Allrounders September 14, 2009

Men of many parts

No Vettori or Hadlee, but there are still four strong contenders for the allrounder spot
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Now we come to those rarities in international cricket, men who provide sides with balance, men who allow sides to place prolonged trust in the specialists around them. And, as is true of two on New Zealand's shortlist for this segment, the big stars, the alpha males.

John Reid and Chris Cairns were obviously the big stars of the teams they played in, the extroverts whose personalities found complete expression when playing cricket. Both could have gone on to represent New Zealand in rugby too, but fate brought them to cricket. Up against them is Bruce Taylor, who made the sort of start people dream of, scoring 105 when he batted for the first time in Tests, and taking 5 for 86 the first time he bowled.

As has been the trend worldwide, New Zealand too have struggled for allrounders since Cairns' retirement. Daniel Vettori can lay claim to being one, but as he himself considers his bowling his primary skill and batting a bonus, for the purpose of this poll he is better considered a specialist bowler. Ditto with Richard Hadlee.

The contenders

John R Reid Would have been an allrounder in the most complete sense possible but for an attack of rheumatic fever early in his career. Before that, he was a better rugby player than he was a cricketer, but he couldn't pursue his stronger sport to add to his batting, bowling, fielding and wicketkeeping feats on cricket fields.

Bruce Taylor His century and five-for on debut, against India at Eden Gardens, remains a record untouched. He followed that up with a 5 for 26 in the next Test. In seven Tests against West Indies he averaged 53 with the bat and 23 with the ball. An aggressive batsman, and a canny medium-pacer, Taylor played 30 Tests during which he just fell short of completing the 1000-runs-100-wickets double.

Chris Cairns When not a rebel or injured or simply self-destructing, Cairns was as fine an allrounder as any of his time, a clean hitter of the ball, and a potentially devastating bowler. That he could never achieve consistency, and that he managed only 62 Tests, meant his figures of 3320 runs (at 33.53) and 218 wickets (29.40) were a poor justification of his prodigious talent.

Jacob Oram His suceptibility to injury has reduced the 1.98-metre tall Oram to bowling restrictive medium pace in Tests, and he has commented that the modern game with its busy calendar is not a breeding ground for Test allrounders. But five centuries in 33 Tests is not a bad return if his doubling up as a change-up bowler is considered.

We'll be publishing an all-time New Zealand XI based on readers' votes to go with our jury's XI. To vote for your top New Zealand allrounders click here

Sidharth Monga is a staff writer at Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY mroak1 on | September 17, 2009, 21:39 GMT

    My NZ team would be,GM Turner,JG Wright,B Sutcliffe,MD Crowe,SP Fleming,JR Reid c,RJ Hadlee,KJ Wadsworth,DL Vettori,RC Motz,SE Bond.My 12th man would be,CL Cairns.

  • POSTED BY thefatladysings on | September 15, 2009, 20:06 GMT

    With all due respect - and a piece of my cricketing heart goes out to Chris Cairns cos I loved to watch him play - but when you need a man to do the job and put everything into it every time you can't go past John Reid. Cairns was incredibly talented but... you know the rest. And slipping back to the openers, while Richardson has great stats and worked incredibly hard and blew everyone away with his success i suspect if he'd kept playing his average - like many kiwi batsmen of his era - would have kept going down. John Wright on the other hand just kept getting better and in the last few years of his test career was world class. Lastly, Cowie must be a must-pick. He can't be left out because of his low number of tests; for crying out loud he played every single test going over a long period. Just read his bio on this website. I think this separates him from the likes of Donnelly, who there is some debate about. Dempster, I'm still thinking about. Not that my opinion means anything.

  • POSTED BY delta20 on | September 15, 2009, 16:55 GMT

    My NZ XI 1) Glenn Turner, 2) Mark Richardson, 3) Bert Sutcliffe, 4) Martin Crowe, 5) Stephen Flemming, 6) Brendon McCullum, 7) Chris Cairns, 8) Daniel Vettori, 9) Richard Hadlee, 10) Shane Bond, 11) Jack Cowie 12th man: Martin Donnelly Five specialist batsmen, one of the finest wicket-keeper batsman around but have yet to really prove his worth at the test level, one of the better allrounders the world has seen and injury permitting, could have been one of the best ever, four extremely good bowlers capable of destroying any line-ups on their day. Martin Crowe and Bert sutcliffe could be used as partnership breakers and Martin crowe would be the captain cool with Stephen flemming acting as his deputy. Not a perfect XI but capable of beating any XI on their day.

  • POSTED BY youfoundme on | September 15, 2009, 4:31 GMT

    What a team this would be - 1. G Turner 2. M Richardson 3. A Jones 4. M Crowe 5.J Ryder 6. C Cairns 7. B McCullum 8. D Vettori 9. R Hadlee 10. S Bond 11. J Cowie

  • POSTED BY bradluen on | September 15, 2009, 1:53 GMT

    Have you seen the top seven of the Aussie all-time XI? Trumper, Morris, Bradman, Chappell, Border, Miller, Gilchrist. As handy a player as Oram is, he's not making a dent in that lineup... Hadlee, Cowie and Vettori are workhorses, so even with a crock like Bond in the lineup, you only need 10-15 overs a day from your fifth bowler, but they have to good overs... It's correct to call C. Cairns a bit of an underachiever as a batsman. He had more natural talent with the bat than, say, Craig McMillan, yet Macca's average is five runs higher. (As for Botham, he too should have scored more runs than he did.) I think that Cairns was the better player, but Reid balances the lineup better. This is New Zealand we're talking about, you know our number six is going to come in at 4/96. With Cairns at six, we'd be 5/98 in no time. 1962 John Reid was a world-class batsman, with sound defence and a threat of game-changing power hitting. This is true of Cairns as well, but JR did it more consistently.

  • POSTED BY themandible on | September 15, 2009, 1:42 GMT

    If you're looking for out and out pure breed allrounders with bat and ball your choices have to be Cairnsy and Reid. Reid's test numbers are good for an allrounder and his first class numbers excellent. Cairnsy was New Zealand's matchwinner for a decade, and as pointed out he shares similar averages to Ian Botham. I feel that Bruce Taylor falls into the same category as Hadlee and Vettori, a bowler who was a useful bludger of the ball but not an out and out batsman - his numbers point to this, and I think his return of 111 wickets at 26 would have him near the team as a bowler alone.

  • POSTED BY Blocky on | September 15, 2009, 1:20 GMT

    The fact is, you have Chris Cairns and Bruce Taylor deserving spots in an NZ Line Up. My team out of the names you've given so far 1. Richardson, 2. Donnelly, 3. Sutcliffe, 4. Crowe, 5. Fleming, 6. Cairns, 7. Taylor Looking into the future, 8. Parore, 9. Vettori, 10. Hadlee, 11. Bond

  • POSTED BY ain73 on | September 14, 2009, 17:11 GMT

    This will be my all time NZ team: 1. GM Turner - NZs most prolific first-class run scorer, 103 first-class centuries. 2. B Sutcliffe - Simply one of NZ's best ever players, and he was best first opening the batting. Held the world record highest first-class score by a left-hander for decades (385). 3. SP Fleming - Makes the team because he's the best captain NZ's ever had. 4. MD Crowe - Best NZ batsman ever. Most test 100s, NZ's highest first class average, NZ's highest test score.....etc 5.JD Ryder young talented left hender with great potantiol 6. CL Cairns - NZ's best batting allrounder 7. BB McCullum will be my wk with great batting talent 8. RJ Hadlee - NZ's best bowling allrounder & NZ's best ever bowler. 9. DL Vettori - Great left arm spinner - outstanding batter too (better than any other NZ spin bowler 10. SE Bond - NZ's most effective and controlled bowler of those who could bowl upward of 150 km/h. 11. DL Morrison another fastman.

  • POSTED BY RJBP10 on | September 14, 2009, 15:06 GMT

    I feel we should make an exception with NZ and pick 2 all rounders (plus Hadlee and Vettori). NZ's strength is their multiple dimensional players. Cannot pick between Cairns and Oram but know for sure that all 4 combined i.e. Cairns, Oram, Hadlee and Vettori (even though the latter 2 are sure to be picked as specialist bowlers) would greatly strengthen the NZ side.

  • POSTED BY japroni on | September 14, 2009, 14:52 GMT

    cloudmess you are absolutely correct. But you know why Beefy gets all the accolades and Cairnsy gets downtrodden? Because he is English. Plain and simple. For years England players, commentators and writers have always cast the view that New Zealand are a third rate team of dibbly dobbler no hopers that do the best with thier limited resources. Even when we outplayed them in the test series in 99 they still blamed the fact that they had got it wrong and not that NZ were the better team. They continually believe that they are a more exciting outfit then NZ even though we have won pretty much every one day series and match up with them in the last 7 or 8 years. Chris Cairns was an outlandish talent that leaves Flintoff Broad and co in his wake and more then matches up to Beefy!! People do not give him enough credit for how correct he use to play and how straight he use to hit a ball. I will always remember the slower ball to C Reid that bowled him all ends up. It was Pure Magic!!

  • POSTED BY mroak1 on | September 17, 2009, 21:39 GMT

    My NZ team would be,GM Turner,JG Wright,B Sutcliffe,MD Crowe,SP Fleming,JR Reid c,RJ Hadlee,KJ Wadsworth,DL Vettori,RC Motz,SE Bond.My 12th man would be,CL Cairns.

  • POSTED BY thefatladysings on | September 15, 2009, 20:06 GMT

    With all due respect - and a piece of my cricketing heart goes out to Chris Cairns cos I loved to watch him play - but when you need a man to do the job and put everything into it every time you can't go past John Reid. Cairns was incredibly talented but... you know the rest. And slipping back to the openers, while Richardson has great stats and worked incredibly hard and blew everyone away with his success i suspect if he'd kept playing his average - like many kiwi batsmen of his era - would have kept going down. John Wright on the other hand just kept getting better and in the last few years of his test career was world class. Lastly, Cowie must be a must-pick. He can't be left out because of his low number of tests; for crying out loud he played every single test going over a long period. Just read his bio on this website. I think this separates him from the likes of Donnelly, who there is some debate about. Dempster, I'm still thinking about. Not that my opinion means anything.

  • POSTED BY delta20 on | September 15, 2009, 16:55 GMT

    My NZ XI 1) Glenn Turner, 2) Mark Richardson, 3) Bert Sutcliffe, 4) Martin Crowe, 5) Stephen Flemming, 6) Brendon McCullum, 7) Chris Cairns, 8) Daniel Vettori, 9) Richard Hadlee, 10) Shane Bond, 11) Jack Cowie 12th man: Martin Donnelly Five specialist batsmen, one of the finest wicket-keeper batsman around but have yet to really prove his worth at the test level, one of the better allrounders the world has seen and injury permitting, could have been one of the best ever, four extremely good bowlers capable of destroying any line-ups on their day. Martin Crowe and Bert sutcliffe could be used as partnership breakers and Martin crowe would be the captain cool with Stephen flemming acting as his deputy. Not a perfect XI but capable of beating any XI on their day.

  • POSTED BY youfoundme on | September 15, 2009, 4:31 GMT

    What a team this would be - 1. G Turner 2. M Richardson 3. A Jones 4. M Crowe 5.J Ryder 6. C Cairns 7. B McCullum 8. D Vettori 9. R Hadlee 10. S Bond 11. J Cowie

  • POSTED BY bradluen on | September 15, 2009, 1:53 GMT

    Have you seen the top seven of the Aussie all-time XI? Trumper, Morris, Bradman, Chappell, Border, Miller, Gilchrist. As handy a player as Oram is, he's not making a dent in that lineup... Hadlee, Cowie and Vettori are workhorses, so even with a crock like Bond in the lineup, you only need 10-15 overs a day from your fifth bowler, but they have to good overs... It's correct to call C. Cairns a bit of an underachiever as a batsman. He had more natural talent with the bat than, say, Craig McMillan, yet Macca's average is five runs higher. (As for Botham, he too should have scored more runs than he did.) I think that Cairns was the better player, but Reid balances the lineup better. This is New Zealand we're talking about, you know our number six is going to come in at 4/96. With Cairns at six, we'd be 5/98 in no time. 1962 John Reid was a world-class batsman, with sound defence and a threat of game-changing power hitting. This is true of Cairns as well, but JR did it more consistently.

  • POSTED BY themandible on | September 15, 2009, 1:42 GMT

    If you're looking for out and out pure breed allrounders with bat and ball your choices have to be Cairnsy and Reid. Reid's test numbers are good for an allrounder and his first class numbers excellent. Cairnsy was New Zealand's matchwinner for a decade, and as pointed out he shares similar averages to Ian Botham. I feel that Bruce Taylor falls into the same category as Hadlee and Vettori, a bowler who was a useful bludger of the ball but not an out and out batsman - his numbers point to this, and I think his return of 111 wickets at 26 would have him near the team as a bowler alone.

  • POSTED BY Blocky on | September 15, 2009, 1:20 GMT

    The fact is, you have Chris Cairns and Bruce Taylor deserving spots in an NZ Line Up. My team out of the names you've given so far 1. Richardson, 2. Donnelly, 3. Sutcliffe, 4. Crowe, 5. Fleming, 6. Cairns, 7. Taylor Looking into the future, 8. Parore, 9. Vettori, 10. Hadlee, 11. Bond

  • POSTED BY ain73 on | September 14, 2009, 17:11 GMT

    This will be my all time NZ team: 1. GM Turner - NZs most prolific first-class run scorer, 103 first-class centuries. 2. B Sutcliffe - Simply one of NZ's best ever players, and he was best first opening the batting. Held the world record highest first-class score by a left-hander for decades (385). 3. SP Fleming - Makes the team because he's the best captain NZ's ever had. 4. MD Crowe - Best NZ batsman ever. Most test 100s, NZ's highest first class average, NZ's highest test score.....etc 5.JD Ryder young talented left hender with great potantiol 6. CL Cairns - NZ's best batting allrounder 7. BB McCullum will be my wk with great batting talent 8. RJ Hadlee - NZ's best bowling allrounder & NZ's best ever bowler. 9. DL Vettori - Great left arm spinner - outstanding batter too (better than any other NZ spin bowler 10. SE Bond - NZ's most effective and controlled bowler of those who could bowl upward of 150 km/h. 11. DL Morrison another fastman.

  • POSTED BY RJBP10 on | September 14, 2009, 15:06 GMT

    I feel we should make an exception with NZ and pick 2 all rounders (plus Hadlee and Vettori). NZ's strength is their multiple dimensional players. Cannot pick between Cairns and Oram but know for sure that all 4 combined i.e. Cairns, Oram, Hadlee and Vettori (even though the latter 2 are sure to be picked as specialist bowlers) would greatly strengthen the NZ side.

  • POSTED BY japroni on | September 14, 2009, 14:52 GMT

    cloudmess you are absolutely correct. But you know why Beefy gets all the accolades and Cairnsy gets downtrodden? Because he is English. Plain and simple. For years England players, commentators and writers have always cast the view that New Zealand are a third rate team of dibbly dobbler no hopers that do the best with thier limited resources. Even when we outplayed them in the test series in 99 they still blamed the fact that they had got it wrong and not that NZ were the better team. They continually believe that they are a more exciting outfit then NZ even though we have won pretty much every one day series and match up with them in the last 7 or 8 years. Chris Cairns was an outlandish talent that leaves Flintoff Broad and co in his wake and more then matches up to Beefy!! People do not give him enough credit for how correct he use to play and how straight he use to hit a ball. I will always remember the slower ball to C Reid that bowled him all ends up. It was Pure Magic!!

  • POSTED BY buntyj on | September 14, 2009, 14:38 GMT

    from this list i would pick chris cairns as my allrounder at no 7 in the nz side - actually with ian smith richard hadlee and perhaps vettori to follow nz would bat to no 10; john reid is at no 6 in my team already

  • POSTED BY ChinmayD on | September 14, 2009, 13:47 GMT

    Redneck: "he could have easily challenged flintoff as the best alrounder of the current era!"

    Crains has a better batting AND bowling average than Flintoff. That makes him a better all rounder than Flintoff. But lets not call either of them best all rounder of current era. There's a certain Jacques Kallis around see.

  • POSTED BY kiwibirds12 on | September 14, 2009, 12:15 GMT

    I feel you should be able to have more than two all rounders, I would for my team. It would be as follows

    John Wright Stewie Dempster Bert Sutcliffe Martin Crowe Martin Donnelly John Reid Chris Cairns Richard Hadlee Daniel Vettori Ian Smith Shane Bond 12th Man Jack Cowie

    I think we have enough in our 5 man bowling attack to trouble most batting lineups however if this wasnt the case one of the all rounders would have to dropped to accomodate Jack Cowie somewhat weakening the batting. This batting lineup is deep which is needed due to the lack of world class batsmen, Sutcliffe, Crowe, Donnelly and Demspter are all World Class but then finding just a 5th specialist batsmen is difficult, I've gone with John Wright over Glen Turner as he played many more games for New Zealand over the years n Turner had a weakness against fast bowling, when he scored his test double centuries in the Windies it was just before their real fast bowlers came onto the scene. So theres my team

  • POSTED BY cloudmess on | September 14, 2009, 11:45 GMT

    Chris Cairns' figures 'a poor justification for his prodigious talent'? In the UK, we still revere Sir Ian Beefy Botham, we listen to every word he says, and give him in a high-profile position in the Sky commentary box - even though he talks such a load of downbeat, ill thought-out drivel. His Himalayan test figures give him the right don't they? Botham's batting and bowling averages were 33 and 28. Cairns' are 33 and 29. Cairns did not have years to inflate his figures against Packer-weakened teams. He scored his runs in an era of great fast bowlers. He also performed strongly against the best team of the day, Australia. Cairns scored less runs and took less wickets than Beefy, but then he also played 40 fewer tests. His figures lose nothing by way of a proportional comparison. So why is one all-rounder revered to the point of madness, and the other dubbed an underachieving failure?

  • POSTED BY tauranga on | September 14, 2009, 11:15 GMT

    I agree with robottiger. Chris Cairns also adds that "flair factor". Like Englands' Flintoff his presence raised his team mates talents. Nothing wrong with many Kiwi players being all-rounders, after all Vettori/Hadlee can be included in the final catagory.

  • POSTED BY Saim93 on | September 14, 2009, 10:56 GMT

    Chris Cairns is the best choice, it was a pity he had to retire so early he was a great all rounder.

  • POSTED BY PrinzPaulEugen on | September 14, 2009, 10:24 GMT

    Chris Cairns ticks the right boxes in the all important 30/30 rule for all rounders. Batting average - higher. Bowling - lower. Add to that 3000+ runs and 200+ wickets - a world class allrounder.

  • POSTED BY robotiger on | September 14, 2009, 10:23 GMT

    Isn't it odd that the four NZ bowlers who hold the strongest bowling statistics (Hadlee, Cairns, Vettori and Taylor) also have reasonable batting ability? Maybe this highlights the inherent nature of NZ cricketers, and that the best players are often called upon to deliver on multiple areas of a match. For me the bowlers are: Hadlee, Taylor, Bond/Cowie as the three fast bowlers, Cairns as the all rounder and Vettori as the spinner. There is a lot of batting mixed in there, but I'm seriously struggling to think of better, more consistently performed, bowlers than those.

  • POSTED BY delta20 on | September 14, 2009, 8:30 GMT

    Haven't seen much of Taylor and Reid but their first class stats show something especially Reid. But his bowling performance in tests suggests that better pick Chris cairns, my favorite cricketer, for the spot. Chris cairns has a good batting average coming at 6-7 and decent bowling average in an attack that lacked bite. Shane warne may have admitted publicly that Sachin gave him nightmares but he didn't have enjoyable time with Cairns either. Though he got him about 5-6 times, the way cairns played him was thrilling. Going after the world's best spinner for a player from NZ takes some courage. He blasted warne during 1999 world cup too, hoisting him for 2 (?) sixes. He was instrumental in NZ winning the champions trophy in 2000. His six off Kumble that sealed the match was remarkable. He was a very good player of spin bowling who could change the game quickly. He could have been one of the finest all rounders alongside Botham, Imran & Kapil had he not been injured so frequently.

  • POSTED BY mikeindex on | September 14, 2009, 8:11 GMT

    How can Taylor (Test batting average 20) be an all-rounder when Hadlee (27) and Vettori (29 and rising) aren't? Is it <i>because</i> having to pick just one from these two, Cairns and Reid would be so obviously insane - and the rules say you can only have one all-rounder? Doesn't that mean we should change the rules rather than putting people in blatantly wrong categories?

    The fact that the quota system means the all-rounder has to bat at 6 makes me wonder whether Reid might be the best choice - but given that we'll have Hadlee and Vettori at 8 and 9 maybe we can afford Cairns at 6 (or 7, below McCullum).

  • POSTED BY AsifRathod on | September 14, 2009, 7:52 GMT

    Undoubtedly Chris Cairns. He was a match winner for NZ. He's the ability to produce firing batting or bowling display and he could turn the match single handedly.

  • POSTED BY youfoundme on | September 14, 2009, 6:26 GMT

    There are three players that have warrant to automatic placements in the All-Time XI and they are Crowe, Vettori and Hadlee. There are then of course players like Bond, Cairns, Flemming etc that you have to toss up on. But, clearly out of this selection - Cairns is the obvious choice for the "All-Rounder slot".

  • POSTED BY saravanan_m87 on | September 14, 2009, 6:10 GMT

    its a unanimous choice, it has to be chris cairns.

  • POSTED BY T20Ddevils on | September 14, 2009, 4:44 GMT

    Its really wierd to have a kiwi all rounder selection without having Sir Richard Hadlee in it.. Agreed that he is their best bowler but that doesn't take anything from the fact that he has been one of world cricket's best all rounder and can definitely replace Oram anytime in that list..

  • POSTED BY redneck on | September 14, 2009, 4:40 GMT

    without knowing all that much about the first 2 contenders, chris cairns has to win this spot. i remember a new zealand tour of australia in 2001 or around then when new zealand held on 0-0 for a series draw. at the time chris was the man doing damage with the bat and ball! its a real shame that he was a tad injury prone for new zealand, he could have easily challenged flintoff as the best alrounder of the current era! his old man's a bit unlucky not to be on the list of contenders for this spot too!

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  • POSTED BY redneck on | September 14, 2009, 4:40 GMT

    without knowing all that much about the first 2 contenders, chris cairns has to win this spot. i remember a new zealand tour of australia in 2001 or around then when new zealand held on 0-0 for a series draw. at the time chris was the man doing damage with the bat and ball! its a real shame that he was a tad injury prone for new zealand, he could have easily challenged flintoff as the best alrounder of the current era! his old man's a bit unlucky not to be on the list of contenders for this spot too!

  • POSTED BY T20Ddevils on | September 14, 2009, 4:44 GMT

    Its really wierd to have a kiwi all rounder selection without having Sir Richard Hadlee in it.. Agreed that he is their best bowler but that doesn't take anything from the fact that he has been one of world cricket's best all rounder and can definitely replace Oram anytime in that list..

  • POSTED BY saravanan_m87 on | September 14, 2009, 6:10 GMT

    its a unanimous choice, it has to be chris cairns.

  • POSTED BY youfoundme on | September 14, 2009, 6:26 GMT

    There are three players that have warrant to automatic placements in the All-Time XI and they are Crowe, Vettori and Hadlee. There are then of course players like Bond, Cairns, Flemming etc that you have to toss up on. But, clearly out of this selection - Cairns is the obvious choice for the "All-Rounder slot".

  • POSTED BY AsifRathod on | September 14, 2009, 7:52 GMT

    Undoubtedly Chris Cairns. He was a match winner for NZ. He's the ability to produce firing batting or bowling display and he could turn the match single handedly.

  • POSTED BY mikeindex on | September 14, 2009, 8:11 GMT

    How can Taylor (Test batting average 20) be an all-rounder when Hadlee (27) and Vettori (29 and rising) aren't? Is it <i>because</i> having to pick just one from these two, Cairns and Reid would be so obviously insane - and the rules say you can only have one all-rounder? Doesn't that mean we should change the rules rather than putting people in blatantly wrong categories?

    The fact that the quota system means the all-rounder has to bat at 6 makes me wonder whether Reid might be the best choice - but given that we'll have Hadlee and Vettori at 8 and 9 maybe we can afford Cairns at 6 (or 7, below McCullum).

  • POSTED BY delta20 on | September 14, 2009, 8:30 GMT

    Haven't seen much of Taylor and Reid but their first class stats show something especially Reid. But his bowling performance in tests suggests that better pick Chris cairns, my favorite cricketer, for the spot. Chris cairns has a good batting average coming at 6-7 and decent bowling average in an attack that lacked bite. Shane warne may have admitted publicly that Sachin gave him nightmares but he didn't have enjoyable time with Cairns either. Though he got him about 5-6 times, the way cairns played him was thrilling. Going after the world's best spinner for a player from NZ takes some courage. He blasted warne during 1999 world cup too, hoisting him for 2 (?) sixes. He was instrumental in NZ winning the champions trophy in 2000. His six off Kumble that sealed the match was remarkable. He was a very good player of spin bowling who could change the game quickly. He could have been one of the finest all rounders alongside Botham, Imran & Kapil had he not been injured so frequently.

  • POSTED BY robotiger on | September 14, 2009, 10:23 GMT

    Isn't it odd that the four NZ bowlers who hold the strongest bowling statistics (Hadlee, Cairns, Vettori and Taylor) also have reasonable batting ability? Maybe this highlights the inherent nature of NZ cricketers, and that the best players are often called upon to deliver on multiple areas of a match. For me the bowlers are: Hadlee, Taylor, Bond/Cowie as the three fast bowlers, Cairns as the all rounder and Vettori as the spinner. There is a lot of batting mixed in there, but I'm seriously struggling to think of better, more consistently performed, bowlers than those.

  • POSTED BY PrinzPaulEugen on | September 14, 2009, 10:24 GMT

    Chris Cairns ticks the right boxes in the all important 30/30 rule for all rounders. Batting average - higher. Bowling - lower. Add to that 3000+ runs and 200+ wickets - a world class allrounder.

  • POSTED BY Saim93 on | September 14, 2009, 10:56 GMT

    Chris Cairns is the best choice, it was a pity he had to retire so early he was a great all rounder.