ESPN Cricinfo's World Eleven

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ESPN Cricinfo's World Eleven

Post by Chambo Off To Work We Go on Mon Nov 26, 2012 10:59 pm


Selected by past test captain's and other journalists the ESPN Cricinfo World XI is (in batting order);

Jack Hobbs, Len Hutton, Don Bradman, Sachin Tendulkar, Viv Richards, Garry Sobers, Adam Gilchrist (WK), Malcolm Marshall, Shane Warne, Wasim Akram, Dennis Lillee

Do you agree with it?
If not, who goes in and who goes out?

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Re: ESPN Cricinfo's World Eleven

Post by Chambo Off To Work We Go on Mon Nov 26, 2012 11:03 pm

This may help interpret the rationale they applied.

"Four Australians, three West Indians, two Englishmen, an Indian and a Pakistani make up the XI.

Three players were unanimous choices, figuring in the first XIs of each of the 12 members of the jury (each juror was asked to pick a first XI and a second) - Don Bradman, Garry Sobers and Shane Warne, each of whom got the maximum points possible in the exercise, 60. Tendulkar followed with 51 points.

Perhaps the biggest surprise the XI threw up was the gap between Warne and Muttiah Muralitharan, the two leading wicket-takers in cricket history. Murali made it to ESPNcricinfo's World Second XI, tallying 34 points fewer than Warne.

The closest battles were for one of the opening spots and for No. 5. Sunil Gavaskar lost out to Jack Hobbs by one point and George Headley by two to Viv Richards.

Len Hutton (47 points) partners Hobbs at the top. They are followed by Bradman, Tendulkar, Richards and Sobers. While there was no competition to Sobers for the allrounder's spot, Imran Khan (19) narrowly edged out Keith Miller to make it to the Second XI.

Adam Gilchrist beat Alan Knott to the wicketkeeper's spot by eight points. The next closest contender was Kumar Sangakkara, who got nine points.

The bowling positions were all decided by handsome margins. Three of cricket's most highly rated fast bowlers - Dennis Lillee, leading with 48 points, Wasim Akram and Malcolm Marshall (in addition to Sobers, who could bowl left-arm fast, spin and chinamen) - accompany Warne.

Four players figured in either the first or second XIs of each of the 12 jury members - Bradman, Sobers, Warne and Viv Richards. Five players were in 11 - Tendulkar, Akram, Hutton, Gilchrist and Marshall.

The jury comprised one former captain from each of the top Test-playing teams - Ian Chappell, Clive Lloyd, Tony Greig, Duleep Mendis, Ali Bacher, Intikhab Alam, John Wright, Ajit Wadekar - and four cricket historians and writers.

The World XI is the final installment in ESPNcricinfo's all-time XI series, in which all-time sides have been picked for the leading Test teams. The shortlists that the members of the jury picked their World XIs from consisted of the players who made it to the country XIs. "
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Re: ESPN Cricinfo's World Eleven

Post by Scrappy on Tue Nov 27, 2012 9:58 am

One question I would like to ask
Who was the better Pakastani Test Cricket allrounder ?
Imran Khan or Wasim Akram ?

Imran Khan
3807 runs @37.69
362 wickets @ 22.81 [economy 2.54]

Wasim Akram
2898 runs @ 22.64
414 wickets @ 23.62 [economy 2.59]

ESPN has named Akram in the greatest of team
I reckon Imran was a slightly better cricketer
If we dead heat their bowling , then one must feel that Imran was a better batsman

One thing for sure, it might be a long long time before Pakistan is ever graced with 2 very talented allrounders in the one team
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Re: ESPN Cricinfo's World Eleven

Post by Chambo Off To Work We Go on Tue Nov 27, 2012 10:40 am

Wouldn't you like the luxury of 2 players of their standard in the Aussie team right now?

Maybe 1 would do!

.......and I would take Imran too!
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Re: ESPN Cricinfo's World Eleven

Post by Adelaide Hawk on Tue Nov 27, 2012 6:02 pm

Chambo Off To Work We Go wrote:
Selected by past test captain's and other journalists the ESPN Cricinfo World XI is (in batting order);

Jack Hobbs, Len Hutton, Don Bradman, Sachin Tendulkar, Viv Richards, Garry Sobers, Adam Gilchrist (WK), Malcolm Marshall, Shane Warne, Wasim Akram, Dennis Lillee

Do you agree with it?
If not, who goes in and who goes out?


That's a might fine effort, and one helluva team. I can't think of anyone who shouldn't be there, nor can I think of anyone who definitely SHOULD be there. I never saw Hobbs, Hutton or Bradman, but their records speak for themselves.

I would have Viv Richards at 4, ahead of Tendulkar and I'd bat Akram ahead of Marshall and Warne.

I do feel Brian Lara was a better player than Tendulkar, but sheer weight of numbers places him slightly ahead.
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Re: ESPN Cricinfo's World Eleven

Post by Chambo Off To Work We Go on Tue Nov 27, 2012 11:18 pm

Not sure if my other thread re batsmen's innings to high scores ratio helps or hinders any of these considerations either.

If you look at the ESPN Second XI, the "discards" ain't too bad either.

The Second XI: Sunil Gavaskar, Barry Richards, George Headley, Brian Lara, Wally Hammond, Imran Khan, Alan Knott, Bill O'Reilly, Fred Trueman, Muttiah Muralitharan, SF Barnes

I am afraid there is one person in this second team I just can't have in any test team. The controversy surrounding that player never seems to go away, and in my opinion for good reason.
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Re: ESPN Cricinfo's World Eleven

Post by Chambo Off To Work We Go on Tue Nov 27, 2012 11:24 pm

In the first team, Gilly probably gets the nod on his batting achievements.

If others were better batsmen, or if Gilly wasn't so far ahead of the others in this area, what other keeper, if any, would lay claim to it.

Knott perhaps? He is in the second team.

On pure wicket keeping who is at the top of the tree?

I wonder if you need to look beyond stats (Ct, St etc) alone.
Keeping to a bloke like Warne must add some stature on difficulty by itself.
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Re: ESPN Cricinfo's World Eleven

Post by FOOTYfollower on Tue Nov 27, 2012 11:48 pm

I'm probably Un-Australian in saying this, but I have thought over the years that Lillee was over-rated.
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Re: ESPN Cricinfo's World Eleven

Post by Chambo Off To Work We Go on Wed Nov 28, 2012 12:42 am

FOOTYfollower wrote:I'm probably Un-Australian in saying this, but I have thought over the years that Lillee was over-rated.

Your deportation papers are in order and I've booked you one the next plane to Karachi!

......one way! Laughing
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Re: ESPN Cricinfo's World Eleven

Post by Adelaide Hawk on Wed Nov 28, 2012 5:37 am

FOOTYfollower wrote:I'm probably Un-Australian in saying this, but I have thought over the years that Lillee was over-rated.

Can I ask why?
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Re: ESPN Cricinfo's World Eleven

Post by FOOTYfollower on Wed Nov 28, 2012 12:00 pm

Perhaps its because I'm not old enough to have seen him at his peak, and when I saw him it was in the final years of his career (having had back injuries earlier on) when my impression was that he was a great bowler, but he seemed to lack something compared to the great West Indies bowlers (of 70's/80's) as well as a few Pakistani bowlers from a slightly later era.

I also remember seeing Hadlee and being amazed how dominant he was, and remembered thinking he was better than what my perception of Lillee was.

I don't claim to be an expert, and not having seeing him bowl 40 years ago, as I'm not old enough, perhaps I am unfairly critical, nevertheless I can only go by what my impressions were of what I saw.
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Re: ESPN Cricinfo's World Eleven

Post by Adelaide Hawk on Wed Nov 28, 2012 6:09 pm

That's fair enough, and I applaud you for making judgements on what you see, rather than what other people see. It gets me into a lot of trouble from time to time as well Smile

I'm one who thinks Dennis Lillee is the very best quick bowler I've ever seen. I watched him progress from a young tear-away quick to the most feared and dominant quick bowler in the game. All this after a back injury that threatened to end his career, almost before it started.

The West Indies quicks were a wonderful unit, and it you pieced them together, you have the perfect quick. However, individually, not one of them had the package Lillee did. Maybe Marshall and Roberts came close, but I'd still rate Lillee ahead.

At times Lillee paired up with dominant bowlers such as Thomson, Massie, etc, but generally he spearheaded the Aussie attack for many seasons. Hadlee dominated the NZ attack, but he didn't have any bowlers at the other end taking wickets from him.

In World Series Cricket, Lillee dominated the competition, one which had the finest quick bowlers in the world, perhaps the game's history.

In 1972-73, I saw him bowl 23 overs straight to turn around a Test match Pakistan had won the night before. I saw him take 8/29 against a World XI, the last 6 wickets for 0 runs. He turned around Tests like no bowler I've ever seen.

I saw him bowl most of the day from one end at Adelaide Oval because injury had decimated our attack.

I saw him in the most perfect display of quick bowling I've ever seen in the 1976-77 Centenary Test.

After WSC days, he slowed his pace but still dominated with swing and cut.

I've never seen anyone as good as DK.
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Re: ESPN Cricinfo's World Eleven

Post by Scrappy on Wed Nov 28, 2012 6:24 pm

FOOTYfollower wrote:Perhaps its because I'm not old enough to have seen him at his peak, and when I saw him it was in the final years of his career (having had back injuries earlier on) when my impression was that he was a great bowler, but he seemed to lack something compared to the great West Indies bowlers (of 70's/80's) as well as a few Pakistani bowlers from a slightly later era.

I also remember seeing Hadlee and being amazed how dominant he was, and remembered thinking he was better than what my perception of Lillee was.

I don't claim to be an expert, and not having seeing him bowl 40 years ago, as I'm not old enough, perhaps I am unfairly critical, nevertheless I can only go by what my impressions were of what I saw.

For those of us born in the Baby Boomers era , on behalf of many of them , I must say D K Lillie is the best fast bowler we have seen
I can understand why you would think Richard Hadlee might be the better bowler though
I dont think Ive ever seen a better fast bowler than Hadlee in the fast bowling twilight years of 30 + years
Hadlee was outstanding in his 30s , and I rate Sir Richard as almost good as DK because of his longevity
Over an entire career , Dennis gets my verdict as the better bowler , but only just

FOOTY Follower
I learnt my lesson on another forum
I compared a Football player I had never seen to a player that Id seen his whole career
I made an assessment on speculation , and was rightfully shot down by other posters

But I will go on a limb and say Don Bradman was a better batsman than either Greg Chappell, Bob Cowper or Ricky Ponting !
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Re: ESPN Cricinfo's World Eleven

Post by FOOTYfollower on Wed Nov 28, 2012 7:31 pm

Thanks for the extra info from those who saw Lillee at his best Smile

I imagine that if I was a little older I may have seen him in a similar way. Terribly disappointing that his back injury struck him when it did.

I rate Ambrose very, very highly as far as West Indies bowlers is concerned. Perhaps thats because he stood out compared to the others in the bowling attack during his era, with only Courtney Walsh perhaps being anywhere near as good.

Hadlee, as much as I didn't like him personally, just seemed like a genius as a fast bowler to me eg. his one-sided battle with Dean Jones. But he also probably stood out given the standard of his teammates.
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Re: ESPN Cricinfo's World Eleven

Post by Scrappy on Wed Nov 28, 2012 7:50 pm

What about comparing Shane Warne to Bill Orielly
The impossible task ?

Warne
708 wickets
25.51 average
57.49 strike rate
2.65 economy

OReilly
144 wickets
22.59 average
69.61 strike rare
1.94 economy

Warne a superior strike rate
But look at Tiger Bills economy and average

How does one judge who was the better bowler

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Re: ESPN Cricinfo's World Eleven

Post by robranisgod on Wed Nov 28, 2012 9:02 pm

Chambo Off To Work We Go wrote:In the first team, Gilly probably gets the nod on his batting achievements.

If others were better batsmen, or if Gilly wasn't so far ahead of the others in this area, what other keeper, if any, would lay claim to it.

Knott perhaps? He is in the second team.

On pure wicket keeping who is at the top of the tree?

I wonder if you need to look beyond stats (Ct, St etc) alone.
Keeping to a bloke like Warne must add some stature on difficulty by itself.

I can guarantee that Ian Chappell wouldn't have Gilchrist as the keeper. He always has been a strong believer that you pick your best keeper and only when the keepers are equal do you take batting into account. Hence he would always have Healy ahead of Gilchrist and would always have had Knott in a world team ahead of him.

If you follow the Chappell theory then I believe the three best keepers of our time are amazingly all Englishmen, Knott, Taylor and Jack Russell. Once again I quote Ian Chappell who was mocking English cricket in the early 1990s saying that they only had one World Class cricketer and they stubbonly refused to pick him because they thought that a batsman keeper was more important than playing a specialist keeper like Russell who was actually quite an adequate batsman.

Healy seemed to keep better to Warne than Gilchrist ever did but I don't know the stats.
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Re: ESPN Cricinfo's World Eleven

Post by Chambo Off To Work We Go on Wed Nov 28, 2012 9:17 pm

Always hard comparing different eras.
Maybe just a tad easier when they play in the same era.
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Re: ESPN Cricinfo's World Eleven

Post by Chambo Off To Work We Go on Wed Nov 28, 2012 9:19 pm

robranisgod wrote:I can guarantee that Ian Chappell wouldn't have Gilchrist as the keeper. He always has been a strong believer that you pick your best keeper and only when the keepers are equal do you take batting into account. Hence he would always have Healy ahead of Gilchrist and would always have had Knott in a world team ahead of him.

If you follow the Chappell theory then I believe the three best keepers of our time are amazingly all Englishmen, Knott, Taylor and Jack Russell. Once again I quote Ian Chappell who was mocking English cricket in the early 1990s saying that they only had one World Class cricketer and they stubbonly refused to pick him because they thought that a batsman keeper was more important than playing a specialist keeper like Russell who was actually quite an adequate batsman.

Healy seemed to keep better to Warne than Gilchrist ever did but I don't know the stats.

Yes that is the sort of observation I was trying to get at.
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Re: ESPN Cricinfo's World Eleven

Post by Adelaide Hawk on Wed Nov 28, 2012 9:23 pm

One thing to consider is if Gilchrist hadn't been chosen as a keeper when he did, the cricket world may have been denied his extraordinary talents with the bat. You could argue that Gilly may have won more Tests with his bat than Healy, Tallon, Knott, etc ever did with their gloves.
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Re: ESPN Cricinfo's World Eleven

Post by Scrappy on Wed Nov 28, 2012 9:43 pm

Gil'christ' should have been called Lead gloves when he began keeping
I had thought his poor keeping could ruin his exceptional batting
But , give him credit , his keeping really improved by the end of his career
Given that vast improvement, he is undoubtedly the obvious choice as the best Wicket Keeping package

Gil'christ'
5570 runs
47.60 average
81.98 strike rate
17 Test hundreds

47.60 batting at number 7 is quite an achievement
A batsman batting 7 and averaging 47.6 would be exceptional
Have there been any other players averaging close to 50 batting this low for an extended period ?
And that strike rate is astonishing





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Re: ESPN Cricinfo's World Eleven

Post by robranisgod on Wed Nov 28, 2012 10:01 pm

Scrappy wrote:Gil'christ' should have been called Lead gloves when he began keeping
I had thought his poor keeping could ruin his exceptional batting
But , give him credit , his keeping really improved by the end of his career
Given that vast improvement, he is undoubtedly the obvious choice as the best Wicket Keeping package

Gil'christ'
5570 runs
47.60 average
81.98 strike rate
17 Test hundreds

47.60 batting at number 7 is quite an achievement
A batsman batting 7 and averaging 47.6 would be exceptional
Have there been any other players averaging close to 50 batting this low for an extended period ?
And that strike rate is astonishing

I didn't think his keeping was ever anything special. Certainly his sloppiness behind the stumps cost Australia more than one test. The test against India 5 years ago in Adelaide is one the comes to mind where he missed a couple of regulation catches and Australia failed on the last day to dismiss India. He is about the cleanest hitter of the ball that I have ever seen, but I can't agree with you about his keeping, to me it was never any more than average.

The sad part about having a freak like Gilchrist who changed the whole dynamics of team balance is that the Australian selectors have continued to put a premium on batting over keeping ever since and this week's test in Adelaide is the latest example of the folly of that selection process. Wade's missed stumping of Graham Smith in the first innings and the dropped catch of Du Plessis in the second innings were examples of poor wicketkeeping that one would never have seen from keepers of the ilk of Grout, Jarman and Healey. To win a test match you have to dismiss 20 batsman, a keeper missing chances makes it that much harder to win. I was very critical of Haddin for the same reason.


Last edited by robranisgod on Tue Dec 04, 2012 11:16 am; edited 1 time in total
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Re: ESPN Cricinfo's World Eleven

Post by robranisgod on Wed Nov 28, 2012 10:14 pm

Adelaide Hawk wrote:At times Lillee paired up with dominant bowlers such as Thomson, Massie, etc, but generally he spearheaded the Aussie attack for many seasons. Hadlee dominated the NZ attack, but he didn't have any bowlers at the other end taking wickets from him.

I actually saw that to the detriment of Hadlee. i thought that the great players could "sit" on Hadlee knowing that the runs would come at the other end. DK Lillee will always be the greatest that I have ever seen but Hadlee to me runs a very good second.

Interestingly most of my father's generation rated Lindwall the greatest of them all. His figures don't necessarily suggest that, but it has to be remembered that many of his best years were lost to World War 2. He bowled an extraordinary percentage of his victims. Bradman thought he was the greatest ever pace bowler. it would be interesting to hear what were Richie Benaud's views.

Another view I heard from Bradman is that he considered Wasim Akram the greatest left hand pace bowler that he ever saw. When questioned as to whether he was better than Alan Davidson, Bradman replied that Akram could do everything that Davidson could do, but was a yard faster.

Scrappy you are a stats guru, do you have Davidson's bowling figures. I think you will find his average is about the best of them all and yet now he is hardly mentioned as an all time great.
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Re: ESPN Cricinfo's World Eleven

Post by Scrappy on Wed Nov 28, 2012 10:52 pm

Alan Davidson
186 wickets
20.53 average
62.29 strike rate
1.97 economy

Dennis Lillie
355 wickets
23.92 average
52.01 strike rate
2.75 economy

Sir Richard Hadlee
431 wickets
22.29 average
50.85 strike rate
2.63 economy

Alan Davidson
Ive only ever seen Davo bowling on old TV highlights reels , he appeared medium fast
But look at that record , he must have been a super accurate bowler looking at his economy
Was obviously an outstanding bowler
The only thing that may have helped that frugal economy rate is that he did a lot of his bowling in the 1950s
It was a period where , unless Im mistaken , pitches might have been suited to line and length bowlers ?
It was a dour period at times where batters were occupiers of the crease either by design or necessity, rather than the aggression shown in modern day cricket
But then again , the sedateness of the batters might have hindered his wicket per ball strike rate

If we put our faith completely on stats, then FOOTYfollower may have a case on Sir Richard Hadlee being a better bowler than DK Lillie
But without going into absolute detail, Im thinking DK bowled more at West Indies and English batters than Sir Richard did ?
England and in particular the West Indies, were very worthy opponents in the Lillie era



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Re: ESPN Cricinfo's World Eleven

Post by Adelaide Hawk on Thu Nov 29, 2012 12:13 am

Lillee was at his peak during World Series Cricket. In the Supertests he took another 67 wickets against the best batsmen in the world.
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Re: ESPN Cricinfo's World Eleven

Post by Chambo Off To Work We Go on Thu Nov 29, 2012 8:33 am

Yes AH that is of course relevant.
Would be interesting to see those WSC stats factored in.

In many ways they were similar bowlers in the same period.
I feel DK was a a margin more intimidating due to his personality and the charisma that he exuded.

By the way guys, this whole discussion is riveting and thanks for contributing so postively to such a thought provoking subject.
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