Thursday, October 7, 2010


Just the last three places remain in my All-Time World XI... and I might add, the MOST important ones. The men who will largely be responsible for getting the 20 wickets that win a Test match. The BOWLERS.

As for the other spots, here are the Test statistics of the nominees:

I have classified all the bowlers in the list as either: 1. Slow Left Arm, 2. Leg Spinners, 3. Off Spinners, and 4. Pace (irrespective of whether they were express pace or medium pace, swing bowlers or seam bowlers etc).

I have already chosen Imran Khan and Jacques Kallis as my all rounders... and thus, I want 2 spinners and 1 pacer amongst the lot above. And amongst the spinner, I want at least 1 leg spinner. I wouldn't mind picking 2 leg-spinners, but I have a strict objection to playing 2 off-spinners.

So, here goes... The two spinners of this team are... Shane Warne and Muttiah Muralitharan. It may sound an easy choice... but it was not. Both these bowlers have had certain criticisms. Both do not have a great record against India. But then I thought, amongst spinners, who does? That should not take anything away from their greatness.

Then there was the matter of Murali's record against the Aussies... the dominant team of the era he played in. There are also doubters who will use his statistics against the minnows like Zimbabwe and Bangladesh to show how much impact they had on his overall figures. But then, this selection is not pure statistics. Murali, in his prime, had this stamina to bowl on and on for hours at a stretch. And more often than not, he threatened. He turned the ball on every wicket. And he had great control over his turn. Such a bowler certainly deserves his place in the team!

Amongst the faster bowlers, it was not too difficult despite the presence of some of the greatest bowlers there. I chose Malcolm Marshall... he was fast, pacy, fiery and regarded by many as one of the All-Time Best. One statistic that I pay a lot of attention to for Test bowlers is their Strike Rate... and with Marshall's 46.7, and also his brilliant average of 20.94, my decision is firmly made.

So here is my complete bowling unit: Malcolm Marshall, Imran Khan, Shane Warne, Muttiah Muralitharan and Jacques Kallis.

I will do one last post on this XI, where I will decide the captain and talk about the entire team as a unit.


elegantstroke said...

Our bowler choices match very closely..Two observations about your overall team:

I would say about your team is that the lack of 2 full-time fast bowlers can be perceived as a weakness. Let's say hypothetically, Kallis and Imran had to play long innings - one of them is also expected to bowl long spells with Marshall, which might be a tough ask. Thus, the need for 2 full-time fast bowlers.

I know your reasons behind the choice for Barrington. I would say scoring in sub-continent was tough in those days, but the bowling was not very high-class for sub-continent teams. Adapting the game towards the greater goal of the team is an attribute that can be said of the other greats as well (such as Viv)..Nevertheless, it is your choice..:)

Unknown said...

ES, I completely agree with you. Even when I completed the team and sat back to look at it in its entirety, I felt that there is something missing in my attack. Then one of my friends gave me a suggestion.

So I am going to make a couple of changes in this team. My next post for the entire team is almost done.