Welcome to the latest instalment in my extended analysis of how the all time XIs I selected for each letter fare against each other. The Hs occupy the spotlight and have so far accrued 55 out of a possible 90 points. The Men’s T20 World Cup is just underway, and we have already seen two major upsets – yesterday Namibia beat current Asia Cup holders Sri Lanka by 55 runs, while early this morning UK time Scotland beat twice former winners the West Indies by 42 runs.
THE Hs V THE Ts
The Hs as usual dominate batting wise, though there are several factors that lessen that dominance. Taylor and Trumper are a right/ left opening combo whereas Hobbs and Hutton were both right handed, and in addition Trumper played on poorer pitches than any of the others. Second is that Tarrant offers a genuine top line bowling option, unlike any of the Hs top six. Tyson and Trueman are at least a match for Hadlee and Holding as a new ball pairing, while Thomson is miles clear of Hammond as third seamer. Trumble outranks Harmer, and for my money Tarrant outranks Herath as a bowler, though that contest is a close one. The Ts also have the better keeper. I don’t reckon that the Hs advantage in batting is enough to make up for their deficit in bowling and score this Hs 2, Ts 3.
THE Hs V THE Us
This one is not a contest at all – the Hs comfortably outrank the Us in all areas, leading to an inevitable scoreline of Hs 5, Us 0.
THE Hs V THE Vs
The Hs dominate the batting, and have the better keeper. Bowling wise is a very different story – Voce and Van der Bijl have to be considered at least the equal of Holding and Hadlee as a new ball pair, and Vaas far outranks Hammond as third seamer, especially given that he would be likely to fare even better as third seamer in a strong attack than he actually did as new ball bowler in a moderate one. Verity far outranks Herath, and for my money Vogler outranks Harmer. I think the Vs bowling advantage outweighs the Hs batting advantage: Hs 2, Vs 3
THE Hs V THE Ws
The gap between the opening pairs is reduced by the fact that the Ws have a left/ right opening combination as against two right handers. Nos 3-5 feature three titanic clashes, while Hendren wins the batting element of his match up at six and Healy wins the keeping element but loses the batting element of his match up to Woods (Woods played on the rough and ready pitches of England before WWI and would have averaged more playing today). Whitty and Willis would be at least as potent a new ball pair as Holding and Hadlee, and Woods comfortably outranks Hammond as third seamer. Warne far outranks Harmer, while Wardle is clear of Herath, and there is also Woolley to bowl left arm spin. The Hs have a small advantage in batting and a massive deficit in bowling: Hs 1, Ws 4.
THE Hs V THE Xs
The Hs are massively ahead overall, though the Xs do have decent spin bowling and they do have the better keeper. Still, the Hs superiority is so marked that there can only be one scoreline: Hs 5, Xs 0.
THE Hs PROGRESS REPORT
The Hs have scored 15 out of 25 today, putting them on 70 out of 115, 60.87% (yesterday’s percentage was incorrect – should have read 61.11%, not 55.56%).
My usual sign off…