The XI December 18, 2009

A meeting of past and present

South Africa's all-time side helps dismantle the divide and isolation built between eras
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Selection is neither science nor art, and it seems to involve equal amounts of fact and fiction. That, no doubt, makes the process a pain in the back side for some. Here's hoping those who have served on the jury charged with delivering Cricinfo's all-time South Africa XI don't feel that way.

Certainly, it has been a time of careful thought about eras and players some of us know about only because those who have gone before passed on their experiences. Of course, they also gave us their likes and dislikes, their prejudices and pre-conceptions. Conversely, we have had to guard against measuring too generously the merits of the players we have seen and known ourselves.

Sometimes these influences collide. For instance, even those who first meet Trevor Goddard in his later life cannot help knowing they are in the presence of a man of rare grace, intelligence and spirit. Without having seen him play, and regardless of the bald statistics of his career, there can be no doubt that Goddard was one damn fine cricketer. So, never mind in the backside, it's a pain in the brain - and sometimes in the heart - this selection business.

To the final reckoning. Time to do the deed.

We have assembled a veritable Zulu impi of a cricket team, an XI that could hold its own and then some against any ranged against it. The team includes a pair of Pollocks and a Nourse, but nary a Kirsten. Of the current generation, Graeme Smith and Jacques Kallis have made the cut, but not Mark Boucher.

Alas, there is no Goddard.

But it is heartening to know that Allan Donald's greatness remains undimmed, and to realise that, once, South Africa depended on an offspinner to take the lion's share of their wickets.

Among the consequences of South Africa's isolation from international cricket was the virtual building of a Berlin Wall between the game's past and present in the country. Perhaps the real value of exercises like the one that we complete below is in helping to dismantle that divide.

Barry Richards
"I would have chosen Richards to bat for my life, provided he was in the right mood. Always perfectly balanced, he had the ability to make the fastest bowlers look medium-paced, while his footwork was a nimble counter to spin." Colin Bryden

Graeme Smith
"A big presence in every respect, Smith has done his country proud both with bat (average 50.33 after 77 Tests) and "armband". England know ruefully about his prowess: twin double-centuries in his maiden series as captain there in 2003, and a series-swaying 154 not out in the fourth innings at Edgbaston in 2008. First South African captain to conquer Australia away - a juggernaut landmark." Robert Houwing

Jacques Kallis
"One of the best batsmen produced by this country and also one of the best allrounders. His batting technique is as good as I have ever seen. I have never rated cricketers according to their stats, but the record books will show that his batting, bowling and catching in Test cricket are as good as that of the legendary Sir Garfield Sobers." Ali Bacher

Graeme Pollock
"In every country's all-time XI there will probably be two or three certainties but only two or three of those men would be certainties in an all-time world XI. Graeme Pollock is one of them. Almost certainly the first name the jury wrote down, probably closely followed by Barry Richards and Mike Procter." Neil Manthorp

Dudley Nourse
"Nourse was one of the most heroic of South Africa's Test cricketers, one of the longest-serving, and he was world-class at a time when the national team was regarded as second-rate. At the age of 40 he made a double-century, 208, against England at Nottingham also leading the Springboks to their first Test win in 16 years. In that innings he played with a broken thumb and grittily batted for nine hours." Archie Henderson

Aubrey Faulkner
"One of the earliest exponents of the googly, he differed from other bowlers of that type because of his ability to send down quite a fast ball, almost a yorker, and when at his best, with faultless length, skill in turning the ball either way and a puzzling variation of flight, he proved too much for some of the world's greatest batsmen." Wisden

Mike Procter
"Quite simply, a bums-on-seats cricketer: a dashing, dynamic allrounder whose Test career was curtailed by apartheid to seven matches. He claimed 41 Test wickets at a dreamy average of 15.02, with his burning pace off a long, energetic run-up, although his batting flamboyance was more evident for Rhodesia, and Gloucestershire in particular." Robert Houwing

Shaun Pollock
"Started out as a strike bowler and formed the greatest new-ball attack with Allan Donald that South Africa has ever had. The second half of his career saw him collect wickets with his poisonous and almost unprecedented control of line and length. Wickets fell often at the other end when he was bowling maidens." Neil Manthorp

Johnny Waite
"Waite was a craftsman behind the stumps, renowned for taking spectacular catches standing back and being equally skillful standing up to the spinners. In addition, he was virtually a Test-class batsman, scoring four centuries and averaging over 30 in an era when wicketkeepers were not expected to score that many runs." Andrew Samson

Hugh Tayfield
"… one of the greatest offspinners the game has seen… Tayfield took more wickets per Test match (4.59) then either Jim Laker or Lance Gibbs (4.19 and 3.91)… he was exceptionally accurate and could bowl all day without wavering." Wisden

Allan Donald
"Donald was the bedrock of the South Africa team when the country was readmitted to international cricket in 1992. He also became the first South African to take more than 300 wickets in Tests, ending with 330 at an excellent average of 22.25. In Tests and ODIs, Donald took more than 500 wickets and more than 1200 in first-class matches." Archie Henderson

Cricinfo readers' XI
We invited readers to vote on the nominees in each segment. Here's who they picked.
Graeme Smith, Barry Richards, Jacques Kallis, Graeme Pollock, AB de Villiers, Mark Boucher (wk), Shaun Pollock, Mike Procter, Dale Steyn, Hugh Tayfield, Allan Donald.

Telford Vice made his Test debut as a cricket writer in Barbados in 1992 - the match that marked the end of South Africa's isolation

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Woody111 on December 21, 2009, 0:40 GMT

    In ten years time no doubt JP Duminy and AB DeVilliers will press for an alltime 11 selection. Those two guys are the future of RSA batting. Currently, if Amla develops more consistency in his conversions, RSA will have the best top 6 in world cricket; even if Kallis retires.

  • BellCurve on December 20, 2009, 8:41 GMT

    @Waspsting - AB de Villiers has been playing Test cricket for 5 years yet is still only 25 years old. So far he has accumulated 3,500 Test runs at an average of 44. In the last two years he averaged 60. In the last year he averaged 70. He is getting better and better as he approaches his peak. If he stays focused and injury free everything suggests that in ten years time he will not be counted among SA greats, but among the world's all-time greats. Personally I did not vote for him. But I can surely understand why some of the readers voted for him. As for Klusener: he was a fantastic cricketer in all formats of the game. The only rather significant blemish in his stats (all formats, batting and bowling) is his Test bowling average - which by the way is about the same as the combined average for Anderson, Flintoff and Broad. Again, I didn't vote for him; but he is certainly worth a mention.

  • papamamba on December 19, 2009, 21:36 GMT

    I cannot really disagree with the picks of the jury, only with the question asked. A South African XI that only includes those who played a test is an irrelevant exercise. So here is my All Time South African XI: Barry Richards, Jimmy Cook, Dudley Nourse, Graeme Pollock, Jacques Kallis, Clive Rice, Mike Proctor, Mark Boucher,Alan Kourie, Vince van der Bijl, Alan Donald. 12th man: Colin Bland

  • waspsting on December 19, 2009, 18:56 GMT

    that AB Develliers is in the readers 11 (over Dudley Nourse, no less)... goes to show that 'readers' really don't know what they're talking about. also note the number of comments advocating inclusion of Hansie Cronje and Lance Klusener - neither of who are even close to all time world eleven candidates class.

    thats fine - readers aren't necessarily 'experts' - and everyone has a right to their opinion. even uninformed ones.

    BUT... i don't like the Crickinfo's policy of using readers votes as a tie-break in case of a hung jury - a situation which came up when Pieterson was voted into the england 11 ahead of Denis Compton (that they were hung on that issue to begin with doesn't say too much about the experts panel, either)

  • waspsting on December 19, 2009, 18:40 GMT

    one of the easiest 11s to pick, so not many contentious choices. Would prefer Lindsay to Waite - nothing between them behind the wicket, but lindsay better in front. SUGGESTION FOR CRICKINFO - it'd be informative to see the breakdown of choices for each player and by selector.

  • Ulio on December 19, 2009, 14:24 GMT

    No Kirsten? No Jhonty? No Klusener? Seriously those were the best players SA ever had, I am sad that Klusener is not on the list, he won numerous games for SA all on his own, during the time he played for SA, he was one of their best All-rounder.

  • ianw on December 19, 2009, 8:11 GMT

    Just got back from OS so didn't get a chance to help pick the punters' team. I agree with comments that praise a real wicketkeeper's selection (though I'd have opted for Lindsay over Waite - just), and that our punters' team has too many moderns. Was Shaun Pollock really that good? And for me Barlow at 6, given we can't squeeze him in as opener - and captain - in place of Faulkner. Barlow would be in any side I ever selected: one of those guys whose effervescence, ability and enthusiam led him to do wonderful things just when his team needed them. And, play above the weight of his numbers (though 45 & 34 aint bad).

  • RomanNoseJob on December 19, 2009, 0:19 GMT

    who were the muppets that voted for AB De Villiers in an all-time South African XI?

  • rson on December 18, 2009, 18:33 GMT

    A much more logical set of selections than the previous All-time XI's. I would have liked to see a place for Trevor Goddard and possibly Denis Lindsay but those selected all have merit.

  • SatishHaldan on December 18, 2009, 18:10 GMT

    If I select a text XI, its general composition has to be 5 batsmen, 1 all rounder, 1 wicket keeper, 2 pace bowlers and 2 spinners, keeping in mind that the team is supposed to play well on all surfaces in various countries. The type of a bowler an all rounder is immaterial. My team would be Barry Richards, Graeme Smith, Graeme Pollock, Dudley Nourse, Gary Kirsten, Jacque Kallis (all rounder), Denis Lindsay (WK), Neil Adcock, Alan Donald, Hugh Tayfiled and Bert Vogler. The writer, who states that Dudley Nourse is the weakest link, apparently does not know the history of South African Cricket. Bert Vogler was an outstanding spinner (leg break googly,who could also bowl fast medium. He took 64 wickets in 15 tests at an average of 22.73. Such an average is rather rare for an spinner.

  • Woody111 on December 21, 2009, 0:40 GMT

    In ten years time no doubt JP Duminy and AB DeVilliers will press for an alltime 11 selection. Those two guys are the future of RSA batting. Currently, if Amla develops more consistency in his conversions, RSA will have the best top 6 in world cricket; even if Kallis retires.

  • BellCurve on December 20, 2009, 8:41 GMT

    @Waspsting - AB de Villiers has been playing Test cricket for 5 years yet is still only 25 years old. So far he has accumulated 3,500 Test runs at an average of 44. In the last two years he averaged 60. In the last year he averaged 70. He is getting better and better as he approaches his peak. If he stays focused and injury free everything suggests that in ten years time he will not be counted among SA greats, but among the world's all-time greats. Personally I did not vote for him. But I can surely understand why some of the readers voted for him. As for Klusener: he was a fantastic cricketer in all formats of the game. The only rather significant blemish in his stats (all formats, batting and bowling) is his Test bowling average - which by the way is about the same as the combined average for Anderson, Flintoff and Broad. Again, I didn't vote for him; but he is certainly worth a mention.

  • papamamba on December 19, 2009, 21:36 GMT

    I cannot really disagree with the picks of the jury, only with the question asked. A South African XI that only includes those who played a test is an irrelevant exercise. So here is my All Time South African XI: Barry Richards, Jimmy Cook, Dudley Nourse, Graeme Pollock, Jacques Kallis, Clive Rice, Mike Proctor, Mark Boucher,Alan Kourie, Vince van der Bijl, Alan Donald. 12th man: Colin Bland

  • waspsting on December 19, 2009, 18:56 GMT

    that AB Develliers is in the readers 11 (over Dudley Nourse, no less)... goes to show that 'readers' really don't know what they're talking about. also note the number of comments advocating inclusion of Hansie Cronje and Lance Klusener - neither of who are even close to all time world eleven candidates class.

    thats fine - readers aren't necessarily 'experts' - and everyone has a right to their opinion. even uninformed ones.

    BUT... i don't like the Crickinfo's policy of using readers votes as a tie-break in case of a hung jury - a situation which came up when Pieterson was voted into the england 11 ahead of Denis Compton (that they were hung on that issue to begin with doesn't say too much about the experts panel, either)

  • waspsting on December 19, 2009, 18:40 GMT

    one of the easiest 11s to pick, so not many contentious choices. Would prefer Lindsay to Waite - nothing between them behind the wicket, but lindsay better in front. SUGGESTION FOR CRICKINFO - it'd be informative to see the breakdown of choices for each player and by selector.

  • Ulio on December 19, 2009, 14:24 GMT

    No Kirsten? No Jhonty? No Klusener? Seriously those were the best players SA ever had, I am sad that Klusener is not on the list, he won numerous games for SA all on his own, during the time he played for SA, he was one of their best All-rounder.

  • ianw on December 19, 2009, 8:11 GMT

    Just got back from OS so didn't get a chance to help pick the punters' team. I agree with comments that praise a real wicketkeeper's selection (though I'd have opted for Lindsay over Waite - just), and that our punters' team has too many moderns. Was Shaun Pollock really that good? And for me Barlow at 6, given we can't squeeze him in as opener - and captain - in place of Faulkner. Barlow would be in any side I ever selected: one of those guys whose effervescence, ability and enthusiam led him to do wonderful things just when his team needed them. And, play above the weight of his numbers (though 45 & 34 aint bad).

  • RomanNoseJob on December 19, 2009, 0:19 GMT

    who were the muppets that voted for AB De Villiers in an all-time South African XI?

  • rson on December 18, 2009, 18:33 GMT

    A much more logical set of selections than the previous All-time XI's. I would have liked to see a place for Trevor Goddard and possibly Denis Lindsay but those selected all have merit.

  • SatishHaldan on December 18, 2009, 18:10 GMT

    If I select a text XI, its general composition has to be 5 batsmen, 1 all rounder, 1 wicket keeper, 2 pace bowlers and 2 spinners, keeping in mind that the team is supposed to play well on all surfaces in various countries. The type of a bowler an all rounder is immaterial. My team would be Barry Richards, Graeme Smith, Graeme Pollock, Dudley Nourse, Gary Kirsten, Jacque Kallis (all rounder), Denis Lindsay (WK), Neil Adcock, Alan Donald, Hugh Tayfiled and Bert Vogler. The writer, who states that Dudley Nourse is the weakest link, apparently does not know the history of South African Cricket. Bert Vogler was an outstanding spinner (leg break googly,who could also bowl fast medium. He took 64 wickets in 15 tests at an average of 22.73. Such an average is rather rare for an spinner.

  • peterhrt on December 18, 2009, 17:18 GMT

    A superbly balanced side and the closest so far to what one would expect a consensus of commentators, past and present, to come up with. Given the unavailability of non Test players, this is probably the ideal South African eleven. The Australian and New Zealand selections also largely reflected received opinion, though critics from previous generations would have been puzzled by Macartney's absence for Australia. England's team caused most surprise with four names missing (Grace, Compton, Rhodes and Laker) that one would have anticipated seeing. Between them, South Africa's six bowlers have registered significant success in every country, which bodes well. They will be supported by excellent fielding and a top-class wicket-keeper in Waite. The only reservation is that if any of South Africa's all-time matches are to be staged on matting, the team will miss Herbie Taylor's masterly batting.

  • Engle on December 18, 2009, 16:26 GMT

    I would like the Cricinfo selectors to pick the captain, vice-captain and 12th man. Every team must have this. Leadership is important perhaps more so than runs and wickets. One cannot assume that the calibre of players will respond regardless of the circumstances and/or their captain. Strong, experienced, dynamic leadership is essential. As well, injuries are part of the game and one must make accomodation for a 12th man to participate as fielder/runner.

  • Curlybrownitem on December 18, 2009, 12:27 GMT

    While I'd differ with the jury on a few selections, there's only one where I'm moved to comment - Smith. He's just not in the same class as Barlow (or, I suspect, Mitchell [or Cook]) as a batsman, and his average will forever be flattered by England's ineptitude in giving him most of those 500-odd runs in two knocks by consistently bowling at middle/leg/outside leg. Barlow was a better captain too, and he could bowl more than a bit. As for Boucher (AB and others) - no he is not the best SA keeper; nowhere near Lindsay or, by all accounts, Waite, and probably a few others too. One feels that some are confusing quantity with quality: if I were (able!) to run five times as many 100-metre races as Usain Bolt and win them all with times of a bit over 10 seconds, that wouldn''t make me a better sprinter than him.

  • BellCurve on December 18, 2009, 12:09 GMT

    @AplaainNZ - I agree that Ntini should be in the side. In Tayfield's place. He deserves to be purely on merit. No need to bring politics into it. @AB99 - cannot agree with you more. The inclusion of Waite is a clear case of uninformed nostalgia.

  • visy on December 18, 2009, 11:59 GMT

    Alarmed that Mark Boucher wasn't picked, given that he is the current world record holder of most number of dismissals by a wicketkeeper. Are we judging the keepers by their batting skills first or their prowess behind the stumps?

  • 9ST9 on December 18, 2009, 11:43 GMT

    No Kirsten? That's a bit of a disappointment. Also surprised to see AB de Villiers in the Readers XI. AB has a long way to go to be a All Time player.

  • chris54 on December 18, 2009, 11:42 GMT

    I have to agree with previous posters manasvi and sacricketlegend: Adcock for Pollock and Lindsay for Waite. Difficult to pick a partner for Richards, but I went for Smith. Bland is obvious choice as 12th man. Seems a lot of readers, no doubt the younger ones, lean too heavily towards the current players. Reminds me of a poll they did in NZ about 10 years back, when Jonah Lomu was voted all-time no.1. As for the comment that Kallis is a better bowler than Sobers, it is probably not too far fetched to say that Sir Garfield is the most complete bowler ever. Would like to know how many votes each player got from the panel.

  • mahjut on December 18, 2009, 11:10 GMT

    @ hemant.brar . As reverent as we should be to the likes of Benaut and Bradman; when individuals pick their world XI it is nothing more than entertaining personal bias (see Warne's omission of Steve Waugh but inclusion of Mark:)). You get slightly more balanced opinions from a panel (which I'm GUESSING is what Manthorp was referring to when saying Pollock would get into any world XI)...in any case I don't know much about graeme pollock (except that he's usually mentioned in any list of greats) but I don't think I'll be taking too much notice of Bradman's picks if I ever feel like picking my world XI (Kallis would be first on mine btw). I would've picked Boucher too.

  • sacricketlegend on December 18, 2009, 8:46 GMT

    Well, Eddie Barlow is your captain, so where is he? Bye Smith. As good as Pollock (Shaun) was, I'd rather have Neil Adcock in there (and, if he had played a Test, van der Bijl). Perhaps also in 10 years time you could choose Steyn, depending on how he fares. Lindsay over Waite. Then, if your weakest link is Dudley Nourse, I'm afraid you've done bloody well.

  • AplaainNZ on December 18, 2009, 8:14 GMT

    Big call not to include Ntini given SA's history - he's my pick!

  • BellCurve on December 18, 2009, 7:50 GMT

    Rudi Koertzen didn't vote for Kallis. Surely that's a mistake?

  • hemant.brar on December 18, 2009, 7:37 GMT

    @ BloodbathAndBeyond.....i agree with you.... unlike other 11s it was i guess a lot easier and so less controversial..... and i dont think graeme pollock is a shoo in in any world 11....bradman didnt choose him...and i think nor did benaud....

  • ygkd on December 18, 2009, 7:33 GMT

    A good pick but perhaps one Pollock too many. Haven't they enough bowlers already? Maybe another batsman such as Melville? Admittedly, it is better than the reader's pick which predictably had too many current players. And at least they fitted in both Tayfield and Faulkener and a proper wicketkeeper - so not bad all round. My son's was Mitchell, Smith, Pollock G, Richards, Melville, Kallis, Faulkener, Lindsay, Proctor, Tayfield and Donald, with apologies to Bland and Barlow.

  • AB99 on December 18, 2009, 7:30 GMT

    Are you suggesting that Mark Boucher - 125 Test / 475 plus victims / 4600 plus runs / 5 hundreds and 30 fifties PLUS over 300 ODIs / 4600+ runs / 400 plus victims behind the stumps is not the all time best South African wicker keeper ... I do not agree ... there is a bias against Mark ....

  • manasvi_lingam on December 18, 2009, 6:47 GMT

    I must say that I'm not very thrilled with this particular team. Within the given slots available, I'd have made the following changes: Bruce Mitchell for Graeme Smith Denis Lindsay for Johnny Waite Neil Adcock for Shaun Pollock

    1. Mitchell averaged quite close to Smith playing for a weaker team and on pitches more conducive to bowling. 2. Lindsay for the sheer destructiveness of his batting 3. Adcock had a splendid average and again, he played for a weaker team than the one that Pollock played in. A better average than Pollock and a comparable S.R as well.

    With Faulkner at 6, Lindsay at 7, Proctor at 8, you don't need Pollock at 9. Tayfield, a dent bat would be good enough at 9, followed by Adcock and Donald.

  • zak123kaif on December 18, 2009, 6:30 GMT

    Surprised to see no Gary Kirsten in the all time 11,Similiar to that Ponting was left out of Australia's all time 11.Except this i think whole of the team is up to the mark.

  • Tjoeps on December 18, 2009, 5:57 GMT

    This is a tuff call to compare players across generations, but I must agree with most of your choices. Their are so many contributors to the game, during our isolation it was difficult for the player and us, the cricket mad public. Our worse possible hour was the Basil de Olivera insedent, not a cricket let down, but stil a very sad chapter in our history, how nice it would have been for him to take his place in a lineup where he so rightly belong!

  • CricFan78 on December 18, 2009, 5:49 GMT

    Surprised at Waite being selected ahead of Lindsay but otherwise the jury is pretty much spot on

  • hemant.brar on December 18, 2009, 5:08 GMT

    who will be the captain????? smith????

  • BloodbathAndBeyond on December 18, 2009, 4:57 GMT

    This is definitely the least controversial all time XI. Waite over Boucher is the only debatable selection.

  • ashishkumar36 on December 18, 2009, 4:36 GMT

    great selection !!! but who is the twelfth man?

  • Engle on December 18, 2009, 4:20 GMT

    Well selected. This team matched mine for all positions except the wicketkeeping one, for which I have no qualms anyways. Thank Goodness, the selectors did not do a KP on us. The depth and balance is there with 2 spinners, 2 fasties and 2 pacers. Nice to see 2 Pollocks in the team as well as the 2 who undoubtedly would have proven themselves given the chance, Richards and Procter. Give the 12th man duties to Colin Bland and we have as formidable and exciting a team as any.

  • AHappyMind on December 18, 2009, 4:14 GMT

    Neil Manthorp said that ''In every country's all-time XI there will probably be two or three certainties but only two or three of those men would be certainties in an all-time world XI'': that doesnt make sense!

  • RomanNoseJob on December 18, 2009, 3:49 GMT

    good selection. Though I don't agree with Bachers comments that Pollock is one of the dead-certs in an all time XI.

    Bradman and Sobers are. Richards, Imran Khan and Tendulkar are good bets. but not Pollock. I have seen plenty of All-time XIs that excluded him. The comment on Kallis though I do agree with. IMO he is a better all-rounder than Sobers (eek) in that he's not as good a batsman (by a considerable margin) but he's a significantly better bowler. Sobers is still the better player, as they are batsmen first and Sobers beats Kallis there, but in pure all-rounder terms, I'd go with Kallis.

  • Shash28 on December 18, 2009, 3:18 GMT

    I guess my only surprise is the addition of Faulkner and Waite but what a truly class All-time 11. It basically has true bowling options and 9 players with the ability to score a century... and here we are today arguing about 5 vs 4 bowlers :) Some might argue for Gary Kirsten, who has been one of my favourite batsmen, but it seems the jury has gone with an aggressive opening combination with Kallis and Nourse being the anchor men... Procter, Faulker, Pollock to cause some destruction at the end :)

  • dyogesh on December 18, 2009, 2:52 GMT

    The reader's XI seems to be very biased to current players. Even the Australian, English and Kiwi XI had this issue. It is probably because a lot of internet users being young and not so much aware of the yesteryear stars. The other thing that worries me is the over-reliance on statistics. Fattened numbers of modern batsman being given too much importance.

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  • dyogesh on December 18, 2009, 2:52 GMT

    The reader's XI seems to be very biased to current players. Even the Australian, English and Kiwi XI had this issue. It is probably because a lot of internet users being young and not so much aware of the yesteryear stars. The other thing that worries me is the over-reliance on statistics. Fattened numbers of modern batsman being given too much importance.

  • Shash28 on December 18, 2009, 3:18 GMT

    I guess my only surprise is the addition of Faulkner and Waite but what a truly class All-time 11. It basically has true bowling options and 9 players with the ability to score a century... and here we are today arguing about 5 vs 4 bowlers :) Some might argue for Gary Kirsten, who has been one of my favourite batsmen, but it seems the jury has gone with an aggressive opening combination with Kallis and Nourse being the anchor men... Procter, Faulker, Pollock to cause some destruction at the end :)

  • RomanNoseJob on December 18, 2009, 3:49 GMT

    good selection. Though I don't agree with Bachers comments that Pollock is one of the dead-certs in an all time XI.

    Bradman and Sobers are. Richards, Imran Khan and Tendulkar are good bets. but not Pollock. I have seen plenty of All-time XIs that excluded him. The comment on Kallis though I do agree with. IMO he is a better all-rounder than Sobers (eek) in that he's not as good a batsman (by a considerable margin) but he's a significantly better bowler. Sobers is still the better player, as they are batsmen first and Sobers beats Kallis there, but in pure all-rounder terms, I'd go with Kallis.

  • AHappyMind on December 18, 2009, 4:14 GMT

    Neil Manthorp said that ''In every country's all-time XI there will probably be two or three certainties but only two or three of those men would be certainties in an all-time world XI'': that doesnt make sense!

  • Engle on December 18, 2009, 4:20 GMT

    Well selected. This team matched mine for all positions except the wicketkeeping one, for which I have no qualms anyways. Thank Goodness, the selectors did not do a KP on us. The depth and balance is there with 2 spinners, 2 fasties and 2 pacers. Nice to see 2 Pollocks in the team as well as the 2 who undoubtedly would have proven themselves given the chance, Richards and Procter. Give the 12th man duties to Colin Bland and we have as formidable and exciting a team as any.

  • ashishkumar36 on December 18, 2009, 4:36 GMT

    great selection !!! but who is the twelfth man?

  • BloodbathAndBeyond on December 18, 2009, 4:57 GMT

    This is definitely the least controversial all time XI. Waite over Boucher is the only debatable selection.

  • hemant.brar on December 18, 2009, 5:08 GMT

    who will be the captain????? smith????

  • CricFan78 on December 18, 2009, 5:49 GMT

    Surprised at Waite being selected ahead of Lindsay but otherwise the jury is pretty much spot on

  • Tjoeps on December 18, 2009, 5:57 GMT

    This is a tuff call to compare players across generations, but I must agree with most of your choices. Their are so many contributors to the game, during our isolation it was difficult for the player and us, the cricket mad public. Our worse possible hour was the Basil de Olivera insedent, not a cricket let down, but stil a very sad chapter in our history, how nice it would have been for him to take his place in a lineup where he so rightly belong!