All Time XIs – Match Ups 36

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 Is occupy the spotlight, with 2.5 of a possible 55 points. Before getting to the main body of this post I pause to congratulate Ireland on a thumping nine-wicket win over the West Indies, a result which qualifies Ireland for the Super 12 stage of the T20 world cup and eliminates the West Indies.


The Is have a small advantage in spin bowling, but the Ms are absolutely dominant everywhere else and there can be only one outcome: Is 0, Ms 5.


The Is have a somewhat better batting line up than the Ns overall, the Ns have a much better pace attack, the Is have the better spinners. Nixon outranks Imtiaz in both departments, and I rate Noble a better captain than Illingworth. I think the Ns advantages in fast bowling and captaincy are the telling factors and score this Is 1.5, Ns 3.5.


Neither side is especially strong in batting, the Os have much the better pace bowling unit, a somewhat inferior spin attack, but much greater variation in their attack than the Is. The Os also have far the better keeper. I think the Os pace bowling settles the issue, but not by an emphatic margin: Is 2, Os 3.


The Ps absolutely dominate in batting and pace bowling, have the better keeper and the better captain, and arguably win the spin bowling match ups as well – Prasanna definitely outranks Illingworth as an off spinner, while for all that the England selectors of the day treated him scurvily I would rate Parker ahead of Ironmonger as a left arm spinner. Thus I score this Is 0, Ps 5.


The Is a stronger in batting than the Qs, and they do actually have a seam attack, albeit a modest one, whereas the Qs have one accredited seamer. The Qs have the better spin attack, but I expect the Is to win this one comfortably: Is 4, Qs 1.


The Is have scored 7.5 of a possible 25 points today, putting them on 10 out of 80 so far, 12.5%.


This is a somewhat different photo gallery. Yesterday I had to attend Sawston Health Centre in deepest Cambridgeshire for a CT scan. This entailed a 15-20 minute walk to King’s Lynn station, train to Ely, second train to Whittlesford Parkway, 25-30 mins walk from Whittlesford to Sawston, and similar in reverse save that I changed trains at Cambridge North on the homeward journey as the service I boarded at Whittlesford terminated there. Most of the photographs were taken at various stages of that journey…

All Time XIs – Match Ups (8)

Continuing my extended analysis of how my all time XIs for each letter fare against each other. Also some of my own photographs.

We continue our extended look at how the all time XIs I picked for each letter of the alphabet fare against each other. The Bs are still in the hot seat, and go into today with 35 points out of a possible 55.


The top batting is the usual story of dominance by the Bs, although Macartney’s skill as a bowler should be born in mind when looking at his position. Miandad outdoes Border in the number five slot, Miller is clear of Botham with the bat and miles clear of him with the ball. Marsh is better in both departments than Bari. Marshall and McGrath at least match Barnes and Bumrah as a new ball pairing. Fazal is ahead of Benaud, his nearest bowling match in opposition ranks, although the Aussie was a much better batter. Muralidaran just beats Bates – in the modern era, with pitches being less treacherous than they were in Bates’ day he would probably have paid about 24 per wicket to Murali’s 22, in addition to which Murali’s performance would probably be better as part of this attack than it was IRL, when he was largely carrying an indifferent bowling unit. Also, as touched on earlier, the Ms have a sixth bowling option (and Macartney did win Australia a test match as a bowler). I think the Ms stellar bowling resources are enough for them to overcome the advantage that the Bs have in the batting department, but this would be a heck of a contest – I score it Bs 2, Ms 3.


The Bs totally dominate in batting, and while Bari would rate the better of the two keepers Nixon has his batting to compensate. The Bs, with due respect to Ntini and Nortje have the better new ball pairing, and Botham rates ahead of Nawaz as third seamer. Bates was a finer bowler than Noble, though the latter was better with the bat. Benaud is streets ahead of Nadeem in both departments. I find it very hard to see any situation in which the Ns can make a contest of this: Bs 5, Ns 0.


Oldfield wins the clash of the keepers, and O’Reilly outpoints Benaud as a leg spinner, though the latter was a much better bat. O’Riordan outpoints Botham with the ball, though Botham wins with the bat, the Irishman’s left arm is an extra point of variation for the Os. The Os have an extra bowling resource – while Ojha is outdone by Bates as second spinner, the Os also have a third spinner in Odumbe. However on a raging bunsen Border could bowl his left arm spin, so even on that surface I do not see the Bs being unduly challenged: Bs 5, Os 0.


The Bs have the advantage in batting, also less so than usual – G Pollock at no 4 outpoints Barrington, Pant has a clear advantage over Botham in that department, Procter is even more dominant over Bari. S Pollock is on figures ahead of Bates with the bat, but Bates’ average is worth about 40 in 21st century conditions. The Ps are slightly behind on new ball pairings, but that is compensated for by the extent to which Procter outclasses Botham as third seamer. Bates has to be rated ahead of Prasanna with the ball, but Parker is at least a match for Benaud in that department. This is a very close contest, but I think the Bs just about have enough: Bs 3 Ps 2.


The Bs dominate this one in all areas, and there is simply no way for the Qs to make a contest out of this: Bs 5, Qs 0.


The Bs have scored 20 out of 25 in this set of match ups, which puts them on 55 points out of 80, 68.75%. The As for comparison were on 43.5 out of 80 points.


My usual sign off…