All Time XIs – Match Ups 65

The final post in the extended analysis phase of this long series. The series will conclude with a grand finale post presenting the XIs in reverse ranking order.

Welcome to the final post in the analysis stage of this series. There may be delays to me completing these posts – I have a minor injury to my right wrist, and although the brace the hospital have provided me with to support said wrist is doing wonders in terms of enabling me to do things with my right hand, I am still somewhat incommoded and probably therefore will not complete things with my usual speed. This post starts with the Ws in the spotlight, with 97 points out of 115 accumulated so far.


The Ws dominate this contest. The only match up the Ys win is in the fast bowling department where W Younis beats Willis – but Whitty beats U Yadav by a greater margin, and Woods blows Yardley out of the water. Thus the only conceivable scoreline is Ws 5, Ys 0.


Total dominance from the Ws here: Ws 5, Zs 0.


The Ws have amassed 107 of a possible 125 points, 85.6% overall.


Before going into this match up, a brief note about the Xs. Had I seen developments in NZ domestic cricket in 2022-23 before I selected the Xs MaX Waller would have missed out, and Xara Jetly, a young off spinner would be in, with MaX Walker relegated one place from number 10 to number 11. The Xs have 13.5 out of 115 points coming in to today.

The Ys have much stronger batting, better pace bowling, the better skipper, and the two best spinners on either side. The Xs have the better keeper. This is clear cut: Xs 0, Ys 5.


The Zs have the better opening pair, the Xs win the batting match ups 3-9 inclusive, and AXar Patel, Xenophon Balaskas, Ron OXenham, Ted DeXter and Sam LoXton are all genuine bowling options, while BoX was a much finer keeper than Zulqarnain Haider. MaX Walker ranks first among seam/ pace bowlers on either side, and the Xs, with OXenham, Dexter and Loxton as back up options in this department also have the greater depth. The spin bowling is hard to call, but even if the Zs win, it only reduces the margin of their defeat. I score this one Xs 4, Zs 1.


The Xs have scored 4 points today, finishing on 17.5 out of 125, 14% overall.


The Ys have 33 out of 120 so far and the Zs 10.5 out of 120. This suggests a one-sided contest, and that impressions is not awry. The Zs have the better opening pair, the Ys win at nos 3-6, though only Yardley offers a bowling option. S Yousuf outranks Zulqarnain Haider in both departments. The fast bowling is close, with Zaheer Khan’s left arm making up for his slightly high average, but the Ys definitely win the spin bowling department. The Ys also have the better captain. I score this one: Ys 5, Zs 0.


The Ys finish with 38 out of 125, 30.4% overall, the Zs with 10.5 out of 125, 8.4% overall.


On Saturday night I attended Luminate at Sandringham. For those so inclined (not me) there are fairground rides before the start/ after the finish of the main event, which is walk through wooded areas of the estate, with light features all the way around. I took a lots of pictures while on my way round…

All Time XIs – Match Ups 52

Continuing my extended analysis of how the all time XIs I picked 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. This post marks the fourth-fifths of the way point in the analysis part of this series, after which there will be a grand finale post presenting all 26 XIs in reverse ranking order. Today sees the end of the Ns, who so far have 22 of a possible 105 points and ushers the Os into the spotlight, with 12.5 of a possible 70 points to their credit.


The Ws dominate in departments and there can be only one scoreline: Ns 0, Ws 5.


The Ns have better batting, better pace bowling and a better captain. The Xs have the better keeper and the better spin bowling. I expect the Ns to win this but not in a whitewash: Ns 4, Xs 1.


The Ns have the better opening pair, the Ys win at number three and draw at number four, and win at number five. Noble wins the batting match up at number six, but P Yadav is comfortably the better bowler. Nixon undoubtedly outranks S Yousuf with both bat and gloves. The Ns are dominant in pace/ seam bowling, with their fourth option in that department, Nichols, outranking the Ys second, U Yadav. The Ys definitely have the better spin attack – Young outpoints Nadeem by even more than P Yadav outpoints Noble. This is close in batting, and the question is whether the Ns pacers or the Ys spinners have the bigger advantage over their opposite number. I just give this to the Ns: Ns 3, Ys 2.


The Ns are well ahead on batting, have the better captain, the better keeper and the better pace/ seam bowlers. The Zs have slightly the better spinners, and I will allow them one big day out: Ns 4, Zs 1.E


The Ns have scored 11 of a possible 20 points today, to finish on 33 out of 125, 26.4%.


The Ps absolutely boss the batting, winning every match up, a number of them by huge margins. Oldfield rates above Pant as a keeper. Procter wins the battle of the all rounders in both departments, though O’Riordan’s left arm does give the Os extra variation. S Pollock is clear of Old and P Pollock at least matches Olivier. Prasanna is about even with Ojha, but the Os also have Odumbe, and O’Reilly outranks Parker. I think that the Ps colossal advantage in batting and obvious advantage in pace/ seam bowling, plus the fact that they have the superior captain more than compensate for their disadvantages on the keeping and spin bowling fronts, though I will as usual in these cases allow the Os spinners one big day out: Os 1, Ps 4.


The Os have 13.5 points out of a possible 75, exactly 18% so far.


My usual sign off…

All Time XIs – The Letter Z

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

I continue my exploration of the all time XIs theme with a team of players whose names begin with Z. I included Zaheer Abbas in the As, and in keeping with my policy that no one will feature is two XIs in this trip through the alphabet I therefore do not select him today. Other omissions can wait until the Honourable Mentions section.


  1. Fakhar Zaman (Pakistan). A left handed opening batter with a magnificent ODI record, a respectable test record and a good FC average.
  2. Ibrahim Zadran (Afghanistan). A right handed opening batter, currently averaging 44 test cricket, and with a good FC record.
  3. Zubayr Hamza (South Africa). A right handed top order batter who averages 48 in FC cricket, though he has not been successful at test level as yet.
  4. Najibullah Zadran (Afghanistan). His opportunities at test level have been limited to date, but he has a fine record in limited overs cricket, and I am prepared to give him the benefit of the doubt.
  5. Khaya Zondo (South Africa). Has an excellent FC batting record, though has not yet been given the opportunity to prove himself at the highest level.
  6. Billy Zulch (South Africa). A right handed batter and occasional right arm medium pacer, he averaged 30 in test cricket when SA were a struggling outfit, had a good FC record.
  7. +Zulqarnain Haider (Pakistan). An innings of 88 in what proved to be his only test (he fled Pakistan in fear of his own safety) underlined his skill with the bat and he was a fine keeper as well.
  8. Monde Zondeki (South Africa). A right arm fast bowler who took his test wickets at 25 a piece.
  9. Zia Ur Rehman (Afghanistan). A left arm orthodox spinner who takes his FC wickets at 19 a piece, but has yet to be given a chance at test level. Afghanistan have amazing strength in depth in the spin bowling department, and his test opportunity may never arrive.
  10. Zaheer Khan (India). A left arm fast medium bowler, his test average of 32 looks on the high side, but he rarely had much in the way of pace support (India having strength in depth in the pace bowling department is a recent phenomenon).
  11. Zahir Khan (Afghanistan). A left arm wrist spinner who claims his FC wickets at 21 a piece and bowled respectably in his three tests, though seven wickets at 34 a piece is a record that needs improvement.

This XI has a solid batting unit, a good keeper who can bat and four varied bowlers. It is a pity that the back up seam options are limited to Ibrahim Zadran and Billy Zulch, neither of whom could be classed as front line bowlers, but Zaheer Khan, Zondeki, Zia Ur Rehman and Zahir Khan should function fairly well as a main bowling attack.


The main rival to Fakhar Zaman as left handed opener was Hazratullah Zazai of Afghanistan, but though he has a respectable FC record he has yet to be picked for a test match. No right handed opener comes remotely close to challenging Ibrahim Zadran – while his test average of 44.50 comes from only eight innings at that level (no not outs to boost the average), his first class average of 41 comes from a much larger sample size and confirms his class. He averages about 18 runs an innings more than Zak Crawley at test level and 12 an innings more than the proven failure who happens to be a management favourite manages even at FC level.

Bas Zuiderent of the Netherlands played a fine innings against England in the 1996 World Cup, but overall his record is quite ordinary. Saif Zaib is an alleged batting all rounder, but his FC averages at the moment are the wrong way round – 22 with the bat and 31 with the ball. Tim Zoehrer was Zulqarnain’s rival for the gauntlets, but he had such a poor series in the 1986-7 Ashes that spectators at the MCG of all places were heard expressing the opinion that even the New South Welshman Greg Dyer would be in improvement on him (of course they really wanted their own Dimattina to get the job).

Mohammed Zanhar, a Sri Lankan leg spinner, took his FC wickets at 25 a piece, but only played 10 matches at that level. Adam Zampa has a great record in limited overs cricket, but his FC wickets come at massively pricey 48 runs a piece. Two fast bowlers, Dawlat Zadran of Afghanistan and Nuwan Zoysa of Sri Lanka (who once took a hat trick with his first three balls of a test match) entered my thoughts but neither had that great an overall record. Zak Chappell is expensive even at first class level, and is nearly as far short of meriting serious consideration as the other Zak I have mentioned in passing.

While I regret the absence of a genuine all rounder that omission could only be rectified by outright cheating, using a nickname to avail myself of ‘Zulu’ Klusener.


We have finished our cricketing journey through the letter Z and all that is left is my usual sign off…