Welcome to the latest instalment in my extended analysis of how the all time XIs I selected for each letter of the alphabet fare against one another. The Es XI continue to occupy the spotlight, and they start today on 21 of a possible 75 points.
THE Es V THE Qs
The Es dominate the batting, and are also massively superior in pace bowling, having a proper new ball pairing in the form of T Emmett and Elliott, whereas the Qs only front line seamer is a bad third in the seam bowling rankings across the sides. The Qs have a numerical advantage in the slow bowling department, but Ecclestone is probably the best individual slow bowler on either side. I do not think that even on a turning pitch the Qs can close the gulf between them and the Es and accordingly score this one Es 5, Qs 0.
THE Es V THE Rs
The Rs win the first five batting match ups, and while Endean ranks ahead of Robins as a batter, Robins’ all round skills partly compensate for that, and he also comfortably outranks the fairly pedestrian Elgar as a captain. Russell’s batting advantage of over 6.5 per innings over G Evans undoubtedly more than makes up for any slight superiority Evans may have had as a keeper. The Rs are comfortably clear in bowling as well – they have three front line pacers to the Es two, and magnificent though she is Ecclestone cannot be ranked ahead of Rhodes in the pantheon of left arm spinners. I score this one Es 0, Rs 5.
THE Es V THE Ss
The Ss dominate in all departments save wicket keeping – G Evans was undoubtedly a finer keeper than Sangakkara. Es 0, Ss 5.
THE Es V THE Ts
I give the Ts the verdict on opening pairs – Taylor’s marginal disadvantage v J Edrich is compensated for by his greater tally of runs, while Trumper made his runs on much more difficult pitches than Elgar. Additionally I would rate Taylor a better skipper than Elgar. While Tarrant loses the batting element of his match up against Bill Edrich, he offers an extra bowling option. The Ts have an overwhelming advantage in the number 4,5 and 6 positions. Bob Taylor ranks below Evans with the bat, similarly as a keeper. The Ts have far the stronger pace attack, and while Ecclestone just outranks Tarrant as a bowler Trumble has a significant advantage over E Evans. The Ts are well ahead and I score this Es 0, Ts 5.
THE Es V THE Us
The Es win the first three batting slots, the Us win the the next three. Umar Akmal outranks G Evans with the bat but is miles behind him as a keeper. The Es comfortably outrank the Us in the new ball contest, though Ulyett’s presence as a third pace option reduces the gap in this department. Ecclestone against Underwood is a mighty contest, though Ecclestone offers more with the bat. Given that he has done his bowling on 21st century pitches, which offer less to slow bowlers than the 19th century surfaces that E Evans exploited I put Ur Rahman ahead in this match up. Overall the Es should have enough, but it is close: Es 3, Us 2.
THE Es PROGRESS REPORT
The Es have scored 8 of a possible 25 points today, moving them to 29 out of 100 – 29%.
Today’s photo gallery comes from the first part of my return journey from Cumbria. I agreed to be dropped at Penrith station and buy a single from Penrith to Carlisle to get back on track with my return journey. I had a bit of a wait at Carlisle for a train to Newcastle, and as you will see the station there has various points of interest. This gallery takes us to my arrival at Newcastle, where I had a much longer wait as I opted to travel on the train on which I had a reserved seat rather than trying my luck on an earlier service.