Welcome the 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 post sees us move past halfway in the match ups element of the series. The Hs are in the spotlight today and they so far have 36 out of 65 points.
THE Hs V THE Os
The Hs have much the stronger batting, the better new ball pairing (although O’Riordan outranks Hammond as third seamer). The Os have the best individual spinner in this match up in the person of O’Reilly, and they also have a numerical superiority in that department, but Harmer and Herath both outrank Ojha. The Os have the better keeper, though Healy wins the batting element of that match up. The Os may have the better bowling attack and certainly have more options in both pace and spin departments, but the overwhelming superiority of the Hs batting renders that null: Hs 5, Os 0.
THE Hs V THE Ps
The Hs win five of the first six batting match ups, the Pant, Procter and S Pollock all their batting match ups. Healy outranks Pant as a keeper, Procter outranks Hutton as skipper. Hadlee and Holding v P and S Pollock is a close contest for which is the better new ball pairing, but Mike Procter massively outranks Hammond as a bowler. The Hs have the edge in spin bowling. I see this as about even in batting, the Ps ahead in pace bowling and the Hs a tiny bit better in the spin department, and I expect the Ps pace bowling to settle the issue: Hs 2, Ps 3.
THE Hs V THE Qs
This one is clear cut, with the Hs ahead in all departments. Hs 5, Qs 0.
THE Hs V THE Rs
The Hs have the better batting line up, the Rs have the better keeper and also the better bowling – even if Hadlee and Holding are the best available new ball pair, which is open to debate, whoever out of Rabada, Roberts and Richardson ends as third seamer is way ahead of Hammond as a bowler. The spin department is closer, but Rhodes was certainly the finest of the four front line spinners featured in this match up. The Hs batting advantage is not enough to overcome their deficit on the bowling and keeping fronts: Hs 1.5, Rs 3.5.
THE Hs V THE Ss
This is very close on batting, with the Ss extra depth in that department possibly making the difference there. The Hs have the finer keeper, but the use of Sangakkara as keeper plus the presence of Sobers gives the Ss a range of bowling options far greater than that possessed by the Hs. Sobers in his quicker incarnation would be fifth choice seamer for the Ss, and he outranks Hammond, the Hs third seamer, as a bowler. Herath outranks the left arm orthodox version of Sobers, but does not also offer a wrist spin option. Harmer outranks Stevens. I think that with the batting fairly evenly match and the Hs having only a small advantage in spin bowling the Ss vast superiority in pace bowling gives them a huge win: Hs 0.5, Ss 4.5.
THE Hs PROGRESS REPORT
The Hs have scored 14 out of 25 points in this set of match ups, putting them on 50 points out of a possible 90, 55.56% so far.
My usual sign off…