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Two fast bowlers or three? Into-the-wind specialist? Left-right combination? Welcome to the most complicated selection
July 13, 2009
This group has the longest list, but condensing it into two spots could be the most challenging exercise in selecting Australia's all-time XI. Does the side require two speedsters or complementary operators? Is an into-the-wind specialist too much of a luxury or is a right-left combination necessary?
Eleven names have been scribbled down, covering some of the most fearsome quicks in history, men whose opponents quivered when they marked their runs. The nicknames of Fred "the Demon" Spofforth and Charlie "Terror" Turner added to the mean bowling reputations of the old-world enforcers, while Dennis Lillee and Glenn McGrath threw angry verbals into their already scary repertoires. Jason Gillespie and Brett Lee also represent the modern generation, which followed eras in which Craig McDermott and Garth McKenzie starred.
Ray Lindwall was a leading man on the 1948 tour, and Alan Davidson joined him in the team in the 1950s as they shocked and stirred batsmen. An unexpected name on the list is Ted McDonald, who played 11 Tests and paired Jack Gregory in a leg-shaking combination, before an outstanding career with Lancashire. The competition for the shortlist was so stiff that Jeff Thomson missed out, shocking one esteemed judge, who rated him the country's best new-ball bowler. More tough decisions are needed to finalise Australia's all-time XI, which will be revealed later this week.
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