet the only team to defeat your Tedium XI is this team.

  • Allan Pinchen on April 8, 2009, 5:15 GMT

    That is a team that I guarantee could win or lose any match by an innings and 400. Funniest and truest article on cricket I have read for a very long time.Pure genius Andy....still gigling

  • keyur on April 8, 2009, 5:10 GMT

    ha ha ha...splendid description of the players especially sehwag (fast F1 driver who steers off the course at first corner), afridi and akhtar. Predictably 3 of the 11 are from pakistan! I thoroughly protest the inclusion of craig white. I would also like to know as to when akmal has defected to the newzealand team as suggested by your final XI line-up!

  • Kiran on April 8, 2009, 5:03 GMT

    Man, this team has quite a strong batting order for all its unpredictability.

  • Syed Naumanuddin Hassan on April 8, 2009, 5:01 GMT

    7. †Kamran Akmal (NZ)!?? huh!?

  • Kartik on April 8, 2009, 4:57 GMT

    Shoaib Akhtar symbolizes Pakistan. The same way Viv Richards personifies Calypso cool, Geoff Boycott epitomizes the dour British snob, Dennis Lillee exudes Aussie machismo, and Gavaskar reminds you of the slimy little Indian business owner.

    Shoaib is brilliant and fragile. Intelligent and sociopathic. A well-dressed stud while as loony as a bearded Pakistani jihadi. Shoaib, in one man, epitomizes Pakistan.

    And you Brits thought Imran Khan is a typical Pakistani? Ha! He was Oxford educated and spoke in a British accent. He lived in England during his playing days, flying into Pakistan only for home series', and never played domestic cricket in Pakistan. He only chose to pretend to have ties to Pakistan when he found it might be profitable to do so.

    Shoaib Akhtar is Pakistan...

  • raghuveer on April 8, 2009, 4:54 GMT

    Err...pigs (in Kamran Akmal piece), Some of them are going to take offence....couldnt u find any other animal ?

  • JC on April 8, 2009, 4:52 GMT

    Kamran Akmal (NZ)?? Is that to deflect attention away from the fact that you actually have 3 Pakistanis in the team? Love the article though.

  • Hamza Farooq Islam on April 8, 2009, 4:51 GMT

    HAHAHAHAH!!! this is brilliant writing! i think the whole pakistan team warrents a separate mention as an unpredictable team.

  • ng on April 8, 2009, 4:47 GMT

    dunno, but the batting line-up still gives you kinda confidence that they'll do well. Bowling looks shaky though.

  • Kartik on April 8, 2009, 4:45 GMT

    Despite his supposed inconsistency, Sehwag averages over 50, with a strike rate of 78.

    Sehwag is the only player here that will undoubtedly go down as a great of the Test game. I am not sure he fits the bill of being on this list.

  • Anonymous on April 8, 2009, 4:44 GMT

    Kamran Akmal didn't play for New Zealand

  • Raghu on April 8, 2009, 4:44 GMT

    Sattire at its best.. What a shame that some names like Hooper and Madmax Aravinda are here(just wasted talent) ... I would have loved to see GA Hick and Lou Vincent for being Unpredictably Predictable

  • Kartik on April 8, 2009, 4:41 GMT

    I don't agree with MacGill's inclusion. His peak years did not give him many chances to play. The fact that he could play regularly only after Warne's retirement, when MacGill himself was 36, dragged down his career average.

    If you adjust for the fact that MacGill was not able to play during his peak years, and thus had to cram in tests in his final years, then his situation is not inconsistent, but rather sad.

    He should have followed Kepler Wessels and emigrated to South Africa. Or New Zealand. He would then have taken 600 Test Wickets.

    The Shoaib bit was funny. I can tell you thought for a long time to come up with it.

  • Muhammad Aman on April 8, 2009, 4:40 GMT

    Lovely team. It will be lovely to watch this team compete with the best team and win by a big margin and lose to the the weakest team by a big margin. It is truly one of the most unpredictable team in Cricket World. And at last Kamran Akmal is a Pakistani not a New Zealender

  • Dave on April 8, 2009, 4:37 GMT

    The obvious comment is that Akmal - in your final list - is not a New Zealander. So you have none of them either. Could I suggest Lee Germon for the total unpredictability of making the side at all, let alone as captain?

  • Len Rogers on April 8, 2009, 4:28 GMT

    Ranatunga! The master of the gum should be there rather than Pieterson. The man who needed a runner if he batted more than 30 minutes in a one-dayer; who wanted to walk off for Murali; and,who made whinging an artform. He could play as well. Give him a waddle. Buckme

  • Len Rogers on April 8, 2009, 4:28 GMT

    Ranatunga! The master of the gum should be there rather than Pieterson. The man who needed a runner if he batted more than 30 minutes in a one-dayer; who wanted to walk off for Murali; and,who made whinging an artform. He could play as well. Give him a waddle. Buckme

  • Len Rogers on April 8, 2009, 4:27 GMT

    Ranatunga! The master of the gum should be there rather than Pieterson. The man who needed a runner if he batted more than 30 minutes in a one-dayer; who wanted to walk off for Murali; and,who made whinging an artform. He could play as well. Give him a waddle. Buckme

  • Vipul Aroh on April 8, 2009, 4:23 GMT

    "...a fallow period in which his ineptitude with the bat often matched his seismically shaky wicketkeeping, in which he remained flawless apart from his glovework, footwork and headwork. At times, he has not so much been ham-fisted, as appeared to be keeping wicket with two live pigs strapped to ends of his arms." Loved it. Sheer genius.

  • raj on April 8, 2009, 4:20 GMT

    What a great list - I notice a lot of Pakistanis in team as well. The term mercurial was invented to describe them. Thrilling one day woeful the next. Virender sehwag's latest efforts may have him moving out of the unreliable stakes and how can a batsman averaging 50+ in tests be unrealiable? Jayasuriya I think is more up and down than Attapatu - but I would rather turn up and watch Sanath score a thrilling 50 that Attapatu score 150! Some more Aussies such as Blewett, Brett Lee, Kim Hughes and even haydney at either end of his career would qualify. carl Hooper and Afridi would both make their captains go crazy!

  • Murvis on April 8, 2009, 3:57 GMT

    Hilarious..

  • Anonymous on April 8, 2009, 3:53 GMT

    Andy, you forgot to write "(Pakistan)" beside Shoaib Akhtar's name.

  • Shavi on April 8, 2009, 3:50 GMT

    Kamran Akmal is mistakenly labeled as hailing from New Zealand. Sorry Andy but thats just not the case!

  • Shavi on April 8, 2009, 3:50 GMT

    Kamran Akmal is mistakenly labeled as hailing from New Zealand. Sorry Andy but thats just not the case!

  • Palash on April 8, 2009, 3:45 GMT

    You didnt select a coach and an unpredictable fielder as a 12th man

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • Palash on April 8, 2009, 3:45 GMT

    You didnt select a coach and an unpredictable fielder as a 12th man

  • Shavi on April 8, 2009, 3:50 GMT

    Kamran Akmal is mistakenly labeled as hailing from New Zealand. Sorry Andy but thats just not the case!

  • Shavi on April 8, 2009, 3:50 GMT

    Kamran Akmal is mistakenly labeled as hailing from New Zealand. Sorry Andy but thats just not the case!

  • Anonymous on April 8, 2009, 3:53 GMT

    Andy, you forgot to write "(Pakistan)" beside Shoaib Akhtar's name.

  • Murvis on April 8, 2009, 3:57 GMT

    Hilarious..

  • raj on April 8, 2009, 4:20 GMT

    What a great list - I notice a lot of Pakistanis in team as well. The term mercurial was invented to describe them. Thrilling one day woeful the next. Virender sehwag's latest efforts may have him moving out of the unreliable stakes and how can a batsman averaging 50+ in tests be unrealiable? Jayasuriya I think is more up and down than Attapatu - but I would rather turn up and watch Sanath score a thrilling 50 that Attapatu score 150! Some more Aussies such as Blewett, Brett Lee, Kim Hughes and even haydney at either end of his career would qualify. carl Hooper and Afridi would both make their captains go crazy!

  • Vipul Aroh on April 8, 2009, 4:23 GMT

    "...a fallow period in which his ineptitude with the bat often matched his seismically shaky wicketkeeping, in which he remained flawless apart from his glovework, footwork and headwork. At times, he has not so much been ham-fisted, as appeared to be keeping wicket with two live pigs strapped to ends of his arms." Loved it. Sheer genius.

  • Len Rogers on April 8, 2009, 4:27 GMT

    Ranatunga! The master of the gum should be there rather than Pieterson. The man who needed a runner if he batted more than 30 minutes in a one-dayer; who wanted to walk off for Murali; and,who made whinging an artform. He could play as well. Give him a waddle. Buckme

  • Len Rogers on April 8, 2009, 4:28 GMT

    Ranatunga! The master of the gum should be there rather than Pieterson. The man who needed a runner if he batted more than 30 minutes in a one-dayer; who wanted to walk off for Murali; and,who made whinging an artform. He could play as well. Give him a waddle. Buckme

  • Len Rogers on April 8, 2009, 4:28 GMT

    Ranatunga! The master of the gum should be there rather than Pieterson. The man who needed a runner if he batted more than 30 minutes in a one-dayer; who wanted to walk off for Murali; and,who made whinging an artform. He could play as well. Give him a waddle. Buckme