Mike Selvey's Lefties XI October 24, 2010

On the other hand

Left-handers are increasingly to the fore in cricket. What would an all-time XI composed exclusively of the species look like?
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The rise of the left-hander has been relentless in the past decade or so. Once regarded as anomalous - fantasy sides of my youth ideally had a left-right opening combination, perhaps a cack-hander in the middle-order player and a left-arm slowie for balance, but that was it - they are now mainstream. Why should this be?

Perhaps, as a start, we should understand the semantic difference between being left-handed and being a left-hander. In cricket terms, the former is rarer, and for obvious reasons is the domain, almost exclusively of the left-arm bowler (although David Gower, I believe, writes left-handed but bowled, if you can call it that, right-handed). Of the five bowlers in my XI, four batted left-handed, and with the fifth it probably wouldn't have made any difference if he had as well. By contrast, six of the top seven batsmen are listed as being right-arm bowlers.

There is a reason and a logic to this. Batting at its best ought to be a top-hand-dominant game and each of these players conforms to that, none more so than Adam Gilchrist, whose right hand could scarcely get higher up the handle. With dominant eye playing its part, batting left-handed is actually the logical way to bat. At one time, I suppose, it was discouraged as not conforming to coaching stereotypes, in much the same way that left-handed children were said to have had their hands strapped in Victorian schools as discouragement. That attitude has disappeared now of course. And the more left-handers there are, the more there will be, as aspiring players seek to emulate their heroes.

In fact, with the rise also of left-arm bowlers, the game is becoming a mirror image of itself. There seem to be more pacemen now, who in particular have become an important part of limited-overs strategy. They are encouraged, too, in the past few years by the use of technology and the willingness of umpires to give slow bowlers lbw decisions where once they were declined (try a comparison between those gained by Monty Panesar, say, and Dan Vettori at equivalent stages of their careers).

How many lefties make the all-time World XI is a different matter. But they are on the march.

1 and 2. Matthew Hayden and Justin Langer Have to come as a pair. Batman and Robin, Bluebeard the Pirate and his parrot. Only Haynes and Greenidge were more prolific together.

3. Graeme Pollock. Average of 60.97, second to Bradman of those with at least 20 Test innings, is pretty special.

4. Brian Lara At his best, surpasses anyone in the modern era. Insatiable appetite for runs, incredible flair, imagination and spacial awareness.

5. Clive Lloyd (capt) Destructive as a batsman, a uniter of nations as captain.

6. Garry Sobers Best allrounder in the game's history.

7. Adam Gilchrist Incomparable wicketkeeper-batsman.

8. Wasim Akram Genius, the best left-arm paceman of them all. Could make the ball recite Shakespeare if necessary.

9. Alan Davidson Swing and cut brought him 186 Test wickets @20.53 for goodness sake. Phenomenal.

10. Bishan Bedi Should it be Bishan luring his prey like a competition angler? Or deadly Derek Underwood, indefatigable Dan Vettori, or silky Hedley Verity? By a whisker, if only for aesthetics, the man who hypnotised batsmen like a snake charmer did a cobra.

11. Johnny Wardle To bowl only the chinamen and googlies he purveyed like no other.

Former England and Middlesex bowler Mike Selvey is cricket correspondent of the Guardian

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • fullerpilch on October 27, 2010, 17:13 GMT

    definitely the great Hedley Verity for Wardle..he was a war hero too!

  • Ozbuck on October 26, 2010, 22:15 GMT

    Leslie O'Brien Fleetwod-Smith was a left arm spin bowler of some eccentricity, and could bowl! the first of the 'flickers' (Middle finger behind the ball and flick it out), when fileding, he entertained those within earshot with bird calls. Blessed withno ability with the bat (10 Tests 54 runs @ 9, due to not outs), nevertheless, he opened for Australia when Bradman reversed the order to make a game of it against England. If not in the side, 12th man? Ozbuck

  • on October 26, 2010, 19:35 GMT

    @rats_rule and @vypati : I have an amusing anecdote about Sachin in his teens -- When he would play with the kids in his housing society, he would bat left-handed on purpose, and they could still NOT get him out :).

  • on October 26, 2010, 12:08 GMT

    Wasim Akram...........Could make the ball recite Shakespeare if necessary.

    GREAT

  • on October 26, 2010, 5:37 GMT

    left handers, vp, left handers!

  • rats_rule on October 26, 2010, 4:47 GMT

    i hope u r joking vpyati.... u must not be much of a tendulkar fan if you don't even know that he is a right handed batsman. either that or u cant read

  • EverybodylovesSachin on October 25, 2010, 23:11 GMT

    Cricinfo also create a team of eleven who are Bachelors..and also who got married and also only divorcee and so on...

  • vpyati on October 25, 2010, 21:23 GMT

    This is a joke. No Sachin Tendulkar????? No list can ever be complete without him.

  • 114_in_final_Six_overs on October 25, 2010, 17:38 GMT

    @onlyemperor, thats good-now we know where you are coming from. Living fact free is quite a blissful state of mind :)

  • on October 25, 2010, 16:08 GMT

    gary kirsten and tubby taylor, my openers. one to bat for my life, other to lead the side. and if Bedi makes the cut, we might as well include Sir Ravinder Jadeja.

  • fullerpilch on October 27, 2010, 17:13 GMT

    definitely the great Hedley Verity for Wardle..he was a war hero too!

  • Ozbuck on October 26, 2010, 22:15 GMT

    Leslie O'Brien Fleetwod-Smith was a left arm spin bowler of some eccentricity, and could bowl! the first of the 'flickers' (Middle finger behind the ball and flick it out), when fileding, he entertained those within earshot with bird calls. Blessed withno ability with the bat (10 Tests 54 runs @ 9, due to not outs), nevertheless, he opened for Australia when Bradman reversed the order to make a game of it against England. If not in the side, 12th man? Ozbuck

  • on October 26, 2010, 19:35 GMT

    @rats_rule and @vypati : I have an amusing anecdote about Sachin in his teens -- When he would play with the kids in his housing society, he would bat left-handed on purpose, and they could still NOT get him out :).

  • on October 26, 2010, 12:08 GMT

    Wasim Akram...........Could make the ball recite Shakespeare if necessary.

    GREAT

  • on October 26, 2010, 5:37 GMT

    left handers, vp, left handers!

  • rats_rule on October 26, 2010, 4:47 GMT

    i hope u r joking vpyati.... u must not be much of a tendulkar fan if you don't even know that he is a right handed batsman. either that or u cant read

  • EverybodylovesSachin on October 25, 2010, 23:11 GMT

    Cricinfo also create a team of eleven who are Bachelors..and also who got married and also only divorcee and so on...

  • vpyati on October 25, 2010, 21:23 GMT

    This is a joke. No Sachin Tendulkar????? No list can ever be complete without him.

  • 114_in_final_Six_overs on October 25, 2010, 17:38 GMT

    @onlyemperor, thats good-now we know where you are coming from. Living fact free is quite a blissful state of mind :)

  • on October 25, 2010, 16:08 GMT

    gary kirsten and tubby taylor, my openers. one to bat for my life, other to lead the side. and if Bedi makes the cut, we might as well include Sir Ravinder Jadeja.

  • ROLAYH on October 25, 2010, 12:41 GMT

    good to see that you've selected a captain, which was missing in the cricinfo lists...

  • on October 25, 2010, 12:06 GMT

    I dont agree with the selection of Justin Langer, Saeed Anwar is much much much better choice. @Jonathan....you are right. They can prove to be invaluable but again Amir Sohail is not as good as Hayden, though as a pair they are not less destructive in any sense than the aussie pair in lineup.

  • TheOnlyEmperor on October 25, 2010, 10:55 GMT

    The author has picked Bedi! The other 10 in the team become irrelevant if Bedi is picked. The team which has Bedi is sure to get defeated. Vaas cannot be omitted at all!

  • TheOnlyEmperor on October 25, 2010, 10:50 GMT

    @grandmaster123 : Thanks for the details, but it is wasted effort. The Aussies know what they know and FACTS don't confuse them! :P

  • grandmaster123 on October 25, 2010, 4:02 GMT

    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 in this series.

  • harshthakor on October 25, 2010, 3:12 GMT

    This team may well have beaten the 1st 11 of right-handers with Brian Lara,Gary Sobers ,Wasim Akram and and Graeme Pollock,who could all make it into the all-time 11.

    I would have included Allan Border, and Neil Harvey.I cannot understand how Allan Border is eliminated.He is statistically a champion and the ultimate batsman to bat for your life against any attack.Neil Harvey,was a champion in his era,a master on bad wickets like against ,like ina superb 336run winning chase in South Africa where he contributed an unbeaten 151 not out.

  • on October 25, 2010, 2:48 GMT

    dunno, something about this just doesn't feel right. A team of left handers should have perhaps had a few more leftfield picks. Gower for being the epitomy of the graceful left hander, or maybe even sangakkara to mix things up. ( Also, slightly odd that the Australian all-time XI included left handed Arthur Morris but he's been elbowed out by two other left handed players) I am quite confused by all your pundits choosing two spinners in their bowling line up when they have sobers? do all time XI matches happen on the dusty surface of the moon? or are you prepping us for an All time XI that wimps out of choosing between Murali and Warne.

  • on October 25, 2010, 2:23 GMT

    now some sachin fan will come and demand to know why he is not there in the side, on the grounds that he would be as dangerous as any on the list if he were to bat left handed.

  • Bhatin on October 25, 2010, 2:13 GMT

    I am die-hard fan of Sachin Tendulkar, but wont cry for him not in the life for obvious reason, this is list for LEFT HANDERS. Hayden-Langer were ok together, but they often struggled individually.. Hayden played 7 tests in first 6 years of his career. Also Andy Flower is better than Gilchrist considering that a World XI should be able to cope in all conditions and Andy Flower was great player of spin which is critical for playing in the subcontinent. Sangakkara would loose on the solid middle order. Also Hadley Variety could replace Johny wardle. With Sobers already an automatic choice, one spinner is good enough so Bedi can be safely left out as you need at least 3 seamers in Australia / New Zealand / West Indies / South Africa. My choice would be - Saeed Anwar, Roy Fredricks, Brian Lara, Graham Pollock, Neil Harvey, Gary Sobers, Andy Flower, Wasim Akram, Chaminda Vaas, Alan Davidson, Hadley Variety / Wilfred Rhodes

  • on October 25, 2010, 1:19 GMT

    Any left handed team without Alvin Kallicharran is no team at all. I can't believe that this classy batsman has been excluded. And What about Roy Fredricks.

  • kalyanbk on October 25, 2010, 0:36 GMT

    If ODIs were to be considered one cannot ignore Sanath Jayasuriya. He really transformed cricket as a whole with his approach. There is also Saeed Anwar who can hold his own in any format of the game. Shivnarine Chanderpaul has often not got his due among the greats.

  • on October 25, 2010, 0:35 GMT

    I know I am a little biased, but where is Bert Sutcliffe?

  • Jonathan_E on October 24, 2010, 23:09 GMT

    Hm. Here's a suggestion, for a perfectly good opening pair of *genuine* left-handers. Test-class players both of them, they even played as a pair...

    Saeed Anwar and Aamir Sohail, of Pakistan. Both were left-handed with bowling and fielding, as well as with batting.

  • Jonathan_E on October 24, 2010, 23:06 GMT

    Right. So who would you pick if the batsmen had to be genuine left-handers (i.e. their primary fielding/throwing hand was the left hand, whether or not they bowled, and no matter which way round they batted)? That would, as Selvey points out, disqualify most of the top order... but not, of course, Sobers, who was left-handed both with bat and ball.

    Incidentally, slow left-arm bowlers Ashley Giles and Phil Edmonds also both batted the traditional "right-handed" way, but bowled and fielded left-handed. Conversely, Curtley Ambrose - and, more recently, Simon Jones - both bowled right-handed but batted left...

    Hm. Would you pick Wilfred Rhodes as a right-hander (for his batting) or a left-hander (for his bowling, indicating his probable dominant hand)?

  • Shabnam-Narain on October 24, 2010, 22:22 GMT

    @amitava0112 - I totally agree with you about Border. He proved to be best batsman against the most dangerous pace attack in cricket history at the soil of West Indies. Yes, he should be their in place of one spinner or Lloyed

  • utsav.mah on October 24, 2010, 22:21 GMT

    Wow! World 11 contains all lefties. I never thought that though. I understand the point of having a combination of openers but then why wasn't being followed when picking up a particular's country's 11. That make no sense! I think it could have a little more flexible.

  • MFNadeem on October 24, 2010, 22:08 GMT

    Good one Mike. But I have a couple of observations. Three or four years ago, even a dumb would have opted for Gilli as a first choice WK, but now we have Sangakara too. Sanga averages almost 57 (with more hundreds than Gilli). Although I still want Gilli but don't call him INCOMPARABLE now. :) Secondly, Grame Pollock would be great in first class cricket, but only 41 test innings are not enough to oust great Allan border in his favor. Finally, I will go for Vettori instead of Bedi because Dan has reasonable bowling averages with a very good batting credentials.

  • on October 24, 2010, 21:58 GMT

    I understand why Indian fans idolise Tendulkar but mentioning his name here, even in jest, is rather unfortunate. Shame on both sides (the god worshippers who must absolutely bring his name into everything and the haters who denigrate his name and his achievements because of his over the top fans). Well dell Selvey on a provocative article that's entertaining and light and reminds us of great players. Finally, I wish Tendulkar would just retire so we could start talking about the next generation like david Warner and Suresh Raina and Adrian Bharath and Akmal and Kieron Pollard and all the players who might, God forgive, break even those records of Bradman and Lara and Tendulkar. If someone does that, boy would that be worth watching!

  • NickHughes on October 24, 2010, 20:41 GMT

    I think this is a good all time XI; probably a contender for the best of all time! I'm noticing that a lot of the pundits are choosing Sobers and picking 2 spinners as well leaving only 2 seamers. I think if you pick Sobers, then you only want to pick one other spinner.

  • nafzak on October 24, 2010, 19:50 GMT

    How 'bout Roy Fredericks and Sviv Chanderpaul... okay, I am Guyanese and a bit prejudcied in their favour, so what.

  • on October 24, 2010, 19:29 GMT

    hey sachin-fans(including me).....most of these fools with zero cricketing wisdom and out of envy drag sachin's name in their post....dis itself shows dat sachin tendulkar by far is the greatest batsman, biggest brand and biggest name ever to play cricket..... wen u r at top u dnt have many friends, all u have is bunch of burnt nd bruised egos nagging abt ur acheivements

  • amitava0112 on October 24, 2010, 19:21 GMT

    Left hander XI & no Allan Border in the team !!!!. Indeed human memory is very short..It was ONLY Border who stood like a rock as a boy on the burning deck when Aussie cricket had hit an all time low from 1984 to 1987 & it was not till 1989 that furtunes in Aussie ckt started an upword swing.Even prior to 1984 after his debut in 1979 AB was already rescuing Aus batting from many holes..almst soon after his debut top run getter & mainstay of Aus batting in series v Pak(at home),India(in India),Pak(in pak with Chappell in team),Ashes(in eng 1981-No chappell),WI(at home-336 runs at 67 v mighty pace..Chappell only 86 runs in series),v Pak(at home),V WI(in WI over 500 runs at 74 v marshall & co) & top run getter in most series played in 1984-87..he singlehandedly held Aus cricket together with many match saving knocks under intense stress..he is a certainty in LH wldXI repl Lloyd..I will take Underwood for Wardle & may be Roy Fredricks( batted well v Lillee/Thommo)for Langer..rest is ok.

  • le_stephenois on October 24, 2010, 18:45 GMT

    Johnny Wardle gets in!!! He is almost completely forgotten, pity, he is one of the best spinners of all time.

  • on October 24, 2010, 18:26 GMT

    I think Daniel Vettori is better choice for left hand chinaman bowling. He is a handy all rounder tooo.

  • Murtaza. on October 24, 2010, 18:14 GMT

    Mike Selvey's Lefties XI.... crazy people do not under stand that SACHIN TENDULKER, INZMAM, ZAHEER ABBAS, DRVID, are not left handers..... Alan border was better choice then Cliv lloyd.

  • on October 24, 2010, 17:05 GMT

    OOPSY DAISY!johny wardle is from Yorkshire..Very english..as english as they come..2 AVE 2 LEFT ARMERS IN THAT SIDE(bedi the other)SPINNERS BEATS ME!

  • pkenneth on October 24, 2010, 17:03 GMT

    Wait a minute ... what about Vinod Kambli? Legend .. absolute! Atleast until those jokers bowled them bouncers at him.

  • on October 24, 2010, 17:03 GMT

    no englishmen in that list..?now r they playing England?!i suppose so..otherwise difficult to leave out David Ivon Gower!

  • on October 24, 2010, 16:54 GMT

    LOL..the jokers are at it again..may be trying to disparage Sachin helps them in morning ...if one is getting what i mean :P...

    n the supposedly greatest match winner of all time Mr Brian Charles Lara has only two hundreds in the fourth innings n only one was match winning...LOL...n the gratest Match winner of all time featured in only 32 test wins in his entire career..n wait..that was only when Windies Fast Men still knew how to bowl ...:P

    Now Sachin haters please start crying ..........enjoyed ur ridiculous attempts at being sarcastic..LOL

  • AmmarRajar on October 24, 2010, 16:52 GMT

    @Mohammad Akhlaq...hmmm maybe

    i read an article on cricinfo on the best bowlers i.e wickets n their avgs Wasim,Waqar n Imran were in top 10....

  • Laxyvick on October 24, 2010, 16:38 GMT

    I am sick of ATXI's .... can we take a break from this ... can these so called esteemed journalists think of something better to earn their bread rather than thinking up eleven names and putting them together on a page, connected with some wierd logic ?

  • Hema_Adhikari on October 24, 2010, 16:26 GMT

    @Kiwirocker: oh you feel Viv Richards was the best and played against the best? Well he never had to pay the most feared bowling lineup of his time, His own. His batting avg is 44 against Aus, 43 against NZ and 42 against Pakistan, These arguably had the best bowling attacks of Viv's time. Ponting's average against all of those great bowlers you mentioned is pathetic. Sir Don played only against English attack that too in predictable conditions. He never had to play against several top teams as the only top team during his Era was England unlike Sachin, for when he started and for his first 10 years of Cricket India was one of the lowest ranked teams and had one of the worst bowling.

  • safwan_Umair on October 24, 2010, 16:24 GMT

    Lara was the best batsman of his generation and wasim the finest bowler! a player's greatness isnt measured by his statistics alone ..... rather the skill and pure joy of watching a master at work ..... i have never seen anyone bat like lara and i never will.....same goes for akram with a ball in hand.

  • 114_in_final_Six_overs on October 24, 2010, 16:08 GMT

    I have seen sachin play left handed and he bats better than these so called left handers.

    Just joking people..take it easy :)

  • vimalan on October 24, 2010, 15:52 GMT

    there is always this small population of Sachin haters who come into every forum and make fun of him and this is also not an exception...hilarious to read comments from these insecured people..grow up guys. Nothing can change the fact that Sachin is the best of modern batsmen. period.

  • on October 24, 2010, 15:42 GMT

    No place for Irfan Pathan? :O :P

  • gandalfinblue on October 24, 2010, 15:35 GMT

    Decently good team so far. Romanticism about the 'pair' of them aside, Saeed Anwar was a much better opener than Langer. Also, Allan Border v Lloyd is fair but either could be chosen in that case. Also, never heard of Wardle. Ever. Strange pick that. Why not Bedia and Underwood bowling together I don't know.

    Also, Sachin does write with his left hand so ... ok, before you start piling abuse in my general direction - I was trying to be sarcastic. :)

  • on October 24, 2010, 15:35 GMT

    That is an awesome team. Watching Pollock and Lara together would be amazing. I couldn't agree more with the line on Akram.

  • george204 on October 24, 2010, 15:34 GMT

    Great team Mike - especially the choice of Johnny Wardle (Rob Steen's article on him was bang on). The comments are hilarious - I too opened this article with the thought that "at least there won't be anything about Tendulkar here" lol. KiwiRocker deserves a medal :-)

  • Xcrictic on October 24, 2010, 15:33 GMT

    wonderful list. never ever thought that this type of list can be made. jayasuriya might be a good consideration for ODIs but probably Langer is better choice for tests.

    Needless to say who are dragging Tendulkar into these as we can see. all haters of GOD be in peace. Gutsies can post their opinion in their country's name. No crazy Indian fan will ever ask for inclusion of Tendulkar in such a list. morons

  • hattrick_thug on October 24, 2010, 15:31 GMT

    "I'm outraged Sachin is not on this list!"

  • Shabnam-Narain on October 24, 2010, 15:14 GMT

    RIGHT HANDER XI: Jack Hobbs,Gavaskar,Bradman,George Headley,Richards,Imran Khan,Alon Knot,Marshal,Shane Warne,Lillee,Murli

  • Shabnam-Narain on October 24, 2010, 15:09 GMT

    Only inclusion of Clive Llloyed and openers can be discussed other selections are unquestionable. For example, for the sake of variety we have to select a china man bowler hence best china man bowler of all times Wardle is there. The best left arm leg break is there. Two best left arm fast bowlers of history are there. One left arm medium bowling allrounder namely Gary Sobers is there. Best wicket keeping batsman is there (Sanga has left keeping). Two best left hand batsman Lara & Graem Pollock are there. We can replace Hyden,Langer,Lloyed with others like Border,Gower,Sangakara,Jasuriya etc. but this is good selection

  • Shabnam-Narain on October 24, 2010, 14:59 GMT

    Till now, this is the best selection by cricinfo

  • 2.14istherunrate on October 24, 2010, 14:53 GMT

    I am staggered that the writer can mention Gower in the piece and not include him in the side.I wouldn't mind where but-leaving aside the whore that is averages- wasn't he the best? Loved that comment by Vaaz about Akram making the ball recite Shakespeare.I always had him as a Michelangelo, but that is really splitting hairs.

  • on October 24, 2010, 14:52 GMT

    @Ammarrajjar: I have a feeling that even Intikhab Alam will not pick Imran Khan or Wasim Akram for personal reasons. Ramiz Raja or Aamir sohail should have been in the jury

  • ns_krishnan on October 24, 2010, 14:24 GMT

    I am sorry for those who cannot appreciate the fact that most comments here asking for Tendulkar's inclusion (including mine) here have been made on a lighter vein.

  • cricinme on October 24, 2010, 14:13 GMT

    Good list. Just one change would have been better. Chaminda Vaas in place of Waskm Akram.

  • sublime_sport on October 24, 2010, 14:03 GMT

    A well balanced list, though the list making has gone too far now! Good information about why left handed batting is the 'natural' way. @KiwiRocker & nzcricket174 - look forward to thrashing you guys soon. Bet Sachin likes the taste of roast Kiwi. For that matter, I bet Bangladesh wants more :) @Tom Bazeley and other Sachin haters - learn to recognize sarcasm and humour (vis a vis comments about Sachin's not being in this list). And prepare to eat crow when the all time list is released.

  • narenvs on October 24, 2010, 13:59 GMT

    I've made an all time left-handed XI before. Perhaps Selvey only considered those who played their main role left-handed. Otherwise, Hadlee (left-hand bat, right arm bowler) definitely deserved to be in. I'd pick Morris over Langer, Border over Lloyd (as good a captain, better bat), Mankad over Davidson (Hadlee over Mankad and Davidson if we consider him), and Underwood over Wardle. Also, I would give some thought to picking Marsh over Gilchrist as the former was a much better keeper, although the latter was obviously the better bat. Sobers would be the only left-hander in my all-time XI. How good is this all-time left-handed XI? Weaker than the Australian, English and West Indian all-time XI's, but stronger than the other national all-time XI's.

  • on October 24, 2010, 13:58 GMT

    @comments on Sachin and Ganguly: all i see here are bunch of nerds who r jealous that these great players were not born in their country.

  • uglyhunK on October 24, 2010, 13:55 GMT

    @ KiwiRocker - How many tests Sachin and McGrath played in the same match ?? Mate, don't tweak stats to fit your needs. And stating that Sachin did not play against Wasim and Waqar nails my point that you are obviously blind. And Sachin against SA scored 2 centures 169 and 120 when Donald was at his peak. Score 116 vs McGrath & co, in Melbourne, just one of the 4 matches they played together.So, peace outtt........

  • on October 24, 2010, 13:52 GMT

    Jaysuriya instead of Langer would have been better

  • on October 24, 2010, 13:50 GMT

    Sangakkara should be there i feel as opener or one down

  • itzvinay on October 24, 2010, 13:46 GMT

    @KiwiRocker Sachin is certainly not over-rated but over-deified..he is near-perfect as far as his playing ability is concerned but he is considered god by people because of good marketing and visibility..anybody who has heard the word cricket in india would also be of the opinion as sachin is the greatest player of cricket...he is the best but not by a god-like margin tht his worshippers claim..I hav nvr seen sachin adjusting his game to save a test match...in fact on those occasions he plays utterly foolish shots...on the other hand...many must have noticed how brian lara's game used to change when trying to save a test...lara had to face such situations quite often but one cud easily perceive the shift from his natural game to defensive one nd I dnt hv any doubt tht lara's defense was much more solid than tendulkar's..and against spin..lara was ahead of tendulkar..tendulkar is the second best batsman I hv seen along with andy flower, laxman, younis khan....

  • CricketPissek on October 24, 2010, 13:26 GMT

    haha. the sachin fanboys are hilarious. anyway, someone did mention Border instead of Lloyd. That's quite a good point which I missed. Overall, good XI tho. Who would you drop for Neil Harvey? Langer is highly underrated. Sure, Graeme Smith would've deserved his place here too, but people forget how consistent and proficient Langer was. 23 centuries at 45+ in 100+ tests is damn good going (altho not as good as Smith's 21 Cs @ 50+ in 86 games). and like the man said, Langer+Haydos come as a pair. I would've liked to have seen Sanga instead of Gilly but again, Gilly's an absolute legend and totally deserves his place. Don't know how good Alan Davidson was to compare against Vaasy. And Vettori instead of Johnny Wardle would be the same.

  • Biggus on October 24, 2010, 13:04 GMT

    Man, I just love the guy who insists Alan Davidson was never a top notch bowler. How does he figure that?

  • on October 24, 2010, 12:49 GMT

    Lord Selvey, after 39 matches Vettori had 130 wickets @ 33.16, Panesar has 126 @34.27

  • AmmarRajar on October 24, 2010, 12:06 GMT

    great work KiwiRocker...!!!!

  • AmmarRajar on October 24, 2010, 12:00 GMT

    they keep ignoring Pakistani players in all world X1... such as Saeed Anwar,Zaheer Abbas,Javed Miadad,Inzamam,Imran khan,Waqar... atlast they had to pick Wasim Akram....

  • on October 24, 2010, 11:36 GMT

    Each week I wait with baited breath for the next World XI, not to see who's in it, but to read the furious comments whenever Tendulkar is not included. When I saw this topic I thought that maybe it would be the exception, but it turns out this is the funniest one yet. Next week I hear there's going to be a Women's XI.

  • Vaaz on October 24, 2010, 11:29 GMT

    Wasim Akram: Genius, the best left-arm paceman of them all. Could make the ball recite Shakespeare if necessary. Couldnt have described him better........

  • devlsmurf on October 24, 2010, 11:27 GMT

    Half the players probably wipe their rear end left handed, does that mean they qualify? Tendulkar is a RHB and bowls right handed, so NO, he does not qualify.

    Although another interesting list, could be one that bowls with one hand, and bats with the other.

  • evenflow_1990 on October 24, 2010, 11:23 GMT

    why is sangakkara being left out in favour of gilchrist? he is a good keeper, and a much better test batsman.

  • Nadeem1976 on October 24, 2010, 11:21 GMT

    The Genius. Akram. Definately the best ever Left handed player. Sobers or Lara or Ghilchrist or Hayden were too good but Akram the only Genius who can bowl 60 different dilverys in ODI and can bowl 100 different deliveries in one test innings. The one and only Wasim Akram becuase he was born in Pakistan thats why people dont know how genius he was if was born in Australia or any other country he would have be considered the greatest the world has seen. But what ever. He stands out the ultimate left handed player of all time. Total genius.

  • KiwiRocker- on October 24, 2010, 11:13 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!

  • miza3342005 on October 24, 2010, 10:24 GMT

    OMG, Tendulkar shoud be in every list, people get over it, there are at least eight batsmen who are better than him, and one batsmen who averages over 43 more than him for goodness sake!!!

  • chiggers on October 24, 2010, 10:11 GMT

    Not even a mention of the greatest pair of left-handers ever - GH Hirst and W Rhodes - astounding...

  • cricketcrazyaman on October 24, 2010, 9:57 GMT

    But Bedi bats right handed so it is not perfact Lefie eleven.

  • AhmadSaleem on October 24, 2010, 9:48 GMT

    Where is Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar. Mike Selvey is a biased journalist. huh. You just can't make a list without god of cricket. :D

  • deadflat on October 24, 2010, 9:34 GMT

    sachin in cricket is equivalent to rajnikant in films hahahhahah

  • KAIRAVA on October 24, 2010, 9:20 GMT

    Eventhough Sachin Tendulkar never batted or bowled with left hand, he is a natural/born lefty and signs autographs with his left hand!!! So does he not have a strong case for inclusion in this list???

  • sachin150 on October 24, 2010, 9:13 GMT

    My team is much better ;) 1. M Hayden 2. Greame Smith 3.Greame Pollock 4.Brian Lara 5.Alan Border(c) 6. G Sobers 7. Gilchrist 8.Wasim Akram 9.Johnny Wardle 10.Alan Davidson 11.Derek Underwood

  • Tendulkars_Tennis_Elbow on October 24, 2010, 9:05 GMT

    arthur morris made it to the all-time Aus XI but gets overlooked here by Selvey in favour of Hayden and Langer. neil harvey shouldve probably been picked ahead of Lloyd.

  • unleashedtrojan1 on October 24, 2010, 8:58 GMT

    OMG where is zaheer khan??? LOL...... seriously though its a good team. Akram is the greatest

  • Itchy on October 24, 2010, 8:50 GMT

    @amit7701: I'd pick both Gilchrist and Andy Flower and play one as a specialist batsman. If one gets injured then you have a specialist wicketkeeper already in the squad as a replacement - drop Lloyd from the team and choose Flower as captain. Sangakkara, Border & Graeme Smith surely have claims as well - can't choose Anwar who was way better in ODIs than tests.

  • on October 24, 2010, 8:49 GMT

    Sachin Tendulkar is left handed! He writes with his left hand & can throw from the out field with his left hand! BS Chandrasekhar bowled with his right hand but threw from the outfield with his left. Mark Richardson of New Zealand started his career as a left arm spinner & got Tendulkar out during a tour game in 91. But he then became a left hand opening batsman and stopped bowling - finishing his test career with a respectable average of 40+

  • King_Anish on October 24, 2010, 8:35 GMT

    No David Gower or Allan Border?They both are a lot better than Clive Lloyd. Also no Underwood, surprising. Davidson got a place due to lack of quality left-arm fast bowlers, never in the top draw. Even Zaheer is a better bowler. Graeme Smith would've been a better choice than Hayden.

  • ejsiddiqui on October 24, 2010, 8:29 GMT

    Great list, I agree with most of the players except few

    1- Saeed Anwar on the place of Langer 2- Sangakara on the place of Clive Loyd (anyone could captain great West Indian side and win) 3- Andy Flower on the place of Gilchrist (there is no doubt Gilchrist is a great wicketkeeper batsman but playing in a weak team at 30/5 than playing in a strong team at 300/5 is a lot more different). Andy Flower has been the best player under pressure.

  • ns_krishnan on October 24, 2010, 8:22 GMT

    Tendulkar should be in this one also. He writes left-handed. SO he qualifies. :P

  • on October 24, 2010, 8:17 GMT

    The only reason i can put ahead Gilchrist above Flower that he brought the concept of audacious or fearless batting at no 7 which turned out to be winning knocks in test matches.

  • jagura on October 24, 2010, 8:16 GMT

    Where is Tendulkar.......

  • pakirockerz on October 24, 2010, 7:56 GMT

    Try not to post two-word comments like Great article. Try to explain why you like the article. (This is also because increasingly spam contains only short phrases like the ones mentioned above expanding on your comment reduces the risk of getting caught in a spam filter.)

    On the other hand, try and make sure your comments are not overlong. We currently have a character limit of 1000 (about 200 words) for comments.

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  • Amol_Gh on October 24, 2010, 7:53 GMT

    1. I would replace Hayden with Graeme Smith ANY DAY. Hayden is surely just a flat track bully. Smith can bat anywhere. 2. It's amazing Sachin-haters are so paranoid that that I could see some 2-3 comments here displaying sarcasm about Sachin INSPITE of being there **NOT A SINGLE** comment from Sachin-Lovers (like me) to include Sachin in this particular list. This is a good example that explains who r paranoids (Sachin-Haters) and who r sensible (Sachin-Lovers). Yeah, On second thoughts, I still believe Sachin can bat better than all those listed even if he bats left-handed. But yes, this is not a request to include him the list. Also, Ganguly and Vaas are both over-rated, hearty thanks to the panel for not including them.

  • ram5160 on October 24, 2010, 7:50 GMT

    Ideas for other all time 11's- Twelfth men 11, Third umpire 11, Match referee 11, Commentators'11, Coaches 11, Physios 11, Selectors 11, Random board officials 11, Fans 11, Cricinfo posters 11, and finally all time great athletes from other sports who could have become great cricketers 11.

  • nzcricket174 on October 24, 2010, 7:48 GMT

    @Maui3 there is a life beyond stats. Langer is opener because Hayden is there. The two are the top two openers of all time (in tandem).

  • on October 24, 2010, 7:45 GMT

    at last langer gets his place he deserved this he is a hard worker

  • anikbrad on October 24, 2010, 7:44 GMT

    Border with 50 AVG and 11,000 runs better than Loyed any day even better as captain with moderate resourses. surtcliff and hervey is better than langer even langer and hopefully readers would agree. and for bedi not much doubt but akaram and devidson only 2 left hand semers with 3 spinners or slow bowlers sovers, bedi and wadle too much dont we have 3rd pacer lefthanded May be Zaheer or vaas is better for stability. EVEN OMITING vinnu the fastest to double is not right may be should be in place of bedi.

  • manasvi_lingam on October 24, 2010, 7:36 GMT

    I'm not too sure about Langer but I can't think of any replacement off-hand. The two pace bowlers are excellent selections. However, I'd have gone with Fleetwood-Smith in place of Wardle and Bobby Peel in place of Bedi. And yes, I totally agree that Lara should be there but don't you think he has been over-hyped a bit? People such as Ponting and Tendulkar are undoubtedly his equals and maybe even better than he was. And there is one major problem: why ic Clie Lloyd there? Lloyd captained an awesome team but Worrell was a greater captain. No, I believe that Sangakkara should have been there in place of Lloyd and maybe Andy Flower for Gilchrist.

  • gujratwalla on October 24, 2010, 7:32 GMT

    What a list! Mike haven't you forgotten Roy Fredericks and that incredible hundred against Lille and Thomsonat Perth? I have reservations about Hayden! surely a man so low in morality can have a negative (or worse) effect on the team.Sangakara is also worth thinking about! To the Tendulkar birds this is is LEFT handers' team!so quit the harping!

  • on October 24, 2010, 7:23 GMT

    How in god's name do you leave out Neil Harvey.

  • chandau on October 24, 2010, 7:15 GMT

    when a list is done some names are always not considered , like for instance David Gower one of the most graceful or Arjuna Ranathunga the most irritable :) Of course mentioned in comments but not in the list are Ganguly, Andy Flower, Sangakkara, Vass, Vettori, et.al. Lefthanders whether batting or bowling are a treat on the eyes though they do the same thing as right handers. not everyone can be satisfied everytime !!!

  • on October 24, 2010, 7:10 GMT

    No.6, 7 and 8 would ideally make into any World XI - only one change, if I may - nearly 2000 first class wickets at 14.90, superior average, much more all-round bowler as well as reasonably handy tailender bat - Verity demands selection :) Despite being an Indian and quite a fan of Bedi's artistry, and acknowledgment for Underwood's skills - it's got to be Hedley ahead of "Deadly" !

  • daivapreethi on October 24, 2010, 6:44 GMT

    good list . i don't think cricinfo readers will diasgree with many of them in ur list--almost all are world class. only one great current southpaw -i can think of. Sangakara with 7 double hundreds and amazing consistency is a solid candidate; but i can't figure out whom he will replace in this list

  • on October 24, 2010, 6:36 GMT

    I would go with Anwar for Langer....

  • popquizkid on October 24, 2010, 6:28 GMT

    Not Clive Lloyd. Anyone could've captained that great West Indies side and he tarnished his reputation as a leader on the 1980 NZ tour with a shameful lack of diplomacy. It's a shame that neither Bert Sutcliffe or Martin Donnelly make modern lists, if they had been born English or Australian they would've been as prolific as the greats of their era.

    I'm not sure about Hayden either, a flat track bully in my mind.

  • on October 24, 2010, 6:24 GMT

    "Where's Sachin!"

    /Sarcasm.

  • Amit_4_Sachin on October 24, 2010, 6:01 GMT

    Again Gilly chosen over Andy Flower! Some people never get their due..

  • on October 24, 2010, 5:46 GMT

    I don't see Tendulkar in this list. Oh... my.... God....

    WHY IS TENDULKAR NOT IN THIS LIST????? WHAT KIND OF A LIST IS THIS WHEN A GENIUS LIKE TENDULKAR CANNOT BE ON IT??? YOU CALL YOURSELF A CRICKET JOURNALIST MIKE SELVEY???? IS THIS JOURNALISM??? YOU DON'T PICK THE GREATEST BATSMAN AFTER BRADMAN IN AN ALL-TIME XI?? MY GOD MAN, BRADMAN HIMSELF ANOINTED TENDULKAR AS HIS SUCCESSOR!!! HOW CAN HE BE NOT IN AN ALL-TIME XI LIST?????

    Oh wait, its a left hander's list?? umm... eh... ahem..

    WELL TENDULKAR BATTING LEFT HANDED WOULD PROBABLY STILL AVERAGE MORE THAN 50! WHY IS HE NOT ON THIS LIST???? WHY WHY WHY WHY WHY WHY WHY WHY WHY WHY WHY WHY WHY WHY WHY WHY??

    I AM NEVER COMING BACK TO THIS STUPID WEBSITE AGAIN... until of course the next time you publish the next all-time XI which I will again scour for the name of my idol....

    (in case anyone missed the sarcasm, I'm joking... and by anyone I of course mean the rabid Tendulkar fans/idiots that inhabit every nook and cranny of Cricinfo)

  • on October 24, 2010, 5:43 GMT

    agree with most of the selection...just to point out a pecularity of the Hayden-Langer combo..down to some supersitition, it is said, Langer always took first strike

  • on October 24, 2010, 5:33 GMT

    This Team looks the best Lefthanded Players ever to have played the game . but Would we ever get to watch a game between Right and Left handers ,can ICC arrange such a games in future .

  • deadflat on October 24, 2010, 5:16 GMT

    hahaha, I am waiting to see how many indians gonna cry over exclusion of ganguly ;)

  • Chatz07 on October 24, 2010, 4:37 GMT

    WOW, what is with cricinfo of late? all these articles are ridiclous. Just like Nice guys list some of the best left handers are left out for a reason. The current no1 test batsmen Sangakkara is left out. And Chaminda Vaas one of the best medium pacers after wasim akram is left out. Why are SriLankans being overlooked soo zealously????

  • Tendulkars_Tennis_Elbow on October 24, 2010, 4:31 GMT

    What????? No Sachin Tendulkar? :P

  • bismoy on October 24, 2010, 4:20 GMT

    Another list that dont have sachin name .......its seems people are delebrately removing sachin name to get more hits...sachin if bated left hander,he would sill batted better than all 6 batman in this list......

  • Maui3 on October 24, 2010, 4:18 GMT

    Langer and Bedi are waek link. A life average of mid 40 just shouldn't cut it for an all time world X1. Greame Smith is better and great under pressure. Bedi is too weak (and average of almost 30runs/wkt), since Wardle and Sober would be the two spinners. Replace Bedi with a fast bowler. But, cant think of a left handed great fast bowler. Amazing none of the Windies or Australian (beside Davidson, who was more of a great allounder than a all time world class bowler) great bowled left-handed.

  • jonesy2 on October 24, 2010, 4:13 GMT

    mitchell johnson? dan vettori? mike hussey?

  • alexlt on October 24, 2010, 4:00 GMT

    Are you guys about done with the miscellaneous meaningless world elevens?

  • nzcricket174 on October 24, 2010, 4:00 GMT

    This is how your average reader is going to reply..."Where is Tendulkar? He is a better left hander than any of those players.", "What the heck? Ganguly is the best left hander of all time. How could you not list him there?", "Dravid may be a slow scorer, but he should be on this list." and so it goes on.

  • intcamd on October 24, 2010, 3:40 GMT

    I am surprised that Langer gets a bat at the #2 slot. Can't think of a better replacement, but I guess the left-hander ranks are pretty thin if he can make an all-time team of any kind.

    Who the heck is Wardle? Never mind.

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  • intcamd on October 24, 2010, 3:40 GMT

    I am surprised that Langer gets a bat at the #2 slot. Can't think of a better replacement, but I guess the left-hander ranks are pretty thin if he can make an all-time team of any kind.

    Who the heck is Wardle? Never mind.

  • nzcricket174 on October 24, 2010, 4:00 GMT

    This is how your average reader is going to reply..."Where is Tendulkar? He is a better left hander than any of those players.", "What the heck? Ganguly is the best left hander of all time. How could you not list him there?", "Dravid may be a slow scorer, but he should be on this list." and so it goes on.

  • alexlt on October 24, 2010, 4:00 GMT

    Are you guys about done with the miscellaneous meaningless world elevens?

  • jonesy2 on October 24, 2010, 4:13 GMT

    mitchell johnson? dan vettori? mike hussey?

  • Maui3 on October 24, 2010, 4:18 GMT

    Langer and Bedi are waek link. A life average of mid 40 just shouldn't cut it for an all time world X1. Greame Smith is better and great under pressure. Bedi is too weak (and average of almost 30runs/wkt), since Wardle and Sober would be the two spinners. Replace Bedi with a fast bowler. But, cant think of a left handed great fast bowler. Amazing none of the Windies or Australian (beside Davidson, who was more of a great allounder than a all time world class bowler) great bowled left-handed.

  • bismoy on October 24, 2010, 4:20 GMT

    Another list that dont have sachin name .......its seems people are delebrately removing sachin name to get more hits...sachin if bated left hander,he would sill batted better than all 6 batman in this list......

  • Tendulkars_Tennis_Elbow on October 24, 2010, 4:31 GMT

    What????? No Sachin Tendulkar? :P

  • Chatz07 on October 24, 2010, 4:37 GMT

    WOW, what is with cricinfo of late? all these articles are ridiclous. Just like Nice guys list some of the best left handers are left out for a reason. The current no1 test batsmen Sangakkara is left out. And Chaminda Vaas one of the best medium pacers after wasim akram is left out. Why are SriLankans being overlooked soo zealously????

  • deadflat on October 24, 2010, 5:16 GMT

    hahaha, I am waiting to see how many indians gonna cry over exclusion of ganguly ;)

  • on October 24, 2010, 5:33 GMT

    This Team looks the best Lefthanded Players ever to have played the game . but Would we ever get to watch a game between Right and Left handers ,can ICC arrange such a games in future .