Welcome to the latest instalment in my extended analysis of how the all time XIs I created for each letter of the alphabet fare against one another. Today the Is occupy the spotlight and they start with a mere 10 out of a possible 80 points so far. The Super 12s stage of the men’s World T20 started today. The first game saw New Zealand thump hosts Australia by 89 runs (a monster margin in aT20), while in the second England won by five wickets over Afghanistan, with 11 balls to spare – a rather disappointing chase after a magnificent effort in the field restricted Afghanistan to 112 all out, headlined by Sam Curran taking 5-10.
THE Is V THE Rs
The Rs dominate the top batting positions – only Asif Iqbal at number five comes close to his opposite number, and ‘Ranji’ played on more difficult batting surfaces than Iqbal. The Is do have small batting advantages at six and seven, though Russell is the better keeper and Robins was a better skipper than Illingworth. The Rs powerful pace bowling unit absolutely obliterates such competition as the Is can offer in that department. The spin department is close – Illingworth outranks Robins, but as against that Rhodes, one of the all time legends of the game definitely outranks Ironmonger. There is simply no way the Is can put a dent in the Rs: Is 0, Rs 5.
THE Is V THE Ss
The Ss powerful batting line up absolutely dominates, arguably winning all 11 slots in that department. Imtiaz outranks Sangakkara as a keeper, the Ss utterly dominate in pace bowling, though the Is to win the spin bowling that can make no difference to the final result: Is 0, Ss 5.
THE Is V THE Ts
The Ts are way ahead on batting – only Imtiaz Ahmed and Illingworth at seven and eight can be said to win their match ups in this department. They also have by far the better keeper, and as usual dominate the pace bowling. Trumble and Tarrant are a decent match for Illingworth and Ironmonger spin wise. There is once again only one possible score: Is 0, Ts 5.
THE Is V THE Us
The opening pairs are closely matched – Ulyett’s runs, made in the very early days of test cricket would equate to only just less than Tamim Iqbal’s average today. The Us win the number four and five slots and the batting elements of no six and seven, though Imtiaz Ahmed wins the keeping laurels, and Iremonger offers more bowling than Umrigar, though not quite so much as Ulyett. The Us have the better new ball pairing, and Underwood outranks Ironmonger, though Ur Rahman hasn’t yet done enough to outrank Illingworth, though he probably will in the end. Neither of these sides are great with the bat, but the Us outgun the Is with the ball: Is 1, Us 4.
THE Is V THE Vs
The opening pairs are closely matched, the Vs own positions three through six, Imtiaz Ahmed outbats Vaas, but Vaas outbowls Iremonger as third seamer. Voce and Van der Bijl are by far the better new ball pairing, Verity outranks Ironmonger, and I would personally rate Vogler ahead of Illingworth, meaning that the Vs utterly dominate the bowling in all departments. Since they are also clearly ahead on batting, and captaincy and keeping skills are about even there can be only one scoreline: Is o, Vs 5.
THE Is PROGRESS REPORT
The Is managed one point of a possible 25 today and are now on 11 out of 105, 9.55% overall.
Today’s picture gallery is something different from usual, and necessitates a disclaimer notice. In James and Sons’ October sale I got two lots very cheaply, a set of stamps celebrating the opening of the Moscow Metro and a set of Stamps marking the 250th anniversary of The Academy of Sciences. Both these sets of stamps, and the set of Moscow Metro I already owned were issued by regimes that I must stress I regard as absolutely appalling. Stalinist Russia was one of the nastiest of all dictatorships, and the laughably misnamed German Democratic Republic was also appalling. I purchased these stamps for their subject matter and in spite of my hatred for the regimes that produced them. For each of the two new lots I show the official auction images and some that I have produced now that the items are in my possession.
We start with the Scientists:
Now the Moscow Metro stuff…