The XI October 12, 2009

A team from all seasons

Two men from the current team, two from before the war, and many disagreements with readers, in New Zealand's all-time XI selection
31

It has been close to two months of decision-making for Cricinfo's selectors, who have pondered, judged charisma vis-à-vis stats, legends against moderns, and have finally arrived at the XI who, in their minds, would be best placed to represent New Zealand. That it was an open contest shows in how not even Bert Sutcliffe and John R Reid got a perfect vote from the selectors. That honour went only to Glenn Turner, Martin Crowe and Richard Hadlee. Sutcliffe, Reid and Daniel Vettori got nine votes each, and Ian Smith eight.

The readers, though, differed on various counts. While they agreed with Turner as one of the openers, they didn't with the experts' choice for his partner: Stewie Dempster, who played before the war. The popular choice for the second opener is John Wright, who was third in the judges' reckoning.

While the readers concurred with the judges' move of pushing Sutcliffe down into the middle order, they didn't pick a contemporary of Sutcliffe's who the judges picked. Martin Donnelly, who makes his way comfortably into the judges' XI, makes way for Stephen Fleming in the readers' team. The readers also have Brendon McCullum narrowly edging past Smith as the keeper. Both readers and judges picked the same bowling line-up: Vettori, Hadlee, Shane Bond and Jack Cowie.

The starkest disagreement, though, comes in the allrounders' category: Reid is almost unanimous in the judges' tally, Chris Cairns in the readers'.

Glenn Turner
"A clear-cut choice to open the innings. A very well organised batsman who developed his own highly efficient technique, and applied it with remarkable efficiency and success. Glenn was an extremely self-sufficient player, driven by a strong sense of self-pride, self-discipline and performance. A new breed of cricketer in New Zealand who trail-blazed a totally professional approach, but always with the highest regard for the values of the game." John Morrison

Stewie Dempster
"In his 15 Test innings, Dempster averaged 65.72, which places him among the very greatest batsmen of all time. He scored New Zealand's first Test century and was New Zealand's first great international batsman. He goes in this all-time XI as of right." Joseph Romanos

Bert Sutcliffe
"Bert Sutcliffe is the most cultured stroke-maker in the history of New Zealand cricket. Spectators were seduced by his artistry as he cut, hooked and drove with an air of gentle persuasion. His footwork was a thing of beauty. He was positive in his intent to take the fight to the bowler." Don Neely

Martin Crowe
"New Zealand's greatest batsman? Probably. Seventeen Test centuries, all the shots, and seemingly an extra moment of time to play them. A world-class run-scorer in an era of world-class fast-bowling, and at his peak one of the best ODI batsmen on the planet. His checked off-drive was Tendulkar-like." Richard Boock

Martin Donnelly
"There's always a sense of the what-ifs with the brilliant left-hander Donnelly. What if he'd been available for New Zealand more often? Would their fortunes have sunk so far and fast in the 1950s if he and Reid played more Tests together in the middle order? By that time, Donnelly had established himself in business in Sydney after a stellar first-class career, mainly in England, and all-too-brief seven-Test career for New Zealand. Still, his achievements, like the four centuries at Lord's for four different teams - Oxford, New Zealand, Gentlemen and the Dominions - were followed with pride in his home country, no more so than at his alma mater, New Plymouth Boys' High, where one of the school's four houses to this day takes his name." Dylan Cleaver

John R Reid
"Reid was a colossus of New Zealand cricket at a time when the country had few really outstanding players. He led New Zealand to their first three Test wins, and captained a World XI against England. He was a powerful, belligerent batsman, aggressive medium-pacer and a fine fielder. Had he been born in a different era he would have been a giant of the one-day game." David Leggat

Richard Hadlee
"By virtue of his statistics alone, Sir Richard Hadlee is one of the few players in the history of the game that deserves the tag of greatness. While figures and statistics were a great motivating factor for Hadlee, his impact on the game was far wider. On and off the field he displayed the highest professional standards, which set the benchmark for others to match as an allrounder. His skill with the ball was at times irresistible, and he ended his career averaging five wickets a Test. He would be the first pick in any all-time New Zealand XI." Bryan Waddle

Daniel Vettori
"All other New Zealand spinners have struggled to hold a regular place in the team of their time - partly due to their ability and partly due to the seamer-friendly pitches in New Zealand. That Daniel has been an automatic selection in every team over 10 years clearly demonstrates how far ahead he is of other contenders. His ability to adapt to all three forms of the modern game sets him apart as not just a slow bowler but an international star of the new millennium." Ross Dykes

Ian Smith
"As a gloveman, New Zealand's most natural ball-handler. More dynamic than Parore, more precise on his feet than McCullum, and possibly more to say than either of them. As a batsman, Smith preferred wide long-on to extra cover, but could cut like a Stanley knife - often irrespective of line or length. His 173 against India remains the highest Test score from a No. 9." Richard Boock

Shane Bond
"New Zealand's quickest and best new-ball bowler since Sir Richard Hadlee. His wicket-taking rate is outstanding, and he's shown a particular liking for Australian batsmen. Injuries have hampered his career, plus an 18-month stand-down for his involvement in the Indian Cricket League didn't help. Still his numbers tell a compelling story." David Leggat

Jack Cowie
"'Terrific pace off the pitch, a forked-lightning offbreak, and lift and swing away from the right-hand batsman'. Fitting tribute to the Jack Cowie after his first Test against England, at Lord's in 1937, from Len Hutton, dismissed by Cowie for nought and one in their debut test. Sadly the Second World War carved out the middle of what could have been a great and long career. Cowie later became a Test umpire, kept goal for the Auckland football team, and was awarded the OBE in 1972." Don Cameron

12th man Chris Cairns

Cricinfo readers' XI
We invited readers to vote on the nominees in each segment. Here's who they picked.
Glenn Turner, John Wright, Bert Sutcliffe, Martin Crowe, Stephen Fleming, Chris Cairns, Richard Hadlee, Brendon McCullum, Daniel Vettori, Shane Bond, Jack Cowie

Sidharth Monga is a staff writer at Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • likie on October 15, 2009, 20:07 GMT

    I agree totally craigm_NZ. As I said in my previous post it is unfair to exclude the likes of Cowie due to low test numbers - he debuted in 1937 for goodness sake, so didn't get much of a chance with 6-8 years out due to WW2. By way of comparison Barry Richards played only 4 tests for South Africa, but I would be extremely surprised if he doesn't make the South African version of this.

  • Mr_Pazario on October 15, 2009, 11:19 GMT

    Some have accused the selectors of looking at the past with yearning for yesteryear. "How did they leave out Chris Cairns?". Those who ask this probably have a selective memory - does anyone else recall his inconsistency and poor discipline when NZ needed him most? I would rather have a player in the team who gave 100% all the time, not when they chose to. Chris Cairns - magnificent when on fire, but not an all time great.

  • craigm_NZ on October 14, 2009, 21:51 GMT

    As an older NZer, I applaud the selected team. It's not Jack Cowie's fault he only played 9 tests - he played all that were played by NZ between his debut and his retirement. For NZ I'm afraid stats don't tell the story. One of these days I'd love to work out relative contributions - given how dismal we were in the 50s and 60s I suspect JR Reid's contribution was more significant than a lot of readers give him credit for. If 85 wickets doesn't seem to be very many, when JR Reid retired he had both scored most runs and taken most wickets for NZ. Put that way his selection over CL Cairns is obvious - sorry. Just think how much better some of these oldtimers might appear if we could have played our nearest neightbour more often.

  • BEST_ELEVEN on October 14, 2009, 12:41 GMT

    this line up has some notable omissions. Where is Stephen Flemming-undoubtely their best player in last 15 years and the best captain.what about Chris Cairns, man how can he be omitted.its unbelievable.what happened to john wright, its crazy. you can deny their contributions and their performance.the citeria isnot defined for selecting such xis.how can select somebody u has played only 9 test matches.its really baffling.

  • likie on October 14, 2009, 12:18 GMT

    I think many of the comment show a marked bias towards more recent players. Andrew Jones? Jacob Oram? Brendom McCullum?

    I have to say that this team is exactly what I picked going through. I don't agree with discounting players like Donnelly, Dempster and Cowie because they didn't play enough games. On a similar basis you would have to discount Barry Richards and Graeme Pollock from a South African selection - I don't think so!

    The Cairns/Reid one was really the only slightly contentious one for me, but for me it favoured Reid due to the format, which favoured a strong batting all-rounder. Reid fits more into that mould - as would the likes of a Keith Miller or an Ian Botham for their respective countries..

  • Jacobson on October 13, 2009, 0:37 GMT

    It's rather amusing that the so called "experts" should be so far of the mark in a few of their selections while the Cricinfo Readers XI seems to be much more realistic and accurate representation. I believe some of the selection panel are such historians of the game that subconsiously they tend to have selections based on sentiment,emotion and perhaps even romance of the past. To leave Chris Cairns out of the line up was absurd,with over 200 test wickets & 5 test Centuries along with his ability to impose himself on a match he would be a dead cert for the middle order. Dempster & Donnelly should be replaced by Wright & Fleming. Fleming offers stratigic brilliance and as slipper he was in the very top bracket.I'd even give the grossly underrated Andrew Jones or Nathan Astle far more consideration aswell. I suppose we should be thankful they got the easy selections correct with the great Sir Richard Hadlee, Bert Sutcliffe, Martin Crowe,Glen Turner,Ian Smith and Shane Bond.

  • MarkLing on October 12, 2009, 21:26 GMT

    Good team but I'd have Andrew Jones at 3 instead of Sutcliff. Also I'm not sure how Cowie can be there after only playing 9 tests. I'd have bracewell if we needed another spinner for a turning track, or Oram (bond, hadlee and cairns at their best are already a strong trio, oram adds batting depth - not so much the oram of this year but the oram of a couple of years back ;) ).

  • ZA77 on October 12, 2009, 19:50 GMT

    I think Cairns is the better choice than Reid with more than 200 wickets plus more than 3000 runs, although Reid is good in batting with more than 3000 runs but unable to take even 100 wickets in test even in 58 test matches.

    I am against the selection of Cowie like Freeman may be the best bowler of the England but unable to prolong his test cricket that does not mean that he can qualify in best XI of them. Ability to play is something and prove themselves in test some different. Like Gabby Allen played 25 test matches and Larwood only 22 but in same period Hammond played 85 test matches, it means both bowlers are unable to prolong their careers. Allen is the leading wicket taker as a fast bowler that Bradman ever faced and Larwood is the fastest one which he ever faced. According to me Dempster and Donnelly also disqualified on same reason as they played very few test matches. I think Fleming should have taken as a batsman plus captain with 7172 runs in test at no. 5.

  • delta20 on October 12, 2009, 17:29 GMT

    It is ridiculous to choose JR Reid as an all rounder. I respect his all round abilities but 85 test wickets in 58 tests and 72 innings with one 5 for is an absurd. This is disgraceful. No doubt he has averaged 22.60 in first class cricket but if we are to consider the first class cricket as the basis then Graeme Hick is the best batsman ever to play the game after Bradman. The jury is biased and the all rounder spot must have gone to Christopher Cairns. Furthermore, Bert Sutcliffe should have have opened and Stephen Flemming coming at no. 3. But my vote for captain would go to the fighter Martin Crowe. And I would like to comment on Richard Boock's statement that Crowe's checked off drive was like Tendulkar's. Didn't Crowe played before than Tendulkar? Why don't you have the guts to write Tendulkar's checked drive looks similar to that of Crowe's? You all are so afraid of India's influence in world cricket that you can't call water water and milk milk.

  • chipatel82 on October 12, 2009, 16:25 GMT

    Unbelievable. No Chris Cairns? Selection has allways been a problem that has dogged down NZ cricket for decades, resulting in mediocore teams. Now the so call "judges" at cricinfo have similalryu made a buffonish choice by excluding Cairns from and all time NZ XI. By virtue of his stats alone, he is the finest allrounder NZ has produced. Some of the other guys on this list shoudln't even be up for consideration, there should be benchmark, such as a player has to have played at least, at the very minimum 20 test matches to be considered for anything or on any list that has the adjective "Great". In fact how in the world, along with Crowe and Hadlee, Cairns is not a UNANIMOUS selection baffles the learned cricket observer of past and present. These cricinfo judges, it seems when they are choosing any side, seem to be choosing romanticized teams. These are the same "experts", who left out Ponting in all time Aus XI. Ridiculous.

  • likie on October 15, 2009, 20:07 GMT

    I agree totally craigm_NZ. As I said in my previous post it is unfair to exclude the likes of Cowie due to low test numbers - he debuted in 1937 for goodness sake, so didn't get much of a chance with 6-8 years out due to WW2. By way of comparison Barry Richards played only 4 tests for South Africa, but I would be extremely surprised if he doesn't make the South African version of this.

  • Mr_Pazario on October 15, 2009, 11:19 GMT

    Some have accused the selectors of looking at the past with yearning for yesteryear. "How did they leave out Chris Cairns?". Those who ask this probably have a selective memory - does anyone else recall his inconsistency and poor discipline when NZ needed him most? I would rather have a player in the team who gave 100% all the time, not when they chose to. Chris Cairns - magnificent when on fire, but not an all time great.

  • craigm_NZ on October 14, 2009, 21:51 GMT

    As an older NZer, I applaud the selected team. It's not Jack Cowie's fault he only played 9 tests - he played all that were played by NZ between his debut and his retirement. For NZ I'm afraid stats don't tell the story. One of these days I'd love to work out relative contributions - given how dismal we were in the 50s and 60s I suspect JR Reid's contribution was more significant than a lot of readers give him credit for. If 85 wickets doesn't seem to be very many, when JR Reid retired he had both scored most runs and taken most wickets for NZ. Put that way his selection over CL Cairns is obvious - sorry. Just think how much better some of these oldtimers might appear if we could have played our nearest neightbour more often.

  • BEST_ELEVEN on October 14, 2009, 12:41 GMT

    this line up has some notable omissions. Where is Stephen Flemming-undoubtely their best player in last 15 years and the best captain.what about Chris Cairns, man how can he be omitted.its unbelievable.what happened to john wright, its crazy. you can deny their contributions and their performance.the citeria isnot defined for selecting such xis.how can select somebody u has played only 9 test matches.its really baffling.

  • likie on October 14, 2009, 12:18 GMT

    I think many of the comment show a marked bias towards more recent players. Andrew Jones? Jacob Oram? Brendom McCullum?

    I have to say that this team is exactly what I picked going through. I don't agree with discounting players like Donnelly, Dempster and Cowie because they didn't play enough games. On a similar basis you would have to discount Barry Richards and Graeme Pollock from a South African selection - I don't think so!

    The Cairns/Reid one was really the only slightly contentious one for me, but for me it favoured Reid due to the format, which favoured a strong batting all-rounder. Reid fits more into that mould - as would the likes of a Keith Miller or an Ian Botham for their respective countries..

  • Jacobson on October 13, 2009, 0:37 GMT

    It's rather amusing that the so called "experts" should be so far of the mark in a few of their selections while the Cricinfo Readers XI seems to be much more realistic and accurate representation. I believe some of the selection panel are such historians of the game that subconsiously they tend to have selections based on sentiment,emotion and perhaps even romance of the past. To leave Chris Cairns out of the line up was absurd,with over 200 test wickets & 5 test Centuries along with his ability to impose himself on a match he would be a dead cert for the middle order. Dempster & Donnelly should be replaced by Wright & Fleming. Fleming offers stratigic brilliance and as slipper he was in the very top bracket.I'd even give the grossly underrated Andrew Jones or Nathan Astle far more consideration aswell. I suppose we should be thankful they got the easy selections correct with the great Sir Richard Hadlee, Bert Sutcliffe, Martin Crowe,Glen Turner,Ian Smith and Shane Bond.

  • MarkLing on October 12, 2009, 21:26 GMT

    Good team but I'd have Andrew Jones at 3 instead of Sutcliff. Also I'm not sure how Cowie can be there after only playing 9 tests. I'd have bracewell if we needed another spinner for a turning track, or Oram (bond, hadlee and cairns at their best are already a strong trio, oram adds batting depth - not so much the oram of this year but the oram of a couple of years back ;) ).

  • ZA77 on October 12, 2009, 19:50 GMT

    I think Cairns is the better choice than Reid with more than 200 wickets plus more than 3000 runs, although Reid is good in batting with more than 3000 runs but unable to take even 100 wickets in test even in 58 test matches.

    I am against the selection of Cowie like Freeman may be the best bowler of the England but unable to prolong his test cricket that does not mean that he can qualify in best XI of them. Ability to play is something and prove themselves in test some different. Like Gabby Allen played 25 test matches and Larwood only 22 but in same period Hammond played 85 test matches, it means both bowlers are unable to prolong their careers. Allen is the leading wicket taker as a fast bowler that Bradman ever faced and Larwood is the fastest one which he ever faced. According to me Dempster and Donnelly also disqualified on same reason as they played very few test matches. I think Fleming should have taken as a batsman plus captain with 7172 runs in test at no. 5.

  • delta20 on October 12, 2009, 17:29 GMT

    It is ridiculous to choose JR Reid as an all rounder. I respect his all round abilities but 85 test wickets in 58 tests and 72 innings with one 5 for is an absurd. This is disgraceful. No doubt he has averaged 22.60 in first class cricket but if we are to consider the first class cricket as the basis then Graeme Hick is the best batsman ever to play the game after Bradman. The jury is biased and the all rounder spot must have gone to Christopher Cairns. Furthermore, Bert Sutcliffe should have have opened and Stephen Flemming coming at no. 3. But my vote for captain would go to the fighter Martin Crowe. And I would like to comment on Richard Boock's statement that Crowe's checked off drive was like Tendulkar's. Didn't Crowe played before than Tendulkar? Why don't you have the guts to write Tendulkar's checked drive looks similar to that of Crowe's? You all are so afraid of India's influence in world cricket that you can't call water water and milk milk.

  • chipatel82 on October 12, 2009, 16:25 GMT

    Unbelievable. No Chris Cairns? Selection has allways been a problem that has dogged down NZ cricket for decades, resulting in mediocore teams. Now the so call "judges" at cricinfo have similalryu made a buffonish choice by excluding Cairns from and all time NZ XI. By virtue of his stats alone, he is the finest allrounder NZ has produced. Some of the other guys on this list shoudln't even be up for consideration, there should be benchmark, such as a player has to have played at least, at the very minimum 20 test matches to be considered for anything or on any list that has the adjective "Great". In fact how in the world, along with Crowe and Hadlee, Cairns is not a UNANIMOUS selection baffles the learned cricket observer of past and present. These cricinfo judges, it seems when they are choosing any side, seem to be choosing romanticized teams. These are the same "experts", who left out Ponting in all time Aus XI. Ridiculous.

  • Nipun on October 12, 2009, 14:17 GMT

    It's also very surprising to see Nathan Astle not making the team.

  • .guapo on October 12, 2009, 11:13 GMT

    The selector that didn't vote for Vettori should be named, shamed, and never allowed to do anything for Cricinfo ever again. He should be made to put together a 15-minute presentation on how he came to his decision, and then tour the cricketing world, talking to audiences on every continent until he finds someone - anyone - who agrees with him.

  • robotiger on October 12, 2009, 10:29 GMT

    The experts eleven is one for the cricket romantic, is statistically weak, and bolstered only with hearsay and rumour. It sickly typifies NZ cricket that a panel of experts select players in a team who are not proven match winners, rather cricketing myths that have grown more powerful over time. It is likely that poor performances in recent years have further embellished aging memories and corrupted the ability of NZ cricket writers and followers to rationally select and all-time eleven. I earnestly hope that in the coming years NZ unearth one or two players who are so well performed that they unquestionably surpass players of yesteryear, who only played a handful of matches, and only survive through the lens of rose tinted spectacles. Big thumbs up to Cricinfo for this series! Looking forward to the next country, and perhaps a ODI version!

  • JarrodPotter on October 12, 2009, 10:20 GMT

    Will these XI polls be made for ODI teams? Quite honestly, I don't see the point of compiling it for a format that NZ has struggled much in. The fact that a modern bowler who has played less than 20 tests gets into the side shows the depth issues for historians.

    NZ have been an ODI-only team for the last 15 years; can't see that changing anytime soon. When you get taken to the wall by Bangladesh, and force your No. 8 Bowling Allrounder Captain to get you across the line, there are massive problems with structure to deal with.

  • Boraan on October 12, 2009, 10:09 GMT

    Cricinfo is making it's own XI-al I can say is LOL, as Y nt john wright as he is nxt best 2 crowe in batting, if 17 100's erns him best kiwi batsman thn Y nt 12 d nxt best , more he played double no. of matches as turner did n almost doubled his stats, if turner is best opner thn wright shld b his mate.hw mny innings hv been tkn in count 2 choose Dempster.hah, Donelly ovr John F Reid, d same hw mny innigs, 6 100's is a joke fr Kiwis or wht mny of d nominees donn hv thm.In both cases thy hv chosen rong Reid as U luk CAIRNS got as gud stats as Reid in battng in 4 les innings bt in bowling he's way head of him. More Mc Cullum wicket keeping stas r proportionally bttr thn Smiths n is thr any doubts on he being bttr wd willow thn his countrpart. N finally plzz go thru BONDS stats ovr top test playing teams in tests. I donn kno wht goes in choosing XI, CAIRNS'll remain d biggest joke of al XI's, proportionally he's as gud as any alrounder in his. of Game, Boths, DEV, Khan, NOTE Proprotionaly

  • Jacobson on October 12, 2009, 10:00 GMT

    The beauty about selecting an all-time XI is that it is so objective and difficult to compare different players from different periods in time,which in turn makes for an intriguing debate. From my own perspective I would find it very difficult to select cricketers ( Donnelly & Dempster in this case) who have only played a handful of test matches for their country. An example I would use is imagine if Matthew Sinclair retired from the game after a dozen or so tests matches,by then he had scored 2 Double Centuries and a healthy 150 odd v Sth Africa and had an average around the 50 mark,would he then be considered for the NZXI? As we all know later on in his career the bowlers around the world worked him out and bowled accordingly to their plans and his production at the batting crease reduced significantly. Therefore I believe the players that performed over a long period of time and have proved themselves to be resilient to all sorts of conditions should be looked upon more favourably.

  • sammykent on October 12, 2009, 9:32 GMT

    So many players from the distant past it is hard for me to agree or disagree with the choices. Hadlee, Bond, Crowe and Vettori I can vouch for. All greats of the game. That New Zealand can field a competitive international side consistently speaks volumes for the attitude of New Zealand cricket players and New Zealanders in general. I still remember moving to Australia as a youngster and seeing the "Hadlee is a Wanker" t-shirts and flags at the first game I went to. Man he was good.

  • Paulimus_prime on October 12, 2009, 9:26 GMT

    I think this team is pretty much correct except have Sutcliff open and Andrew Jones as number 3 - apart from Crowe & Turner he's been our best batsmen ever.

    Am very glad that the most over rated player of all time (Cairns) has been put in his rightful position out of the team - he never worked hard of his proper discipline bowling because he was too busy in the gym working on his stomch muscles to show the ladies in the pub.

  • The_Freakster on October 12, 2009, 9:26 GMT

    To be honest I know little about the old NZ players. But even Nathan Astle averages way better than John Reid ever did. And Donnelly played a paltry 7 tests for his average of 51. And Dempster 15 innings! I dont think its fair to judge someone on the basis of 7 tests, however many first class games they may have played. This is ridiculous. First class cricket cannot be compared to the highest level. Ask Mark Ramprakash and Hrishikesh Kanitkar. I think the results are extremely biased in the favour of older generation players, possibly giving them the favour of a big doubt as to how good they really were.

  • deezelauto on October 12, 2009, 9:16 GMT

    NZ would have won a lot more tests in the last 10 years if they'd had John R Reid at No. 6 instead of Cairns. We would have been miserable in the 50s and 60s if we had Cairns at No. 6 then instead of John R Reid. That's the decision made for me!

  • annyonggob888 on October 12, 2009, 9:05 GMT

    I think the experts did a great job BAR one. Chris Cairns MUST be in the team. I'm not actually that shocked that the experts picked Reid, I'm just shocked that it was almost unanimous. They say Reid was a colossus of NZ cricket, well, Cairns WAS NZ cricket during the nineties! Watching Chris Cairns play was the reason I got interested in cricket and why I still love this game so. If Reid had to be accommodated, perhaps move him up to 5 to take Donnelly's spot and let Cairns have 6. After all, Cairnsey's averages were better than Reid's (in a time where NZ cricketers had terribly mediocre) from far more matches.

    I feel as though putting Cairns as 12th man is an indictment by the experts themselves that the format is flawed. As was said earlier, IMO Cairns the allrounder is greater than Flintoff and almost on the level of Kallis... if only injuries held off...

  • Klang on October 12, 2009, 9:05 GMT

    I think that the selectors got it dead right J R Reid was a complete all-rounder second only to Sobers, Fleming just didn't convert enough 50's to hundreds Donnelly was the best batsman NZ produced probably until Crowe.

  • Bimaxian on October 12, 2009, 8:41 GMT

    I must say that, Fleming and Cairns should have been included in experts XI

    if the rating has been done on performance basis then there is no doubt of both the guyz to be included.

    if it is done on popularity basis still both shud have been included

    If it is done on how many games do they helped NZ for victory still both of them shud be included.

    I GUESS EXPERTS are SKIMMERS not SEARCHERS HUNH :@

  • Engle on October 12, 2009, 8:12 GMT

    Nice to see names that many have not heard of such as Stewie Dempster and Jack Cowie. Shame that C.Cairns could not command a spot, though he's listed as 12th man. Is this a change, since Aus and Eng XI's did not specify a 12th man ? If J.Reid was selected over C.Cairns for his captaincy, then that should have been made clear. In fact, I hope the selectors will now start picking a captain. Speaking of which, a team like NZ desperately needs aggressive captaincy, and that can only be provided by someone like Fleming. Nevertheless, a good effort, though it should not have to take 2 months to finalize.

  • MFNadeem on October 12, 2009, 7:55 GMT

    I can't understand how the experts choose people who had only played less than 20 test matches and scored less than a couple of thousand runs, for an ALL TIME BEST TEAM. I don't see any NZ eleven complete, without the likes of Cairns and Fleming. One can't ignore Nathan Astle either, with his 28 international centuries. It seems that readers choice is far better than experts. :)

  • rzi-BDML on October 12, 2009, 7:18 GMT

    I am not surprised on the difference between the reader's team and the Experts', there is every possibility for it. We, the most of the readers don't know much about the pre-80s players, and have voted for the players whom we have seen playing. Over all a great team selected by experts, specially the inclusion of Bond Headllee, Vetorri, Crow, and J Reed. But I think there should have been a place for Cairns too. I am exited to know if there will be a team for ODI' too?. Will somebody let me know if it is on their schedule or not? and which team is next for Tset XI? All exitements will be there if we have ODIs XI. best of luck cricinfo. and thanks for such an entertainment.

  • aaron11 on October 12, 2009, 7:15 GMT

    This selection process has a flaw. If Shane Warne was a New Zealander he would not be selected as you have only included finger spinners. NZ has had only two acknowledged world class spinners, Daniel Vettori and Jack Alabaster. How can Flemming be included (one of my favourite players, but never among the worlds best). Ian Smith was ranked as the world's best during his time. As good as McCullum is, he has never been regarded as the best of his generation. Surely we can have to take note of how good our cricketers as compared to those of their contemporaries.Apart from my reservations about Flemming and McCullum I think the selections were spot on. Congratulations a job well done.

  • binkaf on October 12, 2009, 6:54 GMT

    Finally New Zealand's All Time XI came out; much of expected, except a few upsets & the most upsetting of the upsets is Chirs Crains not included in XI! Very unfair to his service to New Zealand Cricket, as he'z the most flameboyant all-rounder NZ have ever produced. He truly deserves a place but ... Plus, I to some extend think Stephen Fleming should have been there too. And to make the XI of any nation controversy free, not only averages but also career span and number of matches should be taken under serious consideration as someone can come like a thunder and go like a strom; that type do not deserve a place in all time XI.

  • prasanth.kongati on October 12, 2009, 6:39 GMT

    My votes would have been to chris cairns and brendon Mc cullum having seen them in the same era. It would be very heartening not to see Cairns in the playing XI. I would rate him above andrew flintoff and almost near to jaques kallis as a modern era THE PERFECT all-rounder. None the less this team is very well composed leading with giants like MArtin crowe, Sir hadlee, vettori and Glenn turner.

  • fakhy on October 12, 2009, 6:02 GMT

    readers would of course choose cairns, fleming and mccullum because we have seen them in action over the last few yrs adn we know how good they are. the first two players are indeed great players who wld be called legends in the future, but looking at the statistics and descriptions of the other players who made it into the cricinfo team i think the jurors made some good decisions and backed them up well. i personally dont think shane bond and mcullum shld make it into the best 11 because they are still new and need to further prove themselves, though shane bond in my view has the making of a great fast bowler. but its a bit sad that there isnt much hot competition between the nominees even tho nz has been around for a while.

  • Nipun on October 12, 2009, 5:31 GMT

    It's a poignant thought of what could Dempstar & Donnelly have been,but 10/12/15 test innings are simply not good enough for inclusion in an all-time XI.McCullum missing out is fitting as he is no more than a wild slogger who rarely performs when needed,but Fleming & Cairns missing out ??? It's ridiculous !!!

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • Nipun on October 12, 2009, 5:31 GMT

    It's a poignant thought of what could Dempstar & Donnelly have been,but 10/12/15 test innings are simply not good enough for inclusion in an all-time XI.McCullum missing out is fitting as he is no more than a wild slogger who rarely performs when needed,but Fleming & Cairns missing out ??? It's ridiculous !!!

  • fakhy on October 12, 2009, 6:02 GMT

    readers would of course choose cairns, fleming and mccullum because we have seen them in action over the last few yrs adn we know how good they are. the first two players are indeed great players who wld be called legends in the future, but looking at the statistics and descriptions of the other players who made it into the cricinfo team i think the jurors made some good decisions and backed them up well. i personally dont think shane bond and mcullum shld make it into the best 11 because they are still new and need to further prove themselves, though shane bond in my view has the making of a great fast bowler. but its a bit sad that there isnt much hot competition between the nominees even tho nz has been around for a while.

  • prasanth.kongati on October 12, 2009, 6:39 GMT

    My votes would have been to chris cairns and brendon Mc cullum having seen them in the same era. It would be very heartening not to see Cairns in the playing XI. I would rate him above andrew flintoff and almost near to jaques kallis as a modern era THE PERFECT all-rounder. None the less this team is very well composed leading with giants like MArtin crowe, Sir hadlee, vettori and Glenn turner.

  • binkaf on October 12, 2009, 6:54 GMT

    Finally New Zealand's All Time XI came out; much of expected, except a few upsets & the most upsetting of the upsets is Chirs Crains not included in XI! Very unfair to his service to New Zealand Cricket, as he'z the most flameboyant all-rounder NZ have ever produced. He truly deserves a place but ... Plus, I to some extend think Stephen Fleming should have been there too. And to make the XI of any nation controversy free, not only averages but also career span and number of matches should be taken under serious consideration as someone can come like a thunder and go like a strom; that type do not deserve a place in all time XI.

  • aaron11 on October 12, 2009, 7:15 GMT

    This selection process has a flaw. If Shane Warne was a New Zealander he would not be selected as you have only included finger spinners. NZ has had only two acknowledged world class spinners, Daniel Vettori and Jack Alabaster. How can Flemming be included (one of my favourite players, but never among the worlds best). Ian Smith was ranked as the world's best during his time. As good as McCullum is, he has never been regarded as the best of his generation. Surely we can have to take note of how good our cricketers as compared to those of their contemporaries.Apart from my reservations about Flemming and McCullum I think the selections were spot on. Congratulations a job well done.

  • rzi-BDML on October 12, 2009, 7:18 GMT

    I am not surprised on the difference between the reader's team and the Experts', there is every possibility for it. We, the most of the readers don't know much about the pre-80s players, and have voted for the players whom we have seen playing. Over all a great team selected by experts, specially the inclusion of Bond Headllee, Vetorri, Crow, and J Reed. But I think there should have been a place for Cairns too. I am exited to know if there will be a team for ODI' too?. Will somebody let me know if it is on their schedule or not? and which team is next for Tset XI? All exitements will be there if we have ODIs XI. best of luck cricinfo. and thanks for such an entertainment.

  • MFNadeem on October 12, 2009, 7:55 GMT

    I can't understand how the experts choose people who had only played less than 20 test matches and scored less than a couple of thousand runs, for an ALL TIME BEST TEAM. I don't see any NZ eleven complete, without the likes of Cairns and Fleming. One can't ignore Nathan Astle either, with his 28 international centuries. It seems that readers choice is far better than experts. :)

  • Engle on October 12, 2009, 8:12 GMT

    Nice to see names that many have not heard of such as Stewie Dempster and Jack Cowie. Shame that C.Cairns could not command a spot, though he's listed as 12th man. Is this a change, since Aus and Eng XI's did not specify a 12th man ? If J.Reid was selected over C.Cairns for his captaincy, then that should have been made clear. In fact, I hope the selectors will now start picking a captain. Speaking of which, a team like NZ desperately needs aggressive captaincy, and that can only be provided by someone like Fleming. Nevertheless, a good effort, though it should not have to take 2 months to finalize.

  • Bimaxian on October 12, 2009, 8:41 GMT

    I must say that, Fleming and Cairns should have been included in experts XI

    if the rating has been done on performance basis then there is no doubt of both the guyz to be included.

    if it is done on popularity basis still both shud have been included

    If it is done on how many games do they helped NZ for victory still both of them shud be included.

    I GUESS EXPERTS are SKIMMERS not SEARCHERS HUNH :@

  • Klang on October 12, 2009, 9:05 GMT

    I think that the selectors got it dead right J R Reid was a complete all-rounder second only to Sobers, Fleming just didn't convert enough 50's to hundreds Donnelly was the best batsman NZ produced probably until Crowe.