Golden Pairs Golden PairsRSS FeedFeeds
Cricket writers on their dream match-ups

Mixed Ashes

In which The Don and Ranji take on Barnes and Lillee

Steven Lynch

Text size: A | A



Clockwise from above left: Barnes, Ranji, Bradman, Lillee © PA Photos, Getty Images
Enlarge

I don't suppose this is terribly original, but I would love to see Don Bradman bat. Film suggests he was just about the first batsman to play in the "modern" way - bat and pad close together, pushing the ball around for singles, looking for runs off every ball from the start. Bearing in mind that he struggled a little against the Bodyline attack, I'd want to see him face a top-class fast bowler, and after agonising about Malcolm Marshall, the best of the West Indians, for this celestial match-up I would go for the most complete fast bowler I've ever seen: Dennis Lillee, who bowled the most unplayable delivery I have witnessed - swinging in and seaming away at pace to clean up a nonplussed Brian Luckhurst in 1972. Like Keith Miller, Lillee wouldn't hesitate to give the Don a bouncer or two.

It was tempting to choose Shane Warne at the other end, but someone else I'd like to see would be Sydney Barnes, the enigmatic England bowler who took 189 wickets in just 27 Tests. The producer would have to line up Hawk-Eye and an Analyst or three so we could finally work out exactly what Barnes bowled.

The other batsman? I thought of Victor Trumper, or Jack Hobbs, or George Headley, or Walter Hammond (him batting with his nemesis Bradman would be interesting!), but someone else who changed the way people thought about batting was KS Ranjitsinhji. I don't suppose Lillee would give him too many to leg-glance, and Barnes would test Ranji's wrists, but it would be a fantastic contest.

Steven Lynch is the editor of the Cricinfo Guide to International Cricket (reviewed here). This article was first published in the print edition of Cricinfo Magazine in 2006

RSS Feeds: Steven Lynch

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

FeedbackTop
Email Feedback Print
Share
E-mail
Feedback
Print
Steven LynchClose
Steven Lynch Steven Lynch won the Wisden Cricket Monthly Christmas Quiz three years running before the then-editor said "I can't let you win it again, but would you like a job?" That lasted for 15 years, before he moved across to the Wisden website when that was set up in 2000. Following the merger of the two sites early in 2003 he was appointed as the global editor of Wisden Cricinfo. In June 2005 he became the deputy editor of Wisden Cricketers' Almanack. He continues to contribute the popular weekly "Ask Steven" question-and-answer column on ESPNcricinfo, and edits the Wisden Guide to International Cricket.
Related Links

'He's got no real weaknesses'

Modern Masters: Rahul Dravid and Sanjay Manjrekar discuss Jacques Kallis' terrific record in all conditions

    'You don't decline the Australian captaincy'

Seventy-nine-year-old Ian Craig talks about the "next Bradman" tag, and how Jeff Thomson caused him to retire young

    India's opening conundrum

Numbers Game: In the last three-and-half-years, India's opening combinations have averaged 18 per partnership overseas, with only one 50-plus stand in 35 attempts

    In Larwood country

Diary: Our correspondent makes his way from Trent Bridge to Nuncargate to find out more about one of England's most fearsome fast bowlers. By Sidharth Monga

Whose top five is that? Not New Zealand's?

The Beige Brigade boys roll out an old hit about Monty P and his black patka, and discuss Pakistan v NZ

News | Features Last 7 days

India look for their Indian summer

Billboards are calling the series England's Indian Summer, but it is India who are looking for that period of warmth, redemption after the last whitewash, for they have seen how bleak the winter that can follow is

India's bowling leader conundrum

The present Indian bowling line-up will tackle its first five-Test series without the proven guidance of Zaheer Khan, their bowling captain. India had unravelled without him in 2011. Will they do better this time around?

South Africa face the Kallis question

Accommodation for a great player like Jacques Kallis should be made with careful consideration and South Africa cannot get carried away with sentiment

Five key head-to-heads

From two embattled captains to the challenge for India's openers against the new ball, ESPNcricinfo picks five contests that could determine the series

Bevan's best, and a combined Indo-Pak team

A look back at five high-profile exhibition matches

News | Features Last 7 days

    India look for their Indian summer (87)

    Billboards are calling the series England's Indian Summer, but it is India who are looking for that period of warmth, redemption after the last whitewash, for they have seen how bleak the winter that can follow is

    South Africa face the Kallis question (55)

    Accommodation for a great player like Jacques Kallis should be made with careful consideration and South Africa cannot get carried away with sentiment

    India's bowling leader conundrum (44)

    The present Indian bowling line-up will tackle its first five-Test series without the proven guidance of Zaheer Khan, their bowling captain. India had unravelled without him in 2011. Will they do better this time around?

    Five key head-to-heads (33)

    From two embattled captains to the challenge for India's openers against the new ball, ESPNcricinfo picks five contests that could determine the series

    Shakib puts on brave face after suspension (31)

    Shakib Al Hasan trained with his team-mates as the BCB directors held their meeting in Mirpur, unaware of the massive punishment he was about to be hit with