All Time XIs – Match Ups (19)

Continuing my extended analysis of how the all time XIs I slected for each letter of the alphabet fare against one another.

Welcome to the continuation of my extended analysis of how the all time XIs I selected for each letter of the alphabet fare against one another. Today we see the end of the Ds and the Es taking over the spotlight.


Woolley outranks Dent as a batter and offers a bowling option. Worrell loses his batting match up against Dempster, but also offers a bowling option, and is probably the top rated captain of any of my XIs, whereas Dennett never had the job in real life. Weekes outranks Dravid, Walcott outranks Donnelly, and S Waugh’s much larger sample size at least neutralizes the gap between his and Duleep’s batting averages. D’Oliveira was a much better batter than Woods, but a fraction of the bowler that Woods was. Dujon was a finer keeper than Watling, but the Kiwis batting partly compensates for that. Whitty, Willis and Woods are a fair match for Donald, Davidson and Daniel in the pace department, Warne tops the spin rankings, and his main back up, Wardle, probably outranks Dennett as a bowler, and the Ws still have Woolley as third spinner. I make the Ws ahead on batting, equal on pace/ seam bowling and ahead by the proverbial country mile in the spin department, and accordingly score this Ds 0, Ws 5.


The Ds are miles ahead in batting and in pace bowling. The Xs have a clear advantage in spin bowling, and also Box was a finer keeper than Dujon, and not as much less of a batter than raw figures suggest – his average of 12 compared to Pilch’s 18 (Pilch was the best batter of Box’s era) is not massively different to Dujon’s 31 compared to Viv Richard’s 50. However, save on a Bunsen the Ds have a commanding advantage: Ds 4, Xs 1.


Dent just wins his match up against Yardy. Dempster has M Young on toast. Dravid just edges his match up against Younis Khan. M Yousuf beats Donnelly – the greater sample size on which his average is based more than making up for Donnelly’s slightly higher average. Duleep beats Yallop, D’Oliveira beats Yardley, although Yardley has to be considered to better of two captains. Dujon outranks S Yousuf in both departments. The Ds comfortably win the pace department, while the Ys are better equipped spin wise. Final score: Ds 3, Ys 2.


The Ds dominate the batting, being ahead in all the top eight slots. The Ds also have the finer keeper, and the captaincy is a close call. The Ds dominate the pace bowling, having the number 1,2 and 3 ranked pacers in this contest. The Zs have a numerical advantage in the spin contest, but Dennett would be the top ranked spinner in this match up. I score this Ds 5, Zs 0.


The Ds scored 12 of a possible 20 points today, giving them 59 out of 125 overall, 47.2%, which places them third of the four teams we have seen in full so far.


I give Elgar and J Edrich the edge over Fredericks and Fry as an opening pair. Flower wins the number three slot, and Fletcher and Faulkner win their match ups, with Faulkner also providing a bowling option. Foakes is ahead of Evans with the bat, and not far enough behind with the gloves to alter the outcome of their match up. While the presence of Endean increases the depth of the Es batting it reduces their bowling options. Fender was a fine all rounder and would have to be considered a better skipper than the pedestrian Elgar. Both sides have magnificent bowling options, and Foster and Flowers’ ability to contribute with the bat neutralizes Endean. I think the Fs have enough to win this and score it Es 2, Fs 3.


The Es came into the spotlight with 7 of a possible 20 points banked, which means they now have 9 out of 25, 36%.


My usual sign off…

All Time XIs – Match Ups 15

Continuing my extended analysis of how the all time XIs I picked for each letter of the alphabet fare against one another. Also some photographs.

Welcome to the latest installment in my extended analysis of how the teams I created for each letter of the alphabet fare against one another. This post features a ‘changing of the guard’ – the Cs occupy the hot seat at the beginning, and then we start the Ds. The Cs start today with 33 out of 115 points.


The Cs definitely have the stronger opening pair, nos 3,4 and 5 are very close, with Younis Khan outpointing I Chappell to the same extent that G Chappell outpoints Yallop. Norman Yardley outbats Constantine but loses the bowling element of their match up. Also, Chappelli is the better captain. S Yousuf outbats Carter but is out kept by the Aussie. Cummins and Croft have to be ranked above Younis and U Yadav as a new ball pair. Jack Young comfortably outmatches Cornwall as a finger spinner, while P Yadav vs Chandrasekhar is an even contest. The Ys have a marginal batting advantage, and win the spin bowling, but the pace bowling advantage is strongly with the Cs, and I think that will count for more than anything else and accordingly score this one: Cs 3, Ys 2.


The Cs dominate the top batting, with only Cowdrey arguably losing his match up against I Zadran. Zulch outbats Constantine, but does not offer a serious bowling option. Carter wins the wicket keeping match up, and Zaheer Khan and Monde Zondeki are way behind Cummins and Croft in the fast bowling stakes, while Constantine is the only back up pace option available to either side. The Zs probably win the spin department, but I don’t see that making much difference to the outcome of this one: Cs 4, Zs 1.


The Cs finish with 40 out of 125 points, a total score of 32%, comfortably bottom out of the three XIs who have been fully under the spotlight so far.


The Cs have one solid pro and one genius opening the batting, one of the greatest number threes of all time, two legendary stroke makers at four and five, and a number six whose record at the top level suffered because his elevations was massively delayed by his personal circumstances and who still had a fine record. Dujon was an excellent keeper and a stylish batter, their pace trio is awesome, with Daniel probably third seamer behind an opening pair of Davidson and Donald, and they have a great spinner who was unlucky to overlap with two even greater ones of the same type – Wilfred Rhodes and Colin Blythe. The Es have two left handed battlers to open the batting, a number three who is less far behind his opposite number than figures suggest on two counts – 1)Dravid batted in an easier era for batting than Bill Edrich, and 2) Edrich lost six prime years to WWII, in which he distinguished himself as a flying ace. Emmett and R Edwards are undoubtedly well behind Donnelly and Duleepsinhji, and Endean is beaten by D’Oliveira. Dujon wins the batting element of his match up against Evans, but the Englishman was an even greater keeper than the West Indian. The Es have a left/ right opening pair of pacers, and a couple of crafty slower bowlers in Evans and Ecclestone. Evans v Daniel is not strictly a match up since they were very different types of bowler, and it is hard to say who would be preferable. I rank Ecclestone ahead of Dennett as a slow left armer. The Ds are ahead on batting, the Es may be ahead on front line bowling, but the Ds have an extra option in D’Oliveira. I score this one as Ds 3, Es 2.


The Ds have a marginal advantage when it comes to the opening pair, and Dravid rates above Flower as a number three. Donnelly beats Fletcher confortably, and Duleepsinhji beats Faulkner with the bat, but as against that Faulkner offers a bowling option. The Ds are stronger with the bat at nos 6,7 and 8, but the Fs have the potential of useful contributions from Flowers at 9. The Fs boss the bowling, Foster, Freeman and Ferris being at least as good a pace combo as Davidson, Donald and Daniel, and the Fs having three front line spin options to the Ds 1. I expect the Fs to win this comfortably and score it Ds 1, Fs 4.


The Ds have the edge in batting, though by less than it seems at first glance, the Ds also have the better pace attack, with only Garner in the same class as their trio. The Gs have a significant advantage in the spin bowling department, and they have the redoubtable WG as skipper. I still make the Ds favourites and score this one Ds 3, Gs 2.


The Ds had 8 points out of 15 from their three previous encounters. They are now on 15 points out of 30, exactly 50%.


My usual sign off…

All Time XIs – The Letter Y

Continuing my exploration of the all time XIs theme with a look at the letter Y.

I continue my exploration of the all time XIs theme with a look at players whose surnames begin with the letter Y (the kind of chicanery required for the letter X is not needed for this letter. A quick reference back to the Xs – Ted DeXter was an honourable mention for the Ds, so I felt able to include him in the Xs, and edited yesterday’s post to reflect this – please read the edited version. VVS Laxman was in the Ls XI, and I am not allowing myself to include someone in two different XIs in this trip through the alphabet.


  1. Michael Yardy (Sussex, England). A left handed opening batter who scored over 10,000 FC runs at 36, and also an occasional bowler of left arm orthodox spin, though his chief value in that department was in limited overs cricket.
  2. Martin Young (Gloucestershire). A right handed opener who was a consistent score for his county for a number of years without ever attracting the attention of the England selectors.
  3. Younis Khan (Pakistan). Over 10,000 test runs at 52, and number three is this right hander’s natural position in the order.
  4. Mohammad Yousuf (Pakistan). He also averaged 52 in test cricket, though he did not score quite as many runs as Younis Khan. He holds the record for most test runs in a calendar year with 1,788.
  5. Graham Yallop (Australia). A left handed batter with a fine test record in that department.
  6. *Norman Yardley (Yorkshire, England). A right handed middle order batter, and a right arm medium pacer who revealed an aptitude for breaking partnerships on the 1946-7 tour of Australia. He was also a fine captain, a role I have given him in this side.
  7. +Saleem Yousuf (Pakistan). A fine wicket keeper and useful right handed batter.
  8. Umesh Yadav (India). A right arm fast bowler, his presence at no eight indicates this team’s biggest issue – lack of runs from the lower order.
  9. Waqar Younis (Surrey, Glamorgan, Pakistan). One of the fastest bowlers in the world in his pomp, and one of the finest pacers his country ever produced.
  10. Jack Young (Middlesex, England). A left arm orthodox spinner who took his FC wickets at less than 20 a piece, but got few opportunities at test level.
  11. Poonam Yadav (India). The most controversial of all my selections, the diminutive leg spinner has a fine record in all formats, including 3-68 in her only test appearance to date. I have mentioned various skilled female cricketers in a lot of these posts, and a look at the E XI will confirm that I have named at least one female in a previous XI.

This XI has a solid opening pair who should be able to set a platform for the engine room of Younis Khan, Mohammad Yousuf and Graham Yallop. Yardley would captain the side well, which should make up for any shortfall in his own performance. Saleem Yousuf is a fine keeper, and there are four excellent bowlers. The pace department is a trifle thin, with Yardley officially third seamer, but Jack Young and Poonam Yadav look a fine spin combo. Overall I would expect this XI to give a decent account of itself.


Other than those I named there were three obvious candidates for opening batting slots: Bryan Young and Will Young, both of New Zealand have done the job at test level, but in both cases their record is no more than respectable. Rob Yates has had his moments for Warwickshire, but is too inconsistent to merit selection. Among middle order batters Suryakumar Yadav and Yashpal Sharma are unlucky that this team has such a strong middle order.

The only wicket keeping alternative to Saleem Yousuf was Hugo Yarnold of Worcestershire, but he was far inferior to Yousuf as a batter, and given the length of the tail as things were I felt the slot had to go to the Pakistani.

Three off spinners, Bruce Yardley, Shivlal Yadav and Jayant Yadav, were available, and any of them would have strengthened the batting, but all have moderate bowling records, and I am not prepared to boost the batting at the cost of reducing the team’s chances of taking 20 wickets. A left arm wrist spinner, Kuldeep Yadav, was available, and was the logical alternative to Poonam Yadav for the role of the second spinner. Radha Yadav, a left arm orthodox spinner, has had some successes for the Indian women’s team, but does not as yet compare to Jack Young, and like him is not to be relied on with the bat.

The only quick bowler other than two I selected that I could think off was Kuldip Yadav, a left arm fast medium bowler, but he has one first class scalp to his name, which makes picking him an unwarrantable gamble for me.

I end with one for the future: Yash Dhull, an off spinning all rounder, has had some captaincy experience with India Under 19s, and I will be surprised if in ten years time he does not dislodge Norman Yardley from the number six slot in this team. He has made a sensational start to his FC batting career, although he has yet to do much with the ball at that level. I would also sound a mild cautionary note: Tom Lammonby scored three centuries in his first six FC matches, but fell away badly in his first full length season to the extent that he was actually dropped five matches into it.


Our cricketing journey through the letter Y is at an end, and all that is left is my usual sign off…