All Time XIs – Match Ups 49

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 installment in my extended analysis of how the all time XIs I created for each letter fare against one another. The Ms continue to occupy the spotlight, starting today with 73 of a possible 90 points to their name.

THE Ms V THE Ts

Both these sides have strong opening pairs (Trumper played in the late Victorian and Edwardian eras, when pitches were often rough – that average of 39 is worth at least 50 in the modern era). Macartney wins the batting match up at number three, but Tarrant ranks as the greater bowler. The Ts comfortably win the number four slot, while the Ms win the number five slot. Ross Taylor outranks Miller as a batter, but unlike the Aussie he does not offer a bowling option). Marsh was a finer batter than Bob Taylor, but the Pom was the finer keeper. The Ts three specialist quicks are certainly faster than the Ms pace/ seam attack, though both sides are superbly equipped in this department. Murali outranks Trumble. The two sides are both strong in batting, strong in pace bowling, well captained and equipped with great keepers. I think Murali, Mahmood’s leg cutters and Macartney offer more variation between them than Trumble and Tarrant, though the latter two were both great bowlers, and this may be the factor that splits the sides, so I score this one: Ms 3, Ts 2.

THE Ms V THE Us

The Ms are utterly dominant batting wise, with only Inzamam Ul Haq and Umar Akmal winning batting match ups for the Us, and Umar Akmal’s is negated by his being so inferior to Marsh as a keeper. Although Umran Malik is the quickest bowler in this match up he is as yet unproven, which means that all of Marshall, McGrath and Miller have to outrank him, as they equally clearly do Umar Gul and Ulyett. Murali likewise outranks Ur Rahman, though Underwood’s left arm slow medium may be considered more useful than Mahmood’s leg cutters. I cannot see the Us doing anything against the Ms and accordingly score this one Ms 5, Us 0.

THE Ms V THE Vs

The Ms dominate the batting, with only Verreynne winning a batting match up for the Vs, and that is negated by Marsh being the superior keeper. The Vs have a pace bowling line up that is pretty much on a par with the Ms, given that a) Vaas would fare better as part of strong attack than he actually did as part of a moderate one, and b)Vaas and Voce were both left armers, whereas all three of the Ms outright fast bowlers were right armers. Verity outranks Murali as a finger spinner, while Vogler’s leg spin would probably be more dangerous than Mahmood’s leg cutters, while Macartney’s left arm spin and Vine’s leg spin are much of a muchness. On all except a spinning surface I would expect the Ms powerful batting to carry the day and accordingly score this one Ms 4, Vs 1.

THE Ms V THE Ws

The Ms have the better opening pair, though Woolley offers a bowling option comparable to Macartney and Worrell offers a bowling option not mirrored in the Ms ranks. Weekes and Walcott each comfortably win their batting match ups, and S Waugh v Miandad is a dead heat. Watling slightly outranks Miller with the bat, but Marsh outranks him as a keeper. Woods outranks Marsh with the bat (Woods played in the 1890s and 1900s, and mainly in England, where pitches were often hard to bat on) and is on a par with Miller as a bowler. Whitty, Willis and Woods are pretty close to Marshall, McGrath and Miller as a pace trio, Wardle is at least a match for Murali, Warne is clearly ahead of Mahmood. I think the Ws have this, though not by a vast amount: Ms 2, Ws 3.

THE Ms V THE Xs

The Xs arguably win two batting match ups (DeXter over Macartney, though the latter offered more with the ball, and Xenophon Balaskas over Marsh) and the wicket keeping match up. The bowling is even more strongly stacked in the Ms favour, leading to an inevitable scoreline of Ms 5, Xs 0.

THE Ms PROGRESS REPORT

The Ms have scored 19 of a possible 25 points today, moving them on to 92 out of 115, exactly 80% so far.

PHOTOGRAPHS

My usual sign off…

All Time XIs – Match Ups 30

Continuing my extended analysis of how my all time XIs 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 the Gs occupy the spotlight and are on 58 of a possible 80 points going into this set of match ups. Each team featured today will have a link back to the selectorial post about them, highlighted in light blue.

THE Gs V THE Rs

The small sample size for B Richards at the highest level and the fact that Rogers indubitably ranks fourth among the openers in this match up means that I consider the Gs to have the better opening pair. The Rs win the number three slot – WG’s record on rough Victorian pitches equates to an average of 48 or thereabouts today, though the doctor offers a front line bowling option. Root beats Gower in the number four slot. Graveney achieved his test average over many more matches than Ranji, but Ranji encountered worse surfaces than Graveney. A third factor however is that Ranji played in an era that encouraged expansive stroke makers, whereas Graveney played in the slowest scoring era of all time, and his own approach was very much at variance with the general one of his era. I thus award this match up to Graveney. The Gs win the number six and seven slots with the bat, and Russell was a much finer keeper than Gilchrist. The Rs win the pace bowling – whether you make Richardson or Rabada their third pacer that third pacer outranks Jack Gregory as a bowler. Grimmett was much better leg spinner than Robins, though Rhodes outranks Gibbs as a finger spinner, albeit by much less than Grimmett outranks Robins. The Gs have the better batting by a small margin and the better spin bowling, and also the better skipper. The Rs have the better pace attack and the better keeper. I think the Rs pace attack will just make the difference and score this one Gs 2, Rs 3.

THE Gs V THE Ss

We have two superb opening pairs here. The Ss have a somewhat higher combined average and the advantage of a left/ right combo as opposed to the Gs two right handers. Grace and G Smith share the batting honours at no3 – Grace’s average on the pitches he played on converts pretty much exactly to G Smith’s on 21st century pitches, with Grace offering a bowling option and somewhat outranking G Smith as skipper. The Ss win the number four and five slots. Sobers wins the no6 batting match up against Gilchrist, though the Aussie wins the keeping match up against Sangakkara. Stokes and Gregory is a clash of the titans – two ultra aggressive left handed batters who bowl right arm fast and have very similar averages, though Stokes’ has been achieved over many more games, which just gets him the verdict. The Ss have the better pace attack, with Stokes and the quicker aspects of Sobers fourth and fifth choices for them in that department, but as against that Grimmett massively outbowls Stevens and Gibbs is better than the left arm wrist spin incarnation of Sobers (LWS have a very similar angle of attack to off spinners). The Ss have the left arm orthodox spin version of Sobers, not matched by the Gs, and the Gs have Grace as their bonus bowling option. I think the Ss just have enough, but this a mighty contest: Gs 2, Ss 3.

THE Gs V THE Ts

The opening pair is a closer contest than it looks – Trumper’s record was achieved on some pretty rough surfaces, and the Ts have the additional advantage of the left/ right combo, so I would say honours even on opening pairs. Grace outranks Tarrant as a batter, but the Aussie was the finer bowler. Grace also has to be ranked above ‘Tubs’ as a skipper, though ‘Tubs’ was a good skipper himself. Tendulkar outranks Gower by a distance, but Thorpe, on sample size and lack of support from the rest of the order, beats Graveney. Gilchrist outranks Ross Taylor as a batter, but is a distant second to Bob Taylor in the keeping stakes. Gregory wins his batting match up against Bob Taylor but loses the bowling match up against Jeff Thomson. Trumble and Gibbs is a close contest – Trumble got more responsive surfaces to bowl on than Gibbs by and large, which I consider to account for the differences in their averages. Grimmett has no challenger in the Gs ranks. Trueman and Tyson outrank Geary and Garner. The Ts have better batting, better pace bowling and much the better keeper, the Gs have the better spin bowling and the better skipper. I think the Ts have this one but not by much – Gs 2, Ts 3.

THE Gs V THE Us

The Gs have far the better opening pair, though Ulyett was possibly a better bowler than Gregory. Grace bosses the number three slot and outranks Misbah Ul Haq as captain. The Us win the number four and five slots. Gilchrist wins the batting match up at six, and Umrigar offers less in the way of bowling than Grace. Umar Akmal loses his batting match up against Jack Gregory and his keeping match up against Gilchrist. Geary definitely outranks Umar Gul, and Umran Malik is as yet unproven, so while acknowledging that this might change over the next decade or so, at the moment that match up has to go very comfortably the way of Garner. Underwood has to outrank Gibbs as a bowler, and the moment, though again acknowledging that this might change in future Grimmett has to outrank Ur Rahman. The Gs absolutely boss the batting, have the better pace attack by far, have the better spin attack, the better keeper and the better captain: Gs 5, Us 0.

THE Gs V THE Vs

The Gs have much the better opening pair, Grace comfortably beats Vaughan both as no three and as captain, the Gs also win at numbers four and five, and Gilchrist outranks Verreynne as batter, though the Saffa wins the keeping element of the natch up. Gregory outbats Vaas, but Vaas wins the bowling element of the match up comfortably, especially given that he is likely to fare even better as third seamer in a strong attack than he actually did as opening bowler in a moderate one. Voce outranks Geary as a bowler. Van der Bijl against Garner is a toughie – the Saffa never got to play test cricket due to circumstances, but may well have had a similar record to Garner, who he resembled in height and build had he done so. Grimmett outranks Vogler as a bowler, but by less than Verity outranks Gibbs as a finger spinner. The Gs have have much the better batting, winning every significant match up, but the Vs have the better bowling. I would say that the difference in batting in favour of the Gs is bigger than the difference in bowling in favour of the Vs, but the Gs are not winning this by much: Gs 3, Vs 2.

THE Gs PROGRESS

The Gs have scored 14 of a possible 25 points today, moving them on to 72 out of 105, 68.57% so far.

PHOTOGRAPHS

My usual sign off…