All Time XIs – Match Ups 64

The penultimate post in the analysis stage of this long series.

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 sees all the matches in which the Vs are alphabetically first, with them starting on 55 points out of 105. We then see the first match up in which the Ws are alphabetically first. The remaining match ups (W v Y, W v Z, X v Y, X v Z and Y v Z) will be covered in the final analysis post of this series, setting the stage for a grand finale post in which the teams are presented in reverse ranking order.

THE Vs V THE Ws

With the possible exception of Vandort vs Woolley in the number one slot the Ws win every batting match down to number seven (Woods’ batting average equates to about 35 in the modern era, though by the same token he is slightly behind Vaas as a bowler). Worrell outranks Vaughan as a skipper, the pace/ seam trios are hard to split – Vaas as stated outranks Woods, Whitty outranks Voce, but it is tricky to assess which of the two tall right arm quick bowlers, Van der Bijl or Willis was the greater. The spin honours definitely go to the Ws – Warne outranks Vogler by much more than Verity outranks Wardle and Wardle could turn the ball both ways, reducing Verity’s margin of superiority. Additionally, Woolley rates as a better third spinner than Vine (Woolley paid less than 20 a piece for his FC wickets. Thus the Ws have clear advantages in batting, captaincy and spin bowling, the wicket keepers are hard to separate and the Vs possibly have an advantage in pace/ seam bowling. I score this one Vs 1, Ws 4.

THE Vs V THE Xs

The only batting match up the Xs win is at number three, where Dexter definitely outranks Vaughan. The Vs have the better captain, the better pace/ seam attack and the better spin attack, though the Xs have the finer keeper. There can be only one scoreline: Vs 5, Xs 0.

THE Vs V THE Ys

The Vs have the better opening pair – Vandort’s test average exceeds Yardy’s FC average, while Vine batted in a more difficult era than M Young, more than making up for the latter’s slight advantage in the matter of averages. The Ys are comfortably clear at three and four, Vengsarkar outranks Yallop in the number five slot. Verreynne wins the batting match up against Yardley, and rates similarly to S Yousuf as keeper. S Yousuf wins the batting match up at seven, but Vaas is light years clear of Yardley as third seamer. Voce massively outranks U Yadav, while Van der Bijl v Younis is tough to call. Verity is way clear of J Young but I give P Yadav the verdict over Vogler. The Ys have the better batting, the Vs the better bowling. I reckon that the latter outweighs the former and score this one Vs 3, Ys 2.

THE Vs V THE Zs

The Vs boss the batting, have the better captain, a much stronger seam/ pace attack and better spinners. The Zs have no obvious area of superiority, leading to only one conceivable scoreline: Vs 5, Zs 0.

THE Vs FINAL SCORE

The Vs have scored 14 out of 20 points today to finish on 69 out of 125, 55.2% overall.

THE Ws V THE Xs

With the four points scored against the Vs, the Ws now have 92 points out of 110. The Ws are completely dominant in this one, with the sole exception of BoX outranking Watling as a keeper, leading to only one possible score: Ws 5, Xs 0.

THE Ws PROGRESS REPORT

The Ws now have 97 of a possible 115 points, 84.35% overall.

PHOTOGRAPHS

My usual sign off…

All Time XIs – Match Ups 63

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. This, the antepenultimate post in the analysis stage of this series features those match ups in which the Us are alphabetically first. The Us come into today with 22.5 out of 100 points.

THE Us V THE Vs

The Us have the better opening pair, although there is not much in it. The Vs win the number three slot, with the Us ahead on batting at 4,5,6 and 7, although Verreynne wins the keeping match up against Umar Akmal and Vaas is a genuine top line bowler. The Vs also have genuinely useful lower order batters at eight and nine. The bowling goes meltingly in the Vs favour – Umran Malik being entirely unproven has to be ranked below any of the Vs seam/ pace options, Umar Gul is provably less good than any, and Ulyett’s bowling is less impressive than it looks given that he played in test cricket’s early days – the uprating of his batting due to the surfaces he played on has to be counterbalanced by a downrating of his bowling. Verity outranks Underwood in my view, Vogler has to be rated ahead of the unproven Ur Rahman, and Vine is a better third spin option than Umrigar. The Us do have a stronger batting line up, but the Vs are so massively superior on bowling and keeping as to absolutely discount that. I feel that there is just a tiny chance of the Us batting saving them: Us 0.5, Vs 4.5.

THE Us V THE Ws

The Ws are utterly dominant in all departments – the nearest any of the Us comes to competing with their opposite number is Underwood v Wardle. Only one scoreline is conceivable here: Us 0, Ws 5.

THE Us V THE Xs

Save for DeXter at number three winning over Imam Ul Haq, the Us have the better batting and the better captain, though the Xs have the better keeper. The Us win on pace/ seam bowling, and are probably just second best on spin bowling. I expect the Us to win this one quite comfortably: Us 4, Xs 1.

THE Us V THE Ys

The Us have the better opening pair (Ulyett in the 21st century would probably average 36 with the bat and 30 with the ball or thereabouts). The Ys win at three four, with the Us winning batting match ups at 5,6 and 7. However, Yardley offers more the ball than Umrigar and S Yousuf ranks far higher as a keeper than Umar Akmal. The Ys have the better seam/ pace attack, while the spin bowling honours are split – I rate Underwood ahead of J Young, but P Yadav ahead of Ur Rahman. I think the Ys bowling and keeping advantages are sufficient for them to win this quite comfortably: Us 1, Ys 4.

THE Us V THE Zs

The Zs have the better opening partnership, and also win at number three. The match ups at 4,5,6 and 7 all go the way of the Us, though Zulqarnain Haider wins the keeping match up over Umar Akmal. The Us have a numerical advantage in the seam/ pace department, though only Ulyett provably outranks one of the Zs – even adjusting to allow for the more favourable conditions in which he bowled, Ulyett comes out ahead of Zaheer Khan (though behind Zondeki on this metric). Umar Gul is the least impressive seam/ pace bowler in either XI, and Umran Malik is a bonus option for the Us. Also, on proven record Underwood comfortably outranks Zia Ur Rehman, while Ur Rahman outranks Zahir Khan. I think the Us have this one quite comfortably: Us 4, Zs 1.

THE Us FINAL SCORE

The Us have scored 9.5 of a possible 25 points today, moving on to 32 out 125, 25.6% overall.

PHOTOGRAPHS

My usual sign off…

All Time XIs – Match Ups 62

Continuing my extended analysis of how my all time XIs fare against one another. Today sees the end of the Ts.

Welcome to the latest instalment in my extended analysis of how my the all time XIs I selected for each letter of the alphabet fare against one another. Today we see the Ts last five match ups, with them having 72.5 out of 100 points so far.

THE Ts V THE Vs

The Ts win the batting match ups at 1,2,4,5,6 and 8, with Vaughan winning at no 3 for the Vs, though unlike Tarrant he does not offer a bowling option. Vaas at seven and Verity at nine also win batting match ups for the Vs, while Bob Taylor is clearly the superior keeper. I award the Vs the pace/ seam bowling honours on two grounds: 1) the Ts pacers are all right handers, reducing the variation in their attack, and 2) Vaas would fare better as third seamer in a powerful attack than he actually did as opening bowler in a moderate one. The spin pairings are closely matched – Verity beats Tarrant (in FC cricket, which is where a comparison is available Verity was 2.5 runs per wicket cheaper than Tarrant and bowled in less favourable conditions), while Trumble beats Vogler. The Ts are stronger in batting, the Vs are stronger in bowling. The Ts have the better keeper. I think the Ts good batting is enough to save them from defeat, but I am not prepared to award them victory: Ts 2.5, Vs 2.5.

Two of the Vs brightest stars, Verity and Voce.

THE Ts V THE Ws

The Ws dominate the batting – apart from Mark Taylor up top, the only other winners of batting match ups are Ross Taylor at six and Hugh Trumble at eight. The Ts have the better keeper. The fast bowling is close, Whitty’s left handedness possibly the decisive factor in giving that department to the Ws. The Ws steamroller the spin bowling department, Wardle outranking Tarrant and Warne outranking Trumble. The Ws also have the better captain – as good as Mark Taylor was in that role, Worrell’s achievement in unifying the West Indies and turning them for the first time in their history to into a combination that could and did win anywhere and against anyone puts him a cut above even Taylor as a skipper. As good as the Ts are there is no areas save wicket keeping in which they are even close to the Ws, so I have to score this Ts 0, Ws 5.

Johnny Wardle, left arm trickster for the Ws

THE Ts V THE Xs

Total dominance with the bat for the Ts – not until Xenophon Balaskas at seven, Ron Oxenham at eight and Tom Box at nine do the Xs win any batting match ups. Box is one of the few keepers in this series to be a match for Bob Taylor. The Ts also have the better captain and dominate the pace/ seam department. Also, while the Xs have a numerical superiority in the spin department, Trumble is definitely the best spinner on either side, and Tarrant would be at least Axar Patel’s equal. Therefore there can be only one scoreline: Ts 5, Xs 0.

Captain of the Xs, Alan KippaX.

THE Ts V THE Ys

The Ts are dominant in batting – only Younis Khan at three and Saleem Yousuf at seven win batting match ups for the Ys. Bob Taylor resumes his usual position of being obviously the best keeper on either side, the Ts are utterly dominant in seam/pace bowling, and also have the better spin pairing – Tarrant definitely outranks Jack Young in that department, whereas P Yadav is not definitively clear of Trumble (though I call that match up just her way). Thus this one is Ts 5, Ys 0.

Ys skipper Norman Yardley. This was from early in his career, and by the time of the 1946-7 Ashes he was bowling medium pace and used mainly as a partnership breaker.

THE Ts V THE Zs

The Ts utterly dominate the batting – only Zulqarnain Haider at seven wins a match up for the Zs in this department, and he loses the keeping match up against Bob Taylor. The Ts also have the better captain. They utterly dominate the pace/ seam bowling department, and they are least on level terms in the spin department: Ts 5, Zs 0.

Trueman, one of three out and out fast bowlers available to the Ts. None of my cigarette cards feature any of the Zs.

THE Ts FINAL SCORE

The Ts have scored 17.5 out of 25 today, to finish on 90 out of 125, exactly 72%.

PHOTOGRAPHS

My usual sign off…

All Time XIs – Match Ups 59

Continuing my extended analysis of how my all time XIs fare against one another plus some of my regular photographs,

Welcome to the latest instalment in my extended analysis of how my all time XIs fare against one another. Today sees the Rs in the spotlight, with 59 points out of 90 banked thus far.

THE Rs V THE Ts

The Rs have the better opening pair, though by less than the raw figures suggest. They also win the batting match up at number three, although Tarrant was a greater bowler than Robins. The Ts win the batting match up at 4,5 and 6, but Russell beats Taylor with the bat, and both were stellar keepers. The Rs win on pace bowling, but the Ts win on spin bowling, Rhodes outranking Trumble by less than Tarrant outranks Robins. This is a close contest, but I just give it tp the Ts: Rs 2, Ts 3.

THE Rs V THE Us

The Rs boss the first four batting match ups, narrowly lose at number five and heavily lose the batting element of number six. Umar Akmal wins the batting match up at seven, but Russell massively wins the keeping element of the contest. The Rs dominate the pace/ seam bowling element, the spin bowling is close, and the Rs have the better captain, The Rs have a clear advantage but not enough for a whitewash: Rs 4, Us 1.

THE Rs V THE Vs

The Rs win every batting match up down to number five, the Vs win the batting element of number six, Vogler wins the bowling match up against Robins but Russell comfortably wins the keeping homours. Russell also wins the batting element of the match up at number seven, while Vaas is outranked as a bowler by Roberts but by less than figures suggest – Vaas would fare better in this attack than he did in the attacks of which he was actually part, and he is one of two left arm pacers for the Vs. Rhodes v Verity is truly titanic clash of left arm spinners. Voce and Van der Bijl are about level with Rabada and Richardson. The Rs are stronger in batting, better captained, have the better keeper. Pace/ seam bowling is too close to call, and the Vs win the spin bowling. I think the Rs are just winning this: Rs 3, Vs 2.

THE Rs V THE Ws

The Rs have the better opening pair, but the Ws win every other match up down to number six, though Russell is the better keeper, while Warne massively outranks Robins as a leg spinner. The pace/ seam element is close, but Bill Whitty’s left arm gives the Ws an edge there. Rhodes probably ranks as the greatest left arm finger spinner in this match, but the Ws have two such bowlers, and additionally a top class left arm wrist spin option – Wardle could bowl this at least as well as he bowled finger spin, whereas the Rs best third spin option would be Joe Root, a part timer. Additionally Ws have a bonus bowling option in Worrell. I think Ws are comfortably clear, but it won’t be a whitewash: Rs 1, Ws 4.

THE Rs V THE Xs

The Rs are totally dominant in batting and pace/ seam bowling, and though the Xs have more spinners the Rs have better spinners. The Rs also have the better captain, and both sides have great keepers. There can be only one scoreline: Rs 5, Xs 0.

THE Rs PROGRESS REPORT

The Rs have scored 15 points out of 25 today, putting themselves on 74 points out of 115 overall, 64.35% overall.

PHOTOGRAPHS

My usual sign off…

All Time XIs – Match Ups 57

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. Today sees the Qs take their place in the spotlight, currently having amassed 4.5 of a possible 80 points from the matches in which they were alphabetically second.

THE Qs V THE Rs

The Rs are utterly dominant in batting and pace bowling (the Qs sole accredited pace/ seam bowler ranks fourth in this match up, some way behind all three of the Rs pacers, have the better captain and the better keeper. The Qs have a numerical superiority in spinners, but until and unless Qais Ahmad develops his record to prove otherwise, the Rs two practitioners of spin bowling, Robins and Rhodes rank numbers one and two in that department. This is Qs 0, Rs 5.

THE Qs V THE Ss

The Ss absolutely boss the batting and pace bowling departments and have the better captain. The Qs are level on keeping and ahead on spin bowling, but not by enough to effect the scoreline: Qs 0, Ss 5.

THE Qs V THE Ts

The Qs win the batting match up at number seven, though Bob Taylor far outranks Bernard Quaife as a keeper. Appearances suggest they win the batting element of the match up of number three but I would argue otherwise – batting was more difficult in the early years of the 20th century when Tarrant played most of his cricket than it was in Qasim Umar’s day. Otherwise, it is the usual story for the Qs – any surface that offers Qadir, Qasim and Qais Ahmad assistance will also be good for Tarrant and Trumble, so once again the Qs suffer their regular fate: Qs 0, Ts 5.

THE Qs V THE Us

The Qs have the better opening pair here – Quinton de Kock outranks Ulyett by more than Umar outranks Quaife. Qasim Umar wins the match up at number three. Then normal service is resumed, with the Us winning every match up from four to seven inclusive, though Bernard Quaife outranks Umar Akmal as a keeper. The Us have the better captain. Even their less than impressive pace attack beats that of the Qs. The Qs have a numerical superiority in the spin department, but Underwood ranks as the best such bowler on either side, and Ur Rahman would outrank Qais Ahmad, if not as yet Qasim and Qadir. I will acknowledge the Qs possession of the stronger top order and probably a better spin attack to offset some of the damage they take elsewhere, but this a clear win for the Us: Qs 1.5, Us 3.5.

THE Qs V THE Vs

The Qs have marginally the better opening pair, but the Vs win every other batting match up down to number nine, they have the better captain, probably the better keeper. They absolutely dominate the pace bowling, and Verity and Vogler would rank as the two best spinners in this match up. On any surface giving serious assistance to the Qs spinners, Verity and Vogler would both be utterly unplayable. Thus only one scoreline in possible: Qs 0, Vs 5.

THE Qs PROGRESS REPORT

The Qs have scored 1.5 of a possible 25 points and are now on 6 out of 105, 5.76% so far

PHOTOGRAPHS

All Time XIs – Match Ups 56

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 latest instalment in my extended analysis of how the all time XIs I have selected for each letter of the alphabet fare against one another. Today sees the end of the Ps, who start the day on 64 out of 100 points.

THE Ps V THE Vs

The Ps have the better opening pair, and Ponting wins the batting match up at number three, while Vaughan and Procter were both excellent skippers. Pollock and Pietersen both definitively win their batting match ups as well. Pant and Verreynne are much of a muchness, while Procter outdoes Vaas in both departments, though Vaas is less far adrift with the ball than figures suggest – he is part of a stronger attack than he ever had to opportunity to be IRL. Voce and Van der Bijl probably represent a better new ball pairing than S and P Pollock – Van der Bijl was the best of the four, though he never got to play test cricket, and Voce’s left arm gives them the advantage of greater variation. The Vs have unarguably the better spin attack – Verity outranks Parker, as great a bowler as the Gloucestershire man was, Vogler outranks Prasanna, and they have a third genuine option in Vine. The question here is whether the Vs bowling resources outweigh the Ps as much as the Ps batting resources outweigh the Vs, and I don’t think they do. I score this one Ps 3, Vs 2.

THE Ps V THE Ws

The Ws are ahead in all departments save keeping, which is a draw. Anything the Ps can do, the Ws can do as well or better, leading to only one scoreline: Ps 0, Ws 5.

THE Ps v THE Xs

The Ps dominate in all departments, with the sole exception of keeping, where BoX was probably a finer practitioner than Pant. Ps 5, Xs 0.

THE Ps V THE Ys

The Ps are stronger in batting, way ahead in fast bowling, ahead in keeping, probably ahead in captaincy and maybe fractionally behind in spin bowling: Ps 5, Ys o.

THE Ps V THE Zs

Absolute domination from the Ps once again, and a third straight whitewash in their favour to end their match ups: Ps 5, Zs 0.

THE Ps FINAL SCORE

The Ps have scored 18 out of 25 points today, finishing with 82 out of 125, 65.6%

PHOTOGRAPHS

All Time XIs – Match Ups 54

Continuing my extended analysis of how my the all time XIs I have selected for each letter of the alphabet fare against one another, a brief account of the T20 World Cup final and some photographs.

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. Today the Os occupy the spotlight for the last time, coming into the day on 28 out of a possible 100 points.

THE Os V THE Vs

The Vs have the better opening pair – Vandort has a proven test record, Orr not yet, and Vine was a regular opener where Oldroyd wasn’t (and being number three behind Holmes and Sutcliffe he wasn’t often in that close to the start of the innings either). Vaughan comfortably outranks Ollivierre and and has to be rated above O’Reilly on captaincy. The Os win the number 4 match up, but the Vs have better batters in positions 5,6 and 7. However, the Os have the better keeper. I rate Vaas ahead of O’Riordan as third seamer but Odumbe ahead of Vine in the spin stakes. The Vs have the better new ball spinner, and Verity outranks Ojha by far more than O’Reilly does Vogler. Both sides have good and varied bowling units, and I feel that the Vs advantage in batting strength and better skipper count for more than the Os keeping advantage. I score this Os 1, Vs 4.

THE Os V THE Ws

An utter mismatch, with Ws being stronger in batting, pace/seam bowling, spin bowling and captaincy, and the Os winning only on keeping. There can be only one score: Os 0, Ws 5.

THE Os V THE Xs

There is only one super clear differential between these teams – the Os are better in the pace/seam department, the presence of DeXter and LoXton for the Xs notwithstanding. I think this enough for a good win but not a total whitewash, so score this one as Os 4, Xs 1.

THE Os V THE Ys

It is close on opening pairs, the Ys are comfortably ahead batting wise in the 3-6 slots, but the Os have two good bowling options in those slot, Odumbe and O’Riordan, while the Ys have only Yardley’s medium pace. S Yousuf wins the batting match up at seven but Oldfield was far the better keeper. The new ball contest is close, but O’Riordan outranks Yardley as third seamer, giving the Os an overall win in the pace/seam department. O’Reilly outranks P Yadav as a leg spinner, but by less than Young outranks Ojha as a left arm spinner, as against which the Os have a third spin option. The Ys bat better and have the better skipper, the Os bowl better and have the better keeper. This is close, but as usual I expect the side stronger in bowling to win out in the long term and thus score this: Os 3, Ys 2.

THE Os V THE Zs

The Zs have the better opening pair and also win the number three slot. The Os win the number four slot, Odumbe wins the batting element at number five and is the only one of these players to offer a bowling option. O’Riordan is outbatted by Zulch, but he, like Odumbe, offers a good bowling option. Zulqarnain Haider outranks Oldfield as a batter, but the Aussie of yesteryear is streets clear with the gloves. The Os have the better opening pair, plus a genuine third seam option, and O’Riordan’s left arm means that they as well varied in this department as the Zs. The Os also have to be given the spin department, with O’Reilly the only proven top class practitioner on either side, Ojha having had test successes and Odumbe also an international. I think we are in whitewash territory here and duly score it Os 5, Zs 0.

THE Os FINAL SCORE

The Os have had strong finish, scoring 13 of a possible 25 points today, to take them to a final total of 41 out of 125, 32.8% overall.

T2O WORLD CUP FINAL AND PHOTOGRAPHS

England made history late this morning UK time by becoming the first men’s team to hold both limited overs world cups simultaneously, adding the 2022 T20 World Cup to the 2019 ODI World Cup (England Women and Australia Women have both also achieved this dual feat). The feared rain held off, Buttler put Pakistan in and a superb bowling performance, highlighted by Sam Curran (3-12 from his four overs, a performance which earned him both Player of the Match, and following several other good efforts this tournament, Player of the Tournament) restricted them to 137 from their 20 overs. At one stage, with Stokes struggling to score, this looked like it might be enough, but then left arm fast bowler Shaheen Shah Afridi limped off injured one ball into his third over, part time off spinner (i.e right arm slow bowler) Iftikhar Ahmed was called on to bowl the remaining balls of that over, England cashed in and were never thereafter in any serious danger, winning by five wickets with a whole over to spare. Stokes emerged with the highest scored of the day and saw his side to a victory that unlike the one in 2019 even the saltiest of England’s detractors cannot argue with.

Now time for my usual sign off…

All Time XIs – Match Ups 51

Continuing my extended analysis of how the all time XIs I picked for each letter of the alphabet fare against on 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 Ns are in the spotlight today, with 19 of a possible 80 points scored so far.

THE Ns V THE Rs

The Rs dominate the top batting positions. In positions 1,2,3 and 5 they win comfortably, Root at number four is officially a few runs an innings less good than Dudley Nourse, but he had less support than did Nourse, and his record has been established over many more games. Robins is outmatched by Noble as a player, but their captaincy is of similar (very high) standing. Nixon possibly outbats Russell but is indisputably the lesser keeper. Rabada, Richardson and Roberts are definitely a superior pace trio to that possessed by the Ns, while Rhodes absolutely blows Nadeem out of the water as a left arm spinner. The Rs are thus ahead on batting, bowling and keeping, and level on captaincy, allowing for only one scoreline: Ns 0, Rs 5.

THE Ns V THE Ss

This is a real thrash job, with the Ss totally dominant in batting and fast bowling, Sobers in his slow incarnations and Stevens little if any inferior to Noble and Nadeem as a spin combination. Stokes is clearly preferable to Nichols, good as he was, as a sixth bowling option. Nixon outranks Sangakkara as keeper, but that cannot alter the scoreline: Ns 0, Ss 5.

THE Ns V THE Ts

Other than Nurse at number three outranking Tarrant in that department the Ts win all the batting match ups in the top six, most of them with some comfort (Trumper beats Nazar by more than the difference in averages suggests as he played on more difficult surfaces than Nazar). Nixon clearly rates above Bob Taylor with the bat, but the latter was by far the finer keeper. Trumble outranks Noble as off spinner, and Tarrant massively outranks Nadeem as a bowler. The Ts also have the better pace trio, though this is slightly offset by the presence of Nichols as a fourth pace bowling option for the Ns. Once again, the Ns are further out of their depth than were 1989 England when the Aussies came calling: Ns 0, Ts 5.

THE Ns V THE Us

Neither side have a great opening pair, though Ulyett’s average on Victorian era pitches makes him at least a match for Nazar on the pitches he batted on. Ulyett also has to rate as a better fast bowler than Nichols and Nawaz, though the Ns have the two best fast bowlers, Nortje and Ntini in their ranks. Nurse outranks Imam-ul-Haq, Dudley Nourse just outranks Inzamam-ul-Haq, while Misbah=ul-Haq makes up the difference by outclassing Dave Nourse. Umrigar rates above Noble as a batter, but offers little bowling. Umar Akmal outranks Nixon as a batter, but Nixon was far the superior keeper. The Ns have the better fast bowling, but Underwood massively outranks Nadeem and would also put Ur Rahman above Noble. It is close in batting, the Ns have a small advantage in pace bowling, the Us a bigger one in spin bowling. The Ns have the finer skipper and the finer keeper. I think the Us just have enough and score this one Ns 2, Us 3.

THE Ns V THE Vs

The Ns have a small advantage in batting strength and in captaincy. Keeping is too close to call, but the Vs are better in bowling – Verity and Vogler are the two best spinners in this match up, Vine probably outranks Nadeem for fourth spot in that category, and the Vs pace trio outrank the Ns by more than enough to render Nichols irrelevant – Vaas’ record is better than Nawaz as it stands, but he would fare even better as third seamer in a strong attack than he did IRL as opening bowler in a weak one. I am not going to call this one a whitewash, but the Vs are significantly clear: Ns 1, Vs 4.

THE Ns PROGRESS REPORT

The Ns have scored 3 of a possible 25 points today, and are now on 22 out of 105, 20.86% overall.

PHOTOGRAPHS

All Time XIs – Match Ups 46

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 Ls are in the spotlight and have so far accrued 60 of a possible 80 points.

THE Ls V THE Rs

The Rs have the better opening pair (Lawry outranks Rogers but Richards absolutely blows Labuschagne out of the water, especially given that the latter is batting out of position). Lara shades the number three slot, but Root handsomely wins the number four slot. The number five slot looks a big win for Lloyd, but appearances are a bit deceptive – Ranji played on much more difficult batting surfaces than Lloyd. Langridge comfortably wins the battle of the spin bowling all rounders over Robins, but Russell totally bosses the keeping match up. The Ls win the pace/ seam element of this match up, Lohmann being the deciding factor there. They also win the spin bowling element – Laker outranking Robins by more than Rhodes outranks Langridge in the battle of the left armers. I think the Ls bowling settles this one in their favour and I make it a comfortable win: Ls 4, Rs 1.

THE Ls V THE Ss

The Ss have the better opening pair – Lawry outranks Strauss, but by far less than Sutcliffe outranks Labuschagne. Lara wins the battle of the number threes, but Smith comfortably outranks Laxman and Sangakkara outranks Lloyd, though the Ls do have the better keeper. Sobers massively outbats Langridge, but Langridge was the finer left arm orthodox spinner, and similarly Laker’s off spin is more valuable than Sobers’ left arm wrist spin. Stokes is the bonus the Ss get for having Sangakkara as keeper. The Ss win the pace/seam bowling – Starc’s left arm gives them extra variation among the three front liners, and Stokes and Sobers in his quicker incarnations lend them extra depth as well. The Ls win the spin bowling. I think the Ss have got this but not by a huge margin: Ls 2, Ss 3

THE Ls V THE Ts

I give the Ts the better opening pair – Trumper was a regular opener and he scored his runs on uncovered, often treacherous pitches, which I think comfortably makes up both the discrepancy between his and Labuschagne’s averages and for Lawry’s advantage over Taylor. Lara comfortably wins the batting match up at number three, but Tarrant outranks Langridge as a bowler. Tendulkar bosses the number four slot, and while Lloyd had a somewhat better test average than Thorpe, the Englishman had a lot less support from the rest of the order than the West Indian. Ross Taylor outbats James Langridge at six. The Ts comfortably win the battle of the keepers. The pace bowling is hard to call – the Ts are quicker, but the Ls are probably better. Trumble and Laker are about equal, so with Tarrant outpointing Langridge as a bowler the Ts win the spin bowling department. I think the Ts superior batting and spin bowling wins it for them, but it is close: Ls 2, Ts 3.

THE Ls V THE Us

The Ls boss the batting – only Inzamam Ul-Haq, Umrigar and Umar Akmal win their match ups in that department. The Ls win the keeping contest hands down, and massively outrank the Us in pace/ seam bowling as well. Underwood outranks Langridge, and at the moment, though subject to change as more evidence comes in from Ur Rahman, Laker massively outranks Ur Rahman as an off spinner. It is hard to see the Us claiming anything from this contest: Ls 5, Us 0.

THE Ls V THE Vs

The Ls have a significant advantage with the bat, with only Verreynne and Vaas winning their match ups in that department for the Vs. Langley outranks Verreynne as keeper. The pace/seam bowling contest is close – the Vs have two left armers in Vaas and Voce, the former of whom would fare better as part of this attack than he did IRL to counter the Ls superior overall figures. Verity hugely outranks Langridge – he was the reason the latter only go the test call up quite late in his career, though Laker just outranks Vogler, giving the Vs the advantage in spin bowling. I think the Ls being ahead in batting and at least level on seam/ pace bowling is enough for a comfortable win for them, but I will grant the Vs spinners (particularly Verity) one big day out: Ls 4, Vs 1.

THE Ls PROGRESS REPORT

The Ls have scored 17 out of 25 today, moving them up to 77 out of 105, 73.33% overall.

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All Time XIs – Match Ups 44

Continuing my extended analysis of how the all time XIs I selected for each letter of the alphabet fare against one another, with the Ks last day in the spotlight.

Welcome to the latest instalment in my extended analysis of how the all time XIs I picked for each letter of the alphabet fare against one another. Today is the Ks last day in the spotlight, and they have 68 of a possible 100 points so far.

THE Ks V THE Vs

The Ks boss the batting, they have the better keeper, the better captain and the better pace bowling unit. Only Hedley Verity saves the Vs from a complete wipeout in all departments, but not even his presence alters the scoreline: Ks 5, Vs 0.

THE Ks V THE Ws

The Ws have the better the opening pair and also comfortably win the number three and four slots. Kallis beats S Waugh at number five. I Khan and Watling are equals with the bat, Worrell and I Khan is a clash of captaincy titans, Woods ranks higher with the bat than Kirmani and is on similar plane to I Khan with the ball. The Ws have the better spin combination, and Whitty’s left arm gives them the edge in new ball bowling as well. I would say Woolley is a better sixth bowler than Kallis as well. I think the Ws winning this, though it would be a hell of a contest: Ks 2, Ws 3.

THE Ks V THE Xs

Apart from DeXter having a small advantage over Kanhai in the number three slot and BoX being the better keeper, and probably pretty close with the bat (Pilch, the best bat of BoX’s era averaged under 20) the Xs are thoroughly outclassed in all departments: Ks 5, Xs 0.

THE Ks V THE Ys

Only in the number three and four slots do the Ys have a definitive advantage over the Ks. The Ks have an overwhelming superiority in pace bowling, though the better balance of the Ys spin pairing just gives them that department their inferiority everywhere else means that the scoreline in unaffected: Ks 5, Ys 0.

THE Ks V THE Zs

The Ks dominate this outright, with the Zs not even matching them anywhere: Ks 5, Zs 0.

THE Ks FINAL SCORE

The Ks have scored 22 of a possible 25 points today, meaning that they finish with 90 out of 125 points, 72% overall.

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