All Time XIs – Match Ups 62

Continuing my extended analysis of how my all time XIs fare against one another. Today sees the end of the Ts.

Welcome to the latest instalment in my extended analysis of how my the all time XIs I selected for each letter of the alphabet fare against one another. Today we see the Ts last five match ups, with them having 72.5 out of 100 points so far.

THE Ts V THE Vs

The Ts win the batting match ups at 1,2,4,5,6 and 8, with Vaughan winning at no 3 for the Vs, though unlike Tarrant he does not offer a bowling option. Vaas at seven and Verity at nine also win batting match ups for the Vs, while Bob Taylor is clearly the superior keeper. I award the Vs the pace/ seam bowling honours on two grounds: 1) the Ts pacers are all right handers, reducing the variation in their attack, and 2) Vaas would fare better as third seamer in a powerful attack than he actually did as opening bowler in a moderate one. The spin pairings are closely matched – Verity beats Tarrant (in FC cricket, which is where a comparison is available Verity was 2.5 runs per wicket cheaper than Tarrant and bowled in less favourable conditions), while Trumble beats Vogler. The Ts are stronger in batting, the Vs are stronger in bowling. The Ts have the better keeper. I think the Ts good batting is enough to save them from defeat, but I am not prepared to award them victory: Ts 2.5, Vs 2.5.

Two of the Vs brightest stars, Verity and Voce.

THE Ts V THE Ws

The Ws dominate the batting – apart from Mark Taylor up top, the only other winners of batting match ups are Ross Taylor at six and Hugh Trumble at eight. The Ts have the better keeper. The fast bowling is close, Whitty’s left handedness possibly the decisive factor in giving that department to the Ws. The Ws steamroller the spin bowling department, Wardle outranking Tarrant and Warne outranking Trumble. The Ws also have the better captain – as good as Mark Taylor was in that role, Worrell’s achievement in unifying the West Indies and turning them for the first time in their history to into a combination that could and did win anywhere and against anyone puts him a cut above even Taylor as a skipper. As good as the Ts are there is no areas save wicket keeping in which they are even close to the Ws, so I have to score this Ts 0, Ws 5.

Johnny Wardle, left arm trickster for the Ws

THE Ts V THE Xs

Total dominance with the bat for the Ts – not until Xenophon Balaskas at seven, Ron Oxenham at eight and Tom Box at nine do the Xs win any batting match ups. Box is one of the few keepers in this series to be a match for Bob Taylor. The Ts also have the better captain and dominate the pace/ seam department. Also, while the Xs have a numerical superiority in the spin department, Trumble is definitely the best spinner on either side, and Tarrant would be at least Axar Patel’s equal. Therefore there can be only one scoreline: Ts 5, Xs 0.

Captain of the Xs, Alan KippaX.

THE Ts V THE Ys

The Ts are dominant in batting – only Younis Khan at three and Saleem Yousuf at seven win batting match ups for the Ys. Bob Taylor resumes his usual position of being obviously the best keeper on either side, the Ts are utterly dominant in seam/pace bowling, and also have the better spin pairing – Tarrant definitely outranks Jack Young in that department, whereas P Yadav is not definitively clear of Trumble (though I call that match up just her way). Thus this one is Ts 5, Ys 0.

Ys skipper Norman Yardley. This was from early in his career, and by the time of the 1946-7 Ashes he was bowling medium pace and used mainly as a partnership breaker.

THE Ts V THE Zs

The Ts utterly dominate the batting – only Zulqarnain Haider at seven wins a match up for the Zs in this department, and he loses the keeping match up against Bob Taylor. The Ts also have the better captain. They utterly dominate the pace/ seam bowling department, and they are least on level terms in the spin department: Ts 5, Zs 0.

Trueman, one of three out and out fast bowlers available to the Ts. None of my cigarette cards feature any of the Zs.

THE Ts FINAL SCORE

The Ts have scored 17.5 out of 25 today, to finish on 90 out of 125, exactly 72%.

PHOTOGRAPHS

My usual sign off…

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 V THE Ws

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 V THE Xs

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

THE Ls V THE Ys

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 V THE Zs

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 FINAL SCORE

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 V THE Ns

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 PROGRESS REPORT

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

PHOTOGRAPHS

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.

THE XI IN BATTING ORDER

  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.

HONOURABLE MENTIONS

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.

PHOTOGRAPHS

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