All Time XIs – Match Ups 22

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

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%.

PHOTOGRAPHY

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.

All Time XIs – Match Ups (18)

Continuing my extended analysis of how the all time XIs I selected for each letter of the alphabet fare against one another. Also a huge photo gallery.

Welcome to the next series of match ups in my extended analysis of how the all-time XIs I selected for each letter of the alphabet fare against one another. The Ds continue to occupy the spotlight. They come into today with 38 of a possible 80 points.

THE Ds V THE Rs

The Rs have the better opening combo, the Ds win the number three slot, though no 4 has to go the Rs purely on sample size, while nephew ‘Duleep’ beast uncle ‘Ranji’ in the number five slot. D’Oliveira out bats Robins, but Robins’ bowling is more likely to of value than D’Oliveira’s, and additionally the Rs have the better captain. Dujon was the better batter than Russell, the Russell definitely the finer keeper. Roberts, Rabada and Richardson are possibly just short of Davidson, Donald and Daniel as a pace trio, but as against that Rhodes clearly outpoints Dennett (Rhodes the bowler was one of the two, along with Blythe, who was chiefly responsible for Dennett not gaining any test caps). It is very close on batting, but the Rs have a clear advantage in bowling – their attack is better balanced, and they win the spin department by a bigger margin than they lose the pace department. I score this Ds 1.5, Rs 3.5.

THE Ds V THE Ss

The Ss win the batting comfortably, with only Dravid of the Ds top eight definitely outpointing his opposite number . Starc, Steyn and Statham are fractionally behind Davidson, Donald and Daniel as a pace trio, but the Ss back up options, Stokes and Sobers in his quicker incarnations are both ahead of D’Oliveira. Dennett outpoints Sobers the left arm orthodox spinner, but Sobers the left arm wrist spinner and Stevens are both unmatched by anyone from the Ds line up. The Ss thus have a much more powerful batting line up, a marginally inferior pace trio, more spin options and much better back up seam/ pace options. I score this one as Ds 0, Ss 5.

THE Ds V THE Ts

The Ts have the better opening pair, the Ds win the number slot comfortably, the Ts win the number four slot, Thorpe’s inferiority vis a vis Duleepsinhji is lessened by the vastly increased sample size on which his figures are based, and Ross Taylor outbats D’Oliveira, while Tarrant is far ahead of D’Oliveira as a bowler. Dujon beats Bob Taylor with the bat, but Taylor was the finer keeper. Tyson, Trueman and Thomson are at least a match for Davidson, Donald and Daniel, and Trumble outranks Dennett as a spinner. Mark Taylor outranks Dennett as a skipper as well. The Ts are well clear in this contest and I score it Ds 0.5, Ts 4.5.

THE Ds V THE Us

The Ds absolutely boss the batting side of this, have the better keeper, are totally dominant in pace bowling, though outmatched in spin bowling and having the inferior skipper. I score this one Ds 4, Us 1.

THE Ds V THE Vs

The Ds have the better batting, the better keeper and are ahead in the pace bowling department, though by less than the figures make it look – Vaas would fare better as third seamer in a strong attack than he actually did as opening bowler in a moderate one. As against that Verity is clear of Dennett, and Vogler and Vine have no equivalents in the Ds line up, and the Vs have the finer skipper. I score this one Ds 3, Vs 2.

THE Ds PROGRESS REPORT

The Ds have scored nine of a possible 25 points today, meaning that they now have a total of 47 points from a possible 105, 44.76%.

PHOTOGRAPHS

My usual sign off…

All Time XIs – Match Ups (14)

Continuing my extended analysis of how the all time XIs I created for each letter of the alphabet fare against one another. Also has a king sized photo gallery.

Welcome to the next stage in my extended analysis of how my all time XIs for each letter of the alphabet fare against each other. The Cs still occupy the hot seat, and they start today with 23 of a possible 90 points to their credit.

THE Cs V THE Ts

The Cs in theory have the stronger opening pair but a) both the Ts openers were regulars at that job, unlike the Cs, and b) Victor Trumper played in an era when run scoring was less than it is now. Therefore I say that the Ts win here. Frank Tarrant at three is outdone by Chappelli for the Cs, although he would average more with the bat had he played in Chappell’s era rather than considerably earlier, so this contest is not is clear in Chappelli’s favour as it looks. Tendulkar beats Compton, but Thorpe loses to G Chappell. As against that Ross Taylor is much better with the bat than Constantine. Carter beats Bob Taylor with the bat, but the Ts man was the finer keeper. Tyson and Trueman outrank even Cummins and Croft as a new ball pair, and Thomson is far superior to Constantine as third seamer. Trumble is clear of Cornwall, and Tarrant the bowler rates little if any behind Chandrasekhar. I make the Ts winners in all departments, save for Carter being better with the bat than his rival keeper, and accordingly score this Cs 0, Ts 5.

THE Cs V THE Us

The Cs win the top five batting slots, with only Inzamam Ul-Haq and Misbah Ul-Haq winning their match ups. Umrigar at six is better with the bat than Constantine, while Ulyett makes up for being outbatted by comfortably outbowling Constantine. Umar Akmal was a finer batter than Carter but a fraction of the keeper that the Aussie was. Umar Gul and Umran Malik are comfortably out pointed by Cummins and Croft, although Umran Malik would be the fastest of the four. Ur Rahman is a better off spinner than Cornwall by some way, and Underwood outranks Chandrasekhar as a bowler. Chappelli outranks Misbah Ul-Haq as a captain. The Cs win on batting, captaincy, keeping and new ball bowling, the Us have the better third seamer, more batting from their keeper and boss the spin bowling department. Overall the Cs are obviously clear, but allowing for one serious turner out of five I score this one Cs 4, Us 1.

THE Cs V THE Vs

The Cs win on opening pairs even allowing for Vine averaging more these days than he did in his actual playing days. Chappelli just edges Vaughan on batting, and also beats the Yorkie on captaincy, by a slightly wider margin. Compton beats Viswanath and G Chappell beats Vengsarkar. Verreynne handsomely beats Carter on batting but is well behind him as a keeper. Vaas was less of a batter than Constantine, but wins the bowling side of their match up more convincingly than the figures suggest – as third seamer in a strong attack he would perform even better than he actually did as opening bowler in a weak one. The Cs win the battle of the new ball pairs – Van der Bijl probably was the best of the four bowlers involved in this match up, but Voce undoubtedly ranks fourth, some way adrift of third. Vogler and Chandrasekhar are close as bowlers, while Verity blows Cornwall out of the water. The Cs have a noticeable advantage in batting, but the Vs are well clear in bowling, especially given that they have a sixth front line option in Vine. I think the Vs bowling guns settle this one, but it is far from one sided: Cs 2, Vs 3.

THE Cs V THE Ws

The Cs have theoretically the better opening pair, but Worrell and Woolley were more suited to opening than Chanderpaul and Cowdrey. Weekes is massively clear of Chappelli with the bat, and Worrell probably just wins the captaincy side of that match up. Walcott beats Compton, while G Chappell is just ahead of Waugh. Watling massively outbats Carter, but the Aussie was the finer keeper. Woods outranks Constantine in both departments. Cummins and Croft outrank Willis and Whitty as a new ball combo, although Whitty’s left arm reduces the margin between these combos. Woods’ advantage over Constantine, and the presence of Worrell as a fourth seam option gives the Ws a clear win in this department. Warne is clear of Chandrasekhar, and Wardle knocks the spots of Cornwall, and the Ws also have Woolley’s left arm orthodox spin as a third option in that department. There is no set of circumstances that enables the Cs to come out on top, so: Cs 0, Ws 5.

THE Cs V THE Xs

The Cs dominate the top batting, although Dexter wins his match up against Chappelli. As against that, Chappelli was a much better skipper than Kippax. Axar Patel beats Constantine in both departments. The Xs are well down in the pace bowling department, but have lots of depth in the spin bowling department. Box was a legendary keeper, and bearing in mind that the best batter of his era, Fuller Pilch, averaged less than 20, he is not outgunned by Carter in that department either. The Cs win this one, but not in a whitewash: Cs 4, Xs 1.

THE Cs PROGRESS REPORT

The Cs accrued 10 points out of 25 today, meaning that they now have 33 points out of 115, 28.69%.

PHOTOGRAPHS

I have a huge photo gallery to share today. To view a photo at full size just click on it

All Time XIs – Yorkshire

Continuing my all-time XIs series with Yorkshire.

INTRODUCTION

This is the fourth all-time XI post I have done (Surrey, Gloucestershire and Worcestershire were the first three). I have an ancestral connection to Yorkshire, and I lived in Barnsley for six years. As you would expect of the county that has by far the most outright championships (32 at the present time), there is a positive embarrassment of riches to choose from.

YORKSHIRE ALL TIME XI

  1. Herbert Sutcliffe – a big occasion player, as witnessed by the progression of his averages (overall FC 52.02, overall test 60.73, Ashes 66.85), he also overlapped for a few years at first class level and rather longer at club level (both were raised in Pudsey) with the person I have chosen as the other opener. He could claim that both World Wars affected his career since the first prevented his entry into first class cricket until he was 24, and the second led to his retirement from the game (and his 1939 performances were not those of a man preparing to lay aside his bat for the last time, though resuming after a six season layoff when past the age of 50 was obviously not going to happen). He tallied over 50,000 first class runs in total with 149 centuries.
  2. Leonard Hutton – a man who averaged 56.7 in test cricket and was also hugely productive in first class cricket, in spite of missing six of what would have been prime development years to World War II, from which he emerged with one arm shorter than the other due a training accident. In 1953 as captain he regained the Ashes which had been in Australian hands since Woodfull’s 1934 triumph, and eighteen months later he led England to victory down under.
  3. David Denton – in the first decade of the 20th century only one Yorkshire cricketer gained England selection purely on the strength of batting skill, and that person was David Denton. He was known as ‘lucky’ Denton because he seemed to benefit from plenty of dropped chances but there are two counters to that, firstly there is Napoleon’s “give me a lucky general rather than a good one”, and secondly people noticed him benefitting from dropped chances for the very simple reason that he made it count when such occurred.
  4. Maurice Leyland – a left handed bat and a bowler of ‘chinamen’, he scored heavily for both Yorkshire and England.
  5. Joe Root – the current England test captain, and a bat of proven world class, though his off spin would not see much use in this team, and you will note that I have not named as captain of this team.
  6. George Hirst – rated by his long time county captain Lord Hawke as the greatest of all county cricketers, he batted right handed and bowled left-arm pace. He achieved the season double of 1,000 runs and 100 wickets in first class matches 14 times, 10 of them in successive seasons. In each of 1904 and 1905 he had over 2,000 runs and 100 wickets, and in 1906 uniquely he had over 2,000 runs and 200 wickets. He was also noted for his fielding at mid-off.
  7. *Wilfred Rhodes – the other of the ‘Kirkheaton twins’, a right handed bat and slow left arm bowler with over 4,000 first class wickets and almost 40,000 first class runs in his career, the longest ever test career in time terms (31 and a half years between his first and last appearances) his astonishing career linked the era of Grace with that of Bradman. I have named as captain because although being a humble professional he never officially had the job I believe he would have been excellent at it- when asked about Percy Chapman as England captain Rhodes said “‘ee wor a good ‘un – he allus did what me an’ Jack telt him”.
  8. Tom Emmett – a left arm pace bowler who took his wickets very economically and was a good enough wielder of the willow to have a first class hundred at a time when they were not easy to come by. He accounted for W G Grace 36 times (as well as Gloucs v Yorks, there were fixtures such as North v South, Gentlemen vs Players etc, so top cricketers came up against one another frequently) and was highly rated by ‘The Doctor’.
  9. Fred Trueman – “T’finest bloody fast bowler that ever drew breath” at least in his own oft stated opinion, and it was close enough to true for the exaggeration to be pardonable. He was the first to take 300 test wickets, and in a 20 year first class career he bowled an average of 800 overs per year. He could also handle a bat and was a good fielder.
  10. Schofield Haigh – a right arm quick medium/ off cutter bowler and lower order bat who sometimes made useful contributions. He often bowled devastatingly in tandem with Hirst and/or Rhodes.
  11. +David Hunter – the only non-international in the XI, he made 1,200 dismissals as Yorkshire wicket keeper, and with the depth of the batting in this side I felt it right to go for the best wicket keeper irrespective of batting ability.

There are a stack of players who could have merited inclusion but for the limit of 11. Among the openers Louis Hall, Jack Brown and Percy Holmes (partner of Herbert Sutcliffe in 74 century opening stands, 69 of them for Yorkshire) could all have been considered, while Brian Close would have his advocates in the middle order, as would various others. Off spinning all rounders Ted Wainwright and Billy Bates could have had a place, and there are a number of slow left armers who could have been given the nod – any of Ted Peate, Bobby Peel, Hedley Verity, Johnny Wardle or Alonzo Drake. Among the faster bowlers for whom no space could be found were George Freeman, Emmett’s regular opening partner for a few years, who took his first-class wickets at less than 10 a piece, George Macaulay, Emmott Robinson, Darren Gough and Chris Silverwood, all of whom might have their advocates. Similarly I could have given the gloves to Arthur Dolphin, Arthur Wood (“always wor a good man for a crisis” when coming in at 770-6 at the Oval in 1938), Jimmy Binks, David Bairstow or Jonny Bairstow. One big name who I refuse to call unlucky to miss out is Geoffrey Boycott – I pick teams to win, not to draw, and Yorkshire’s record in the two seasons in which Boycs averaged over 100 is testimony to the problems his approach created in that regard. Undoubtedly he has the best career record of anyone I have neglected to pick for one of these teams, but too often his runs were not made in a winning cause. I try to balance my sides as well as possible, and in the one I chose I have five top of the range batters, two of the greatest all-rounders to ever play the game, three great and contrasting bowlers and a super gloveman. The bowling options include two different types of left arm pace (Emmett and Hirst), right arm pace (Trueman), right arm medium fast (Haigh), left arm spin (Rhodes), left arm wrist spin (Leyland) and at a push off spin in the person of Root and right armĀ  leg spin courtesy of Hutton. Also, if I am going to err in selecting a side it will be in the direction of stronger bowling rather than stronger batting – you will note that both two actual overseas players I have picked in previous posts and the potential one that I mentioned in the Surrey post are all bowlers. There are examples of teams with less than stellar batting but excellent bowling being big winners – Yorkshire in several of their most outstanding periods, Surrey in the 1950s and a few others, but there are few examples of the converse. Sussex in the the first decade of the 20th century had a powerful batting line up, with Fry and Ranjitsinhji among the all time greats and Joe Vine are top drawer opening partner for Fry plus a few other useful contributors, but they never came close to being champions because they did not have the bowling to press home the advantage that batting should have given them.

PHOTOGRAPHS

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The cars in the background are parked, not travelling anywhere.

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