All Time XIs – Match Ups 53

Welcome to the latest instalment of my extended analysis of how the all time XIs I selected for each letter of the alphabet fare against one another. Today the Os are in the spotlight, and they start the day on 13.5 points out of a possible 75.


The Qs have the better opening pair, given that Oldroyd is out of position, and they also clearly win the number three slot. O’Neill is massively clear of Walter Quaife at four, Odumbe outdoes Quinton in both departments at number five. Quinlan wins the batting element of the match up at six, but O’Riordan was a much better bowler. Oldfield is miles clear of Bernard Quaife. While Old and Olivier are a long way from being the best new ball pairing in this series, the Qs have only one recognized new ball bowler, Quinn. The Os have the best spinner on either side in O’Reilly, but Qasim and Qais Ahmad are probably better support options than Ojha and Odumbe. I think that the Os massive advantage in the pace/seam bowling department settles this one, but it is not an utter rout: Os 3.5, Qs 1.5


The Rs totally dominate the batting, winning every match up down to number seven in that department. The Rs also have the better captain, while the keeping match up is a clash of titans. The Rs have the better pace trio, but O’Riordan’s left arm slightly reduces the difference as it gives the Os more variety. Rhodes is miles clear of Ojha as a left arm orthodox spinner, but O’Reilly is well clear of Robins as a leg spinner, and the Os have a third genuine spin option in Odumbe, whereas the Rs next best spin options after their front two would be between The Richardses and Root, so the Os are a little better in that department overall. The Rs advantages in batting, captaincy and pace/ seam bowling should be enough that their only disadvantage, in spin bowling, does not unduly damage them. I score this one Os 1, Rs 4.


The Ss dominate the batting and are also streets clear in fast bowling and have to be given the captaincy match up as well. The Os have the better keeper and the better spin attack, though not massively so. This is a clear cut win for the Ss, but not quite a whitewash: Os 1, Ss 4.


The Ts win every batting match up down to number six, lose the batting element of the keepers match up. The Ts also have the finer pace attack, and while O’Reilly outranks Trumble (he bowled on more batting friendly surfaces than Trumble) Tarrant outranks Ojha by a greater margin and Odumbe’s presence is not enough to influence this contest in the Os favour. The Ts also have to given the captaincy match up, while the keeping honours are split. There can be only one score: Os 0, Ts 5.


The Os have the better opening pair, the Us win the batting match ups from 3-7 inclusive, although their only bowling option in this slots, Umrigar, is outranked by both Odumbe and O’Riordan, and Umar Akmal massively loses the keeping match up. The Os claim pace bowling honours – Umran Malik is unproven and Umar Gul fairly ordinary, and O’Riordan’s left handedness lends them extra variety, though the right armed George Ulyett is of comparable stature as a bowler. O’Reilly outranks Ur Rahman, Underwood outranks Ojha, Odumbe monsters Umrigar in the bowling stakes, so I award spin bowling honours to the Os as well. The Us are better in batting and captaincy, but outclassed everywhere else. I will allow their strong batting to make its presence felt in the contest, but this is a clear win for the Os: Os 4, Us 1.


The Os have scored 9.5 points out of 25 today and now have 28 points out of a possible 100, 28% overall.


My usual sign off…

All Time XIs – Match Ups (17)

Continuing my extended analysis of how the all time XIs I created for each letter of the alphabet fare against one another.

Welcome to the continuation of my extended analysis of how the all time XIs I picked for each letter of the alphabet fare against one another. The Ds continue to occupy the hot seat, and come into today with 24 of a possible 55 points.


Morris beats Dent, Dempster beats Merchant, Dravid is massively ahead of Macartney on batting but Macartney offers an extra bowling option for the Ms, Mead and Donnelly is a close contest between two very different left handers, Duleepsinhji’s average is six an innings better than Miandad’s, but Miandad’s came over many more innings. D’Oliveira outbats Miller, but the Aussie was far the better bowler. Dujon outbats Marsh, while both were superb keepers. Marshall, McGrath and Mahmood are at least the equals of Davidson, Donald and Daniel, and Muralidaran beats Dennett. The Ds are somewhat ahead on batting but the Ms are miles ahead in bowling and it is this latter I expect to settle the issue, to the extent that I cannot see any circumstances in which the Ds get the better of the Ms: Ds 0, Ms 5.


The Ds are far clear in batting, with only Dudley Nourse of the Ns top eight winning their match up in this regard. The Ds also win the front line bowlingm with Ntini, Nawaz and Nortje clearly outgunned by Davidson, Donald and Daniel in the seam/pace department and Nadeem probably outpointed by Dennett. Dujon has Nixon covered in both departments. The Ns have one advantage – their back up bowling is much better, with Noble having no match among the Ds, and Nichols clearly superior to D’Oliveira as fourth seamer. However, the back up bowlers would only come in to play on a very flat wicket, so I give the Ds a conclusive advantage: Ds 4, Ns 1.


The Ds dominate this one, but the Os are saved from a wipe out by the fact that they are ahead in the spin bowling department and would win on a turner. Ds 4, Os 1.


The Ds have the better opening pair, the number three slot is a titanic clash. G Pollock wins the number four slot comfortably, while Pietersen’s disadvantage vs Duleepsinhji is somewhat offset by the much larger sample size on which his test record is based. While D’Oliveira outbats Procter, Procter outbowls his opposite number. Pant comfortably outbats Dujon, but the West Indian was probably the better keeper. S and P Pollock keep the pace clash close, Parker marginally beats Dennett, and Prasanna gives the Ps an extra spinner. I think the Ps are better balanced, and better skippered with Procter in charge and I expect that to make the difference: Ds 2, Ps 3.


The Ds dominate the batting and the pace/seam bowling, but the Qs would be able to bowl spin from both ends should the pitch offer turn, and this is just enough to save them from a whitewash: Ds 4, Qs 1.


The Ds have scored 14 of a possible 25 today, putting them on 38 out of 80 so far, 47.5%. They are behind the As and the Bs but ahead of the Cs.


My usual sign off…

All Time XIs – The Letter Q

Continuing my exploration of the ‘all time XIs’ theme with a look at the letter Q.

Welcome to the latest installment of my exploration of the theme of ‘all time XIs’. Today we look at players whose surnames begin with the letter Q. A certain amount of latitude has been exercised with the brief, though not quite as much as required by the letter X. Some of the players are comparatively obscure, hence both more quoting of exact career records and explanation than in some of these posts.


  1. Billy Quaife (Warwickshire, England). The oldest ever scorer of a first class hundred at the grand old age of 56 years and four months. Only one player has scored more FC career runs for Warwickshire – Dennis Amiss. In addition to his batting he bowled serviceable leg spin, though given the make up of the side is unlikely to be required in that role.
  2. Quinton de Kock (South Africa). Using his forename to sneak him in. Although he is better known for his deeds in limited overs cricket the South African averages over 40 at FC level as well, and plays fast bowling well, hence, given the players available to me, using him as an ersatz opener and not as a wicket keeper.
  3. Qasim Omar (Pakistan). Not one of Pakistan’s better known top order players, but he played against England when they were there in 1984 and scored some valuable runs. Overall he averaged 39 at test level.
  4. Walter Quaife (Sussex, Warwickshire). Not the batter that Billy was, but by the standards of the 1880s and 1890s an average of 22.88 was modestly respectable, with pitches often difficult.
  5. Francis Quinton (Hampshire). 51 FC matches spread over 15 years in the late 19th century yielded him an average of 27.82, with two centuries and a top score of 178. He was also an occasional slow bowler, though not likely be needed in that capacity for this side.
  6. Patrick Quinlan (Ireland, Western Australia). 13 widely spaced FC matches yielded him 530 runs at 26.50, with four FC fifties. He was also an occasional right arm medium pacer, the relevance of which will be obvious by the end of the XI.
  7. +Bernard Quaife (Warwickshire). Although his father Billy liked the pair to open the batting together (they once did so against Derbyshire, whose new ball pair comprised Billy and Robert Bestwick, likewise related, to create a unique happening in FC cricket), he was never actually good enough as a batter to open, but he was a decent keeper, taking 186 catches and executing 54 stumpings at FC level in that role, and his 9,594 FC runs at 20.02 assume greater significance with batting being made his secondary role.
  8. Iqbal Qasim (Pakistan). Not one of the world’s best known left arm orthodox spinners, but 171 test wickets at 28.11 in 50 appearances at that level (999 FC wickets at 20.48 in 246 appearances) are a testament to his effectiveness in the role.
  9. Matt Quinn (New Zealand). A right arm medium fast bowler whose FC wickets cost 30.61 a piece, he is the only seamer for this letter who comes anywhere near making the grade.
  10. *Abdul Qadir (Pakistan). The 1980s was a difficult decade for spinners – and leg spin in particular almost fell into complete disuse at that time. With all due respect to Laxman Sivaramakrishnan (India) and Bob Holland (Australia) credit for this art form surviving long enough to be picked up by Shane Warne belongs chiefly to Abdul Qadir, whose 67 test appearances yielded 236 wickets at 32.80. That included a seismic performance at Faisalabad against the West Indies, then the dominant force in world cricket. WI needed 240 to win in the fourth innings, and Faisalabad is not exactly known for being bowler friendly. Pakistan won that match by 186 runs, and the chief architect of the West Indian collapse to 53 all out was Qadir, whose sorcery yielded 6-16. In recognition of his historical significance, and believing that he would have done the job well given the chance I have chosen him as captain of this XI.
  11. Qais Ahmad (Afghanistan). One of the best leg spinners currently playing the game, though rivalled in that department by his compatriot Rashid Khan. He will never have the historical significance of Qadir, but it would not surprise me if he finishes with a better overall record than the Lahori.

The XI is definitely short of batting, although deploying QDK as a specialist opener at least creates a chance of the top three delivering serious runs. There is only one recognized pace option, Matt Quinn. I see three ways round this: give Quinlan a few overs to get the shine of the new ball for the spinners, adopt a policy used with success by many English counties in the past, opening with right arm pace (Quinn) at one end and the left arm spin of Iqbal Qasim at the other (Kent won four titles between 1906 and 1913 with Fielder and Blythe, jusr such a combination, opening their bowling), or one or other of the leggies, Abdul Qadir or Qais Ahmad shares the new ball with Quinn.


I usually call this section ‘Honourable Mentions’ but there is nothing honourable about failing to claim a place in this XI, so I am using a title more reflective of the nature of this section of this post. I did locate one fast bowler other than Quinn to have a surname beginning with Q – James Quinton. However, even faced with a desperate shortage of options in his department I could not include someone who claimed one wicket in six FC matches. Hamidullah Qadri had a good time in the U19 World Cup, but at the moment his first class wickets cost 43 runs a piece and come at less than two per game, so although I had two leggies, a left armer and no specialist offie I could not include him. Imran Qayyum, a young left arm spinner, has a very similar FC bowling average to Qadri, and doesn’t seem likely to challenge Iqbal Qasim. Ian Quick, an Australian left arm spinner, paid just over 30 a piece for his FC wickets, not close to being as effective as Qasim, though he might be worth a place in an XI of players who don’t live up to their names! There was also one other challenger for the keeper’s slot, Trevor Quirk, a South African. His batting record was similar to that Bernard Quaife but over fewer matches, and he managed only 122 catches and eight stumpings (given the predominance of spin in the XI this last figure was a cause for concern as well).


Our cricketing exploration of the letter Q is at an end, and it remains only to provide the usual sign off…