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.


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


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


My usual sign off…

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 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 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 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 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.


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


All Time XIs – Match Ups 47

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 starts with the Ls in the spotlight, with a score of 77 out of 105 and ends with the Ms taking their place there, having garnered 49.5 out of 60 points in the match ups in which they are alphabetically second.


The Ls have the better opening pair, but the Ws win the batting match uops at three, four, five, six and seven, though the Ls have the better keeper. The Ls have an advantage in pace/seam bowling, although Whitty’s left arm somewhat negates that. The Ws win the spin bowling, especially given that they have a third option in that department in Woolley. I think the Ws have this one, but not by a huge amount: Ls 2, Ws 3.


The Ls win all departments save keeping, where BoX outranks Langley, making this one very straightforward: Ls 5, Xs 0.


The Ls have the better opening pair and just win the match up at number three. The Ys win at number four. The Ys win the batting element of the match up at number seven, though Langley has to rate as the finer keeper. The Ls are massively ahead in pace/ seam bowling and also win the spin bowling, though less conclusively. The Ls are well clear overall and I see no possible scoreline other than Ls 5, Ys 0.


The Ls absolutely dominate the batting, have the better keeper, the better captain, by far the better pace/ seam bowling and the better spin bowling: Ls 5, Zs 0.


The Ls scored 17 points out of 20 in these last match ups, giving them a final total of 94 out of 125, 75.20% overall.


The Ms have the better opening pair by far, though the Ns win the batting match ups at three and four, albeit Macartney offers a genuine bowling option. Miandad blows Dave Nourse out of the water at number five, Miller outbats Noble and outbowls Sarfraz Nawaz, while both captains are superb. Nixon outbats Marsh, but the legendary Aussie was undoubtedly the greater keeper. Marshall and McGrath clearly outrank Ntini and Nortje as a new ball pairing. Muralidaran massively outranks Noble as an off spinner, and Mahmood’s leg cutters have no equivalent in the opposition ranks, while for all his status as a no3 batter, Macartney’s left arm spin outranks that of Nadeem. The Ms are at least a match for the Ns batting wise, and massively superior in bowling: Ms 5, Ns 0.


The Ms now have 54.5 out of a possible 65 points, 83.85% overall.


My usual sign off…

All Time XIs – Match Ups 27

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

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 is the Fs last day in the spotlight.


The Fs win the first three batting match ups, the Vs win the no 4 and 5 slots, but Faulkner’s bowling mitigates his narrow loss to Vengsarkar on the batting front. Verreynne is significantly ahead of Foakes on FC batting average, although Foakes out batted him in the only test series in which both have featured, and Foakes is also the better keeper. Fender, whose captaincy I rate ahead of Vaughan’s, outbats Vogler, though the Saffa was much the better bowler. Foster and Vaas is a good battle – Foster was the classier bat, Vaas probably the better bowler, especially given that in this XI he would be third seamer in a strong attack rather than opening bowler in a moderate one. Verity is far ahead of Flowers as a bowler, though the Notts man was a better batter. I would rate Freeman and Ferris a better new ball pairing than Voce and Van der Bijl. Ferris can definitely be ranked ahead of Voce as a left arm seamer, though like Voce he was metaphorically overshadowed by a team mate who was an even more fearsome bowler than himself. Freeman and Van der Bijl both missed out on test cricket, Freeman because he retired just before test cricket started, Van der Bijl because SA were personae non grata during his playing days. On my usual method of allowing for bowlers being more expensive now than they were in the 19th century Freeman’s bowling average of 9.71 becomes 14.56, while Van der Bijl had an FC bowling average of 16.54, two runs a wicket more expensive than Freeman’s adjusted figure. The Fs have better batting, a better captain, a better keeper and better pace bowlers while the Vs have better spinners. I will allow the Vs spinners their day and score this one Fs 4, Vs 1.


The Fs have the better left handed opener, while the Ws have the better right handed opener, and both Ws openers offer bowling options. The Ws boss the 3-5 slots batting wise, although Faulkner outranks Worrell and possibly Woolley as a bowler. Watling outranks Foakes as a batter, but Foakes is clear as a keeper. Woods and Foster are about equal as pace bowling all rounders, Warne is way ahead of Fender with the ball, but Fender was the finer batter. Wardle was a much better bowler than Flowers. Ferris outranks Whitty as a left arm pacer, while I would rate Freeman ahead of Willis. Worrell was at least the equal of Fender as a captain. I think the Ws are far enough ahead in batting and spin bowling to make up for their deficit in pace bowling and award them a narrow win – Fs 2, Ws 3.


The Fs win the batting and pace bowling hands down, but the Xs are closer in spin bowling, and Box may even have been a better keeper than Foakes. Fender was definitely the finer skipper. I cannot see the Xs causing the Fs any problems and can only score this as Fs 5, Xs 0.


Younis Khan and Mohammad Yousuf win their batting match ups for the Ys, and Yallop narrowly wins the batting element of his match up with Faulkner, although the latter offers a bowling option. Foakes is comfortably ahead of Saleem Yousuf in both departments, Yardley is massively outpointed by Frank Foster, and similarly the Fs have the better new ball pairing. Poonam Yadav rates highest of the three leg spinners involved in this match, and Jack Young was a finer bowler than Wilf Flowers, so the Ys must be conceded an advantage in spin bowling. I score this one Fs 4, Ys 1.


The Fs win the first five batting slots, and have a genuine bowling option in there in the form of Faulkner. Foakes outranks Zulqarnain Haider in both departments, Zulch was a better batter than Fender but the latter offers a bowling option and also outranks Zaman as a captain. Zondeki and Zaheer Khan are massively outpointed as a new ball combo by Freeman and Ferris, while the Fs have a third seamer of high class in Frank Foster whereas the Zs have no back up seam options. The Zs two spinners are unproven, whereas the Faulkner/ Fender/ Flowers trio were all quality practitioners. Fs 5, Zs 0.


The Fs scored 20 of a possible 25 points today, giving them a final score of 90 out of 125, 72% and currently top of the rankings among those teams who have been fully analysed.


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


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

All Time XIs – Match Ups (5)

Continuing my analysis of how my all time XIs for each letter of the alphabet match up against one another.

This is the fifth post in my series analysing how the XIs I picked for each letter of the alphabet fare against each other. This will conclude the As involvement. At the start of this post the As have 51 out of a possible 100 points.


The As are stronger in batting and in seam bowling, though less though than the averages make the latter look – Vaas would fare better as third seamer in a strong attack than he did as opening bowler in a moderate one. The Vs are comfortably ahead in spin bowling. The As are definitely getting the better of this, but not by a huge margin. I score this one as As 3, Vs 2.


The Ws are comfortably ahead in batting, behind but not massively so in seam bowling and ahead in the spin bowling department. The extra bowling options provided by Woolley and Worrell count in their favour, and Worrell is clearly the better of the two skippers. I award the Ws a clear advantage here and score this one: As 1 Ws 4.


The As have a massive advantage in this one. For me this one is As 5 Xs 0.


Even allowing for the presence of Younis Khan and Mohammad Yousuf the As have an advantage in batting. They also boss the seam bowling department. The Ys have the advantage in spin bowling, but not enough to compensate. As 4, Ys 1.


The As boss the batting and have a massive advantage in seam bowling. Spin bowling may be in favour of the Zs, but even if it is it cannot alter the outcome: As 5 Zs 0.


A strong final section for the As, seeing them take 18 of a possible 25 points to finish on 69 out of 125 points, 55.2%. The As fare respectably in the comparison and will be a lot closer to the top than the bottom.


My usual sign off…

All Time XIs – The Letter X

Continuing my exploration of the All Time XIs theme with a look at the letter X.

I continue my exploration of the all time XIs theme with a look at the letter X. Filling the XI required a considerable amount of chicanery, so even though other players than the eleven I chose merited consideration I shall not be producing an ‘Honourable Mentions’ section today. Most of this XI have at least some international experience, and some are genuinely top class. Also, although we get into the all rounders a trifle too early for comfort, there are no absolute bunnies.


  1. MaX O’Dowd (Netherlands). His country’s most consistent current batter.
  2. MaX Holden (Middlesex). A left handed opening batter. His FC record is modest, but he does average over 40 in list A cricket, and he is still young enough to do something about that FC average.
  3. Ted DeXter (Sussex, England). A dashing right handed stroke maker, a useful medium-fast bowler and a fine fielder.
  4. *Alan KippaX (Australia). His opportunities at international level were limited, not least because he did not get on well with Don Bradman, but an FC average of 57 tells you how good he was. He and Halford Hooker shared the all time record 10th wicket stand in FC history, turning 113-9 into 420 all out. He was a notably stylish batter to the extent that some even mentioned him in the same sentence as the immortal Victor Trumper.
  5. Sam LoXton (Australia). An aggressive right handed batter (the five sixes he hit in his 93 at Headingley in 1948 remained an Ashes record for a single innings until Old Trafford 1981 when Ian Botham hit six in his 118) and a right arm fast medium bowler.
  6. AXar Patel (India). A good enough left handed batter to average 33 in FC cricket and a very fine left arm orthodox spinner. His test opportunities have been limited by his being a contemporary of Ravindra Jadeja, but when England visited and Jadeja was injured he was the best bowler in the series.
  7. Xenophon Balaskas (South Africa). A leg spinner and good lower middle order batter.
  8. Ron OXenham (Australia). A right arm medium pacer, and a useful batter as well. He once shared a match winning last wicket stand of 76 while nursing an injury.
  9. +Tom BoX (Hampshire, Surrey, Sussex). A wicket keeper and right handed batter. The earliest player to actually feature in an XI in this series, having played FC cricket between 1826 and 1856. His 247 FC appearances yielded 235 catches and 162 stumpings, and given the make up of this team that high number of stumpings counts in his favour. Between 1832 and 1856 inclusive he played in every single match involving Sussex. Given what my reading on the game;s history has told me about the state of pitches early in cricket’s history I have mentally upgraded his batting average of 11.95 and moved him a couple of places up the order in consequence.
  10. MaX Walker (Australia). A right arm fast medium bowler, known as “Tangles” on account of somewhat unorthodox approach to the wicket. He was at his best as third seamer behind Lillee and Thomson. He took his test wickets at 27 a piece, a respectable figure.
  11. MaX Waller (Somerset). A leg spinner, and like Walker above him, a reasonably competent lower order batter rather than an out and out tail ender.


The opening pair of MaX O’Dowd and MaX Holden is definitely makeshift, but I would expect the latter to at least be able to bat for a bit of time even if he didn’t score many. Dexter at three and KippaX at four are the engine room of the side batting wise, with the latter the best batter in the side, and due being a contemporary of a number of superstackers is somewhat underrated. He is this XI’s answer to Joe Root, though a better captain than the Yorkshireman. LoXton is probably a place too high, but he did average closer to 40 than 30 with the bat. AXar Patel is probably the third most important player in the side behind DeXter and KippaX. Balaskas and Oxenham were both genuine all rounders as well, and Box, a superb keeper, never got to bat on properly prepared pitches – even Fuller Pilch, the best batter of his era, averaged under 20 at FC level, which lends some context to Box’s average of 11.95. MaX Walker was an authentically test class fast medium bowler, and Waller is not the worst of leg spinners, though his Fc record is modest. The XI is undoubtedly a touch light on batting, but the bowling is good to compensate. The big question is whether to open with OXenham and LoXton to enable MaX Walker to come on as third seamer, or use the one genuine test class seamer as a new ball bowler. DeXter is not the worst fourth seamer either.


Our brief cricketing excursion through the letter X is at an end and it remains only to apply the usual sign off…