All-time XI - World
ESPNcricinfo picks the best Test teams of all time

A match-up made in heaven

The notion of a face-off between Trueman and Tendulkar and Lillee and Lara is mouth-watering, to say the least. Who'll win in a contest between ESPNcricinfo's World XI and the Second XI?

Rob Steen

October 25, 2010

Comments: 134 | Text size: A | A

Shane Warne went past Dennis Lillee's record for most wickets in a calendar year, Australia v South Africa, 1st Test, Perth, 3rd day, December 18, 2005
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Four Australians, three West Indians, two Anglo-Saxons and one apiece from India and Pakistan (viva diplomacy!). It is exceedingly hard to imagine anyone whose loyalties lie beyond New Zealand, South Africa or Sri Lanka issuing writs over the names or distribution of nationalities in the Cricinfo all-time World XI - though Dream-On XI might be nearer the mark.

This not a team designed to cock snooks, contradict tradition or court controversy - but then neither is it altogether predictable. There were, after all, only two shoo-ins: Don Bradman and Garry Sobers.

Wisden's quintessential 20th-century quintet is all present and correct (Bradman, Jack Hobbs, Viv Richards, Sobers and Shane Warne). Ditto eight of Richie Benaud's all-timers (with Sunil Gavaskar, Imran Khan and SF Barnes for Len Hutton, Malcolm Marshall and Wasim Akram here) and Harold Pinter's favourite cricketer (Hutton). In a 2001 poll for The New Ball, a panel culled from half a dozen nations - including Ted Dexter, four Wisden editors and the game's pre-eminent historian, David Frith - showered most of their votes for our Heaven's XI on Sobers (29), followed by Warne (26), Richards (25), Bradman (22) and Dennis Lillee (18).

Then again, just three members of Our Richie's 2nd XI made either of the Cricinfo models, while only Lillee, Richards and Sobers graduated from the longlist in Gavaskar's 1984 book, Icons. Doughtily as he doubtless battled for his hero, Ian Chappell's failure to win even an also-ran's role for Keith Miller will have cut him to the quick.

In most cases it all boils down, or should do, to those we have seen and on whom we can thus legitimately pass judgement (and Ajit Wadekar, 70 next April, is the most venerable of our eight ex-captain-selectors). Proximity is key. Bypassing ancients such as George Lohmann, George Giffen, Ranji and The Demon Spofforth, the jury have named only three men on the basis of figures, reputation and trust - Bradman, Hobbs and Hutton. That said, Richards only just nosed past George Headley, Victor Trumper was the jury's sixth-most popular opener, and Barnes will be burrowing out of his grave as we speak to throttle each and every voter who had the gall and downright ignorance to tout any bowler as his superior.

First XI v Second XI

  • The Second XI Sunil Gavaskar, Barry Richards, George Headley, Brian Lara, Wally Hammond, Imran Khan, Alan Knott, Bill O'Reilly, Fred Trueman, Muttiah Muralitharan, Syd Barnes
  • Sometimes, just sometimes, being a selector must be the plummest job that doesn't involve a final-salary pension plan. Doing duty for West Indies between 1979 and 1995, and Australia from 1934-51 and 1999-2008, for instance, meant permutating a grotesquely unfair share of talent and knowing, with virtually complete certainty, that even if you did cock up, it wouldn't amount to even half a hill of beans.
  • So it is with our illustrious jury. When it comes to picking two teams for a winner-takes-all Test in Timeless Square, or a 22-strong World Defence League squad for that eagerly awaited maiden tour of Utopia, our earthly selectors were not so much spoiled for choice as OD'ing on the stuff. Just think of the nifty Third XI you could muster from those who also won a healthy share of votes - Trumper, Virender Sehwag, Graeme Pollock, Greg Chappell, Kumar Sangakkara (wkt), Keith Miller, Richard Hadlee, Harold Larwood, McGrath, Erapalli Prasanna and Abdul Qadir. That still leaves Messrs Barrington, Bedi, Border, Botham, Garner, Gooch, Gower, Greenidge and Grimmett out in the cold - and that's just the Bs and Gs. Likewise a couple of Sutcliffes, both Waugh twins and all the Mohammads and Graces.
  • But then this Second XI, of course, is nothing of the sort. The top six appear inferior to their First XI counterparts only in terms of The Bradman Factor; the attack, with one spinner who devoured 5.33 batters per Test, another who gobbled up six, and the only bloke to do seven per, looks broader and sharper, the keeping snappier. Cordon and outfield, on the other hand, are nowhere near as handsomely manned.
  • Bottom line? Give the Poms home advantage for being the best-represented nation overall (six out of 22), play the game at Lord's, and bring on the dancing unicorns. Throw in the ruthless mindset of the understudy and this extremely occasional punter's strictly imaginary money would be on the supporting cast. Dream on indeed.

Bar one, the remainder all began their international careers after 1969, and Sobers, the odd man out, was still playing in 1974. The implication, that global professionalism left the final quarter of the 20th century blessed with more brilliant hand-eye coordinators than any other generation, seems far from unreasonable.

He may have been the bowler Brian Lara feared most, but many will object with especial vehemence to the presence of Wasim (is he there strictly for variety?), not least since Sobers also offers southpaw swing. As is the way with the unproveable, the hairline calls are endless. Bradman, Sobers and Tendulkar all rated Muttiah Muralitharan above Warne; Glenn McGrath, Warne and Gavaskar back Tendulkar over Lara, Murali and Barry Richards go the other way - and Wasim reckons Martin Crowe better than both.

One decision, though, sticks out as strategically unsound. With a top six as superlative as this on tap, nominating Gilchrist seems excessively cautious. Those to whom glovemanship is first, last and everything - i.e. the bowlers - would surely have preferred Alan Knott or Ian Healy. Tellingly, only two of our selectors, Tony Greig and Intikhab Alam, belong to that particular species.

SO, PITTED AGAINST their understudies in the Second XI, how, with every player in his pomp and fittest circumstance, would this exalted collective perform? Granted, there isn't all that much head-to-head evidence to go on, and even what there is may be distorted by duellists crossing swords at different stages of their careers, but let's have a stab.

The absence of extreme pace is good news for the top three. Hutton hit 100 and 364 in his four innings against Bill "Tiger" O'Reilly, who defeated him twice, once for 5. No lover of quick singles, or of competing for roars and awe, Richards might even be a teensy bit intimidated by Bradman, but the competitive juices would surely flow, with terrifying consequences for any bowler.

Whet appetites? The notion of a face-off between those lordly scrappers Richards and Imran is enough to soak them: in 14 Tests in opposition, Richards on 11 occasions passed 40, with two centuries, while Imran snared him on five occasions, four times for 30 or fewer. But what most tickles this fanciful fancy, narrowly ahead of the Bradman-Barnes bout, is the clash of wits, egos and temperament between those prickly colleagues-in-name-only, The Don and The Tiger. And while we're letting our imaginations run riot, lips should also be licked avidly at the prospect of other confrontations hitherto denied by motherland (Lara v Marshall, Hobbs v Barnes) or Father Time (Hutton v Lillee, Bradman v Murali, Richards v Trueman, Sobers v Hammond).

The obvious problems come lower down. Gilchrist failed to pass 22 in three of his four Test dismissals by Murali, who also took care of Tendulkar for fewer than 30 on no fewer than six occasions - in all, he ejected him eight times, more than any other bowler. Twice, however, Tendulkar had already pocketed a century. Trueman, similarly, was Sobers' bete noir, felling him seven times, but three single-figure scores were balanced by four hundreds, including a 226, when opposed by the self-anointed Finest Ruddy Fast Bowler That Ever Drew Breath.

 
 
How do you tell Warne to field at short leg or teach Bradman the headlong boundary dive? How do you coax Hutton to let his hair down and set up a declaration? How do you exhort Hobbs to improve his sledging? How do you curb Sobers' enthusiasm?
 

As for the bowlers, Warne was often rumbled by Lara - seven dismissals, yes, four of them for 45 or fewer, countered by seven fifties and five hundreds, three of them doubles and four of them match-winners, led by those back-to-back 1999 masterpieces in Kingston and Bridgetown. Marshall frequently made merry at Gavaskar's expense, sending him back eight times, all for under 41, including four single-figure scores, and 12, 18 and 20, but their 14 five-day collisions also saw the opener rack up five hundreds and a 90, including a career-best 236 not out in Madras in 1983.

Two years before that Lillee bested Gavaskar twice in the one series in which they went toe-to-toe, for 0 and 70, the latter Sunny's only innings of substance in the three matches. Wasim, moreover, dismissed Lara for next to nothing twice in successive Tests in 1997, the Prince of Port-of-Spain passing fifty (51 and 96) just twice in their seven encounters. No shortage of scores for the settling, then.

LEADING THIS LITTLE LOT, on the face of it, ought to be about as straightforward as running a recruitment scheme for apprentice chocolate-tasters. Call correctly and contain the egos: that's about the size of it. Admittedly the second task might be a tad more problematic.

Whose wrath can you most safely risk incurring when deciding on your new-ballers? How do you tell Warne to field at short leg or teach Bradman the headlong boundary dive? How do you coax Hutton to let his hair down and set up a declaration? How do you exhort Hobbs to improve his sledging? How do you curb Sobers' enthusiasm? How do you convince him to resist bowling fast, swinging chinamen while fielding at slip and leg slip?

Given that profound inability to take a backward step, and that his ego is almost certainly the biggest in our time-honoured, time-proof dressing room, Warnie's my boy.

World XI: Jack Hobbs, Len Hutton, Don Bradman, Sachin Tendulkar, Viv Richards, Garry Sobers, Adam Gilchrist, Malcolm Marshall, Shane Warne, Wasim Akram, Dennis Lillee

Rob Steen is a sportswriter and senior lecturer in sports journalism at the University of Brighton

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Posted by Vijay.Naik on (October 28, 2010, 18:30 GMT)

Guys how many of you've thought/have below facts? 1.Don Bradman's facts with each country? (England being only strong opposition then) 2.Ricky Pontings avg in India, (India without having worldclass bowler) 3.How many Strong teams were playing during 1970s (Viv's era)? 4.How many good partners Lara had throughout his career like Sachin/Ponting?

No WAY for Ponting in both world XI, but Lara should be there in 1st team instead of Viv.

Truth will be out if you get the above stats....

Posted by hmia1001 on (October 28, 2010, 17:05 GMT)

@all: Everyone has their opinions (so is mine) and I respect them all but I would prefer picking up Gavaskar and/or sehwag from india because the former used to successfully open the batting in the era of great fast bowlers and the later is a free flowing and aggressive player. No doubt sachin is good to watch but I would go for lara in his place because both lara and sehwag has the ability to successfully take the attack on to the opposition even in pressure situations, which is the whole mark of a great player. That is why Richards is in the team (with test avgerage around 50),same is the case with Gilchrist (although Boucher has got more test dismissals). Last but not the least, it is not a sensible idea to make a team out of cricketers playing in different eras. How many of us have watched breadman, hobbs, and hutton batting! is it logical to compare the skills out of primitive and limited game of cricket to the one today! I am afraid human mind has no justification to it! thnks.

Posted by anikbrad on (October 28, 2010, 16:39 GMT)

PLEASE COME UP WITH LEFTIES VS RIGHTIES R XI: HOBBS/ HUTTON/ BRADMAN/TENDULKAR/RICHARDS/IMRAN/ KNOTT/ LILLIE/ WARNE/MARSHAL

L XI: HAYDEN/ SANGA/ HARVEY/ LARA/ G.POLLOCK/ SOVERS/GILCHRIST/AKRAM/ DEVIDSON/PEEL/ BEDI

Posted by Truecricketbuff on (October 28, 2010, 16:21 GMT)

Great. So, all these judges most ex captains and all of whom have watched cricket for around 60 yrs are wrong...and a bunch of kids in here, with not a clue of even what the stats bases are actually showing, and who have probably watched cricket for max.20 yrs are right....Great!

Posted by Cricster1 on (October 28, 2010, 2:11 GMT)

Here is my 2 teams of 16 players Team 1 consisting of players that I have seen since late 70's

Gavaskar,Sehwag,Viv Richards,Tendulkar,Lara,Gilchrist,Knott,Imran Khan,Hadlee,Akram,Marshall,McGrath,Donald,Murali,Warne,Underwood

Team 2 chosen based on player's reputation/record

Hobbs,Hutton,Bradman,Headley,Graeme Pollock,Hammond,Walcott,Engineer,Sobers,Keith Miller,Barnes,Bedser,Trueman,Hall,Lance Gibbs,O'Reilley

Posted by nipo10847 on (October 27, 2010, 15:21 GMT)

Without Muralitharan any best XI would always be incomplete. Had he been an Indian or an Australian or an English, his name would be here now. He deserves to be here as much as Don Bradman. Bradman and Murali would be the first two name that should have been picked at first hand then let the juries pick other nine players. So they picked Shane Warne instead of Murali. What joke!

Posted by   on (October 27, 2010, 0:30 GMT)

Sachin Tendulkar should be the only unanimous choice in a World XI and the likes of Warne and Bradman should be proud to get an equal footing with him. The Lord is the cause, not the team.

Posted by red000 on (October 26, 2010, 17:47 GMT)

Hav no idea...y everyone criticizing sachin..and saying he is not a match winner etc etc...if u look his recent performances ..he has won a match aganist england on last day track by scoring a century..and chase down a 380plus score..has played major role in indias success to no1 test team...

But...im extremely dissapointed that sehwag has been not put in as opener...which were occupied by englishmen...its extreme joke...sehwag is a legend of an opener..and no 1 match winner in tests history of alltimes

Posted by   on (October 26, 2010, 14:31 GMT)

One generation wasted all their resources for the Sachin and they are compelling the next generations to do in their way..Next generation is wasting their money and time and following Sachin blindly..Its a sheer waste of time..Me living in a society..Their acting towards life affecting everyone including myself..

Posted by Rajitha88 on (October 26, 2010, 13:43 GMT)

WORLD XI =1st inngs 78/10 (bradman 18,sachin 13 Murali 7 for 23 and Mcgrath 3 for 14) SECONDXI=1st inngs 678/8 (gavaskar 118,lara 220 Wazim Akram 5 for 112, marsh 2 for 78) WORLD XI =1st inngs 112/10 (bradman 78,jack hobs 20 Murali 5 for 23 and Mcgrath 2 for 34)

SECONDXI won the match by INNINGS AND 488 RUNS man of the match muralideran..

Posted by rudranethra on (October 26, 2010, 10:45 GMT)

@hmia, first decide on who shud replace Sachin. Lara or S Waugh or Ponting? :D

Posted by Rumour on (October 26, 2010, 10:04 GMT)

As a Saffa I'm extremely happy to see Barry Richards there. Considering he only played 4 test and still no one complains about his selection in the second eleven shows just how brilliant he was. And in my opinion no one was better to watch when batting. I'd suggest that if SA played more games in the period you'd have seen Mike Procter there as well. What a legend. 7 tests against the Aussies and a 15 run per wicket average... and not a slouch with the bat. My team (even more weighted to recent players to take on the Martians - and it would not be a team playing for draws too often :-) Hobbs, B Richards, Bradman, Tendulkar - only just shading Ponting, Richards Sobers Gilchrist Procter Warne Marshall Akram

And you'd only need to replace Hobbs with Lara if we were to play one-dayers

Posted by Beertjie on (October 26, 2010, 9:55 GMT)

Trueman's selection is truly inexplicable. A gross error. Why load the bases even further in favour of mediocre Englishmen when Donald and Hadlee were proven superiors, not to mention the sheer class of Holding and Ambrose? From other selections (e.g., the two Richards) I thought the jury had gone beyond mere statistics and could appreciate quality under differing conditions. At least they didn't pick McGrath. Picking him ahead of Ambrose would have been the height of parochialism.

Posted by   on (October 26, 2010, 9:42 GMT)

No doubt that the players selected in the world XI are great players in the history of cricket,but they aren't the only ones. The only drawback while selecting the best XI players is that only 11 players can be selected!! The only way to compare two players is by letting them play against the same teams,same bowlers/batsmen,same pitches,same atmosphere & all other conditions should be same.all comparisions based on statistics aren't always perfect & doesn't reflect true quality of the players.

Posted by   on (October 26, 2010, 9:34 GMT)

Many people say that sachin doesn't play match winning innings.Statistically,its true. But he has been the unluckiest cricketer ever.He has been given out due to improper umpiring,the most number of times.& there are many occasions where he almost took india to victory,but couldn't succeed due to lack of support from other end.Many times,he has provided solid starts in ODI's,but the succeeding batsmen have failed to capitalize on that.& if they did capitalize & win the match, sachin's innings was overshadowed.Some people say that there are hardly few innings in tests where sachin has won a match for india & most of his centuries have been in drawn matches,but how many noticed that those drawn matches would have been lost if it weren't sachin's innings.Generally,one who scores max runs in the match is said to be a matchwinner,but all others who contributed in the win,are ignored. Sachin has been a great victim of this thing.

Posted by Nayeem_Kohir on (October 26, 2010, 9:28 GMT)

f there is an Indian who deserved to be in the World XI, it is Sehwag.

Brian Lara, Greg Chappel, and some other batsmen from the past are superior batsmen than Sachin Tendulkar. Ricky ponting, Kevin Pietersen and Jaysuriya are as good as Sachin or even better when playing under pressure. Though Inzimam did not dominate as these batsmen did, he delivered when it mattered the most.

Sachin is a selfish player and plays for records and always want to be called himself the best. He never comes up with the best batsman comment for anyone like Sehwag, Brian Lara or anyone else.

On the other hand, a selfless Lara or even a fan in Sehwag called Sachin the best.

Sachin is the most selfish cricketer I have even seen.

So to see Sachin in the world XI makes me laugh at the Jury. This world XI should have the likes of Greg Chappel, Brian Lara, and Imran Khan to make the World XI instead of the likes of Sachin Tendulkar.

Posted by Nayeem_Kohir on (October 26, 2010, 9:16 GMT)

LARA is better batsman than Sachin Tendulkar. There are many other batsmen who are better than Sachin Tendulkar. Lara should have been in the World XI instead of Sachin. Because we have seen both Lara and Sachin, even if we have not seen some of the greats of the past. If there was any Indian player who deserved to be in the World XI it is Sehwag.

Bradman, Brian Lara, Greg Chappel, Viv Richards, Wally Hammond, Adam Gilchrist, Virender Sehwag were all better batsmen than Sachin Tendulkar.

Inzimam-ul-haq has the second best average in the team winning matches and is far ahead of Sachin Tendulkar. Lara, Javed Miandad, Steve Waugh, and Bevan in one day international, and many other players have played more watch winning or match saving innings than Tendulkar

Sachin only plays for records and is very diplomatic with the people and that is what has gone in his favor all the time.

The jury definitely is a bunch of jokers who selected Sachin ahead of many great match winners.

Posted by red000 on (October 26, 2010, 9:13 GMT)

atleast one of gavaskar or sehwag has to be made in the eleven...gavaskar has scored heavily aganist the mighty westindies...and sehwag the most dangerous opening batsmen ever ..i repeat ever...some blindly say that he only scores in subcontinent pitches...open up and see his record overseas..he distroyed every opponent home and away....he scores big and fast aganist best teams like australia..played some of incredible innings in difficult pitches and single handedly one match for the country...his incredable knocks involve a double hundread aganist srilanka where he scored 200 in total of 300 of team score...... so..if anyone says he scores on only flat tracks..r simply stupids..and who doesnt know anythings about cricket nor follows @hmia1oo1 sachin has played under pressure all his life..leaving past 2-3 years..where we hav now best batting to handle even if sachin fails...those where days if sachin fails its all over for india....sachin is not one of the best ..he.i s the best.

Posted by Baria00 on (October 26, 2010, 7:58 GMT)

I think there is a misconception that sachin does not contribute enough when india wins. so here are some stats, i think this will qualify him as a real match winner. test matches are never one by a single player or in the second innings alone. good first innings totals has always proved to be a cornerstone for an excellent chance to win. so here r the stats, india has won total of 59 test matches in which sachin has played. his contribution ( 20 hundres, 20 fifites ), 44 lost ( 10 hundreds, 13 fifties), 68 draws ( 19 hundres, 25 fifties )..now one days...off all the matches that india have won with sachin in the team..he has scored ( 33 hundreds and 56 fifties ). most of his centuries scored in draw or lost r away from home. all i m trying to say is that people who alway bitch about him not winning enought matches for india should really look at these stats..btw i loved the way steve waugh batted...one of my all time fav cricketer beside sachin tendulkar..

Posted by   on (October 26, 2010, 7:49 GMT)

@KiwiRocker: Here are some more stats in your line that will no doubt amuse you....Mr. Ricky Ponting averages 45.66 against SA in Tests involving Donald against his all time avg of 56.38 against the Proteas. Against India(never known for their bowling prowess) he averages a "pathetic" 30.64 in tests involving Harbhajan :-). And the best: in the only test he has played against the 2 Ws of Pak, he has bagged a pair, dismissed by Waqar and Wasim in either innings. Lara's average dropped to 34.05 from 49 against SA whenever Donald played. Similarly against Pak, his average drops from 53.31 to 30.30 when Akram played. So we can conclude that the top 3 batsmen of modern cricket viz. Tendulkar, Lara and Ponting are all overrated :-D. Then who is the best?

Posted by its.rachit on (October 26, 2010, 7:48 GMT)

@kiwirocker - wow man ... warne have been voted the greatest bowler of all time ... and if scoring big against him is not great, I wonder what Mr. Warne is doing in the team ... i agree sachin's performance dipped against mcgrath, akram and donald ... but then ponting has never played well in england against the likes of flintoff, harmison etc ... shud i say that ponting does not even deserve to be called great because he has a mediocre record against mediocre bowlers ... same applies to lara as well .. look at his record against india ... and sachin mastered the other great bowlers of his time - warne, murali, gillespie, pollock, etc ...

Posted by batmannrobin on (October 26, 2010, 7:08 GMT)

@hmia1001- Answer to ur ques. Sachin has scored 5398@70 with 20 100s in 'won' matches. Lara has scored 2929@61 with 8 100s in won matches. Need to say anythin more? The fact that Lara was a better match winner is a big myth as can be seen from the fact above.Among others WI have beaten by SA 5-0 (98/99), 5-0 ( Aus 00/01),4-0 ( Eng 04/05) and 3-0 by Eng in WI. After the 3-0 drubbing Lara scored 400* in the final test!.

Posted by ZA77 on (October 26, 2010, 7:08 GMT)

Please find my own dream team although I believe it is only imaginary siutation or team. As an opener, Gavaskar and Hobbs, no. 3 Brian Lara no. 4 Tendulkar, no. 5 Viv Richard, no. 6 Imran Khan (Captain plus all rounder), no. 7 Dujon (Wicketer Keeper), no. 8 Shane Warne, no. 9 Wasim Akram, no. 10 Malcom Marshall and no. 11 Murli. 2nd best XI, As an opener, Herbert Sutcliff and Len Hutton, no. 3 Don Bradman, no. 4 Greig Chappell, no. 5 Gary Sobers, no. 6 Clive Llloyd (Captain plus batsman), no. 7 Alan Knott (Wicketer Keeper), no. 8 Richard Hadlee, no. 9 Anil Kumble, no. 10 SF Barnes and no. 11 Glen McGrath. Third best, as an opener Morris and Sehwag, no. 3 Ponting (Captain), no. 4 G. Pollock, no. 5 Miandad, No. 6 Border no. 7 Adam Gilchrist (keeper), no. 8 Reilly, no. 9 Lillee, no.10 Waqar and no. 11 Ambrose. I hope people will enjoy it.

Posted by the_blue_android on (October 26, 2010, 5:51 GMT)

HMia2002 OR Hyder Mia 2002 - We will all read your all time XI when it comes on THE DAWN. Till then, please let us follow cricinfo all time XI!!

Posted by   on (October 26, 2010, 5:36 GMT)

Mr. hmia1001 i think u don't have enough Knowledge of cricket. i can understand u r fan of ponting ..just see the record of tendulkar and compare with ponting's record..he is not even close of sachin's records...if u forget then i remember you sachin is the first men in earth who reached 200 score in one day cricket against a very gud team south africa ...if you want to know more..i will help you ...

Posted by sudhindranath on (October 26, 2010, 4:43 GMT)

Here is a different kind of XI. I am looking for a team where (a) all batsman can bowl more than a bit and (b) all bowlers can bat more than a bit.

The latter list is somewhat easy to arrive at since most all-rounders tend to be primarily bowlers who can bat quite well.

I exempt wicket-keepers from bowling duties. Instead, I will look for one who can equal regular batsmen in terms of abilities.

Here is my team : Sehwag (39 wkts), Jayasuriya (98 wkts), W. Hammond (83 wkts), Greg Chappell (47 wkts), Sobers (c), Gilchrist (17 100's, 26 50's), Vinoo Mankad, Kallis, Botham, Imran Khan, Keith Miller.

So we have 10 bowlers (6 fast/medium-fast incl. Sobers and Hammond, 1 medium-pace (Chappell), 2 slow-left armers and 1 right arm off-break) and 11 batsmen (8 right-handers and 3 left-handers).

Posted by Pathiyal on (October 26, 2010, 4:42 GMT)

except for the exclusion of Ricky Ponting, it looks a fantastic eleven. i was going through the comments about the inclusion of Sachin :-) what i think about these fellas is that 'even if God appears infront of them, they would turn aside saying someones playing pranks with them'. they are so obsessed with negativity. would be interested to understand about these alien's in detail :-) we will try our best to work out a solution for you guys.

Posted by 9ST9 on (October 26, 2010, 4:25 GMT)

Ok just to sum this up most of the guys here would't have in reality seen some players mentioned here. If there should be an XI based on video evidence. It would have to be from the 80's onwards. From what i have seen I am inclined to pick this XI:

1. Gavaskar 2. Greenidger 3.Lara 4.Tendulkar 5.Richards 6.Gilchrist 7.Akram 8. Ambrose 9. Warne 10. McGrath 11.Muralitharan

Posted by   on (October 26, 2010, 4:22 GMT)

@hmia1001

if u dream hard enough.. ur dad could have been in it too

Posted by ATrueLegend on (October 26, 2010, 4:06 GMT)

continue... I read Donald's interview where he said he used to start preparing for facing Sachin months before actual match. According to him, Sachin is the toughest opponent, he ever faced. Keeping this healthy average for this long is not joke. Even hussey had avg. of 80 when he came where he is now, so don't even attempt to compare him with lesser mortal as he is GOD OF CRICKET. PERIOD.

Posted by ATrueLegend on (October 26, 2010, 4:02 GMT)

@ hmia 1, you are ridiculous dude and if u are desperately trying to belittle genius with your incompetent, ineffectual and archaic arguments, then that is not gonana work. Sachin, better technical player than any batsmen and his records speaks of it. If you think, 14240 runs in test at the average of 56.96, 49 centuries and 58half centuries, 17598 runs in ODI at an avg. of 45.12, 46 centuries and 93 half centuries, won't win matches for any country than certainly it can't be his fault. It is a team game and there are 10 other players who play game and if they are ordinary for most time of his career (bowlers win matches for any country), it's not his fault. So, think wisely before even commenting on player like Sachin who we are lucky to see in our time and would never see again in century once he leave cricket field. You wanna get answer who is best then listen to great bowlers like Shane warne, Allan donald, Akram, Mcgrath. Everybody know about Warne who rated him best in his list

Posted by CricFan24 on (October 26, 2010, 2:18 GMT)

And let's not even bring ODIs into the picture. I'll risk sounding like a troll and say that it's ludicrous to me that anyone would look beyond Sachin as the greatest player in limited overs history. He has 33 hundreds in winning causes, has made runs eveywhere and in real pressure cooker situations (he averages 56 with 6 hundreds in ODI finals v Ponting's 38 or Lara's 28). The closest anyone comes in the ODI greatness stakes is Viv Richards, and Tendulkar has more than 10,000 more runs (say it out loud - more than TEN THOUSAND), at a marginally (45 v 47) lower average and marginally lower strike rate. So, please, I beg of you fine folks, end this Sachin v Lara debate once and for all. I'll get an aneurysm if I have to listen any more about Brian Lara winning more matches (all eight of them) or having been a better batsman than Sachin.

Posted by CricFan24 on (October 26, 2010, 2:18 GMT)

I think Brian Lara, bless his heart, was a great batsman. But he is held in such high regard partly because of his swashbuckling style and the fact that his few highest notes in a career spanning hundreds of matches were as high or higher than anyone else's. The truth is that he was nowhere near as consistently good as Tendulkar has been and still is. Consider this. In 4th innings, Brian averaged 3 runs lower than Sachin, In 3rd match innings 7 runs less. Lara has 8 hundreds in winning causes vs Sachin's 20. And apart from the 153*, he has done virtually nothing in 4th innings chases. But that innings has always been cited in a "what has sachin done?" argument. Before Sachin buried the idiots at Chennai, of course.

Posted by CricFan24 on (October 26, 2010, 2:14 GMT)

YES!!!........... I got 3 out of 11 right !I had picked 5 Tendulkars, 5 Akrams , 1 Gilly................Unfortunately the 12 experts got Tendulkar, Akram and Gilly right but went in for 8 other lesser players.

Posted by Caveman. on (October 26, 2010, 2:06 GMT)

Rather unfortunately, hmia's opinions seem to count for naught. Anyway, if you want to look up Sachin's match winning knocks, just use Statsguru. For those with extreme short memory, the most recent knock cam in his most recent test, which was a double century. In fact 53 out of his 95 centuries have come in victories, with the average being over 60 in those games.

53 centuries, tests and ODIs combined. That's probably more than the number of centuries a good batsman would give his arm and leg for.

Posted by   on (October 26, 2010, 1:13 GMT)

@hmia1001: Either you don't understand what tenacity means or u don't value honesty. Most of the players who started with Sachin are either commentators or are something no one cares. Instead Sachin is scoring 200 in a single innings within 50 overs and having an average of 95+ in the current year. Moreover no one how a batsman fares against the no. 6 but everyone cares how you fared against the team who has dominated the world cricket. And here are the stats http://stats.cricinfo.com/ci/engine/stats/index.html?class=1;filter=advanced;opposition=2;orderby=batting_average;qualmin1=2000;qualval1=runs;template=results;type=batting

Posted by swadesh82 on (October 26, 2010, 1:04 GMT)

@hmia1001 : dont worry about whos match winner and who's not. even bradman whould have band on his knees and invite sachin ramesh tendulkar to give him few tips of backfoot punch and bullet straight drive.the debate on who's is the world best batsman was closed long time ago coz there was always a one and only name came up everytime and guess who , he is an indian cricketer called Sachin ramesh tendulka, a 16 yrs old kid who rewrite the cricket history and and still writinng new chapter with every match he is playing.

Posted by Arp2007 on (October 26, 2010, 1:03 GMT)

Tendulkar is the best...the pure joy that he gave to viewers has to count for something...shot for shot there can be none better.. Lara is nowhere as good as Sachin. Agree, Lara is a legendary batsmen, and he is a wonderful n great batsmen but Tendulkar for majority is the best in the business. Tendulkar and his fans and supporters don't need to listen to people who always try to insult the little master. Sachin is GOD. I bow down to Lord Tendulkar...

Posted by Venkatb on (October 26, 2010, 0:22 GMT)

The best world XI would be one where there are 10 hostile bowlers + 1 wicketkeeper and no batsmen -Spofforth, Barnes, Marshall, Garner, Lindwall, Murali, Holding,Imran, Miller, Gilchrist (wkt kpr), Tyson - if the wicket is drying, add Underwood somewhere in between. With 3 genuine all-rounders and 2 near all-rounders, it is unlikely any batsman has escaped being a "bunny" of some of the above bowlers - even Bradman would wither. And this side is good for 200+ runs anytime

Posted by ramanzdaredevils on (October 25, 2010, 23:42 GMT)

@hmia1001.. I pity u.. thatz all I can say! Go back to basics and learn a thing or two about Cricket! Sachin not a macth winner??? How many times did any one WIN a match for their team SINGLE HANDEDLY!!! Bowlers need a Batsman to give them some runs to play with and Batsman need Bowlers to take 20 wickets before the opposition scores beyond the set target.. then a match is won.. THATZ Cricket!! Learn this little (Basic) rule and then write to the forums.. criticizing The GOD of Cricket!! And hang on.. even before u start baseless mustering again...He is NOT the GOD of Cricket for just his service to the game! Its only a facet of his cricketing abilities... more so for the persona around him!!!

Posted by landl47 on (October 25, 2010, 23:35 GMT)

My eleven was close to that selected by the panel. I had Imran Khan in for Marshall and Sehwag in for Hutton. However, that's based on the list of players from which we could choose. The problem is that great players of the past were simply ignored. W.G. Grace was the outstanding player of the 19th century, as far above all his contemporaries as Bradman was in the 20th. Likewise, Spofforth was rated the best bowler before 1900. Since none of the panel will have seen Hobbs and only one or two Hutton and Bradman, those players were picked on reputation. Why didn't the same apply to the Victorian era players? Otherwise, the most unlucky player on the list is Barry Richards. The only better batsman I've seen in first-class cricket was Sobers, but since Richards only played in 4 tests (with 2 hundreds and an average over 70) we'll never know how good he might have been.

Posted by kirksland on (October 25, 2010, 23:23 GMT)

My choice of 11's

Len Hutton, Barry Richards, Don Bradman, Brian Lara, Sachin Tendukar, Garry Sobers, Adam Gilchrist, Imran Khan, Malcolm Marshall, Shane Warne, Glenn Mcgrath.

Sunil Gavaskar, Jack Hobbs, Viv Richards, Wally Hammond, Greg Chappell, Jacques Kallis, Allan Knott, Richard Hadlee, Curtly Ambrose, Dennis Lillee, Muttiah Muralitharan.

Herbert Sutcliffe, Arthur Morris, Ricky Ponting, George Headley, Graeme Pollock, Les Ames, Keith Miller, Wasim Akram, Michael Holding, Bill O'Reilly, Allan Donald.

Gordon Greenidge, Matthew Hayden, Rahul Dravid, Ken Barrington, Clyde Walcott, Javed Miandad, Ian Botham, Joel Garner, Fred Trueman, Jim Laker, Waqar Younis.

I think each team is perfectly balanced and I invite you all to offer your suggestions.

Posted by   on (October 25, 2010, 22:15 GMT)

@ KiwiRocker : your explanation and understanding of statistical averages are so pathetic. btw..if u read the article itself : u'll find Mcgrath and Warne rated Sachin over Lara ( if u need a proof of wht i am saying). but anyways,u r a dumb fool and deaf too.So i refrain from taking any more to u.l

Posted by   on (October 25, 2010, 22:13 GMT)

When choosing batsmen surely the idea would be to choose from an era when batting was difficult. i.e no limits on bouncers, plenty of fast bowlers, uncovered pitches etc. On that regard we have not seen how sachin would have fared against say the windies pace battery for example. Thus the selection of say a gavaskar is justified say over contemporary opening greats such as matthew hayden.

Also its a travesty that akram is chosen above imran in the first world XI simply because imran brought the better package. Infact even in terms of statistics imran has the better record. We ought to remember the calibre of batting greats that imran balled against.

Posted by   on (October 25, 2010, 22:11 GMT)

@ hmia1001: ur so-called 'player fo the decade' aka 'Ponting' did not qualify for selection. You probably don't know that. The jury chose from all time XI of the participating nations and as ill luck would have it,you 'player for the decade' was not even included in the all time Australian XI... . . PS: he just missed it..he was the 'appointed' 12th man. check ur facts mate.than comment.

Posted by waspsting on (October 25, 2010, 22:10 GMT)

Re: Sachin Tendulkar.... @KiwiRocker.... its a shame we can't talk about Tendulkar intelligently here - so many red herrings, and it seems 90% of the posters are either crazily pro Tendulkar or vehmently against him. what to do? I don't agree with your criticism because... your findings ARE PRETTY OBVIOUS. of course tendulkar averages less against great bowlers than he does against ordinary bowlers... what batsman doesn't? Viv averages 50 in all test cricket, I'm positive if you broke this down, you'd find he averages more against weaker teams (india, england) and less against tougher ones (pakistan, australia). Isn't that just obvious? its true for every player. IMO, Tendulkar has scored enough runs against the best - I've seen some of the really wonderful hundreds he's made against them - to justify his quality.

Posted by mcheckley on (October 25, 2010, 22:03 GMT)

Key errors all round are that people are picking PLAYERS to fill SLOTS, not a TEAM to win a GAME, albeit hypothetically. When one gets to the very highest levels, the top dozen or so in a category are all brilliant, and it's really only a mtter of opinion whom you select. That being the case, whilst the specialist batsmen must stand on their own merits in their own specialism, if you were picking a TEAM to play a MATCH from such vast resources, you'd make jolly sure that all your bowlers could bat! Maybe - just maybe - Marshall and Warne find places, because they were both very useful Test atch No. 8s, but Lillee and Akram (neither of then bunny rabbits, true, but not "proper batsmen") must surely give way to Keith Miller and either Richard Hadlee or Imran Khan. The bowling would lose nothing, buit the batting order would now see Imran at 8, Hadlee at 9, Marshall at 10 and Warne at 11. No-one side with less than two first-class centuries, and only two without a Test Match hundred.

Posted by jeyakumar777 on (October 25, 2010, 21:59 GMT)

Hello Mr hmia, everyone knows about sachin ability to handle great bowlers. He may struggle against great bowlers for few times. but he quickly learn and handle them very well in the past. He played very well against the number one bowler Steyn when he scored first ever double hundred in ODI. Everyone knows how he played against world's best spinner Shane Warne and words fastest bowlers like Shoaip and Lee.

Posted by hmia1001 on (October 25, 2010, 21:31 GMT)

Lara or Steve Wuagh should have been in for Sachin because they were far more better match winners!

Posted by BillyCC on (October 25, 2010, 21:27 GMT)

Going back to the original question, I think the Second XI would win the majority of games on turning pitches and spinners paradises but the First XI would win on any other type of pitch. Having said that, there is more variety and depth in the Second XI, so any injuries would probably affect the First XI more.

Posted by yorvik on (October 25, 2010, 21:02 GMT)

If you pick a ''World's Best XI'' then playing the second XI shouldn't be a contest. Playing a team from Mars might need extra skills and for that reason you'd need a few different qualities. Boycott would be in my XI for a start because of his ability to play each ball on it's merit and weigh up exactly what it was like playing on a typical ''Martian Pinktop.''

A world XI has to play someone and there's more mileage in more ways than one playing against Mars rather than playing the second XI.

Posted by lazy.boy on (October 25, 2010, 20:29 GMT)

keep the english simple.. instead of using double negatives all the time, try something simpler..

Posted by Beazle on (October 25, 2010, 19:57 GMT)

A number of people have posted that Greg Chappell's average of 53.86 would have been even better if his sensational batting against the fearsome West Indies pace attack (at its very peak) was included.

I have just looked up Greg Chappell's 1978-79 batting against Roberts, Holding, Garner and Croft.

In successive test matches -firstly in Australia, then in the West Indies and then back in official Australian tests, he scored-

174, 246 not out, 90, 150, 113, 104, 85 not out, 74 and 124.

Wow ! Not even Sunny did that !

I can only conclude that Greg Chappell is very under rated.

Posted by BrianCharlesVivek on (October 25, 2010, 19:54 GMT)

Its a perfectly valid selection. I am a Brian Lara fan for life but the problem is that he is fairly unpredictable when compared to the other guys in 11. If at all he had to be in, he should be in place of Sachin, which is not possible. All other names have been the greatest iin their own right and most have unmatched charisma except Hammond. IN that regard i would have gone for Botham in the team. I would also weigh between Lillee and Mcgrath.. Great to see Macko as well.. I would also bring Murali instead of Akram...for bowling those marathon spells. macko and mcgrath should make batsmen shiver... and @Kiwirocker, you might be true , but you ll get a tirade of posts against you, most of which would be illogical..and of blind faith...

Posted by hmia1001 on (October 25, 2010, 19:49 GMT)

In fact "Player of the decade" (Ponting) should have been in place of sachin! Moreover, both of them have got same height but Ponting's pull and cover driver is the best in the world!

Posted by hmia1001 on (October 25, 2010, 19:43 GMT)

@Marwyn: Wasim never said this about sachin... in fact, he speaks the same about Gilchrist and Martin Crowe. Sachin averages less than 40 against pak in ODIs and around 42 in Tests! So it is clear that Pakistani bowlers have never been vary of Sachin! @CricketkaFunda: How many of sachin's hundreds are match winning innings for his country? I rate Dravid and Laxman higher then the so called "little" master. @Anand Singh: I wish Sachin would have played in the era of great fast bowlers so that we could see how many runs he would have scored! He could not even handle Malinga in Sri Lanka and South Africans in India; what shall I say more!

Posted by gmoturu1 on (October 25, 2010, 19:22 GMT)

few surprises to me were dennis lillie and len hutton. instead of dennis lillie curtly ambrose or michael holding are better. sunil gavaskar would have been better in place of len hutton. also, graeme pollock instead of viv richards but its a tough choice.

Posted by   on (October 25, 2010, 19:10 GMT)

How many cricketers do we know who can make comebacks after getting their shin fractured and being out of the team for over two years and that too at the peak of their careers? And not just make a comeback but average under 19 with the ball and over 50 with the bat, and not just for the next year but for the next decade? Add on top of all that, the mental strength and the leadership qualities should easily make Imran Khan the vice captain if not the captain of any world XI.

Posted by   on (October 25, 2010, 19:08 GMT)

One generation wasted all their resources for the Sachin and they are compelling the next generations to do in their way..Next generation is wasting their money and time and following Sachin blindly..Its a sheer waste of time..Me living in a society..Their acting towards life affecting everyone including myself.

Posted by anoopshameed on (October 25, 2010, 18:03 GMT)

TO ALL who have been trying to prove @KiwiRocker wrong-take it easy! His observations are 100% correct but his inference is 100% wrong. The data he has provided doesn't prove that Sachin struggled when McGrath, Donald, Wasim and Waqar were bowling. It only means that Sachin struggled when McGrath, Donald, Wasim, Waqar etc... were feilding. Considering how good a feilders they all were, the only reason I can come up for the fall in Sachin's average is the mean stares that they gave him from the boundary line (Imagine McGrath drilling Sachin with a mean stare, probably for making him run around to save the boundaries:) ). I understand most of you adore Sachin, but don't belittle a cricketer by giving lame excuses like he was injured, he was old, he was young etc... You are trying to explain 100% wrong observation from 100% correct statistics. A head to head analysis would be more accurate but in all likelihood we might end up wondering if atleast some of these bowlers were overrated!

Posted by waspsting on (October 25, 2010, 17:56 GMT)

Hammond had a relatively poor record against the West Indies, who were the only team that had quick bowlers in that time. The bowlers (Francis, Martindale and Constantine) were neither express fast, pinpoint accurate or masters of movement - they had pace. and Hammond struggled against them. Take that along with his expressed distaste against bouncers, and i think you have a player who would really have struggled against a barrage of 70s quicks. Graeme Pollock i would prefer - he was still capable against pace in his 40s. Imran should be in the first eleven. As good a bowler as anyone (lillee, holding, hadlee) and a far better bat. Miller... couldn't be counted on to bowl all the time because of his back injuries. Botham and Kapil aren't the same calibre of bowler, and Hadlee not the same calibre of batsman (though i'd have had hadlee in the first eleven too). Lindwall was universally regarded as superior to truman - by english and australian. Trueman played mainly home

Posted by waspsting on (October 25, 2010, 17:50 GMT)

Viv's record in inter-island games against the best fast attacks (barbados and Jamaica) were pretty ordinary, by comparison. Surprised at the UNIVERSAL choice of Warne over Murali. the ball turning in is harder to play than the ball going away WHEN IT IS MOVING SHARPLY. in murali's case, it always turned sharply - on technical grounds he's better. He also got "collared" less often by aggresive batsmen than Warne. Lara the best player of spin i've seen, better than Tendulkar (who is also great against spin). but Lara had a stronger weakness against short, fast bowling than Sachin, who took it more in stride. Gilchrist is treated very unfairly. I rarely saw him miss anything. Healy looked better, but missed just as little or much. IOW, keeping wise, they're about the same (though no one ever mentions that). can anyone show me evidence of gilchrist muffing chances? And he's a much better bat than all the others - i agree with his inclusion. (continued)

Posted by waspsting on (October 25, 2010, 17:44 GMT)

Lillee and Wasim Akram, IMO, are overrated (though great). I saw Wasim and Waqar in their joint primes - and there was absolutely no doubt that Waqar was the more damaging (i.e. more likely to get wickets) bowler. Stats support this (compare their strike rates). Yet almost universally, Wasim gets the praise while Waqar is marginalized. Lillee is great... but i see no reason why he's rated above Holding, Roberts, Garner, Marshall, Hadlee or Imran. Garner is the most underrated - his strike rate is better than holding or Roberts, even though he didn't take the new ball nearly as much (his average and economy rate are better too). but people think of him as a "hard bowler to score off" more than a lethal one. Well, the stats say he was striking more often than the lethal Roberts and Holding (usually with an older ball, too). I rate Greg Chappell better than Viv. Greg played the West Indies quicks wonderfully in Packer years (one of the greatest performances ever, IMO) (continued)

Posted by Mahesh.R on (October 25, 2010, 17:18 GMT)

This is XI is almost the same XI I chose with 2 differences. Instead of Wasim Akram, I would have Imran in the team. I chose, Knot instead of Gilchrist. But, then, Healy, Evans, Tallon were not chosen in their respective all time XIs. They would have been much better choices than Gilly. A team with 5 legendary batsmen in Hutton, Hobbs, Sachin, Viv and Sobers and a legend of legends called Sir Donald does not require the batting talents of Gilly. I am a big fan of Gilchrist, and I believe, Gilchrist is a modern legend who turned the table in favor of batsmen-keepers against wicket-keeper batsmen. But, there are better keepers than him.The choice between Imran and Akram...not much to choose between...I prefer Imran to Akram,if not for anything else,for his charisma and king-like presence and for being a better batsman. Not that Akram lacks charm or fanfare. But Imran had all these qualities in abundance. Sir Donald, Sachin, Viv and Sobers...you can't think of anyone else in their places

Posted by   on (October 25, 2010, 17:12 GMT)

good one !!! and nice article

Posted by   on (October 25, 2010, 16:48 GMT)

Imran had Injuries in his career ?Surely Hari Murthy, not significant....I cant remember Imran missing much cricket.!!

Posted by Buck_Vass on (October 25, 2010, 16:27 GMT)

What in the xyz...xyz!!! I ask anybody who anybody & knows anything about the history of cricket * WHERE IS Graeme Pollock on the all time list? Take a look (A Must Read) Graeme Pollock - A Retrospective - http://www.cricinfo.com/wisdenalmanack/content/story/153088.html If it is permissible to attach the word genius to the artistry of a batsman, then Graeme Pollock is such among cricketers. Like others so acknowledged he was ever the master craftsman. Perhaps the all-important factor was that from the start, the bowling he faced was more skilled and demanding than will have come the way of many others

Profile - http://www.cricinfo.com/southafrica/content/player/46772.html Perhaps the finest left-hand batsman the game has ever produced - Donald Bradman certainly thought so, classing only Garry Sobers as his equal among those he saw play. Another deprived of greater exposure by South Africa's isolation, Pollock showed in his 23 Tests what an awesome talent he possessed; his highest scor

Posted by   on (October 25, 2010, 15:59 GMT)

It seems strange that a batsman of the stature didnt deserve even a mention.How come.It is quite unacceptable.Ponting is the second highest run getter in test cricket and a couple of years ago was even rated as high as Tendulkar.His rather ordinary form in the last couple of seasons seems to have affected the jury too much.He is a match winner of the highest order and is a real colossus of the game and there is a realistic possibilty of him overtaking Tendulkar!!!! It is illogical and unacceptable to see him get such a patently raw deal!!!!!

Posted by   on (October 25, 2010, 15:53 GMT)

@hmia: after reading your comments,i know where you are coming from

Posted by Indus11 on (October 25, 2010, 15:43 GMT)

. . . and there is no room for the " First Super Hero" of the game - Ian Botham! Not so great now - Hah !!!

Posted by Indus11 on (October 25, 2010, 15:39 GMT)

No Waqar - anywhere to be seen. But there IS a Bill O'Reilly - some one most people aged 50 plus have NEVER heard of and a look at Bill O'Reilly figures shows he would never get into a side today - but he DOES get into the world XI - go figure ! The sooner the old'uns move -the sooner we will see the man with the GREATEST strike rate - Waqar - get into the world XI and deservedly so ! And, at least no body will be able to say - Waqar who ?

Posted by Beazle on (October 25, 2010, 15:19 GMT)

Rob's article is wrong- Hobbs got 22 votes in the Wisden contest-not the Don or got, of course, 100.

I almost agree with the final X1, other than I would have either Sehwag or Gavaskar in for Hutton and would have Lara instead of Tendulkar. I would also have Knott instead of Gilchrist but I do concede that Gilchrist was truly extraordinary. As for the spinner, Warne is easily the best but I would drop Akram and put in Murali. (but only if we ignore THAT diabolical action. I don't need Wasim as I have Sobers to bowl left arm quick.

Posted by   on (October 25, 2010, 15:12 GMT)

hey its the decision....of espn crick info... so lets digest it... and accept that this is the all time eleven... and friends create your own 11 and keep it in your records...

Posted by Navin84 on (October 25, 2010, 15:06 GMT)

I haven't seen a single comment about Ricky Pointing, I would have put him instead of Barry Richards although he is not an opener. Pointing is far better than Barry Richards.

Posted by AsherCA on (October 25, 2010, 15:05 GMT)

I see that there is no decision on who the captain will be. The captain has the biggest headache of this lot. All performers being pastmasters, they don't have to listen to anyone. Also, the captain would not have seen more than 50 % of the side perform from close quarters. He would therefore not know what makes Sachin / Marshall tick - how will the captain get the best from his team ? Also - I just wonder what would happen if these batsmen were faced with an 11 where Jonty Rhodes fielded at Point & Eknath Solkar at forward short leg (Remember there are enough really good bowlers not in the first 11 - Holding, Glen McGrath, Shane Bond, Thomson, Hadlee, Waqar, Roberts, Willis, Botham, Bedi, Prasanna, Chandra,Gupte, Jasu Patel, Qadir, Underwood.....) Alan Knott behind the stumps to boot !

Posted by CricketkaFunda on (October 25, 2010, 14:37 GMT)

@hmia1001, You sound desperate anti-Sachin. You have no idea of cricket. You should be ashamed of yourself.

Posted by   on (October 25, 2010, 14:31 GMT)

I think Muraltharan i in place of Warne and someone elseMcGrath) in place of Lillee would have a perfect XI. I am happy to see Marshall in the line up. In the second XI I think Kapil Dev or Ian Botham would have been a better bet than Imran.Imran had injuries in his career and why Barry Richards? Shewag is much better than Barry. If there was a match between these 2 sides, my bet would be on World XI.

Posted by Niall on (October 25, 2010, 14:28 GMT)

I agree with Rob about the strategic blunder in picking Gilchrist ahead of Knott or Healey. For the sake of consistency though (and at the risk of upsetting the Barbadians here) I'd argue that Gary Sobers doesn't deserve his place here either - not because he wasn't by far and away the best all-rounder there has ever been, he was - but because there is no place for an all-rounder here. Your all-rounder is someone to turn to when the batting or bowling has let you down. Not something likely here.

Posted by Marwyn on (October 25, 2010, 14:08 GMT)

@KiwiRocker: All 3 of them - Glen Donald McGrath, Wasim Akram & Allan Anthony Donald - have confessed that Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar was the only batsman they ever feared bowling to. Good night.

Posted by hmia1001 on (October 25, 2010, 14:00 GMT)

Sachin should not have been in the all time eleven as he does not appear to be one of the all time greats regardless of his achievements!!! One reason is that he has never been a match winner, piling on runs for himself only!!! Just number of runs should not have been a criteria!!! Also, Lille should have replaced with some one else!!!

Posted by anoopshameed on (October 25, 2010, 13:48 GMT)

@ KiwiRocker, And am I tired of you running around gleefully with something that you found and posting it in articles that has nothing to do with the issue-atleast couldn't you change the wordings a bit? All your figures does mean is that McGrath was somewhere on the field when Sachin got out. If you really want to know how Sachin fared against McGrath, do a head to head analysis. I think McGrath got Sachin's wicket only 4 times in the 18 odd innings they played against each other. Infact Gillespie is the one who got him most of the time. In all likelihood if you do a head to head analysis, Sachin's average against McGrath is likely to go up but against Gillespie it might be lower! Donald got Sachin 5 times in the 20 odd innings they played against each other, but Cronje got him most of the time! Since your data is skewed I am not bothering with rest-but if do a head to head analysis do let us know of the result.

Posted by ShardulJuyal on (October 25, 2010, 13:44 GMT)

Aww.....

i would any day choose Sydney Barnes and Fred Trueman over the rest of the bowlers.. Marshall and Lillie included. With Imran Murali and O'Reilly side 2, in my book, has a much better bowling attack than side 1.

Posted by CricketPissek on (October 25, 2010, 13:42 GMT)

any comment, that says any selection is a joke, is a joke

Posted by lankan_style on (October 25, 2010, 13:37 GMT)

Well no matter who picked this world eleven, I say Murali should be in it. Seriously ESPN should be ashamed for being so BIASED!!!!

Posted by   on (October 25, 2010, 13:24 GMT)

"He may have been the bowler Brian Lara feared most, but many will object with especial vehemence to the presence of Wasim (is he there strictly for variety?)"

Is this a joke? Akram is the best bowler in this World XI. He is also the only the bowler in the lineup, who can reverse it.

Posted by CricFan24 on (October 25, 2010, 13:22 GMT)

Bradman/Tendulkar...............the rest....The great majority of experts, fans and players are right on the money.

Posted by   on (October 25, 2010, 13:22 GMT)

Waqar Younis, the bowler with the greatest strike rate not even in the second eleven? That's just silly.

Waqar at his best, could have reverse swung a match for a 5th eleven against the 1st eleven.

Posted by M_Hasan on (October 25, 2010, 13:17 GMT)

World eleven deserved the best keeper, not the keeper batsman

World eleven deserved best allround bowlers not Lillee who hardly ever played outside Eng/ NZ/ Aus and when he did, he failed miserably.

Lillee has average record against good batting line ups his time... Avg against Pakistan is around 30 and windies is around 27... Macgrath at least excelled and has the courage to pay world over/...

Posted by RomanNoseJob on (October 25, 2010, 13:08 GMT)

Forget playing it at Lord. Chuck Trueman, put McGrath in and you have a bowling line up that would demolish the first XI on the sub continent.

Posted by   on (October 25, 2010, 12:36 GMT)

Anyone who thinks Akram is there only for diplomatic reasons is a fool! He was the greatest bowler of modern era.

Posted by ronnieb on (October 25, 2010, 12:30 GMT)

next we'll have another imaginary team to counter this team ... we can have an imaginary tournament this way ... so exciting !!!!! .. (just being sarcastic)

Posted by peterhrt on (October 25, 2010, 12:28 GMT)

Overall a successful and worthwhile exercise. However, a true all-time eleven should be picked only by historians. The impact of a cricketer on his own time is crucial and can only be understood by studying contemporary accounts. The first Test match took place over 130 years ago. Fifty years ago, it was more or less agreed that the four greatest batsmen to that point had been Grace, Trumper, Hobbs and Bradman. No one put Hutton in the same class. The greatest bowlers were considered to be Spofforth, Barnes and O'Reilly. By 1970 Sobers had joined the elite. Since then the broadening of talent throughout the world has produced few who have stood clearly above contemporaries: among batsmen Barry then Viv Richards, and more recently Lara and Tendulkar. A dozen excellent bowlers have emerged, none conclusively outbowling their rivals or bestriding their era to the extent of the three old-timers. Test history's halfway point was WW2 yet only one of this team had retired before then.

Posted by intcamd on (October 25, 2010, 12:19 GMT)

Another joker panel as the selectors. Hutton over Gavaskar? Gilchrist is the best keeper of all time? These clueless bumppkins are the selctors to choose the best of all time?

Posted by sublime_sport on (October 25, 2010, 12:03 GMT)

@KiwiRocker -from grandmaster123: Tendulkar and McGrath have only played in 2 full-series(and they were at their peak then) 1998/99 in aus - [ 61 & 0 (both times incorrectly given out ),, 116 & 52,, 45 & 4]series avg = 46.33. 2000/01 in india - [76 & 65,, 10 & 10,, 126 & 17] Series avg = 50.67 McGrath dismissed him 4 times out of the 12 inns. Tendulkar and Donald have played in 3 full-series 1992 in SA (when sachin was 19) [11,, 111 & 1,, 6 & 0,, 73] Series Avg = 33.33 1996/97 in SA- [15 & 4,, 169 & 9,, 35 & 9] Series avg = 40.17 2000 in india [97 & 8,,21 & 20] Series average = 36.5 In these 3 series he was dismissed 5 times by H. Cronje and 4 times by Donald out of 16 inns. Tendulkar and the Pakistani W's (Akram and Waqar) have played in 2 series. 1989 in Pakistan [15,, 59 & 8,, 41,, 35 & 57 ] Series avg at an age of 16 = 35.83 Imran Khan dismissed him twice, Akram once and Waqar once. 1999 in india (W's at their peak) [ 0 & 136,, 6 & 29] Series avg = 42.75 They failed to dismiss him

Posted by   on (October 25, 2010, 11:53 GMT)

Lara is the best...the pure joy that he gave to viewers has to count for something...shot for shot there can be none better..

Posted by   on (October 25, 2010, 10:54 GMT)

Michael Holding missing from the Second XI as well?? is that a joke???

Posted by   on (October 25, 2010, 10:38 GMT)

A solid XI right there, but I'd have made one amendment if I were picking - Muralitharan instead of Warne, and put Warne in the Second XI. Other than that, can't say I argue over either side. Both are very strong indeed.

Posted by   on (October 25, 2010, 10:30 GMT)

Good choices all around. Except putting in Lillee instead of Mcgrath. Lets not forget Lillee took most of his wickets in either england or australia. Or that most of his victims were poms.

Posted by Gizza on (October 25, 2010, 9:56 GMT)

KiwiRocker, you really must have a grudge against Tendulkar, don't you. There are five comments on this article before yours and NONE of them are about Tendulkar. I repeat NONE of them are about Tendulkar. And judging from the names at least of them are Indian but they didn't Tendulkar up. YOU DID. So please stop lighting the flame.

Personally I think Tendulkar and Lara are practically equal. At the most, I will pick Tendulkar over Lara on the spinning pitch or a team will very good spinners while I would pick Lara against a stronger pace attack or faster pitch (although youtube Tendulkar in Perth 1991 and you will not better cuts off the backfoot). Having said that, they both have a tiny weakness to very fast, short-pitched bowling. Richards was better than both of them in this regard but he wouldn have been a fair few levels lower against a great spinner.

Posted by fahadrauf on (October 25, 2010, 9:51 GMT)

Cricket is very tough these day, in my opinion its unfair! Especially with the cricketers of this era to keep them comparing with bradmans again and again, nothing against those players but I think the stats could have been different if they were playing today.

Not a bad choice of players but still, its a bit inclined towards Australia, and if warne can make it, then where is Murali? You are questioning Akram.... I can say why not Ambrose over lillee!

Posted by   on (October 25, 2010, 9:29 GMT)

Warne? to captain? oh yeah, spot on he was great at that at international level. maybe someone whould be call for Yuvraj Singh since we're basing the team on twenty20.

Posted by chandau on (October 25, 2010, 9:19 GMT)

It seems the WORLD XI is more about showmanship than performance. Many people think George Headley / Brian Lara should be in ahead of Sir VR. His personality is legendary as opposed to the silent and more dimunitive Lara. Compare Warne with Murali. One a typical boorish Auzzy, the other a friendly smiling Sri Lankan. (Murali was too friendly for the liking of many a foreign captain - famous cse of Nasser Husain saying his pacies should aim to break Murali's fingers and not be fooled by the smile and gentle nature). Compare Lille with any other leading fast bowler like Ambrose / Walsh who ralely spoke to batters or braged into them (case of Miandad comes to mind). Gilchrist ahead of traditional keepers like Rod Marsh, Alan Knott, Derek Murray, is confusing, but then again his batting was the showmanship, never his keeping right? Last but not least Rob wants warne to lead the world XI!!! Aman who was banned from sport for drug offense, gambling, womanizing , etc. etc. well done mate :)

Posted by   on (October 25, 2010, 9:10 GMT)

Brian Lara omission from the world XI is an insult to the game of cricket. Using just statistics to measure the greatness of such a player is unfortunate. Brian Lara is the best when it comes to entertaining cricket. For people who think other than 153* Lara has achieved nothing. The test match before thriller Barbados one, he scored some 213 runs when his team was 37/4 in Jamaica. On Numerous occasions, he was the anchor which brought WI team some respectability. Brian Lara must be on any playing eleven given his reputation on playing under extreme pressure for most part of his career. He brings the right blend of aggression and artistry to the game and he will remembered always for the entertainment he provided and for the fans-- we still relive those moments. Who in earth can resist watching Brian Lara bat..

Posted by Proteas123 on (October 25, 2010, 9:04 GMT)

@KiwiRocker - Well put, Tendulkar is very over rated, although still very good.

Posted by   on (October 25, 2010, 8:47 GMT)

hmmmmmmmmmmmmmm al crickets in these list and selecting list are great but ???????????we need not great we need greatest and i feel if this is best i can make a better team to break this team for sure..........................not great bro select ghreatest legends........Imran legend of pakistan cricket,murali legend of sri lankan cricket,and where is lara,not select by old ,select by there grade,Lara and murali are world record holders in test.......................they all great but we need something special.......................sorry dear

Posted by SachinAlways on (October 25, 2010, 8:45 GMT)

@ Kiwi/Paki Rocker Sir Vivian Richards averages 41.96 V Pak, 43.0 V NZ So He is also overrated as well !!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by   on (October 25, 2010, 8:40 GMT)

Everyone would have their opinions - I suspect blatantly contrasting ones as well. Nationality induces some bias as well. Personally - for all his 355 wkts I don't think Lillee really is a complete fast bowler. He struggled in the subcontinent and against batsmen who weren't even greats - Tony Greig, Roy Fredericks, and Kallicharan bested him. Against allcomers and in all conditions - Marshall, and Akram are way more equipped. Similarly - sheer longevity and statistics can't be ignored but I have to agree at their peak Lara and Warne hit the notes which Sachin or Murali never could... and this isn't a comment of the latter two's greatness just a neutral observation on the skills of the former two. At the end of the day choosing an all time team does involve a lot of (often uneven and hopeful) extrapolation...

Posted by dcaprio on (October 25, 2010, 8:16 GMT)

KIWIROCKER,as u said tht one cant bcome great by scoring against warne(for sachin)then i say tht one can also not just become great by scoring agaist akram and murli(for lara).u say that lara played mcgrath well,thats a joke, mcgrath got rid of lara 15 times in tst cricket.u said tht sachin didnt played DONALD well.SACHIN SCORED 3 BRILLIANT HUNDREDS VS SA IN SA.forgot 169 and 155?if u r talking about scoring aginst AKRAM,if u leav aside sachin's first series ,he played only 3 test against akram AND SCORED 136 IN CHENNAI, U FORGOT THAT?.u r showing only half stats to insult schin,and telling that he averages 36 agaist SA and 32 agaist pak.WHAT ABOUT SCORING AGAINST OTHER GREAT BOWLERS WHO IN NO WAY ARE BAD THAN donald,mcgrath and akram,LIKE SHOAIB,BRETT LEE,GILESPIE,KASPROWICHwhen u talk about scring agaist them,why r u OMITTING ODIS,WHERE SACHIN HAD SMASHED EACH OF THEM INCLUDING MCGRATH,AKRAM.MCGRATH,AND DONALD ALSO SAY THAT SACHIN IS BEST,WHY U HAV PROBLEM WITH THAT?

Posted by AhmadSaleem on (October 25, 2010, 8:00 GMT)

Lileeeeeeeeeeeeeeee? whyyyyyyyyyy? had a mediocre record in sub continent.

Posted by RezaThahir on (October 25, 2010, 7:56 GMT)

the balance of the team is very important in any kind of selection, you cant leave out greatest players cricket has ever seen. According to me this is the best Xi where no one could argue about. I dont want to satisfy any country on my selections, my selections is purely based on merit.

1. Sachin Tendulkar (along with Lara the Greatest batsmen since Bradman) 2. Brian Lara (Along with Sachin The greatest Batsmen since Bradman) 3. Don Bradman (The greatest batsman ever) 4. Garfield Sobers (The Greatest Cricketer Ever) 5. Viv Richards (The most exciting & devastating batsmen ever to grace earth) 6. Adam Gilchrist (The Greatest Wicket Keeping Batsmen Ever) 7. Imran Khan (The greatest captain ever by a mile) 8. Shane Warne (The greatest Leg Spinner ever) 9. Dennis Lillie (The Greatest Fast Bowler ever along with Mcgrath) 10. Mcgrath (The Greatest Fast bowler ever along with Lillie) 11. Muralitharan (The Greatest Off spinner Ever) 12th Man. Jonty Rhodes (The greatest Fielder ever)

Posted by TheOnlyEmperor on (October 25, 2010, 7:55 GMT)

I think the Don is over rated thanks to the helpless English and Aussie hype. Apart from the 2 openers, I would on second thoughts have Gilchrist, Sachin, Lara, Sobers as the middle order. I would prefer the 2 openers to be right handed. Sachin has the weight of the centuries, behind him; Lara is a big scoring heavyweight, with 2 370+ scores and Sobers can lend real stability to the batting and dig in, if the need arises. Sehwag (great 150+ conversion and 2 triples as an opener!!) is really good against the quicks and at his best, will set the tempo of the match. A crowd puller. It doesn't matter who bats with Sehwag, as long as he can keep his wicket at the other end, though I think it should be Gavaskar who scored 13 centuries against the WI pace greats. Yes, I would play Gilly at number 3 and he would the guy who would set and stabilise the pace for the runrate of the innings. Only 3 Aussies : Gilly, Lillee and Warnie. Others : Murali, Marshall and Wasim. Unbeatable!

Posted by   on (October 25, 2010, 7:54 GMT)

With out murali its not possible, hw came warne behind murali?

Posted by Truecricketbuff on (October 25, 2010, 7:38 GMT)

As was the case before his injuries Tendulkar is uniformly regarded as the best batsman after Bradman by the vast majority of experts, players and fans...Of course, a complete unanimity in these cases is next to impossible. However, in another 5 years of so- Tendulkar may actually pip Bradman.

Posted by weenmcqueen on (October 25, 2010, 7:38 GMT)

Do we have captains and vice captains and which two umpires would be in charge of this match made in heaven. Dicky and Chester?

Posted by Quazar on (October 25, 2010, 7:28 GMT)

(contd.) d) Vs. the 2Ws (& Saqlain, etc), he scored one of the EPIC Test innings of the '90s -- 136 on final day in Chennai, which almost got India home (fell short of ~280 by 8 runs) from 70/5. His overall avg. of mid-30s vs. them is skewed by the fact that he played 4 of his 7 tests vs. them as a 16-yr old on debut! And aside from Gilchrist, no batsman has ever pulverised a Pak attack including Akhtar and the 2Ws the way SRT did in the 2003 WC in SA...scoring a match-winning 98 in 76 balls! e) Lastly, how many batsmen average over 55 in Oz with 6 100s (including a 241*) over a stretch of 16 years and 4 tours? Not to mention the DOZENS of brilliant ODI innings vs. Oz over 18 years where he humbled everyone from Mcgrath to Warne to Lee to Johnson. (For destruction of McGrath, rewind to the '96 WC, the '99 ICC mini-WC in Nairobi, or the 5-match 2001 series in India after which McGrath admitted in his Times of India article that SRT had got the better of him). Injury-free SRT = AWESOME!

Posted by wc1992 on (October 25, 2010, 7:27 GMT)

Viv Richard said if i have to choose some to BAT for my LIFE "I will choose JAVAD MIADAD".... Javad played under KING KHAN IMRAN KHAN ...... i do not need t say anthing .. you need a STREET FIGHTER .... there NONE BETTER THan JAVAD MIADAD..... as for as tendulker goes, i have seen his whole career .. yes he is cricket history all times over rated player...but if i need a match winner underpressure tendulker will be the last in my list ie JAVAD, Inzamam, Pontin......

Posted by   on (October 25, 2010, 7:24 GMT)

dude...kiwirocker...dont create your own statistic and make it look real. Tendulkar averages against mcgrath (barring last 2 yrs before Mcgrath retired as sachin was with injuries ) was 46. Not other bastmen has this average against Mcgrath. Mcgrath got Lara out 17 freaking times and sachin around 10-11. Mcgrath himself said Sachin is the best he bowled...then who the hell r u?? last time I checked Mcgrath was not a paranoid indian. Next coming to in SA vs. Donald, nobody has a batter average against him too and Donald himself rated Sachin the best, check his articles. And regarding pakistan, the only reason he has low average is due to the fact that India dint play pakistan due to political issues when Sachin was at his prime. And the reason for that low average is more coz of Waqar and Saqlain than Wasim.

If the above mentioned players themselves say he is the best, then a tom dick harry and kiwi like you or me, dont need to argue. case closed.

Posted by   on (October 25, 2010, 7:17 GMT)

@KiwiRocker: You could say the same about Don Bradman -- how many bowlers did he have to face in his time, and did he play ODI cricket? Check Sachin's stats when he played ODI cricket against these same bowlers. Also, he had multiple great innings against all these bowlers you mentioned -- even if his average isn't great. You're right about Viv Richards -- but then by your reasoning Gavaskar should definitely be in the team because in his time he was the best against the best, i.e. the West Indies quicks.

Posted by   on (October 25, 2010, 7:07 GMT)

offcourse, the captain of second 11 will be Imran,, the greatest cricketer from sub-continent. and i a gree with kiwirocker of absolute overraitism of tendulkar who due to their sheer population outvote everything else,, he is good batsmen, better than most of his contemporaries,,loevly to watch,, but no where near to be the greatest,, when compared to the likes of richards, bradman and imran

Posted by Quazar on (October 25, 2010, 7:06 GMT)

@KiwiRocker - people like you who use half-baked numbers to belittle an all-time great are equally aggravating. Or do you really think you know better about assessing a batsman than Sir Don Bradman, Warne, Hadlee, Donald, Colin Croft, Crowe, S. Waugh and G. Chappell (just recently)??? All these Non-Indians have rated Tendulkar as either the best or equal best (with Lara) in the last 20 years. As for your figures: a) SRT averaged ~47 vs. Aus with McGrath till 2002, with 2 100s, and a MoM at MCG...despite 3 atrocious ump calls in the 3 tests in 1999 in Aus. His injury problems in the early to mid-2000s reduced his average later. b) How many 17 year olds have made 100s at Perth and Sydney on their 1st trip to Oz ('92)? c) Donald & RSA have done very well to contain him, no doubt, but he still scored 2 100s in SA vs. him, including a spectacular 169 at Capetown...which is why Donald in 2001 said there is daylight between SRT and other batsmen!

Posted by prashant1 on (October 25, 2010, 6:52 GMT)

I think by the time Sachin is true, we will have to rewrite cricket history as in :Tendulkar >Bradman.

Posted by   on (October 25, 2010, 6:51 GMT)

Tendulkar is not on that list for diplomatic reasons dude..

Posted by prashant1 on (October 25, 2010, 6:49 GMT)

@kiwirocker.---unfortunately as i have mentioned you do not even know how to use stats bases. In matches "including" a player even if another player gets a batsman out he is credited for it. The other "averages" you are talking about come about only when a bowler gets a batsman out...As prashant 1 has mentioned in the 2000s in matches "including" Flintoff lara avg 50...the head to head is 20....ANother eg. in the 98 series vs pak , akram didnt get tendulkar even once , but he will be credited for it when you take in matches "including" akram...although tendulakr handled akram with ease (as he has always done)...In the only full series mgrath played, tendulkar got man of the series (with 3 out of 6 wrong decisions).in the 04 series tendulkar was forced back after 2 matches inspite of being injured. as rgds Donald, again you will note that Cronje has got him the same no. of times- so the stats get disfigured for matches "including" donald. So PLS take your anti SRT phobia elsewhere

Posted by CricFan24 on (October 25, 2010, 6:42 GMT)

@harvey gangadeen: you look like you are in your 20s on your facebook profile, so you must have been in your nappies when you saw lara first. So, either you have super human memory- or perhaps like the rest of us ,we just have our favourites and like to romanticise them, esp.as time goes by and the thorns progressively become invisible and what remains is the minds eye is the "greatest hits" tape

Posted by   on (October 25, 2010, 6:33 GMT)

i think RAVINDRA JADEJA shoould be in this team in place of SACHIN :-)

Posted by MrMMJ on (October 25, 2010, 6:27 GMT)

I would love to see George Lohman. He even could decimate the mighty Bradman and reduced him to mere mortal.

Posted by   on (October 25, 2010, 5:04 GMT)

us Trinidadians did get to see Lara as a teenager in his first first class match against Barbados including all of Malcolm Marshall, Joel Garner and Sylvester Clarke in their prime. He made 92 and when he got out, he was crying back to the pavilion being comforted by Marshall and Garner. In those days, Trinidad had the weakest batting of the Caribbean so Lara's knock against these greats as a chance-less classic ill he got out. He did face his own bowlers and dominated them countless time....that is why we think he is probably ahead of Richards and Headley. Pity that most writers missed a great percentage of his career like scoring a partnership of 188 with last man dhanraj who contributed all of 8. Memories are made of this.

Posted by Atul on (October 25, 2010, 4:53 GMT)

mate, Gavaskar's book was called 'Idols', not 'Icons' :)

Posted by KiwiRocker- on (October 25, 2010, 4:30 GMT)

I am tired of paranoid Indians fans who drag Tendulkar in each debate where it is not even relevent at all.Give us a break. Here is some hard cold facts about the most over rated batsman of world Tendulkar: In tests against Australia; Sachin averages a modest 36.77 against Australia when McGrath played. In test against SA; Sachin averages a pathetic 32 against South Africa whenever Allan Donald has played.Tendulkar was a failure against Wasim and Waqar and hardly played against them. He anyway averaged 32 runs against them. Interestingly he still averages around 40 against Pakistan. Against the 3 greatest fast bowlers of his era, whom he faced in more than one Test series, McGrath, Donald and Akram, Sachin has scored 1719 Test runs at a modest average of 34.3 (compared to his career average of 56). This is the very definition of being over-rated. You can not become best by scoring against Shane Warne. You need to score against the best to become the best.Just like Sir Viv Richards!

Posted by inswing on (October 25, 2010, 4:29 GMT)

Reasonable selections. Only a couple objections - Murli should be in the first XI, Warne in the second. Any kind of objective analysis puts Murli slightly ahead of Warne, no matter what how you slice it terms of numbers. And Richard Hadlee should be there in place of Trueman. I would also swap George Headly with Richards in the first 11. People are awestruck by Richard's personality, which has served to increase his ratings everywhere. He got as much credit for scoring a 50 as others got for a century, simply because of his personality and presence. But you cannot beat Headly in terms of actual batting. The selection seems a tad biased in favor of Aus and Eng, and it all depends on who the jury is. Fun exercise nonetheless.

Posted by kirksland on (October 25, 2010, 4:22 GMT)

Good eleven, my only concerns would be Akram over Imran Khan. Khan was a better batsman and bowler and could be vice captain of the team. My final gripe is Lillee making the team before Mcgrath. Mcgrath is the Tendulkar of bowlers, as he has the sheer weight of numbers and consistency over the years. Additionally his average and strike rate are both lower than Lillee's, and with Marshall already in the team as the srike bowler, you need some one to tie down an end who can still take wickets. Otherwise the team is perfect. I would have liked to see Barry Richards but can find no fault with the openers selected, though a pair of Hutton/Hobbs and Richards would have been fun to imagine. On the topic of the second team a little surprised that neither Mcgrath, Ambrose, Hadlee or Holding made it as bowlers as they are all betterthan the two selected or that Chappell didn't make it as a middle order bat, but other that those omissions good picks.

Posted by prashant1 on (October 25, 2010, 4:13 GMT)

SAME old mistakes when using stats....in matches "including" a particular player the stats are extremely misleading. For eg Lara avg 50 in matches "including" Flintoff in the 2000s...BUT the head to head in the 2000s vs. Flintoff is 20 with some 5 dismissals in not too many balls bowled....EVEN the cricket writers don't know what the stats bases are telling them..............MOAAANNNNNNNNNN!!!

Posted by Prashant007Geetam on (October 25, 2010, 4:12 GMT)

Nice one, I think Brian Lara is the best batsman after Sir Viv Richards

Posted by BazzyKhan on (October 25, 2010, 3:47 GMT)

Welll that is a pretty good team!! But one question, why do people regard Lillee as the perfect bowler, why can't it be a McGrath or someone else like that? Why not another one of those West Indian quickies? What makes Lillee so great?

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Rob SteenClose
Rob Steen Rob Steen is a sportswriter and senior lecturer in sports journalism at the University of Brighton, whose books include biographies of Desmond Haynes and David Gower (Cricket Society Literary Award winner) and 500-1 - The Miracle of Headingley '81. His investigation for the Wisden Cricketer, "Whatever Happened to the Black Cricketer?", won the UK section of the 2005 EU Journalism Award "For diversity, against discrimination". His latest book, Floodlights and Touchlines: A History of Spectator Sport, will be published in the summer of 2014

World Jury

Intikhab Alam
Intikhab Alam
Former Pakistan allrounder. Captained the side in 17 Tests and three ODIs between 1969 and 1975 and later served as team manager and coach.
Ali Bacher
Ali Bacher
Captained South Africa in 1970, when they defeated Australia 4-0; was managing director of the South African cricket board through the 1990s, and executive director of the 2003 World Cup.
Ian Chappell
Ian Chappell
Captained Australia in 30 Tests and 11 ODIs between 1971 and 1975. Now a cricket commentator and columnist.
David Frith
David Frith
Cricket historian, writer and archivist. Author of the definitive history of Bodyline
Tony Greig
Tony Greig
Former England allrounder who captained the side in 14 Tests and two ODIs in the mid-to-late 1970s. Currently a cricket commentator and presenter on television.
Ramachandra Guha
Ramachandra Guha
Historian and cricket writer. Author of A Corner of a Foreign Field, Wickets in the East, Spin and Other Turns, and editor of the Picador Book of Cricket
Gideon Haigh
Gideon Haigh
Cricket historian and writer. His books include acclaimed biographies of Warwick Armstrong and Jack Iverson, and the definitive history of the Kerry Packer era.
Clive Lloyd
Clive Lloyd
Captained the all-conquering West Indies team of the 70s and 80s in 74 Tests and 84 ODIs. Served as ICC match referee and chairman of the ICC's cricket committee.
Duleep Mendis
Duleep Mendis
Captained Sri Lanka in 19 Tests (including in their first Test and series victories) and 61 ODIs, between 1982 and 1987. Currently chief executive of Sri Lanka Cricket.
Peter Roebuck
Peter Roebuck
Former captain of Somerset; author of It Never Rains and Sometimes I Forgot to Laugh among other books.
Ajit Wadekar
Ajit Wadekar
Former India captain, between 1971 and 1974, during which period the team notched up their landmark first wins in the West Indies and England. Later a manager of the national side.
John Wright
John Wright
Former New Zealand opener and captain, and later India coach. Led in 14 Tests and 31 ODIs between 1983 and 1987.

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