Middle order June 21, 2010

Thirteen problems

How do you pick just three from a middle-order list that includes Richards, Lara, Lloyd, Rowe, and the three Ws?
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Of the 11 players in a team, there are usually three middle-order batsmen. Some teams have good ones, a few have great ones. Fortunately for West Indies, they have been blessed with many great ones, some of whom are numbered among the greatest of all time.

From George Headley in 1930 down to Shivnarine Chanderpaul, the men who have batted at Nos. 3, 4 and 5 for West Indies have been masters with the bat.

Some were run machines, some ball-beaters, some elegant, some artists. One was like a magician, one is as solid as a rock, and all scored heavily - some at times faster than a run a ball.

One of them, the pioneer, scored four centuries in his first Test series; one scored five centuries in a row - in five consecutive innings; and one of them rattled up five centuries in a five-match Test series. Seven of them scored two centuries in a Test match, and one of them is not only the holder of the world record for the highest individual innings in Test cricket but also the holder of the record in first-class cricket.

Down the years, the middle-order has served the West Indies well, and from the 1950s through the 1990s, sometimes brilliantly. Like the men of speed, the middle-order batsmen have been the heart beat of West Indies cricket.

There is so much quality on offer and the quantity is such that even without Garry Sobers, who falls in the category set aside for allrounders, even without a former world record holder for the highest individual score in Test cricket in the race, it probably will be easier to get a hat, put the names in it, and go from there.

The contenders

George Headley
The first of the great West Indies batsmen and the one West Indians refer to as "Atlas", Headley scored four centuries (including a double) in his first series. Until Javed Miandad did so at age 19, Headley was the youngest batsman to score a double-century in a Test match. He was also the youngest to score four centuries before 21. A nimble-footed right-hander with all the shots in the book, a master on bad pitches, and a lovely player off the back-foot who also possessed some wonderful front-foot drives on both sides of the wicket, Headley single-handedly carried the West Indies batting on his shoulders. In 22 Test matches, he scored 2190 runs with 10 centuries, at an average of 60.83. His career-best was 270 not out against England at Sabina Park.

Everton Weekes
The second of the famous "Three Ws", not in quality, but in age and batting position - he generally batted between the other two, at No. 4. Short and well built, Weekes had wonderful footwork and loved to cut. With scores of 141 against England, followed by 128, 194, 162 and 101 against India, he ticked off five centuries in five successive Test innings and was unfortunate to be run out for 90 in innings No. 6. After 48 Test matches, he finished with 4455 runs and 15 centuries at an average of 58.61.

Clyde Walcott
A big, imposing man with powerful strokes, Walcott started as an opening batsman and wicketkeeper and developed into one of the most successful and dangerous batsmen of the team. His square cut was awesome but even more so were his drives off the back foot, particularly so those through mid-off. In 1950 he scored a match-winning 168 not out at Lord's, and in 1954 he piled up a memorable 220 out of a total of 383 at Kensington Oval against England. His finest hour, however, was against Australia in 1955, when in five Test matches he rattled off scores of 108, 39, 126, 110, 8, 73, 15, 83, 155 and 110, while setting the-then West Indies series record of 827 runs at 82.70. In 44 Test matches, Walcott scored 3798 runs with 15 centuries at an average of 56.68.

Frank Worrell
Worrell was the last of the "Three Ws" to get into the West Indies team. In time, however, he took over the No. 3 spot in the batting order and became - especially to those who loved elegance and style - the No. 1 batsman in the side. At Trent Bridge in 1957, facing England's 619 for 6, West Indies were bundled out for 372, with Worrell carrying his bat for 191. He was also a bowler - he took 6 for 38 runs in an innings against Australia, and 7 for 70 against England - though it is as a batsman and as a captain that Worrell will be remembered. As a batsman, he was well-balanced, stylish and elegant; he possessed every stroke in the book, and his sweep, on one knee, was something to behold. As a captain, he was arguably the best from the West Indies. In 51 Test matches, Worrell scored 3860 runs with nine centuries at an average of 49.48.

Rohan Kanhai
One of the most gifted batsmen to come out of the West Indies, Kanhai is considered by some to being as near to being a genius as any player can be. An exciting stroke-player with a technically good defence, he had every stroke in the game and a sweep which lifted him off the ground and left him full length in the crease, on the seat of his pants, as the ball landed beyond the boundary behind square leg. His tally of 6227 runs with 15 centuries from 79 Test matches and an average of 47.53 does not do justice to a batsman so gifted. His 117 and 115 in Adelaide in 1960-61 and 158 not out versus India at Sabina Park in 1971, when West Indies were forced to follow-on, were invaluable contributions to the team cause. And his stroke-filled 256 in just over six hours at the Eden Gardens in 1958-59 was a treat for those who love exciting strokeplay.

Seymour Nurse
A tall and well built right-hander, Nurse was an exceptionally gifted batsman, with good back-foot play and pleasing to the eye. His strokes were elegant: no rush, no hurry, just an attractive, easy, and relaxed style that West Indians love. With the likes of Sobers, Kanhai, Basil Butcher and Joe Solomon around, Nurse found it difficult to get into the West Indies team at an early age. When he did, however, he enjoyed a good run, highlighted by a superb 201 against Australia at the Kensington Oval in 1965 and a career-best 258 against New Zealand in Christchurch in 1969. In 29 Test matches, Nurse scored 2523 with six centuries at an average of 47.60.

Clive Lloyd
A big, bespectacled left-hander, Lloyd was a powerful striker of the ball, a batsman who guaranteed excitement whenever he walked to the wicket. Using a relatively heavy bat, Lloyd swung it easily and effectively whether cutting, hooking, or while leaning forward to reel off some massive drives. At his best, he was a deadly striker of the ball as well as a saviour of lost causes - three against India: in Bangalore in 1974-75 when he scored 163 off 149 balls, at Queen's Park Oval in 1983, when he went to bat at 1 for 3 and scored 143 before he was dismissed at 238 for 4, and in Calcutta in 1983-84, when West Indies had skidded to 42 for 4 and then 63 for six before he carried them to 377 and to victory with a splendid innings of 161 not out. As a fielder, out in the covers or close in at slip, he was one of the best of his generation. As a captain, he was second only to Worrell. In 110 Test matches, Lloyd scored 7515 runs with 19 centuries at an average of 46.67.

Lawrence Rowe
One of the most elegant batsmen ever to play the game, Rowe fulfilled neither his potential nor the expectations of many. Boasting all the strokes, and a timing that seemed god-given, he started his Test career in 1972 in fairy-tale fashion with a double-century in his first innings and 100 not out in his second to join the band of batsmen who have scored two centuries in their first Test match. With such a start, Rowe's career seemed destined for greatness. But injuries, a grass allergy, an eyesight problem, and possibly the adulation he received from the people of Jamaica, cut short his career. His only other claim to fame was 302 against England at Kensington Oval in 1974 - an innings many West Indians rate, to this day, as the best ever by a West Indian batsman. In the final Test of that series, Rowe, a master against fast bowling, gave a glimpse of his skill against spin during an unforgettable innings of 123 on a turning Queen's Park Oval pitch.

Alvin Kallicharran
To many West Indians, he was a protege of Rohan Kanhai, and so, in the early part of his career, although left-handed, Kallicharran was known as "Little Kanhai". But while Kanhai was sometimes flashy in his strokeplay, Kallicharran was reserved. He was a tough competitor, a man who, if the necessity arose, would lock away his attacking strokes in a determined effort to protect his wicket. He scored centuries in his first two Tests, but two of his best came in 1974: 158 against England at the Queen's Park Oval in 1974, and 124 in Bangalore on a rain-affected pitch against Chandrasekhar, Prasanna and Venkataraghavan. In 66 Tests, he scored 4339 runs with 12 centuries at an average of 44.43.

Vivian Richards
Towards the close of a rainy day's play at Old Trafford in 1980, Viv Richards was in action, and for 40 minutes or so I wondered if I was looking at the greatest batsman who ever lived. At stumps West Indies, replying to England's first innings of 150 runs, were 38 for 3. Kallicharran was playing and missing and looking ready to go at any time. Batting against Bob Willis, Graham Dilley, and Ian Botham looked impossible. Richards, 32 not out, batted with the ease of a man playing with his children in his backyard. A far from complicated batsman and certainly not in the elegant mould, Richards' batting was simple, or so it appeared. He played straight, he drove powerfully, and he hooked and pulled with relish. He was certainly the best of his time, and especially so between January 1976 and August 1976, when he reeled off scores of 30, 101, 50, and 98 versus Australia, 142, 130, 20 not out, 177, 23, and 64 against India, and 232, 63, 4, 135, 66, 38, and 291 against England. In 121 Test matches, Richards scored 8540 runs with 24 centuries at an average of 50.23..

Richie Richardson
According to some, Richardson is an ordinary batsman. Based on the runs he has scored, the teams and bowlers he scored them against, and sometimes the conditions and the circumstances in which he scored them, he was brilliant. Like his more famous countryman Richards, Richardson's batting was simple. When the ball was up, he drove, when it was short, he cut and he hooked, and when it was on a good length, he paid respect with a solid, defensive stroke. Richardson hit his maiden Test century against Australia at the Kensington Oval and followed it up with a splendid 154 in the following Test match. Australian bowlers, it appeared, were his favourites. Of his 16 Test centuries nine were against them, including arguably his greatest innings, 182 at Bourda in 1991. In 86 Test matches, Richardson scored 5949 runs at an average of 44.39.

Brian Lara
Undoubtedly one of the greatest batsmen of all time. In 131 Test matches, the Prince of Port of Spain scored 11,953 runs with 34 centuries at an average of 52.88. What is even more impressive, however, is that those runs include one score of over 300 and one of 400, two centuries in one Test, and some of the finest innings in the history of the game: an unforgettable 277 in Sydney, a match-winning 153 not out against Australia at Kensington Oval. And they were scored against some of the best bowlers of all time, including Shane Warne and Muttiah Muralitharan. Lara, like Headley before him, was the lone star of the West Indies batting on many occasions.

Shivnarine Chanderpaul
As a batsman, Chanderpaul is a law unto himself. He stands so square-on that the impression is the bowler was coming in from square-leg. A batsman's job is to score runs, however, and with 8710 runs, including 21 centuries, from 124 Test matches, Chanderpaul has scored a lot of them. A careful, cautious left-hander, he has been the backbone of the West Indies innings, especially between 2007 and 2008 when he scored 74, 50, 116 not out, 136 not out, and 70 in England; 104, 8, 65 not out, 70 not out, and 0 in South Africa; and 118, 11, 107 not out, 77 not out, 79 not out, and 50 against Australia in the West Indies. At Bourda in 2003 against Australia, the man who is known as Mr. Reliable went to bat with the score on 47 for 4 and to the surprise of every one, proceeded to plunder 100 runs off 69 deliveries.

We'll be publishing an all-time West Indies XI based on readers' votes to go with our jury's XI. To pick your middle order click here

Former sports editor of the Jamaica Gleaner and the Daily News, Tony Becca has covered West Indies cricket for 30 years

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY eddy501 on | June 24, 2010, 22:28 GMT

    @ METMAN........i'm afraid youve dug your own grave this time sir. Your quote 'Looking at stats again,Ponting,and Tendulkar are better than Lara by far.' Shows you know nothing about cricket. When Lara retired on232 innings and 11953 runs he was the record holder. When Tendulkar reached 232 innings he was still 400 runs behind Lara! Ponting has batted 11 more innings than Lara and he still hasnt overtaken Lara. Lara is better than Ponting and Tendulkar in runs per match, runs per innings and High scores. Tendulkar and Ponting have more tons and of course more not outs (which pump up avg). Lara has more double tons! Let me know when Ponting and Tendulkar score a innings to match 153*.......youre right, it wont happen.

  • POSTED BY waspsting on | June 24, 2010, 19:26 GMT

    lot of heat on this thread! my two cents - as many have said, so many great players to choose from, so first and foremost, I accept that differences of opinion are just differences of opinion. They're all top quality players. I'd pick Lara, Headley and Viv - but have no beef with anyone who prefers Weekes or Walcott. Lara... had his troubles against pace and bouncers, but he was wonderful against anything else. Viv... not as consistent as others, but overall as big a scorer as you could want, and a potential matchwinner against any bowling, in any condition. Headley... consistently personafied. Check his first class career stats, given that he didn't play too much test. Weekes... big average, but bulk of it based on weak attacks and/or flat pitches. He didn't fail miserably when chips down... but his record in england and australia is a lot less impressive (Worrell always did better than the others there). Walcott... same as Weekes.

    as i say - no right or wrong choices here, though!

  • POSTED BY Metman on | June 24, 2010, 17:05 GMT

    @Engle and Hlangl --- The reason Lara scored his runs in losing cases or causes is exactly what I have been saying all along!He is not a team man,just a selfish individual.,interested only in himself.Some of his own team mates have gone on record as saying so as well as thousands of others.He will make my all time X1 though as I have based my X1 on averages.By the way,if Headley had played as much innings as Lara,he would have made 13,747 runs,Weekes 13,346,Sobers 13,055 and Walcott 12,820 runs.That is why we have averages,because everybody will not play and cannot play the same amount of matches in their career.

  • POSTED BY Engle on | June 24, 2010, 14:50 GMT

    Lara played for a team that was regressing. Unlike the W's or Kanhai/Sobers/Lloyd or Richards/Greenidge combos, he had no one of note to support. He holds various 'losing' records such as the most number of double centuries in a losing cause or the most number of runs in a losing match or the most number of runs in a lost series. His only motive, therefore, was to score as many runs as possible to give the Caribbean something to cheer about and lift it from it's doldrums.

  • POSTED BY HLANGL on | June 24, 2010, 14:36 GMT

    Lara has to be a unanimous choice in WIs all-time XI. No less batsman would score almost 12000 runs in just 230+ innings with the sheerly charismatic & never the stone walling manner he built all his great innings. Viv Richards was far more capable when it comes to destructive batting, true. George Headly, being the pioneer among the greatest WI batsmen, deserves his place. Only sad point is, Everton Weeks, who may never be inferioir to any greatest batsman in the entire history, may sometimes miss the XI. Taken with Sobers as the batting allrounder & firepower of Greenidge at the top, I simply don't believe any other all-time XI would even remotely match this line up. All these were greatest batsmen in their own right. We may find all Bradman, Hammond, T'kar, Ponting, etc. in rest of the world all-time XI, still this WIs XI would be never inferior to them on any day. It's sad to see such a great dynasty is now struggling just to give even a mere fight to a reasonable opposition.

  • POSTED BY unchained on | June 24, 2010, 13:55 GMT

    I do agree to some extent that lara devastated attacks but so did viv man and the end result is when lara did it we all cheered when viv did it we cheered and also won the game. you cannot even compare viv with lara. viv in his heyday was feared. first batsman who drove the fear of god into bowlers.

  • POSTED BY cricketchopper on | June 24, 2010, 10:56 GMT

    The amazing this is that people are talking about Lara that whether he should be selected or not in all time WI XI. In fact Lara is capable to be selected in all time World XI. There is no match between Tendulkar and Lara. Tendulkar is a dull batsman. His class is much lower then Lara. According to Gary Sobers, the parametre to judge the greatness of a batsman is that how long one can play quality strokes despite pressure and quality bowling. I am watching cricket since last 35 years. If I am preferring Lara over Richards, Greg Chappel, Gavaskar, Tendulkar, Ponting, Kallis, then I have sound reasons. It is not generation bias because Lara belongs to later generation. I mean Lara was able to hit the bowl consectively and thus he played few innings which are amongst the all time greatest innings. Sachin tendulkar is a selfish and coward batsman. He never played a great innings. Probably Lara is the best after Bradmen.

  • POSTED BY Antir on | June 24, 2010, 9:00 GMT

    Headley was also a lone warrior and he is superior to Lara in every way. Honestly, Lara props up his average with the biggest scores. The runs he made contributed more to his ego than for the benefit of the team. Maturity is quality that cannot be under-estimated in cricket and Lara is too fickle to join any of the greatest teams. When Lara walked out onto the pitch you never knew who was going to turn up. When Sir Vivian Richards walked onto the pitch fielders took three steps back, wicketkeepers hid behind the stumps and bowlers were hesistant in their run ups. Sir Vivian Richards is far superior to Lara as he always made runs. Headley was called 'Atlas' as he bore the weight of making runs for the WI in his time. Sure Lara was pretty to watch but how long do you think he would hang around the WI XI before deciding that he would rather be somewhere else.

  • POSTED BY kantipur on | June 24, 2010, 7:02 GMT

    I will put Brian lara ahead of Sir Viv and other batsman. Lara always have to bat under pressure. He was the lone warrior for the team. Thats why I believe his record is phenomenal.

  • POSTED BY HLANGL on | June 24, 2010, 6:52 GMT

    My picks would be George Headley, Viv Richards & Brian Lara. It's a great pain to leave out Everton Weeks though, but if I'm given the 4th slot I would go for him on any day. To me, George Headly, Everton Weeks, Garfield Sobers, Viv Richards & Brian Lara are the best 5 batsmen WIs have produced to date. All others, Clyd Walcott, Frank Worrel, Rohan Kanhai, Alvin Kalicharan, Gordon Greenidge, Clive Lloyd, Richie Richardson & Chanderpaul were never quite in the same class, may belong to a second category compared to above 5. (That being said, all of them were really good batsmen with some heavy records under their belts, but it's only because of the presence of the likes of Headley, Weeks, Sobers, Richards & Lara, they may be considered to be of somewhat lesser category.)

  • POSTED BY eddy501 on | June 24, 2010, 22:28 GMT

    @ METMAN........i'm afraid youve dug your own grave this time sir. Your quote 'Looking at stats again,Ponting,and Tendulkar are better than Lara by far.' Shows you know nothing about cricket. When Lara retired on232 innings and 11953 runs he was the record holder. When Tendulkar reached 232 innings he was still 400 runs behind Lara! Ponting has batted 11 more innings than Lara and he still hasnt overtaken Lara. Lara is better than Ponting and Tendulkar in runs per match, runs per innings and High scores. Tendulkar and Ponting have more tons and of course more not outs (which pump up avg). Lara has more double tons! Let me know when Ponting and Tendulkar score a innings to match 153*.......youre right, it wont happen.

  • POSTED BY waspsting on | June 24, 2010, 19:26 GMT

    lot of heat on this thread! my two cents - as many have said, so many great players to choose from, so first and foremost, I accept that differences of opinion are just differences of opinion. They're all top quality players. I'd pick Lara, Headley and Viv - but have no beef with anyone who prefers Weekes or Walcott. Lara... had his troubles against pace and bouncers, but he was wonderful against anything else. Viv... not as consistent as others, but overall as big a scorer as you could want, and a potential matchwinner against any bowling, in any condition. Headley... consistently personafied. Check his first class career stats, given that he didn't play too much test. Weekes... big average, but bulk of it based on weak attacks and/or flat pitches. He didn't fail miserably when chips down... but his record in england and australia is a lot less impressive (Worrell always did better than the others there). Walcott... same as Weekes.

    as i say - no right or wrong choices here, though!

  • POSTED BY Metman on | June 24, 2010, 17:05 GMT

    @Engle and Hlangl --- The reason Lara scored his runs in losing cases or causes is exactly what I have been saying all along!He is not a team man,just a selfish individual.,interested only in himself.Some of his own team mates have gone on record as saying so as well as thousands of others.He will make my all time X1 though as I have based my X1 on averages.By the way,if Headley had played as much innings as Lara,he would have made 13,747 runs,Weekes 13,346,Sobers 13,055 and Walcott 12,820 runs.That is why we have averages,because everybody will not play and cannot play the same amount of matches in their career.

  • POSTED BY Engle on | June 24, 2010, 14:50 GMT

    Lara played for a team that was regressing. Unlike the W's or Kanhai/Sobers/Lloyd or Richards/Greenidge combos, he had no one of note to support. He holds various 'losing' records such as the most number of double centuries in a losing cause or the most number of runs in a losing match or the most number of runs in a lost series. His only motive, therefore, was to score as many runs as possible to give the Caribbean something to cheer about and lift it from it's doldrums.

  • POSTED BY HLANGL on | June 24, 2010, 14:36 GMT

    Lara has to be a unanimous choice in WIs all-time XI. No less batsman would score almost 12000 runs in just 230+ innings with the sheerly charismatic & never the stone walling manner he built all his great innings. Viv Richards was far more capable when it comes to destructive batting, true. George Headly, being the pioneer among the greatest WI batsmen, deserves his place. Only sad point is, Everton Weeks, who may never be inferioir to any greatest batsman in the entire history, may sometimes miss the XI. Taken with Sobers as the batting allrounder & firepower of Greenidge at the top, I simply don't believe any other all-time XI would even remotely match this line up. All these were greatest batsmen in their own right. We may find all Bradman, Hammond, T'kar, Ponting, etc. in rest of the world all-time XI, still this WIs XI would be never inferior to them on any day. It's sad to see such a great dynasty is now struggling just to give even a mere fight to a reasonable opposition.

  • POSTED BY unchained on | June 24, 2010, 13:55 GMT

    I do agree to some extent that lara devastated attacks but so did viv man and the end result is when lara did it we all cheered when viv did it we cheered and also won the game. you cannot even compare viv with lara. viv in his heyday was feared. first batsman who drove the fear of god into bowlers.

  • POSTED BY cricketchopper on | June 24, 2010, 10:56 GMT

    The amazing this is that people are talking about Lara that whether he should be selected or not in all time WI XI. In fact Lara is capable to be selected in all time World XI. There is no match between Tendulkar and Lara. Tendulkar is a dull batsman. His class is much lower then Lara. According to Gary Sobers, the parametre to judge the greatness of a batsman is that how long one can play quality strokes despite pressure and quality bowling. I am watching cricket since last 35 years. If I am preferring Lara over Richards, Greg Chappel, Gavaskar, Tendulkar, Ponting, Kallis, then I have sound reasons. It is not generation bias because Lara belongs to later generation. I mean Lara was able to hit the bowl consectively and thus he played few innings which are amongst the all time greatest innings. Sachin tendulkar is a selfish and coward batsman. He never played a great innings. Probably Lara is the best after Bradmen.

  • POSTED BY Antir on | June 24, 2010, 9:00 GMT

    Headley was also a lone warrior and he is superior to Lara in every way. Honestly, Lara props up his average with the biggest scores. The runs he made contributed more to his ego than for the benefit of the team. Maturity is quality that cannot be under-estimated in cricket and Lara is too fickle to join any of the greatest teams. When Lara walked out onto the pitch you never knew who was going to turn up. When Sir Vivian Richards walked onto the pitch fielders took three steps back, wicketkeepers hid behind the stumps and bowlers were hesistant in their run ups. Sir Vivian Richards is far superior to Lara as he always made runs. Headley was called 'Atlas' as he bore the weight of making runs for the WI in his time. Sure Lara was pretty to watch but how long do you think he would hang around the WI XI before deciding that he would rather be somewhere else.

  • POSTED BY kantipur on | June 24, 2010, 7:02 GMT

    I will put Brian lara ahead of Sir Viv and other batsman. Lara always have to bat under pressure. He was the lone warrior for the team. Thats why I believe his record is phenomenal.

  • POSTED BY HLANGL on | June 24, 2010, 6:52 GMT

    My picks would be George Headley, Viv Richards & Brian Lara. It's a great pain to leave out Everton Weeks though, but if I'm given the 4th slot I would go for him on any day. To me, George Headly, Everton Weeks, Garfield Sobers, Viv Richards & Brian Lara are the best 5 batsmen WIs have produced to date. All others, Clyd Walcott, Frank Worrel, Rohan Kanhai, Alvin Kalicharan, Gordon Greenidge, Clive Lloyd, Richie Richardson & Chanderpaul were never quite in the same class, may belong to a second category compared to above 5. (That being said, all of them were really good batsmen with some heavy records under their belts, but it's only because of the presence of the likes of Headley, Weeks, Sobers, Richards & Lara, they may be considered to be of somewhat lesser category.)

  • POSTED BY emmwill on | June 24, 2010, 3:55 GMT

    @Metman You are right. Lara didn't face fast bowlers like Wes Hall,Charlie Griffith, Lilee,Thompson, etc., but he did face Ambrose and Walsh in the regional tournament. He also had to contend with such devastating fast bowlers like Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis, Glen McGrath, Shane Bond, Alan Donald, etc. Lara didn't face the spin of Lance Gibbs, Subash Gupte, Bedi, etc., but he had to deal with the wizardry of two of the greatest spinners of all time- Shane Warne and Muttiah Muralitharan. Lara deserves to be in the team. I would also include Viv Richards, who basically picks himself, and George Headley, whose phenomenal record speaks for itself.

  • POSTED BY unchained on | June 24, 2010, 2:37 GMT

    WHY IS TONY COZIER NOT ON THE PANEL?

  • POSTED BY unchained on | June 24, 2010, 2:31 GMT

    It is quite amazing listening to this. I mean remember people we must pick an all time eleven in the context of the change of the rules. Viv, Headley, Weeks and their peers batted in a time when cricket was much harder. No helmets people. And they played facing six possible bouncers. The dudes who had 44+ averages then may have been better than the 50+ average guyss now. When Lara batted who did he really face at top flight bowlers. Man Viv and the others had Thommo, Lillee Max Walker etc. I mean and remember the fact that the all time XI plays the Australians, even Weeks makes it before Lara because he batted better againt Australia. Again, Headley, Viv and Worrell. One because he is the pioneer, the other was a devastator and the intelligence of the skipper. I am enjoying the posts though

  • POSTED BY tjsimonsen on | June 24, 2010, 2:21 GMT

    I'd like to clarify a couple of points. @manasvi_lingam: you hit a central point. Lara was not the most consistent batsman of his generation. But I have a soft spot for the flawed genius, and I do consider Lara the BATTING GENIUS of his generation: he was just as likely to succeed in the toughest and most difficult condition as ha was likely to fail in the easiest conditions. Sachin, Pointing, or Kallis (of whom I am a big fan) could/can always be felled by a single great delivery. But when Lara was on song you could have bowled at him with a high speed howitzer, and it wouldn't have mattered! With respect to Richards, the sheer terror he put into the opposition has to count for a lot, as has his fielding, and captaincy - he is IMO the best captain WI has ever had! Hadley - as I said - picks himself. He is one of the top 5 batsmen ever!

  • POSTED BY ToMegaTherion1986 on | June 24, 2010, 1:40 GMT

    Man this would be one hell of a strong middle order. And they are right, how do you pick just three of them. I think this would be my choice. Greenidge Haynes Richards Lara Lloyd* Sobers Dujon+ Ambrose Marshall Garner Holding

    When you have a fast bowling combination like this, who needs a spinner. Sobers was decent enough anyway. Gayle is also quite useful.

  • POSTED BY Antir on | June 23, 2010, 23:48 GMT

    Headley is a certainty along Sir Viv Richards but the third is very tough. I would never pick Lara because there are other batsmen of equal quality who are better because of their humility. Initially, i thought of Weekes but it seems he is similar to Headley and so i would go with Sir Frank Worrell as he would also make the best captain bringing the whole team together and his batting is good enough in a line up of batsmen that could be considered the best of all the cricketing nations. Once you bring in Sobers the team becomes complete.

    So far Greenidge and Haynes the best partnership followed up by Richards, Headley and Worrell. Obviously Sobers will be next, not so sure on the keepers as of yet and the bowlers are going to be a tough call.

  • POSTED BY on | June 23, 2010, 22:05 GMT

    I am sure he won't be picked but my favorite batsman ever, after Hanif Mohammad will always be Everton Weekes but Lara I think will be preferred by most... Richards and Headingly pick themselves.

  • POSTED BY Metman on | June 23, 2010, 21:44 GMT

    @Eddy501,It was you who mentioned this not out thing,not me!I was only saying that other players with higher averages than Lara,also had not outs too. Obviously It was an issue for you.It is truly amazing that people are saying that Lara was the greatest batsman in history and the only way that they can say that is by looking at his stats.I have no problem with that!but when it comes to stats of other players ,it is all about the bowlers they had to face in their time and all that jargon!Look,Lara didnt experienced the terror when facing the likes of a Wes Hall,Charlie Griffith,Lilee,Thompson,Truman,Statham,Holding,Roberts,Garner,Marshall,Croft,Clarke,Daniel,Ambrose,Patterson,Walsh,Roy Gilchrist,the swing of one Gary Sobers and Alan Davidson and others.Lara didnt have to face the spin of Lance Gibbs,Subash Gupte,Bedi,Prasana,Chandresekar,Lock,Laker and one Gary Sobers with his back of the arm stuff.Looking at stats again,Ponting,and Tendulkar are better than Lara by far.

  • POSTED BY Metman on | June 23, 2010, 19:25 GMT

    @Eddy501---We are picking the three greatest WEST INDIAN batsmen,not the three greatest world batsmen,we are attempting to pick an all time WEST INDIAN side.,therefore,I will repeat again,Headley(60.83),Weekes(58.61) and Walcott(56.68) are the men with the highest averages,although I would have picked Walcott for the keepers position.I am not picking players that I happened to like.Just like you pick Lara as the greatest batsman the WI have ever produced in the last 35 years based on his STATISTICS.I will do the same for the greatest of them all GARFIELD SOBERS based like you on STATISTICS.@ZA77 Although,Sobers will take the position as allrounder,he could have taken the position of batsman too!In 160 innings,Lara had 232innings,Sobers had 21 not outs ,including 7 century not outs,bowled 21,599 bowls and still had an average of 57.78,he was a team man and wanted to bowl,not like Lara,all for himself and records.All Lara had to do, was to remain at slip,and then bat for records.

  • POSTED BY on | June 23, 2010, 19:11 GMT

    After reading kemmisito's comments about Viv Richards, I got down to doing some analysis (importing data from cricinfo's statsguru). Of all batsmen with 2000+ runs and 40+ average, Viv Richards ranks 38th in terms of innings per 100+ score (For curious ones, Sachin ranks 6th, Ponting, Chappell and Gavaskar 11th, 12th and 13th, Lara 23rd).

    However if you look at innings per 50+ score, Richards ranks 10th (Sachin now ranks 14th, Ponting 16th, Gavaskar 18th and Lara 32nd). Perhaps it shows that Richards was not a prolific 100 scorer and threw away his wickets often after reaching 50s, which also explains his relatively lower overall batting average.

  • POSTED BY Yagga175 on | June 23, 2010, 18:20 GMT

    Agree with several correspondents about some of the more diubious picks. While I think that Hooper was a beautiful batsman to look at and the nearest thing to Lawrence Rowe in terms of style, there is no way you can select him as a middle order batsman and with both Sobers and Constantine in the all-rounder slot he isn't going to come within a cooee there either.

    I'll admit that my choice of Richards at 3 ahead of Weekes was tipped by Viv'sbrilliant fielding. But while Weekes had a Bradmanesque start to his career and averaged 58.61he failed misesrably in Australia in 1951-52 against Lindwall and Miller. Compare and ciontrast with Richards in 75/76. As Henry Blofeld said in the 1977 Wisden he was the only batsman who left Australia a better player than when he arrived. No more feared batsman of his generation - also stats in 1980/81 in Pakistan showed him a class apart. Only argument is that he went on too long. Also agree no way he should be captain. Clear choice there is Headley

  • POSTED BY manasvi_lingam on | June 23, 2010, 17:52 GMT

    Given that this is a West Indies all time XI, it is not surprising to see the no. of Lara supporters around. (most people who view Cricinfo have been following cricket since the 90s) All those who claim that Lara was the best batsman of his generation ought to know that there are others such as Ponting, Kallis, Dravid and Tendulkar along with him. Lara was in my opinion the greatest player when in form. But his consistency wasn't as high as the others. Only one of Richards and Lara can be selected since they tended to dominating batsman who were not always consistent.

  • POSTED BY cricketchopper on | June 23, 2010, 17:43 GMT

    Brian Lara was the greatest batsmen after Bradman. During last thirty five years, I never saw a batsman like him. When he was at his bloom, he was like a Jini. He has played most of the greatest innings in the history of test cricket. If you want to talk about his periods when he was out of form, i would say that everyone has been out of form at some time. We are choosing players at their peak, so Brian Lara of 1994 is here for selection and he is the greatest batsman during last 35 years. I would also talk about Silvester Clark. During his tour to Pakistan in 1980 he seemed to be the fastest and most dangerous bowler. His bowls swung more then one metre. I never saw a fast bowler more great then Silvester Clark

  • POSTED BY tjsimonsen on | June 23, 2010, 15:36 GMT

    This must be the toughest selection so far (but selecting the WI bowling attack isn't going to be any easier!). I voted Richards (3), Headley (4), and Lara (5), but leaving out the 3 Ws and Kanhai feels almost sacrilege! Headley is the only one in the list who picks himself IMO. No, perhaps he wasn't the best batsman of his generation, but that was only because he was contemporary with the Don! There are good arguments against Richards in the all-time XI, but with the class, substance, staying power, and sheer mass of the rest of the batting order, there will be plenty room for his overwhelming power and aggression. Any team should have at least one batsman who is capable of putting the fear of gods into the opposition's bowlers. Lara is the weakest pick, bu to me he is the best batsman of his (and thus my) generation. Yes, that includes Sachin, Ponting and others. In his most celebrated innings, he was the absolute master of the most difficult conditions encounter for the past 25y.

  • POSTED BY Yagga175 on | June 23, 2010, 14:18 GMT

    I've already submitted my All-Time XI but for pure entertainment:

    (1) Roy Fredericks (2) Clifford Roach (3) Rohan Kanhai (4) Brian Lara (5) Clive Lloyd (6) Vivian Richards (7) Garry Sobers (8) Learie Constantine (9) Collis King (10) Sylvester Clarke (11) Roy Gilchrist

    No real wicketkepper, although Kanhai kept disastrously in England 1957 and would have to do here. Could put in Cammie Smith as the other opener for the bff factor but Freddo and Roach would get things off to a flying star and that middle order could only accelerate - 6, 7 and 8 of Vivi ,Garry and Learie how good is that?? And Collis King at 9!!! Not a bad bowling attack of Gilchrist, Clarke and Constantine with Garry and Collis backing up. Not even Colin Croft was as mean as Gilchrist. This would be a great one day team.

    Most of all this underlines the spectacular embarrassment of riches in West Indies cricket history. This wouldn't be anyone's 1st XI and yet it would give most sides a serious game

  • POSTED BY on | June 23, 2010, 13:50 GMT

    Shiva89 - i think Carl Hooper will be included in all-rounders for his spin bowling too.

  • POSTED BY on | June 23, 2010, 12:47 GMT

    @Bishwa305: I am almost in complete agreement with you. I'd pick Haynes for Hunte, Weekes for Kanhai, and Garner for Gibbs, but otherwise we have the same team. The Hunte/Haynes choice is really tight, and the Garner/Gibbs choice comes down to the preferred balance of the attack.

    @waspsting: I agree. Cricinfo exercise a lot of indirect control over the composition of a team by determining the balance of the attack. It will be interesting to see whether they go for a "four barrelled shotgun" approach, or decide that spin is "not just for washing machines". It would be a shame to deny Gibbs, Valentine, and Ramadhin the chance to be selected. But I would still go with the 4 pronged pace attack, supported by Sobers (and Richards if he is selected).

    But then again, my England team had Wilfred Rhodes and Jim Laker, and Hutton batting at three, so I am already used to having the "wrong" composition.

  • POSTED BY on | June 23, 2010, 12:44 GMT

    Some of these selections are comical. For example, somebody made Richards captain over the legendary Sir Frank Worrell, the man whom many consider to be the greatest captain ever in any sport! Then another fan queried the absence of one of our greatest underachievers, Carl Hooper. Yet another person chose Gayle, the glorified swiper, over Hunte, Haynes & Fredericks, can you imagine that?No doubt Lara is one of our greats, but we should always remember he's played far more games than those in the previous generations and faced more weak teams than existed yesteryear. I once saw Lara hopping around in an undignified manner like a shot sparrow when facing Bond who also bowled him behind his back. I never saw the 3Ws, Sobers,Kanhai,Richards or any of our greats do that.Remember too that Lara, rather than face Harmison who was bringing it, hid in the lower order like Gayle did against Vaas. Can you imagine Viv hiding from Thommo & Lillee in their murderous prime?

  • POSTED BY RealWI on | June 23, 2010, 12:29 GMT

    @Eddy501....Did Lara appoint you as his lawyer. Weeks, Walcott and Headley played in the era of uncover pitch, no helmet, no arm guard, no chest guard, no rib guard, better opponents, heavier bats and RACISM yet they AVERAGE MORE than Lara. Lara weakness against quality pace bowling is well known. If Lara had played in the 60's or 70's he would have average in the mid 40's that prove he is a great batsman in any era of the game. On the other hand, if Weeks, Walcott, Headley or Richards had played in the Lara era they would have average in the 80's. Lara was great, but let's not pretend that this game started yesterday. Between 1960-1990 only 4 batsman made 300+ runs in one inning, vice-versa between 1990-present 12 batsman made 300+ runs in on inning. The list include batsmen with suspect technique like Hayden, Gayle, Sehway and Jayasuriya on dead pitch like St. John (3) Colombo (2) and Mumbai. The middle order is Richards, Weeks, Headley and Walcott (WK).

  • POSTED BY rambo2111 on | June 23, 2010, 12:14 GMT

    It is difficult to look at statistics and assess how good a batsman really was, because statistics usually reflect cricket conditions of that era (e.g. during 1920-1948, most good batsmen had high averages because there were no good fast bowlers in the world except larwood during the bodyline series). Hence I prefer to go for batsmen who were ranked the best by the top bowlers who played against them. On that basis, Viv is a clear pick - every single autobiography/interview you pick of bowlers who played during 1975-90 (lillee, imran, etc) name Viv as the best they have bowled to. Same is the case to a lesser extent for Lara (who had to share his spot with Tendulkar) when it comes to bowlers during 1990-2005. Headley was the only batsman of his era who some bowlers ranked above Bradman (who payed at the same time), which is quite incredible. None of the other batsmen in this list, although great, were even close to being ranked the best of their era. Hence my picks: Viv, Lara, Headley.

  • POSTED BY ZA77 on | June 23, 2010, 6:29 GMT

    I am unable to undertand why people are saying Lara is inconsistent. Lara scored 19 times 150 or plus in which 15 scores 175 or plus. No one else him has scored such 19 consistent scores in his career and he is still inconsistent. Sober never scored any double hundred in overseas and Richard at home ground. Lara four doubles at home and five in overseas. Richard only seven times in test career 150 or plus so who is more consistent, Lara or Richard. Nine times doube by Lara, no one else did the same. 150 times Lara unable to score 50 or plus it means 65% in his case (150 / 232), Richard 113 times it means 62% (113 / 182). Please see the results from both batsmen, almost same consistency in this manner. Lara 97 times scored 0 - 19, it means 42% inconsistency, Richard 66 times means inconsistency is 37%, From above three valid reasons, I think Lara is more consistent due to 19 times 150 or plus as compare to him only 7 times. Lara is the best batsman in test that cricket ever produced.

  • POSTED BY waspsting on | June 23, 2010, 5:37 GMT

    what I find distinctly amusing is I'm pretty sure we'll be offered 3 fast bowlers and 1 spinner (ramadin, valentine or gibbs) - much to the chagrin of people giving their 11s with four fast bowlers.

  • POSTED BY on | June 23, 2010, 4:07 GMT

    @kemmisito - Very interesting comments. I never realize that about Sir Richards! I anyway wouldn't have found a place in an all time world XI (where Greame Pollock, Wally Hammonds or Sachin Tendulkar may have edged him out). But now you make me feel that even in all time WI XI one has to give it second thoughts!

  • POSTED BY bishwa305 on | June 23, 2010, 2:25 GMT

    My West Indies xi would read: Greenidge, Hunte, Richards, Kanhai, Lara,Sobers,Walcott (WKeeper), Marshall,Holding, Ambrose and Gibbs.

  • POSTED BY mgzak on | June 23, 2010, 1:44 GMT

    What I do not understand is..... how do you people call Lara inconsistent? Almost 12,000 test runs, an average of almost 53, 82 scores over 50 including 34 hundreds, 19 scores over 150, 9 scores over 200 and 2 scores over 300. And if my memory serves me right, overall, he scored over 20% of WI runs when he played in his 17 year career. And to think he did this on a team that was failing!! If Lara was inconsistent, please tell me who was?

  • POSTED BY asraruwant on | June 22, 2010, 23:05 GMT

    I have already gone with Sir Vivian Richards, Sir Frank Worrell and Brian Lara. Few simple reasons behind there selections are they were given Knighthood for a reason. lara's decision was tough because he was competing with clive loyd and george headley. For me george headley played very few test matches compared to others to really judge him. clive loyd and brian lara are very similar who played lots of test matches and were attacking cricketers against spin but i went with lara because he was lots of the time the only hope of west indies batting and he is from this era and very very stylish and exciting to watch plus great in onedayers as well. And i wanted to have a left handed batsman in the top five to have a variety. And definetly my no:6 is definetly another left hander Sir Garry Sobers

  • POSTED BY couvaexpress on | June 22, 2010, 22:18 GMT

    So far my team would be Fredericks and Greenidge as openers. Headley will be followed by Lara and then Sir Viv. The remaining spots will be as follows: Sir Gary Sobers (allrounder), Walcott (w/keeper), Marshall, Gibbs, Ambrose, and Roberts. Roberts' place could easily go to other great bowlers like Walsh, Holding, and Wes Hall. I think though that he adds more of a different dimension than the others.

  • POSTED BY eddy501 on | June 22, 2010, 21:31 GMT

    @Metman.........i am completely right in saying Headley, Weekes and Walcott were NOT the finest batsman of their time. Bradman was the finest during Headley's era and Sobers was better than Weekes and Walcott. You obviously dont rate Lara and you call him selfish!!! Was Lara selfish when he scored 153* or 277? Or hitting 28 off the last over before the end of the days play?Or for that matter only having 6 not outs in 232innings!!!!!EVERYBODY who knows anything about cricket knows Lara played without the thought of not outs or his average. Chanderpaul's career overlapped Lara's for 12 years, thats means they both played in the same weak team, so how do you explain chanderpauls 32 notouts and Lara's 6?????????????????? If 400* or 375 was just a matter of being selfish Boycott would have made 500*.

  • POSTED BY on | June 22, 2010, 21:14 GMT

    I am listing, not one, but two all-time WI teams with all different players. Both these teams can give any other team a thrashing. The only teams that could be a match for them would be Australia of 1948 under Bradman and, to some extent, under Steve Waugh from 1999-2003. Team 1- Haynes, Greenidge, Richards (c), Headley, Lara, Sobers (vc), Walcott(wk), Marshall, Holding, Garner, Ambrose. Team 2- Hunte, Fredericks, Weekes, Worrell (vc), Kanhai, Lloyd (c), Dujon (wk), Roberts, Gibbs, Croft, Walsh.

  • POSTED BY shiva89 on | June 22, 2010, 20:30 GMT

    i think there should be 14 problems. where is Carl Hooper? Anyways, since choosing just three out of 13 greats is difficult. I'll go with 3 superstars of 3 different generations - george hadley, rohan kanhai and brian lara. The playing style, experience, methodology etc should all be counted when designing an all time XI team. The mastery of headley, elegance of kanhai and mature aggresion from lara should all be considered. further my XI is :- gayle, greenidge, richards, headley, lara, kanhai,sobers, walcott(wk), M marshall, holding, ambrose.

  • POSTED BY manasvi_lingam on | June 22, 2010, 18:43 GMT

    Richardson was a good batsman no doubt but is he really deserving of a place in this hallowed list? The same goes for Rower, who was a colossus at Jamaica and ordinary everywhere else. Other players such as Basil Butcher, etc deserved a mention at the very least.

  • POSTED BY manasvi_lingam on | June 22, 2010, 18:40 GMT

    Groan! I knew this was coming. A few points:

    1) I hope Walcott makes it to the short list as a keeper as well. I'll be selecting him because he's the best batsman by far. 2) Headley picks himself. In those times, the Windies batting was at its worst (yes, even worse than the 90s and 2000s) and he stood like an Atlas. 3) Sir Viv also picks himself for being one of the most consistently destructive batsman of all time. His useful bowling is a very big bonus too. 4) The last spot in my opinion boils down to Lara and Weekes. Weekes enjoyed the better average and he also played at a time when great bowlers were around and pitches were more batting friendly. Lara scored heavily after 2000, when both pitches and bowlers became batsman friendly. So, I go with Weekes. An honourable mention for Worrell who averaged 50, was a fine bowler and an extraordinary captain.

  • POSTED BY on | June 22, 2010, 18:26 GMT

    Commenting again because I read the article again and still amazed at the quality of the players suggested. Even Chanderpaul - not the prettiest player around but he sure as heck would be a choice for a batsman I'd choose to bat for my life. And after this, we go into the relatively easy selections for all rounder before the real toughie in my view: choosing fast bowlers for the all time Windies XI. That'll make my head spin.

  • POSTED BY unchained on | June 22, 2010, 18:22 GMT

    people are correct statistics are not all so i pick headly, richards and worrell all men have 50 averages or close to it.

    these guys played without helmets and the game was harder then. worrel is maybe the best captain the game ever had aslo one of the most intelligent batsmen. he stroked the ball enough to tire fielders out. headley gave you a century almost everytime he batted so he bats at number three. i mean viv was the greatest player of his generation and he also changed the game.

    lara batted in a time when bowling had softened. one bouncer per over and all that and who did he really face... warne and mcgrath. everybody else faced a more formiddable battery. he teams also never won much. tough call but he does not make it. as a matter of fact weeks does better bearing in mind he has a greater average against the aussies

  • POSTED BY Metman on | June 22, 2010, 17:23 GMT

    UTTER RUBBISH!Eddy 501! postsituatiionist is absolutely correct!In a situation like this you have to look at averages big man.Hey,you are correct in saying that Lara and Richards were the finest players in their generation.Are you now telling me that Headley,Weekes and Walcott dont come from a generation too?They were the finest batsmen in their generation too.So what do you do?look at the averages and settle the issue,By the way,Weekes had 5 not outs in 81 innings,yet averaged 58.61,Headley 4 in 40 innings,yet averaged 60.83 ,and Walcott 7 in 74 innings,yet averaged 56.68 --yet,Lara had 6 not outs in 232 innings ,and that is an important issue for you.Look I would watch Richards bat any time before I ever watch Lara,why?Richards was brute force,he used to intimidate bowlers and fielders and was a team man who was not interested in breaking records.Lara was a selfish player,interested only in himself,and in breaking records.

  • POSTED BY on | June 22, 2010, 16:25 GMT

    George Headly, Sir Vivian Richards and no doubt Brian Lara. If I start to give reasons for the selection of these three players I think only 50% peoples are agree with me and the same are disagree, coz its very difficult to choose only 3 from these 13. But in brief, I dont think that any one is compared with George Headly, Sir Vivian Richards is always a great player in any form of the cricket, a players who made good partnership with lower order batsmans throughout his career (long tail surely for all time WI) and always been a terror for any bowler, so he surely have a place in any WI team, and Brian Lara is one of the greats ever in Cricket, he is among the bests ever Played in Tests. dont forget that he doesn't have the support of any greats in his most of the career like the most other(in list) have in their career and during this era he is the one man army for WI, and look at his stats during this great pressure career, with some of the great bowlers in all team. He is the best.

  • POSTED BY R.W.R.V.Mettananda on | June 22, 2010, 15:22 GMT

    My XI for west indies all time 1.Lloyed(c) 2.D.Haynes 3.G.Griniddge 4.Viv Richards 5.B.C.Lara 6.G.A.Headly 7.Jeffry Dujon 8.M.D.Marshell 9.L.Gibbs 10.Joel Garner 11.C.Ambrose

  • POSTED BY on | June 22, 2010, 15:03 GMT

    lol why so cruel cant we pick a xxii? lol

  • POSTED BY eddy501 on | June 22, 2010, 14:06 GMT

    @postsituationist ....what a weak and kop-out way of selecting the middle order. If it was just about averages there would be no debate! Lara was the finest player of his generation as was Richards. Headley, Weekes and Walcott could not boast the same. Averages do not tell the whole story, Lara had six not outs his whole career yet still managed an average of nearing 53!

  • POSTED BY abhinavgorawara on | June 22, 2010, 13:53 GMT

    Richards and Lara qualify without a doubt. The third spot has to be contested by 4 greats - Weekes, Headley, Rowe and Llyod. I would just pick Llyod on back of his captaincy and fielding in his heydays......Also with the bowlers most likely to be of his era, he would be the ideal captain. My five till now are Greenidge, Hunte, Richards, Lara, Llyod.....followed by Sobers, Dujon, Marshall, Holding, Garner and Ambrose. Got to say that the players not making it to the XI would qualify to most of the other country World XI's. Maybe for West Indies they should have 2 teams. Also a few of them would make it to all time World XI....likes of Sobers, Richards, Marshall and maybe Lara, Greenidge and Holding

  • POSTED BY on | June 22, 2010, 13:37 GMT

    This is an embarrassment of riches! i have enjoyed having a pick at all the teams so far...but i haven't a clue where to start with the windies middle order. the openers and all-rounder are a lock in my eyes...greenidge, haynes and someone called garry!

    but i am seriously at a loss at choosing the middle order and i dread to think how i'm going to cope with the bowling picks!

    you could easily pick two world class world XIs for the windies capable of beating any other sides. its a shame that most of these players are not from the modern era.

    i realise i have not added anything substantive to this forum...but its just because i am at a loss.

    happy selecting!!!

  • POSTED BY farazzubair on | June 22, 2010, 12:54 GMT

    This is the toughest outfit probably to chose from. Somebody remarked that Richards was a great one day player but not as good in tests and has only one really successful year to boast about. Richards lost most of his average in some of his last years of play, that dropped down his average, dont forget he was the most powerful player during the WSC super tests as well. He proved his mantle and thus was chosen as one of the five players of the century. In my previous post for openers I had suggested and will stick to the same. You have to drop one of the openers to make room for some of these people. I would move Lara up as an opener giving space to Headley, Richards and Weekes. Walcott will have to take up the gloves otherwise we will lose some of the best players in the world. obers makes it number 6 and with that wonderful quartet of Holding, Garner, Marshal and Roberts I honestly think you dont need anyone more. That pace attack could destroy the most formidable of batting line-ups.

  • POSTED BY postsituationist on | June 22, 2010, 11:51 GMT

    Unable to make up my mind after one hour of head-scratching, I'll resort to the time-tested formula: look at the averages. So, Headley, Weekes and Walcott will bat in the middle order. Sad to leave the rest of them out (especially Richards and Lara) but no room for sentimentality here.

  • POSTED BY on | June 22, 2010, 10:27 GMT

    I'm picking Weekes, Lara, and Richards. So far: 1 Greenidge 2 Haynes 3 Richards 4 Lara 5 Weekes.

  • POSTED BY trepuR on | June 22, 2010, 10:19 GMT

    This is probably the most dificult team to pick, along with Oz. The 2 obvious middle order batsmen for me would be Richards and Lara, but the 3rd pick is really hard, probably would go with Weekes ahead of Headly, Lloyd and the other two Ws

  • POSTED BY Yagga175 on | June 22, 2010, 10:11 GMT

    I would be happy with this (1) Hunte (2) Rowe (3) Richards (4) Headley (5) Lara (6) Sobers (7) Walcott (8) Marshall (9) Roberts (10) Hall (11) Gibbs.

    Rowe (As Holding said "the best West Indian batsman I have seen") picked as an opener (underacihieved but still averages close to GG and Dessie!!) and did better in WSC than the rest. No room for Freddo (worth it for Perth 75 alone!) or for the great George Challenor too old by 1928. Vivi just pips Weekes for the No3 spot primarily on his fielding! No arguments for Headley and Lara.

    Sobers obviously pips Learie for the all-rounder spot but probably bats too low at 6. Walcott has to be the keeper. Maco, Fruity and Wes is a pretty good attack and no argument for Lance I would have thought?? A thinking attack that would take wickets on any surface - hard to leave out Mikey just for aesthetics.

    To tinker one could play Viv as an opener - 30.101,50 and 98 in 75/76 drop Rowe and bring in Sir Frank or Rohan. Oh to be the coach!!

  • POSTED BY on | June 22, 2010, 6:19 GMT

    Picking the middle order or for that matter the best West Indies XI is not going to be fair to the talent available to pick. Now from this list picking by lots will be the only way you can justify to the players who didn't get picked. Choosing the fast bowlers is going to be even more crazy. Is there a place in the team for a specialist spinner? How do we pick Lance Gibbs who shone alone when fast bowlers were ruling the team.

  • POSTED BY kemmisito on | June 22, 2010, 5:45 GMT

    I think many of us are forgetting that this is the West Indies All Time Test team and not the ODI team. I don't think that Viv should make this middle order even though he had this overpowering presence and caused bowlers to tremble. He was the most devastating and complete ODI batsman but as a test batsman he really wasn't all that impressive except in 1976 when he had a freakishly rich vein of form. He never once went past 1000 runs for the calendar year in any of his other 17 years. In these years he played 110 Tests and scored 6830 runs @ an average of 45.23 with only 17 hundreds. That's 1 century every 6.4 matches. By comparison Vaughn, Kirsten & Langer who were all good batsmen had less than 5 matches between centries while greats like Lara, Sobers and Sachin had less than 4 matches between centries. Even if you include Viv's great year of 1976 he still has more than 5 matches between centries throughout his career. If you don't believe me you can do the calculations to prove it.

  • POSTED BY on | June 22, 2010, 3:53 GMT

    Had to leave out Lara. Ended up picking up Headley, Richards and Weekes. Picked Weekes ahead of Lara because of the Bradmanesque start to his career. He reached 1000 runs in fewer innings than even Bradman!

  • POSTED BY asraruwant on | June 22, 2010, 3:37 GMT

    Its a pity that we have to choose only 3 from all these great players, but then rules are rules so with lot of difficulty i have come up with the 3 and they are 1)Brian Lara 2)Sir Vivian Richards 3) Frank Worrell. And so far my picks are 1) Gordon Greenidge 2) Desmond Haynes 3)Frank Worrell(Captain) 4) Brian Lara 5) Sir Vivian Richards 6) Sir Garfield Sobers 7)Jeffrey Dujon (Wicket keeepr) 8) Malcolm Marshall 9)Michael Holding 10) Joel Garner 11) Andy Roberts. Its also really tough to leave out Ambrose& Walsh from this side. But i'am sure they wouldn't mind Joel Garner and Andy Roberts playing instead of them.My12th Man is the best spinner west indies ever produced i.e Lance Gibbs who is the first spinner to reach 300 test wickets and that too in an era where fast bowlers where leading everywhere. And Lance Gibbs is the second among all kind of bowlers to reach 300 test wickets. I know they are still so many great batsman and bowlers that are left out, but sadly thats d way it is.

  • POSTED BY ksmani on | June 22, 2010, 2:51 GMT

    1. I WILL DROP RICHIE RICHARDSON AND NURSE. 2. ANY OTHER ANSWER IS A RIGHT ANSWER 3. PUT ANY DONKEY (AS THEY NORMALLY ARE) AS SELECTOR. WE STILL WILL HAVE THE RIGHT PICKS. 4. START USING U.S. NBA SUBSTIUTION RULES. WE CAN HAVE ALL OF THEM !!

    I AM FIRED UP !!

    5. PLEASE WAIT FOR THE BOWLERS CHOICE TO COME, IN 2 WEEK'S TIME.

    I AM MORE FIRED UP !!

  • POSTED BY on | June 22, 2010, 2:28 GMT

    No choice really, Richards, Headley and Lara, as they are another class above the others, and that fact is scary when the others include players of the quality of the three W's and Llyod. Richards and Lara would push for World All Time XI spots (and probably make it), and Headley averaged over 60. Say no more.

  • POSTED BY Proteas_Supporter on | June 22, 2010, 2:28 GMT

    its absolutely difficult to pick three from thirteen. my 3 would be richards, lara, headley. sorry for the other 10 but they have the potential to be in any all time eleven. this is injustice to other 10 players.

  • POSTED BY on | June 22, 2010, 2:15 GMT

    Ok judging by what i have seen in the other all-time elevens, there has to be a modern day great in there (how did pietersen make the england all time?) so Lara is in for sure. George headley is in the ESPN 25 legends of cricket so he is in. And finally you cant let out Viv richards, so that is the 3. I personally would have gone for weekes over headley because he played so many more matches and averages pretty high and they almost played in the same era. What disapoints me is that Walcott wont be selected for the wicketkeeping position, imagine a guy with an average of 56 wicketkeeping and coming in at 5, that really would have crushed all the other teams. The wicketkeeper, will be dujon, and he only averages 30 (still decent) which is a big step down from sobers lol

  • POSTED BY smudgeon on | June 22, 2010, 2:03 GMT

    What an embarrassment of riches - it's not until it's out there like this that the talent they have produced becomes evident! Please, Cricinfo: give us a Second XI option, even if it's only for the Windies. Picking three from this lot is just as hard as it will be to pick three or four bowlers. For my part, I picked Headley, Sir Viv and Clive Lloyd, but it was a wrench to leave out Worrell, Weekes, Rowe, and Walcott (can we have the latter on the keepers list, please?).

  • POSTED BY teef23 on | June 22, 2010, 1:52 GMT

    btw why isnt Tony Cozier on the selection panel??

  • POSTED BY teef23 on | June 22, 2010, 1:49 GMT

    its extremely difficult to pick 3 of these 13...but then again its not...richards lara and headley..how can we leave out any of these three?? Final 11 in batting order: 1.Greenidge2.Haynes3.Richards4.Headley5.Lara6.Sobers7.Dujon8.Marshall9.Ambrose10.Holding11.Gibbs

  • POSTED BY on | June 22, 2010, 1:40 GMT

    i go with viv lara and headley even though they were all great these three were pure geneous and that outweighs great batsmen who change the game roy fredericks might open for me.

  • POSTED BY on | June 22, 2010, 1:34 GMT

    vivian richards 3 rohan kanai number 4 and clive lloyd as captain and number 5 and it's a pity to chose 3 from such great players the 3 w's kallicharand lara george headly...........it's so hard to pick 3 but those are my 3....

  • POSTED BY santhoshkudva on | June 22, 2010, 1:33 GMT

    my top six in (in batting order) are 1-lara, 2-walcott 3-headley 4-weekes 5-richards 6-sobers

  • POSTED BY New_Wind on | June 22, 2010, 1:17 GMT

    Any 3 from Headley, Viv Richards, Lara and Weeks. Very difficult to drop any one of them. Sobers and wicketkeeper (hopefully Walcott) being mandatory, if we accomodate all four batsmen then it will be left with only 3 bowlers - which is not possible. I stated first also it is mistake not to consider Walcott for openers slot along with Greenidge. This would have emptied one slot.

  • POSTED BY elsmallo on | June 22, 2010, 0:31 GMT

    @#=/?:!>!!?!?! I'd pick them all and watch five days of batting! I saw Lara's 153 against Australia at Barbados at the tender age of 14 and doubt I'll see the like again. It was like watching Federer against five Nadals. Every ball was an event and the man, the nation, the region and the game itself seemed to be hanging on every stroke. None better than him for me. I don't really have the heart to drop Chanderpaul, but I don't think his talents for resistance would really be required in this line-up - my other two are Richards and Kanhai.

  • POSTED BY sajjodaalman on | June 21, 2010, 23:16 GMT

    im afraid this is virtually impossible to pick 3 from this great list! as im only 19 i have never seen the legends of the 60s and 70s play, i have only heard of their greatness. but i would have to pick lara and chanderpaul in this list.. i mean lara is one of the greatest batsmen of all time, breaking the test record twice and also a 500 in first class.. and recently west indies have been pathetic and yet chanderpaul has managed to still perform so consistently and produce a record which he has. that is why i would select lara and chanderpaul as 2 of them

  • POSTED BY deepaksam on | June 21, 2010, 23:10 GMT

    man...this surely is the toughest thus far....hmmm Weekes, Walcott and Richards - but I need 'Big Bertha' for his captaincy! Imagine leaving out Kanhai, Worrel and Lara - phew!!!!!

  • POSTED BY on | June 21, 2010, 22:56 GMT

    Two of the best (greatest) batsmen I've ever seen/watched are undoubtedly Richards and Lara and it would impossible not to pick them for an All Time World let alone a West Indies XI. I've always maintained that on all tracks, all over the world, against all attacks, and in all conditions Richards is/was the finest of his or any era. Equally tho' and as the highest individual record holder of scores in the two traditional formats of the game (Tests and First Class) one quadruple, one other triple and nine other scores of over 200 in tests, fastest to 9,000, 10,000 & 11,000 test runs and with an average that rarely fell below 50 Lara simply has to be one of the five greatest batsmen of all time. Its not so much which THREE you would choose its more a case of which other ONE you would select? The jury is still and will remain out on that as I just can't decide but any one of the remaining candidates would deserve it.

  • POSTED BY jamrith on | June 21, 2010, 22:54 GMT

    Yes, this is a bitter-sweet decision. To be reminded of the panoply of batting wonders that the West Indies had to go with their awesome bowling resources. I would go for Richards, Lara and Weekes.

  • POSTED BY vish1036 on | June 21, 2010, 22:41 GMT

    not easy..but i'll go for weekes headly and richards...this was tough but there were more great bowlers than can be counted thats the real task

  • POSTED BY chitraj on | June 21, 2010, 22:14 GMT

    Oh boy! People who are thinking that picking an australian 11 or Indian 11 is going to be a hard task. Take a look at this!! I think the fair thing to do would be to pick a 15 man squad. But, Im going to do the absolute insane thing to do and hazard a guess. Lara, Headley, Viv Richards.

    Probably the only automatic choice in the 11 will be Garry Sobers as allrounder.

    Good Luck to the selection panel!!

  • POSTED BY Murtaza. on | June 21, 2010, 21:35 GMT

    Sorry for all other Greats Chander paul has always been underestimated, stil he is not making place in all time XI. My all time WI XI would play Sobers at No. 6 and Dujon at 7. They would need three quicks along Gibs and Sobers bowling whatever else was needed. Greenidge, Haynes, Headley, Richards, Lara, Sobers, Dujon, Marshall, Holding, Ambrose. Depends on where are you playing in India or Pak. you need more spiners, so we have Richards also. On fast and bounsy wickets we need four fast men in stead of Gibs then we have Croft or Roberts. but I think Gibbs would certainly be elleventh man picked. (depending on the wicket). THE MOST DIFFICULT ALL TIME XI I AM GOING TO CHOOSE.

  • POSTED BY realredbaron on | June 21, 2010, 21:15 GMT

    cantexplain, if you are talking about stats, few can match Kanhai. And along with the amazing stats he possessed, he was the most stylish West Indian batsman beside Brian Lara. The top two gifted batsman West Indies ever had are lara and Kanhai.

  • POSTED BY realredbaron on | June 21, 2010, 21:13 GMT

    This middle order has to be made without Lloyd. One can not pick Lloyd over Kanhai or Worrell or Headley. I have just changed my mind and my final 3 middle order is Headley, Lara and Kanhai. These three were the top three geniuses in West Indies batting and one must pick them to make West Indies All Time Test XI.

  • POSTED BY realredbaron on | June 21, 2010, 21:06 GMT

    I voted Headley, Lara, Richards but then I was dumbfounded! How could I not include Rohan Kanhai in an all time great squad?! Where is Clive Lloyd in this?! OMG. Kalicharan, Weekes, Worrel can't find a place?! Finally I have just come to conclusion. This task is impossible. You can't pick 3. Pick all of them in a tour and just do a lottery before a match to select your 3 middle orders for that match. But then could they all be included in a tour?! There's still the legendary pace battery coming up...

  • POSTED BY rson on | June 21, 2010, 20:50 GMT

    Strange that Andrew Carr was the only poster thus far who considered Constantine in his All-Time XI.I think that those of us who have grown up in the computer age tend to forget that there were always excellent players in all the countries that have had teams selected so far.While it is true that the strength in depth of the generation of Ambrose,Walsh,Holding,Roberts,Croft and Garner has never been equalled anywhere,it is surprising that others like Hall,Martindale and Constantine have not merited any mention.

  • POSTED BY pinhead9810 on | June 21, 2010, 20:25 GMT

    Well, this was very difficult and apologies to the others that I did not choose. Headley has to be in the squad, he was a complete genius and led the West Indies squad alone in the times of struggle. My next two picks were Viv Richards and Brian Lara, again both players are great and can be very destructive to the opposition when in great form. It was hard and I believe these three alone could destroy any team.

  • POSTED BY realredbaron on | June 21, 2010, 20:25 GMT

    okay, the astounding absurdity is you can produce at least 4 different all time great middle orders from this options(even if you give the condition: no common choice in all those 4 lineups). This is fantastic stuff. Just reading this article is once in a life time opportunity. This is marvelous. This is cricket at its best. This is why "cricket is better than sex".

  • POSTED BY realredbaron on | June 21, 2010, 20:15 GMT

    I used to believe the Australia team in the 2000s were the best squad ever in test cricket. I always wondered the West Indies in their golden era could have been really good but were they really good to better this Australian side that won record consecutive test matches? Alas! Little did my little brain knew! Just going through the names in this amazing all time West Indies XI pick, I must offer my sincerest apology to everyone who have been hurt from my first few lines in this comment. I just do not know how to pick 3 from these all time cricket greats! I doubt if any other squad in any game on this planet Earth was blessed with so many sporting greats! You can be an Aussie or a Kiwi or a Pommie or a Paki or an Indian or a Bangladeshi, but you have to love this great bunch of West Indies entertainers! Thank you for the cricket you guys played.

  • POSTED BY PrinceofPortofSpain on | June 21, 2010, 20:01 GMT

    I agree with cantexplain but the order should be Lara ( two highest scores by a number 3 batsman in Test history ), then Headley and then Viv for my best West Indies middle order.

  • POSTED BY Ozyet on | June 21, 2010, 19:35 GMT

    I am not sure why persons keep on saying that Lara is inconsistent in comparison to richards. When Lara played the same amount of test as richards he score more runs, more centuries and his centuries are by far alot bigger than richards. How many double century does Richards have, in comparison to lara? Lara made alot his runs against Autralia and England. Richards has a team around him and Lara didn't. Richards has bowlers to intimate the opponents while Lara didn't. For Lara to perform so well under pressure, credit must be given to him. I am a fan of richards too but in no way can someone possible say Richards is a better batsman than Lara. Whichever, way you want to analyze it, the stats and records all point to Lara. I am sure alot of other batsmen would love to have Lara's inconsistent career to look at. I think persons should just appreciate what both players brought to cricket in their era and let the debate rest. Whatever it is, they were both a shining light in their era.

  • POSTED BY vaks on | June 21, 2010, 19:01 GMT

    ha!wat a great great players!it's really hard pick three players out of this......my choice would b lara,richards, and headly/llyod.....but i prefer llyod than headly bcoz i had seen some video clips of llyod while batting....his hook,pull everything is superb..n he's a great captain too...his bat swing is amazing.....you can make 3 or 4 teams out of this..

  • POSTED BY Venkatb on | June 21, 2010, 18:56 GMT

    I would drop both Greenidge and Haynes and open with Worrell (all-rounder and captain) and Walcott (batsman and wktkpr) - both have opened in Tests - then Richards, Headley, Lara, Weekes, Sobers (allrounder), Constantine (allrounder), Marshall, Hall, Holding - this way we have the top 7 with an unweighted average of c. 55, 5 fast bowlers and 1 fast-medium (Worrell), 2 spinners (Sobers again and Richards) if an opposing team can last beyond the pace bowlers. Of course, if this team basts first, the opposition would be too tired to bat! I would go with Island XIs and then a "Brute XI" with Collis King, Gilchrist, Griffith, Ambrose, Gayle, Patterson, etc. and a few others.

  • POSTED BY on | June 21, 2010, 18:53 GMT

    To select the best WI team, you need to break the silos such as opening pair, middle order, spin bowlers etc. and move players around to get the best XI. Worrell must be in the XI as the best captain WI ever had and a very good allrounder. The only way to find a place for him is as an opener. After all, he opened more than once and carried his bat through for 191 against England in 1957. Similarly, Walcott can be in as wk/batsman. For emotional reason the third W, Weekes should be in, but it is either him or Headley or Richards. My team would be Greenidge, Worrell (capt.), Lara, Weekes/Headley, Richards, Walcott, Sobers, Marshall, Holding, Ambrose, Roberts/Hall. Note 4 pacemen but no specialized spinner. Someone suggested Sobers as captain. Although he was the greatest allrounder, he was not a good captain.

  • POSTED BY on | June 21, 2010, 18:44 GMT

    King Viv...Prince brian...and emperor Clive...apologies to rest of them...and seriously i feel putting richie richardson in this list is a joke...even shivnarine is fine...but richie...????

  • POSTED BY pamsss on | June 21, 2010, 18:43 GMT

    Why havent you guys included Sir garry Sobers???

  • POSTED BY PeterCook on | June 21, 2010, 18:34 GMT

    Another comment - surely the best West Indies XI would be the greatest XI of them all? Australia and England's would both be packed with amazing players (admittedly most of England's would be from many years ago), but this lot would take some beating, ridiculously good fast bowlers and wonderful batsmen. What a shame it is for cricket that WI are so appalling these days.

  • POSTED BY fadooo on | June 21, 2010, 18:02 GMT

    wowwww ! Even the 3rd best middle order would be better than most other 1st bests. I guess the only certainty is headley, the black bradman.

  • POSTED BY gujratwalla on | June 21, 2010, 17:47 GMT

    Just haven't the heart to pick three from this lot! how can one leave out the famous 3 Ws or Rohan Kanhai,Clive Lloyd,Seymour Nurse.....i think it is not fair!I wouldn't pick an all time XI because all players are realy all time greats!

  • POSTED BY SatishHaldan on | June 21, 2010, 17:40 GMT

    Not that difficult. George Headley (what a great record in Tests - 10 centuries in 22 tests averaging above 60 and in First Class Matches too) is an automatic choice. Followed by Clyde Walcott. The difficulty arises for the third spot - for me - it was either Everton Weekes or Vivian Richards. I opted for Richards.

  • POSTED BY PeterCook on | June 21, 2010, 17:28 GMT

    Chanderpaul is one of the greatest batsmen I've ever seen - not for style, but for substance. Lara is the second best I've ever seen (after Sachin), and although I only saw the end of his career, I'm aware of the brilliance of Richards. I'd pick those, but I'm only 29 and haven't seen many of the contenders.

  • POSTED BY crazyhead on | June 21, 2010, 17:15 GMT

    Man! This is the best I have ever seen from Cricinfo. To recap all the best batsmen ever prodcuded by Windies, that thought itself gives tears. Rest of the countries will obviously be jealous of this list. Getting down to business, as several have already mentioned, this is the most difficult task for any ALL TIME XI. Based on 4-5 hrs of deep thinking, stats etc..... It has to be Richards, Frank Worrell and Headly ..

    First apology to Lara, 2nd apology to Clive Lyod, 3rd to Weekes, 4th to Kanhai, 5th to Shiv and others follow. This made my day -:)

  • POSTED BY zzboyz on | June 21, 2010, 17:15 GMT

    This is so hard. Richards and i guess Lara make the cut. But it's hard to pick between lloyd, Kallichuran and headly. headly is out. Now is it Loyd or Kallichuran. Unfortunatley I have to take out kallucharan. So for me its Richards, lara, Lloyd.

  • POSTED BY pamsss on | June 21, 2010, 17:09 GMT

    Definitely choice is not simple but i will choose Lara, viv Richards and C Lloyd. C Lloyd is 1 of the greatest captains ever so he will lead the all time great XI of WI and do i need to give explanation for Lara and viv Richards???

  • POSTED BY on | June 21, 2010, 17:07 GMT

    No way - we can choose only 3 .. so I quit ....

  • POSTED BY nafzak on | June 21, 2010, 16:55 GMT

    1st team: Richards, Kanhai and Headley (Sobers cap't) 2nd Team: Weeks, Lara and Worrell (Worrell cap't). 3rd Team: Walcottl, Chanderpaul and Lloyd (Lloyd cap't). 4th Team: Richardson, Kallicharran and Rowe (Richardson or Kalli to cap't). Switch around any of the above and you still have a formidable team. It's just too hard to compare players from different eras. Rowe is still in my opinion very under-appreciated and our 4th team would beat most 1st teams. Like the article said, Kanhai was as close to genius on the cricket field as you could get. Richards in my humble opinion and the opinion of all those who saw him play, was the most feared batsman ever. Sachin, Shewag, Lara, Pointing, Waugh... none drove fear into the hearts of their opponents and fans alike as Richards did.

  • POSTED BY on | June 21, 2010, 16:27 GMT

    hmm.. really hard.. i dont wanna separate the 3Ws and would go with headley richards and lara.

  • POSTED BY cantexplain on | June 21, 2010, 15:50 GMT

    Headley, IVAR, and Lara are my picks here. The 3 Ws had very imposing stats, but their records in England and Australia were unimprssive to say the least. Worrel actually performed well in englad, but the other two were mediocre (considering their reputation).

    Contrast this with Sobers' record in Aus and England, and it's quite clear what a truly great batsman he was.

  • POSTED BY Dannov on | June 21, 2010, 15:28 GMT

    Well Headley has to be in any WI all time 11. But the other two are a harder pick. For me, its a pick between Weekes, Walcott, Worrel, Lara, Richards, Kanhai, Lloyd and Chanderpaul. I hate to leave Kanhai and lara out, but Richards, Weekes and Worell are better than them in my opinion. Since Worell bats at 3 and bowls as well, he's my choice there. So Worell, Richards and Headley is my choice. My choices are mainly based on what i've seen and heard about the batsmen, and not of their stats. Statistically Headley, Lara and Weekes are better than the others.

  • POSTED BY mikeindex on | June 21, 2010, 15:25 GMT

    Headley. (Averaged 4 more than any of the others in the days of sticky wickets, light bats, long boundaries and the certain knowledge that as soon as he was out his side's innings was over). Then perm 2 from Richards, Lara, WWW and Lloyd. How can you leave out Richards? Or Lara? Or pick one of WWW ahead of the other two? I would like to pick Worrell for his captaincy but the format is apparently unaware of the fact that cricket sides need a captain. Any which way you get probably the strongest, and certainly by far the most charismatic, of the various national XI middle-orders.

  • POSTED BY mgzak on | June 21, 2010, 15:08 GMT

    Tough ask but how do you pick an all-time WI team and exclude Headley, Richards and Lara. Those 3 have to be in...come hell or high water. Sobers coming at # 6 as allrounder and Walcott # 7 as keeper. With Holding, Roberts, Marshall and Gibbs making the rest of the order, no all-time side in the history of cricket would beat this side.

  • POSTED BY wibbly on | June 21, 2010, 14:48 GMT

    The quality of the windies' batting surpasses all other countries and it is the strength of the top five, followed by sobers who is one of the greatest batsmen ever that makes me wonder about the choice of keeper. Contrary to most I would not select Dujon but would opt for Deryck Murray or Walcott. Murray and Hendricks were the two best keepers ever produced by the windies and Murray was a genuinely useful bat. While neither was in Dujon's class as a batsman with the quality of the windies batting you could afford to opt for the better keeper. Walcott is an interesting option as well because he was a better keeper than Dujon and a better bat as well, can you imagine a line up like this? Greenidge, Fredericks, Richards, Lara,Weekes,Sobers, Walcott,Marshall,Ambrose,Holding, Gibbs?...only thing is with Sobers and Gibbs in the side you would need a Murray or Hendricks behind the stumps. And to the person who said that Lara was a class above Richards, what sport have you been watching?

  • POSTED BY on | June 21, 2010, 14:45 GMT

    Ideally you have to pick players when wes Indies are not the THE BEST SIDE OUT THERE. Reason :- They will be facing soem really good bowling line up as battsman rather than having the best in their side.

  • POSTED BY on | June 21, 2010, 14:43 GMT

    I dont think it is possible to choose 3 from this list. That would just be an injustice

  • POSTED BY on | June 21, 2010, 14:41 GMT

    Well well well..... I am really going mad this time... This is the toughest one in all of the All time XI series. But Still i would go with George Headly, Sir Vivian Richards, Sir Sir Everton Weekes... Its very tough that I cant have place for Prince of Trinidad.... Brian Charles Lara.

  • POSTED BY moaz1984 on | June 21, 2010, 14:37 GMT

    For me Lara and Richards were a no-brainer, those two must be an automatic selection in any all-time WI team. The third pick was very tough, I opted for Rohan Kanhai though Lloyd was also a very tempting choice.

  • POSTED BY theswami on | June 21, 2010, 14:16 GMT

    lara, headley, richards ............ chanders, weekes & walcott narrowly miss the bus

  • POSTED BY Engle on | June 21, 2010, 13:59 GMT

    This is actually quite easy. Richards for his bombast and Lara for his genius walk into the team. Imagine that, Richards and Lara in partnership at their prime. Differing styles, yet breathtaking batsmanship. Now, if captaincy is a consideration, then either Worrell or Lloyd to take the helm. However, if we give the reins to Richards, then Headley holds his head highest from amongst the rest. King, Prince and Atlas.

  • POSTED BY Robski on | June 21, 2010, 13:59 GMT

    To back up Raghu86, I reckon the WI 3rd All-Time XI could give most other nations' first XIs a beating. Partly because of the sheer number of dominant fast bowlers, yes, but also because no other country(ies) have produced so many great players per capita.

    For what it's worth...

    WI All-Time 2nd XI

    Rowe Fredericks Walcott Weekes Worrell (capt) Lloyd Constantine Jacobs (wkt) Holding Valentine Walsh

    WI Third XI

    Gayle Hunte Butcher Kanhai (capt) Chanderpaul Nurse DL Murray (wkt) Roberts Croft Hall Ramadhin

    Which leaves my first XI pretty easy to figure out...

  • POSTED BY narenvs on | June 21, 2010, 13:59 GMT

    I think Headley and Richards are definitely in at Nos. 3 and 5. At no. 4, it's a tough choice between Weekes and Lara. I place Weekes a quarter step ahead of Lara because he scored more of his runs against slightly better bowlers (mostly English and Australian) and would no doubt have averaged more had the Second World War not eaten up the first third of his international career. Along with Sobers, this would be the world's best middle order. The second XI's middle order - Worrell, Lara, Walcott - would be just a step behind Australia and England, and better than all the other countries' all-time XI's.

  • POSTED BY chasire on | June 21, 2010, 13:53 GMT

    Why persist with such mindless exercise? The WI do not have more pressing issues to write about? This excercise is degrading to the great stars, and serves what purpose? None that I can find helpful to West Indies cricket and may just have the downside, that comparision & nostalgia drive away the current fans. Stop it!

  • POSTED BY NickHughes on | June 21, 2010, 13:47 GMT

    I'll just say, wow, what a list! To pick the "3 Ws" and be done with it or to exclude them entirely because of Headly, Lara and Richards? Tough choices...

  • POSTED BY Jabari18 on | June 21, 2010, 13:43 GMT

    I will pick Richards...because he demolishes a side just by walking out on the field, Lara.....because he was the best player of spin ever, and Headley......because I would have loved to see him play, especially when he does not have the whole side on his shoulders. I would also expect lara to perform "more consistently" without having to drag the weight of the side.

  • POSTED BY lazytrini on | June 21, 2010, 13:40 GMT

    I have no idea who is to be chosen here, but I will say this though - this list depresses me. It's hard as a WI supporter to see this list and know the travesty that is the WI now.

  • POSTED BY flashgordon214 on | June 21, 2010, 13:36 GMT

    It has to be Richards, Lara, Weekes. I would have taken Walcott but as a wicket keeper.

  • POSTED BY on | June 21, 2010, 13:26 GMT

    I wonder what happened to this current generation of West Indies team. Can you even imagine its the same Country of cricketers after looking at this great list here?

  • POSTED BY on | June 21, 2010, 13:20 GMT

    Headley, Richards, Lara. In no particular order

  • POSTED BY on | June 21, 2010, 13:14 GMT

    Lara. the run machine. A b atsman that twice captured the recoord for the highest individual score in a test match. His elegance, his square cut. That famous speedy back life. Lara a must in an all time WI X1 .

    Everton Weeks, the middle of the famous 3 W's. 5 centuries in 5 consecutive innings. Isn't that what batting is all about, scoring runs! This was Weeks' ploy, score runs. A must in thi all time great WI Team.

    Rohan Kankai, an epitomy of grace, style, excitement. A batsman who possessed a wide, or should I say, the widest repertoire of strokes. When we talk of sitting on the seat of your pants, we conjure thoughts of someone doing nothing. However, in Kanhai's case sitting on the seat of his pants signalled the crcushing of a cricket ball that raced to the square leg boundary. Why does he di it, he once said, "because I want to be different" Kanhai a must.

  • POSTED BY batusai666 on | June 21, 2010, 13:01 GMT

    By far the toughest decision in the series so far! Any of these guys could make my 1st team!

  • POSTED BY IVA_Richards on | June 21, 2010, 12:48 GMT

    My all time WI XI would play Sobers at No. 7 and Dujon at 8. They would need only three quicks with Sobers bowling whatever else was needed.

    Greenidge, Haynes, Headley, Weekes, Richards, Lara, Sobers, Dujon, Marshall, Holding, Ambrose.

    Depends a lot whether you want the best 11 players, or the best 'team' with some balance. i think the side listed is close enough to both. Walcott as a keeper/bat is tempting but Dujon must be picked and no batsman listed could miss out.

    Gibbs would certainly be next man picked. If we needed a spinner (depending on the wicket), id have to drop Haynes and open with Richards. He opened successfully around 1981 against Australia and this is less painful than having to drop Weekes, Headley or Lara (just not possible). In fact, it is arguable that having the best 6 bats is more important than having two recognised openers.

    Maybe swap Haynes for Gibbs/Roberts - if another bowler was preferrred

    i cried leaving out Kanhai, Lloyd, Roberts, and Garner

  • POSTED BY 2.14istherunrate on | June 21, 2010, 12:37 GMT

    I do not know how the eventual makeup of the team is ennvisaged but this task is truly impossible without feeling one has not done any justice to the list. Putting Headley with the openers and allowing 4 to be picked might have skimmed the surface of doing this list vague justice. I chose Lara, Weekes, and Richards, but at least three of the others could be in the list.

  • POSTED BY cedolphkennedy on | June 21, 2010, 12:12 GMT

    Out of the thirteen names mentioned, and with the exception of say, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Richie Richardson, Laurence Rowe, Clive Lloyd & Clyde Walcott whom I would not include, my preferred 'three' would be:- George Headley, Sir Everton Weekes & Sir Vivian Richards. Of Course, Sir Frank Worrell would have to be the Captain. Unfortunately the remaining four players; Brian Lara, Seymour Nurse, Alvin Kallicharran & Rohan Kanhai is extremely unlucky not to be included simply because of the number of middle order positions available.

    C Kennedy London

  • POSTED BY alonsoe on | June 21, 2010, 12:11 GMT

    Going forward a spinner should not be an automatic pick. We have to play or pick to our strengths. For example India may be better with 2 or more spinners in their All time 11. West Indies has proven that a specialist spinner is not essential. Look at the greatest team in History_ WI of the late 70s to late 80s.

  • POSTED BY on | June 21, 2010, 11:44 GMT

    wow this hands down has to be the best middle order pool ever. I'm a die hard Lara fan. So he has to go in for me. But the others, WOW. a selector's nightmare.

  • POSTED BY on | June 21, 2010, 11:42 GMT

    lara - grace , elegance , poise richards - attitude , swagger kanhai- havent seen much frm him .

  • POSTED BY on | June 21, 2010, 11:41 GMT

    Can we choose 3 West Indies teams? It's going to be more maddening when we go in for picking the bowlers. God save the jury. Whatever they choose no one is going to like it. How do we drop anyone from the above list. There are many more who can be in the list. Can we stop this excercise for West Indies team?

  • POSTED BY on | June 21, 2010, 11:36 GMT

    Pick 3 out of Lara, Richards, Headley and Weekes. Lara and Headley are pretty much head and shoulders above the rest, so pick one out of Richards and Weekes. If it was down to performance, it would be Weekes.

    So Headley at 3, Weekes at 4 and Lara at 5 (Lara seemed to like batting down the order)

  • POSTED BY contrast_swing on | June 21, 2010, 11:35 GMT

    I think its the hardest task so far in picking up the all time XI. But I see that in few weeks when choosing the bowling attack for the Windies will be the biggest task.

  • POSTED BY NALINWIJ on | June 21, 2010, 11:23 GMT

    I am glad that this list did not include SOBERS as he is obviously going to be the allrounder in this group coming at 6. Tough to select 3 from 13 outstanding batsmen. There are 4 batsmen whose career spanned almost the length of the history of West Indies cricket and they were all among the best 3 batsmen if not the best at their peak. Starting with the black bradman- HEADLEY, SOBERS, RICHARDS and LARA and I select them for no. 3-6. in a different order. I don't think that even Australia can match this depth.

  • POSTED BY tpjpower on | June 21, 2010, 11:22 GMT

    It would be radical, no doubt, but in this fantasy team why can't we play Clyde Walcott as both opening batsman (partnering G.G.) and 'keeper (ahead of Dujon et al)? Then one could pick either a middle order featuring Headley, Weekes, Lara and Richards with Sobers at 7, OR go for three middle-order batsmen with Sobers at 6 and room for four fast bowlers (Marshall/Ambrose/Holding/Garner/Roberts) and a spinner (Gibbs/Ramadhin/Valentine). Surely an all-time great team should be selected according to its strengths and aim to include as many true "greats" as possible?

  • POSTED BY Jasonharcourt on | June 21, 2010, 11:15 GMT

    As I said on the openers article, how do you choose just 3? I have settled in the end for Weekes, Richards and Headley, but any of the names on the list plus I'm sure several more could have made it.

  • POSTED BY Sydney66 on | June 21, 2010, 11:05 GMT

    Headley and Weekes are tempting but played relatively few tests. On solitary tours of Australia they averaged 37 and 25 respectively. Clive Lloyd on the other hand averaged 47 against Lillee and Thomson in 1975/76. His highest score of 242 came against India in India. Lloyds ability to adapt to different types of bowlers and pitches, along will his gifts as a captain give him an edge. Lara and Richards are obvious choices for obvious reasons. Therefore, it's Richards-Lara-Lloyd in that order for mine. Walcott will hold down the number 7 spot as a wicketkeeper batsmen.

  • POSTED BY raghu86 on | June 21, 2010, 10:50 GMT

    Wow what a list. You can actually have 2 equally good sides from wi. I would go with lara, headley and richards. So my side would be: haynes, greenidge, headley, lara, richards, sobers, walcott, gibbs, marshall, ambrose and holding.

  • POSTED BY eddy501 on | June 21, 2010, 10:41 GMT

    @PGW81......Lara inconsistent???????????? Look at most if not all of the top 50 run makers of all time and working out how many runs they averaged per inning (do not include not outs). Lara's is still above 51 yet even Ponting and tendulkars isnt!INCONSISTANT!!!???? I'll make a bet with you. I bet most readers of this blog would rather score 10, 10, 20, 100, 10, 200 (350) in 6 innings than 49, 40, 46, 37, 55, 32, 46, 45 (350) in 8 innings. When was the last time a 40 or 50 won a match????

    Headley, Lara, Richards....it's a no-brainer!

  • POSTED BY on | June 21, 2010, 10:37 GMT

    This is lineage and history and a challenge to the sanity of all the cricket lovers.

    Which one to take and which one to leave. While taking is pleasure leaving one is sacrilege. I am personally torn between guilt and adventure in this exercise.

    Let us risk it.

    3.Headley, 4.Lara, 5.Richards, 6.Worrell(C), 7.Walcott(WK).

    My sincere apologies to Weekes, Kanhai, Lloyd and the other immortals. Though they wil forgive me probably i might not forgive myself, for this

  • POSTED BY jimdandy on | June 21, 2010, 10:37 GMT

    Lara and Richards are shoo-ins for me, you can't conceivably leave them out. I wouldn't even think about leaving Richards out of an all time World XI.

    Headley would then be the next in line on pure batting in my book, but captain of the final squad needs to be Lloyd or Worrell; I think both were vital to their sides respective eras of success.

    Toss a coin! I went with Lloyd.

  • POSTED BY Venkatb on | June 21, 2010, 10:26 GMT

    An extremely challenging task given the riches. I would move 4 of these players to the opener category, since they have opened in Tests - Walcott, Worrell, Kanhai and Rowe - perhaps Worrell opening with Greenidge, followed by Headley, Richards, Weekes, Lara, (Walcott and Sobers as all-rounders) and then 3 pacemen that would be another major challenge for this selection team - perhaps Greenidge can be dropped and Walcott moved to opener spot! Perhaps it would be more prudent to have a Barbados XI, Guyana XI, Jamaica XI, T&T XI, etc. I urge the selection panel or Cricinfo to get innovative and think along those lines.

  • POSTED BY gyanesh_don on | June 21, 2010, 10:25 GMT

    With due respect to both of them , i think richardson and chanderpaul are included to fill the numbers in the list, they are great but the others are too good.

  • POSTED BY errapalliprasanna on | June 21, 2010, 10:23 GMT

    Headley Kanhai and Richards......... It took around 2 hours of head thumping to come up with these names........ I pity the jury....... Too big a headache this...

  • POSTED BY ayubshaikh on | June 21, 2010, 10:22 GMT

    no doubt its gona be,, lara, richards and headly orchandraupaul.... no other team11 can match the wesindice 11

  • POSTED BY sacricketlegend on | June 21, 2010, 10:11 GMT

    West Indies has by far the greatest middle-order batsmen in the history of the game (collectively). Imagine, you have to choose three from here, which I did, and I left out ALL THREE OF THE 3 'W'S!!! Incredible. But with Sobers as a terrific bowling option, and the great bowlers that they had, you could easily have three West Indies quicks.

  • POSTED BY on | June 21, 2010, 9:53 GMT

    Good luck with that. I am not even going to attempt this - too difficult to bring it down to three from the list above. Personal choices would be Headly, Richards and Lara, but it'll take a brave man to say no to the Ws, Lloyd and Rowe. This is the hardest XI yet, a testament to the greatness of the Windies cricket - and perhaps an indication of how much they've fallen in the last decade that none of the current bunch (save for Gayle and Chandepaul) will measure up against this lot.

  • POSTED BY kemmisito on | June 21, 2010, 9:47 GMT

    It's tough to choose only 3 from this elite group of batsmen but I believe that Headley, Lara & Weekes bring a little more to the table than the other amazing batsmen on the list. I know many people will pick Viv Richards in their all time WI middle order but I honestly don't think he was a good enough Test Match batsman to make the cut. As an ODI batsman there is no one better but we need to remember that in Tests Viv scored over 1700 runs in 1976 and less than 6900 runs in the 17 other years that he played. That to me is not good enough to make the West Indies all time Test Team. In comparison Headley, Lara & Weekes were heavy scorers all throughout their career.

  • POSTED BY chandi69 on | June 21, 2010, 9:43 GMT

    My word !! How can you select 3 out of Richards, Worrell, Kalicharran, Rowe, Lara, Shiv,Lloyed, Rowe etc !!! Its impossible. All are greats of the game. Nobody will be able to distinguish. I have not seen Hedley bat !!! But suppose to be great. What I think its impposible to select a middle order for them unless some one is bias towards a person. Nobody on earth will be able to select it with an unbiased opinion since all of them are not greats. But among the greatest to even play cricket !!! So all the best to the jury !!!

  • POSTED BY on | June 21, 2010, 9:41 GMT

    What an amazing list of players. No matter who you pick, somebody brilliant misses out.

    Headley and Richards were the most automatic for me. Obviously I never saw Headley play, but many greats of the age describe him in such glowing terms, and his ability to average so highly in a time of uncovered wickets must be respected. I did, however, see Richards play....and what a player!

    For the third player, I couldn't decide between Lara, Walcott and Rowe....in the end I plumped for Lara, because his record and his talents speak for themselves.

    Can't wait till we get to the fast bowlers!

  • POSTED BY lsd123 on | June 21, 2010, 9:16 GMT

    Very tough task to select best 3 out of 13. But i'm voting for Richards, Lara and Headly.

  • POSTED BY Orenoko on | June 21, 2010, 9:14 GMT

    Undoubtedly this is the most difficult selection of any of these XIs. I've gone with Richards, Lara and Weekes, but as the article says, you might as well draw from a hat. To leave out those other names seems criminal!

  • POSTED BY Rydham on | June 21, 2010, 9:13 GMT

    Perhaps, the rotation policy among these 13 is the only solution to choose all of them. We can ommit the good batsmen in favor of the great but not a great in favor of another great !! Mind it !!

  • POSTED BY on | June 21, 2010, 9:12 GMT

    I know his stats dont warrant inclusion but I have seen several of these guys play and score runs and they were all truly great players. However in my opinion the best batsman I have ever seen is Carl hooper. You can show me stats until your blue in the face...nobody made it look as easy as he did. Yes he got more low scores than these greats...but when he scored runs...I've never seen better!!!!

  • POSTED BY HundredPercentBarcelonista on | June 21, 2010, 9:10 GMT

    You could make 3 world class middle orders out of this list. JEEZ what players!!!

  • POSTED BY Sumeet.Gupta on | June 21, 2010, 9:08 GMT

    whoa!! i would not want to be a selector. How do you pick 3 out of these. An impossible and thankless task. Nonetheless, i would choose Headley, Richards and Lara. Probably Walcott as 'keeper might get one more in. In that case, Frank Worell should be in, for his captaincy skills. Tough one indeed

  • POSTED BY peter239 on | June 21, 2010, 9:01 GMT

    Nearly all these players are better than any of the openers. In fact, this has happened with nearly all the "all-time" sides. This is because the greatest players generally bat at 3 or 4 in their team. How many test 3 or 4s couldn't open if that's what served the teams interests best? Boon, Watson and Langer hadn't even opened for their state sides when asked to do it for Australia. So by design you've made it impossible to pick the strongest all time WI. However, if I could pick the WI top 6 I'd go with Lara, Richards, Headley, Weekes, Sobers and Worrell/Wlacott. Two of the them would have to open but since they're all better batsmen than Greenidge and Haynes (who'll no doubt be the openers selected because you've forced us to pick from the openers list) they'll adapt quickly. I'd probably have Walcott as the keeper (and therefore Worrell gets in) and no. 7 but I don't imagine I'll be given that option. And I wouldn't pick a spinner either but you mightn't give me a choice there.

  • POSTED BY on | June 21, 2010, 8:22 GMT

    Clive Lloyd, Vivian Richards, Brian Lara

  • POSTED BY T.Yousuf on | June 21, 2010, 8:18 GMT

    Very hard to choose.All of them are GREAT Batsman of their times.Most of them are even strong contendors of All Time World XI.After checking there records and history.I will Pick Vivan Richards,Brian Lara and Everton Weekes.I will choose Shivnarine Chanderpaul as a 4th Batsman but here only 3 required. Uptil Now my All time WestIndies Haynes,Grenidge,Richards,Lara,Weekes and another 6 more to come very soon.......

  • POSTED BY lsd123 on | June 21, 2010, 8:11 GMT

    Very tough task to select best 3 out of 13. But i'm voting for Richards, Lara and Headly.

  • POSTED BY CricketingStargazer on | June 21, 2010, 8:06 GMT

    Headley and Richards have to be givens. Headley was, apart from Bradman, the greatest batsman of his day and in a far weaker side than Bradman. Richards is simply incomparable. Who to join them? Kalilicharran and Kanhai were favourites of mine as a child (the former was always underrated). In the end, my vote has gone for the man who changed the West Indies from a pack of happy warriors into the greatest force cricket has ever seen: Clive Lloyd - he has to be the pick as captain.

  • POSTED BY on | June 21, 2010, 8:02 GMT

    the toughest decision i've made with regard to an all-time XI, I mean how oftne can you leave out Lara from one! But sadly I had to considering the quality and importance of the other three, who were a class above lara (but still the class difference is small!), so here goes, 3.George headley 4.Everton weekes 5. Vivian richards

  • POSTED BY Tigg on | June 21, 2010, 7:38 GMT

    Has to be lara (nearly 12,000 runs), Headley and Richards. That being said, in a decades time Chanderpaul will probably be putting up a real fight to be included.

  • POSTED BY rishig on | June 21, 2010, 7:37 GMT

    Its hell of a task....anyway I have chosen Lara, Headley and Richards (Given a choice would like to include Lioyd also)

  • POSTED BY Rake1 on | June 21, 2010, 7:36 GMT

    Headley, Richards & Lara for me. Apologies to the rest.

  • POSTED BY Sparkie2167 on | June 21, 2010, 7:32 GMT

    Based on past incarnations, it looks like Walcott won't be listed as a wicketkeeper, which makes picking the middle order even harder. I would have Headley and Weekes as automatic picks, which leaves Lara, Walcott and Richards to fight for the final spot. Despite his brilliance, Lara never had the consistency of Richards, and in a side of this calibre, a consistent run scorer is probably more important that someone who plays the less frequent spectacular innings. The only tarnish on Richards' career was the fact that he stuck around for a couple of years too long, although WI needed him to transition into the 90s. That said, he would still be my third pick.

  • POSTED BY Nuxxy on | June 21, 2010, 7:29 GMT

    Headley, Lara, and Richards for me too. But it's such a difficult choice...the toughest yet.

  • POSTED BY zaniac on | June 21, 2010, 7:27 GMT

    Viv Richards, Clive Llyod (c) and Lara. The only person who could control Lara in this team would be Clive Llyod :)

  • POSTED BY kantipur on | June 21, 2010, 7:17 GMT

    Brian Lara holds almost all of the west Indian batting records. He should be there. Other two player would be Viv Richards and Headly. Unfortunately threee W's have to be out.

  • POSTED BY aditya2008 on | June 21, 2010, 7:00 GMT

    Lara, Headley & Richards for mine.

  • POSTED BY shashankvaish on | June 21, 2010, 6:42 GMT

    definitely lara n viv along with headly.....with sir garfield to follow........luks a potent middle order

  • POSTED BY arun_39 on | June 21, 2010, 6:36 GMT

    Reduce the 13 to 6: Headley, Richards, Lara, Weekes, Walcott, Lloyd. Apologies to the rest but looking at a combination of: playing-style, average, consistency and impact these sort themselves out (Kanhai being on the borderline). Of these Richards selects himself on all counts as #1. Walcott may be fitted as a wicket-keeper so leave him out. 2 out of 4 needed now. Lloyd gets ahead of the pack purely on impact: the number of times he has manufactured a winning innings from what would be a dire situation for other teams plus captaincy - one would imagine Imran Khan minus the bowling would still be picked for an all-time Pakistan XI. One needed - Weekes, Headley or Lara? Draw lots. That's a tough one spanning 3 different eras !!

  • POSTED BY Vivek.Bhandari on | June 21, 2010, 6:35 GMT

    Perhaps the best idea to pick three of of these thirteen is given in the last line before the 'Contenders' section...;))

  • POSTED BY Vivek.Bhandari on | June 21, 2010, 6:19 GMT

    It has to be the toughest Cricinfo eleven till date...it has started with amazing openers and continued with rock solid and majestic middle order batsmen...i just can't wait for the fast bowlers' line up...

    Btw i've opted for Richards, Headley, and Lloyd in the given order...

  • POSTED BY ZA77 on | June 21, 2010, 6:18 GMT

    Undoubtedly greatest batsmen of all time. In 131 Test matches, the Prince of Port of Spain scored 11,953 runs with 34 centuries at an average of 52.88. 9301 runs with help of 50 or plus scores. 5889 runs with the help of centuries. It means his runs per innings 40.1 with help of 50 or plus scores. 19 times 150 or plus scores is still his record in test cricket. His 132 at perth is remarkable, 80 not out against Sri Lanka win the test series in favour of his team. His 120 against India saved test match. This inning also proved that he could play in defensive mode too. His highest situational innings are 153 and 213 against best attack. His master piece innings are 400, 375, 277, 226 and 221+130 in same match. Record holder for quintuple in first class and quadruple in test cricket. Only batsmen who defined century to quintuple in first class and century to quadruple in test cricket. Best against the Murli and Warne. He scored two doubles against Mruli and three against Warne.

  • POSTED BY alonsoe on | June 21, 2010, 6:17 GMT

    It is a pity that atlas G. Headley could not have been included with the openers.In that case my middle would be Richards, Lara and Weekes. But as it is I would have to leave out Lara and go for Headley, Richards and Weekes in that order.

  • POSTED BY dr_sachinfan_chennai on | June 21, 2010, 6:15 GMT

    Hey really impeccable task to pick out one. Whom can you leave out? Three Ws? Kanhai and Kallicharan? Lloyd? Chanders? Nourse? Richardson? Rowe? These guys can walk straight away into any World XI let alone the Windies. But I go with 3 Gems of each Generation - Headly, Richards, Lara. With Sobers likely to be in allrounder slot, this middle order can be one of best ever.

  • POSTED BY Gizza on | June 21, 2010, 6:00 GMT

    Oh man... you look at this list and go wow! I would say that the West Indian middle order is the strongest out of all nations. If you take out Bradman I don't think even the Australians can compete with what is on offer here. There is a touch of modern bias in my selection but I would choose Headley, Lara and Richards.

  • POSTED BY PGW81 on | June 21, 2010, 5:56 GMT

    An extremely tough task. Though LARA ranks along side my all time favorite batsman, I have left him out. LARA was given to mood swings and could be as devastating as he could be inconsistent. When on song no other batsman on the planet could match the grace and elegance that Lara had. But when the mood took him he could get out to the worst of deliveries. With batsmen like Lloyd and Richards, it was more of psyching out the opposition than battling it out in the middle. Kallicharan was one of the best purists to have ever graced the field. So I have selected kallicharan, Richards and Lloyd ahead of my favorite Lara. But this surely is one hell of a task - trying to selct three of the brightest diamonds from amongst an open diamond mine....

  • POSTED BY asaduzzaman-khan on | June 21, 2010, 5:50 GMT

    Is it easy to take 3 from Headly, Weekes, Walcott, Worrel, Loyd, Rowe, Richards, Lara? All of them are great. However my final vote on Headly, Lara and Richards.

  • POSTED BY on | June 21, 2010, 5:29 GMT

    I would like to think that anyone picking an all-time West Indies team - surely the hardest pick of all the test nations because of the sheer wealth of talent the Islands have produced - would want to try to include the following magnificent Six:

    Headley, Richards, Lara, Walcott, Weekes and Worrell.

    Well I would anyway and would accommodate this by having Headley and Worrell open and have Walcott as keeper, since he started his test career in that role. I would then add Sobers and Constantine at 7 and 8, followed by Marshall, Ambrose and Gibbs, well aware that I could pick at least another three sides that would be a challenge for any of the other test nations.

    But your selection hasn't provided this option alas. May I also ask why Tony Cozier isn't on the panel please? He would be the first person to approach for this selection surely?

  • POSTED BY on | June 21, 2010, 5:28 GMT

    IF have to choose 3 they will be George Headley, Vivian Richards and Lara.

  • POSTED BY Supratik on | June 21, 2010, 5:25 GMT

    Hey Cricinfo! Have you not forgotten something? How can a West Indies XI be selected when there is no Tony Cozier on the selection panel!!! Or has he fallen out of favour with you guys? He is the equivalent of Benaud for the Windies. Having covered so many matches in print and electronic media... and having written on West Indies cricket for the last 50+ years. It is quite baffling, ain't it?

  • POSTED BY Supratik on | June 21, 2010, 5:20 GMT

    This one can break any selector! Will have to pick 4 here as Sobers will come in as the allrounder. Hence will go for Walcott who was the original batsman-wkt.keeper before Adam Gilchrist came along. Selecting the other 3 puts one in a conundrum. The 'shortest' of this short list will be Headley (though we haven't seen him), Weekes, Worrell, Richards & Lara. Having Worrell sorts out the problem of captaincy since Lloyd doesn't make the cut as a batsman (in any other team he will) and also provides a break with his medium pace. My 4 for the middle-order: the 3 Ws (one as wk) & King Viv. I leave out Headley on the pretext that I have not seen him, though written words speak louder than moving pictures sometimes. I am filled with remorse on having to leave out Lara, the most beautiful batsman to watch in the last 20 years, playing for a weak team. But then what about leaving out 'our man' Kanhai, the tragic Rowe, the elegant Kallicharan, the 'Super Cat'... It is difficult - this one!

  • POSTED BY srini701 on | June 21, 2010, 5:09 GMT

    Very, Very unfair picking 3 out of such an absolutely fantastic list :-(.....Impossible to pick one and leave out another. Lara and Richards would probably be in most people's lists, but other than Richardson and maybe Nourse, how can one even THINK of leaving out ANYBODY listed here? And the list also contains 2 possible contenders for the team captaincy in Lloyd and Worrell. Maybe you should make an exception and allow TWO (2) all-time Great XI for West Indies alone...very sure they will still have 2 line ups that can take on the very best of every other country.

  • POSTED BY chishtyirfan on | June 21, 2010, 4:42 GMT

    1. Vivian Richards, 2. Brian Lara and 3. Clive Lloyd

  • POSTED BY raghu86 on | June 21, 2010, 4:39 GMT

    My all-time 11: desmond haynes, gordon greenidge, brian lara, george headley, vivian richards, gary sobers, jeff dujon, lance gibbs, malcom marshall, curtly ambrose, michael holding.

  • POSTED BY CricFan78 on | June 21, 2010, 4:34 GMT

    Well toughest of all , no other team one can boost of so many great players in middle order. Viv, Lara and Headlye for me. Weekes is very unlucky to miss out though.

  • POSTED BY Maui3 on | June 21, 2010, 4:17 GMT

    Headley, Lara and Richards (and Sobers at #6), But Walcott has to be in as a Keeper over Dujon (although he only Kept in ~15 Tests) and the 4 fast bowlers (Marshall, Ambrose, Holding and Garner). Hard to believe that there is no place for Weekes or Worrell or Lloyd or Chanderpaul. and Hard to believe that WI are lingering at the bottom of the table in last 10-15 years with all the talent they have had in the past.

  • POSTED BY Punanydan on | June 21, 2010, 4:08 GMT

    Simply wow, and you have to choose only three. It doesn't get any more difficult than this. However, my three are as follows, Sir Isaac Vivian Alexander Richards, George Alphonso Headley and Sir Everton de Courcy Weekes. In my opinion, these guys are built for any crisis. On a bad pitch these guys will murder anyone. Lord, can only help the opposition, if they pitch is a good one. So far I have Greenidge, Hunte, Richards, Headley and Weekes. It doesn't get any better than this.

  • POSTED BY lsd123 on | June 21, 2010, 3:54 GMT

    Richards, Lara and Headley for Middle Order.

  • POSTED BY on | June 21, 2010, 3:49 GMT

    The most powerful and the best bunch of middle order batsmen of all times... No other team can match WI in the number of true greats, they have had...

  • POSTED BY vladtepes on | June 21, 2010, 3:48 GMT

    i think my 3, 4, 5 combination will be richards, lara, and frank. no, wait. it'll be lara, richards and shiv. no, let me try again. headley, shiv, lara. this is not working. ok, how about viv, frank and george. this is not easy! ok, richie, viv, shiv. frank, viv, shiv.... the combinations are endless, and i can see very little to choose among them. however, i think lloyd and kalli can't be higher than 5 .

    i can't see rowe getting in a sniff simply because of his short career. he was fantastic, maybe even better than viv, but i'd rather pick based on proven performance than on potential.

  • POSTED BY vinjoy on | June 21, 2010, 3:45 GMT

    With all due respect to those who miss the bus, my pick for number 3, 4 and 5 are: Headley Lara Richards

    Not much scope of discussion about it!

  • POSTED BY on | June 21, 2010, 3:37 GMT

    One can easily form two All-time WI XI and still they will be the world beaters.. the quality and talent is just immense.. to chose 3 out of these 13 great batters is surely gonna cause our Jury some headache!! My vote tho will be for George Headley, Sir Viv Richards and the Genius of Brian Charles Lara.. the three of the greatest batsmen of all times!

  • POSTED BY Abaa on | June 21, 2010, 3:31 GMT

    Hands down the hardest ever decision to make thus far in this series of ALL-TIME-XIs ... What on earth happened to WI over the years! Damn can you believe that a team which boasted players like this is lowered down to a position where they lose to the likes of Bangladesh (3rd string team or not)

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  • POSTED BY Abaa on | June 21, 2010, 3:31 GMT

    Hands down the hardest ever decision to make thus far in this series of ALL-TIME-XIs ... What on earth happened to WI over the years! Damn can you believe that a team which boasted players like this is lowered down to a position where they lose to the likes of Bangladesh (3rd string team or not)

  • POSTED BY on | June 21, 2010, 3:37 GMT

    One can easily form two All-time WI XI and still they will be the world beaters.. the quality and talent is just immense.. to chose 3 out of these 13 great batters is surely gonna cause our Jury some headache!! My vote tho will be for George Headley, Sir Viv Richards and the Genius of Brian Charles Lara.. the three of the greatest batsmen of all times!

  • POSTED BY vinjoy on | June 21, 2010, 3:45 GMT

    With all due respect to those who miss the bus, my pick for number 3, 4 and 5 are: Headley Lara Richards

    Not much scope of discussion about it!

  • POSTED BY vladtepes on | June 21, 2010, 3:48 GMT

    i think my 3, 4, 5 combination will be richards, lara, and frank. no, wait. it'll be lara, richards and shiv. no, let me try again. headley, shiv, lara. this is not working. ok, how about viv, frank and george. this is not easy! ok, richie, viv, shiv. frank, viv, shiv.... the combinations are endless, and i can see very little to choose among them. however, i think lloyd and kalli can't be higher than 5 .

    i can't see rowe getting in a sniff simply because of his short career. he was fantastic, maybe even better than viv, but i'd rather pick based on proven performance than on potential.

  • POSTED BY on | June 21, 2010, 3:49 GMT

    The most powerful and the best bunch of middle order batsmen of all times... No other team can match WI in the number of true greats, they have had...

  • POSTED BY lsd123 on | June 21, 2010, 3:54 GMT

    Richards, Lara and Headley for Middle Order.

  • POSTED BY Punanydan on | June 21, 2010, 4:08 GMT

    Simply wow, and you have to choose only three. It doesn't get any more difficult than this. However, my three are as follows, Sir Isaac Vivian Alexander Richards, George Alphonso Headley and Sir Everton de Courcy Weekes. In my opinion, these guys are built for any crisis. On a bad pitch these guys will murder anyone. Lord, can only help the opposition, if they pitch is a good one. So far I have Greenidge, Hunte, Richards, Headley and Weekes. It doesn't get any better than this.

  • POSTED BY Maui3 on | June 21, 2010, 4:17 GMT

    Headley, Lara and Richards (and Sobers at #6), But Walcott has to be in as a Keeper over Dujon (although he only Kept in ~15 Tests) and the 4 fast bowlers (Marshall, Ambrose, Holding and Garner). Hard to believe that there is no place for Weekes or Worrell or Lloyd or Chanderpaul. and Hard to believe that WI are lingering at the bottom of the table in last 10-15 years with all the talent they have had in the past.

  • POSTED BY CricFan78 on | June 21, 2010, 4:34 GMT

    Well toughest of all , no other team one can boost of so many great players in middle order. Viv, Lara and Headlye for me. Weekes is very unlucky to miss out though.

  • POSTED BY raghu86 on | June 21, 2010, 4:39 GMT

    My all-time 11: desmond haynes, gordon greenidge, brian lara, george headley, vivian richards, gary sobers, jeff dujon, lance gibbs, malcom marshall, curtly ambrose, michael holding.