My alltime world Test 11

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Feb 27, 2020, 04:21

1) Don Bradman

2) Hashim Amla

3) Viv Richards

4) Barry Richards

5) Sachin Tendulkar

6) Brian Lara

7) Kumar Sangakkara

8) Glen McGrath

9) Alan Donald

10) Malcom Marshall

11) Shane Warne/ Gary Sobers

The choice of playing a spinner is wicket dependent in which case Warne is dropped and Gary Sobers moves up in the order.

Feb 27, 2020, 12:31

Kallis ahead of Lara for me and given I never saw Bradman I could not include him. He had an unbelievable record but when you watch the standard of cricket back then it was Sunday club cricket stuff

It’s too difficult to select 11

Feb 27, 2020, 13:00


Feb 27, 2020, 13:00

Did Bradman open? I thought he batted 3?

Amla before Hayden? Interesting.

The side also lacks a bit of balance so I’d prob go for Kallis ahead of Viv. Kallis has a better batting average, more runs, more hundreds. And was a bloody brilliant bowler.

Viv could take the game away from the opposition, but is that the primary role of a number 3?

Donald ahead of Stein is also an interesting selection.

Feb 27, 2020, 14:09

Kumar instead of Gilchrist …

Feb 27, 2020, 14:24

Always a subjective discussion.

But you def cant leave Kallis or Steyn out.

DA, Gilly vs Kumar is intresting.

On the sub continent, Kumar is prob the best of all time.

Gilly also faded a bit towards the end.

I'd go with a horses for courses approach and let KS play in India, Pak, SL and Bangladesh.

Gilly to play in SA, Oz, NZ, Eng and WI.

Feb 27, 2020, 14:33

"On the sub continent, Kumar is prob the best of all time"

Fully agree with your assessment on that topic flash

Exactly like Murali as opposed to Warne...…

Feb 27, 2020, 16:14

Kallis is the best cricketer ever, he is a must

I’d have AB in my side as well

Warne is another must

Feb 27, 2020, 21:13

Guys, guys, guys....settle.

This is My all-time best 11 and it's perfectly correct to say that no matter how it's sliced and diced it would always be a subjective discussion.  Feel free to select your own, there is and there has been many a fine player that could make the side who I haven't included. The problem I have is that there are only 11 slots:'(. That said there is rhyme and reason to my selections e.g some of them made Wisden, the bible of cricket and some played leading roles in winning their side a WC. Again, I haven't said it's the best 11 all I'm saying is that it's my best 11. I plead guilty to a bit of bias by selecting our own Alan Donald ahead of WC winning and an and all-time favourite of mine, Wasim Akram. I wouldn't disagree either if for example you chose Dennis Lillee ahead of McGrath or Donald. Just one other interesting point if I may and it's something that's almost gone unnoticed these days.....the technology in bats have changed over the years, its thicker.....and one other grounds are smaller. 

As to your objections....

KS ahead of Gilly?......well here I think KS is the better Test player.

Bradman?....simple...he goes in any side anywhere near the top of any order, as for the quality of play in his day?.. well if it was that poor why don't  others have the same average? 

Viv who I watched many many times was a destroyer of bowler feared a batsmen more that they did him. No batsmen hit a ball harder and more graceful than him.Ask the great Lillee what he was thinking in the outfield after a spell against the great man. Wisden cricketer of the year and was voted the 3rd best batsmen after Bradman and Tendulkar by Wisden.

Garfield Sobers ahead of Kallis as recognized by anyone of cricket authority. 

It's a balanced side in that there's a choice between a spinner(Warne) or an Allrounder in Sobers. Warne is also a Wisden cricketer of the year and a WC winner.

Lara, twice Wisden and an ICC trophy winner. 

Amla vs Hayden?..... his achievements speak volumes.

Fourth cricketer to score 25 centuries in both Test and ODI cricket

All that said any selections remain debatable around many a camp fire.

Feb 27, 2020, 21:43

Kallis averages more than the likes of Amla, Tendukar and Lara so has to be in buddy.

I was actually disappointed to see Amla had ended his test career averaging 46, he was in the 50’s for ages. Those extra years he hung on hurt him.

My best 11 would only include players I have seen play so would be something along the lines of:

1. AB 2. Lara 3. Tendukar 4. Kallis 5. Kohli 6. Steve Smith 7. Kumar 8. Steyn 9. McGrath 10. Donald 11. Warne

SA bias in there and no batting order as I have no openers!!

Difficult to leave out Ponting, Hayden, Aktar, Younis, Anderson, Muri, de Kock, Gilly, Flintoff, Shaun Pollock etc

Feb 28, 2020, 00:24

Well no, that's a bit rough, there has to be dedicated openers, it's a norm in cricket, besides you'll then notice the task is that much more difficult. 

Is anyone else going to have a go at selecting their all-time best side Flash, DA, Chippo?...I'm curious. 

Or is it so much easier sitting on the side lines taking pot shots at someone else's side?:ermm:

Feb 28, 2020, 00:34

and then there's this.....

Gilly's Test Average: 47.60

KS Test average: 57.41

And to be honest I didn't look at the stats before my original posting.

Feb 28, 2020, 01:26

I know I cheated as if I go with openers then I have to lose better bats!!!

Feb 28, 2020, 02:31

Barry Richards

Walter Hammond

Don Bradman

Sachin Tendulkar

Gary Sobers

Jacque Kallis

Adam Gilchrist

Imran Khan

Shane Warne

Wesley Hall

Harold Larwood

12th man Colin Bland.

The teams bats strongly through 8. There are 7 great bowlers. My captain would be Hammond.

Feb 28, 2020, 02:55

"I know I cheated as if I go with openers then I have to lose better bats!!!"

Well read, exactly my point :D

Feb 28, 2020, 09:57

moz, very good side, though im not ancient enough to have watched a fe of them play.

question though.. who are the 7 GREAT bowlers?

I see 4 greats, 2 very good and one part timer.

Feb 28, 2020, 10:37

I don’t know half of Moz’s side have heard of some of the names

Not convinced by his best bowlers being better than the WI greats or our own Donald and Steyn

Feb 28, 2020, 13:21

My team, since the age of being able to watch understand cricket.


S Waugh


Steve Smith



AB - Keeper



Shane Bond - If injuries weren't a concern.


Edit: 12th Chris Gayle - Team needs a bouncer.

Feb 28, 2020, 13:52

Not convinced by your bowlers Plum

Bond over Steyn or Donald no way in hell

Feb 28, 2020, 14:31

Bond is the most unplayable fast bowler I've ever seen. Only injuries stopped him from becoming great. 

People always disagree with me on this one. 

But if fitness isn't an issue and we're talking about players in their prime...Bond is my guy.


Feb 28, 2020, 19:28

Well Flash, for all rounders Sobers and Kallis were fairly stellar. Sobers had 235 test wickets and could bowl seam and spin. And we all know how effective Kallis was.

Wally Hammond is my 7th bowler with 83 test wickets. And despite my well referenced antiquity I can’t directly vouch for him or Harold Larwood for that matter. Although I have seen tapes of Larwood.....frightening ....he bounded up to the wicket like a panther.

Feb 28, 2020, 20:23

My grandfather used to tell me about Larwood and the SA pair of Adcock and Heiney (not sure of spelling).

I think I got my lust for lists from him as he used to list his best cricket sides for me.

Gramps played a game or two for Griquas, he was an off spinner and met his lovely Yorkshire wife in hospital after breaking his finger playing cricket. He is listed on cricinfo Gran nursed him and that crooked finger became famous in the class room as Gramps was a junior school teacher and ran the junior hostel

He would point at kids in the class and the wrong kid would stand up

Feb 28, 2020, 20:42

No Y at the end Dave. 

I know it is impossible to select the 11 best cricketers for a forum such as this but I would mention just two that do not appear on any selection posted.

Hugh Tayfield.

G Pollock.

Both exceptional players in their day.

Feb 28, 2020, 22:42

I watched Adcock and Heine.....Adcock the faster, a bit like Steyn I’d say. Heine a big man that got a lot of lift. And I watched Tayfield, metronomic.

Feb 29, 2020, 02:47

My father in laws lawn bowling partners were Tayfield and Keith Oxlee in Durban for many years

He has a story or two from those two

Feb 29, 2020, 07:15

Nobody has mentioned Mitch Johnson.

There were two years in his career where he single handedly won test series for Oz against both England, SA and some lesser teams.

That's the most influential period of test bowling by any bowler for probably the last thirty years, possibly longer.

That Johnson, at that phase in his career, also has a claim to an all time spot.

Feb 29, 2020, 09:45

If you have to chase a big score in the 4th innings, Graeme Smith has to open. He had a phenomenal record for opening the batting in the 4th innings...never looked really spectacular, but probably one of strongest heads in the game... and probably our most underrated player.

Mar 01, 2020, 14:54

All players mentioned here are master class.

It is difficult question who to fit in and balance.

Your design of a good team must have a certain formula ie

3 Good Openers

3 Good stayers

3 Good finishers

2 Reasonably good batsmen.

And amongst them, 1 outstanding wicket keeper, 3 outstanding slip fielders, 5 good middle/boundary fielders, 2 outstanding close in fielders. ( most must be able to field in versatile positions anywhere if necessary)

Bowlers, Fast/strike bowlers 2 or 3, Seamers/Medium fast and medium pace 3, spinners 2 or 3.

Each one of all players can be blended in with their strengths and usefulness to form a well balanced team.

Highly complex question.

My players in contention : Don Bradman, Barry Richards, Ricky Ponting Sachin Tendulkar, Gary Sobers, Jacque Kallis, Hansie Cronje, Mark Boucher, Godfrey Evans, Jonty Rhodes, Tiger Lance, Dennis Lillie, Ritchie Benaud, Shane Warne, Michael Proctor,Michael Holding,Andy Roberts,Len Hutton, Jackie Mc Glew, Waugh Bros, Hugh Tayfield, Shaun Pollock, Graeme Pollock, Herschelle Gibbs.

A host of the best and there are many you compose them and put them together to blend them as a 11 man team (12 actually with 12th man) is an entirely different matter.

Mar 02, 2020, 08:05

Hey, Saffex

Here's Bond v India when they had arguably their best top five ever.

The comment section and I are in full agreement hehe


Mar 02, 2020, 10:27

1. Barry Richards

2. Virender Sehwag

3. Viv Richards

4. Sachin Tendulkar

5. Kevin Pietersen

6. Garry Sobers

7. Adam Gilchrist

8. Wasim Akram

9. Shane Warne

10 Malcolm Marshall

11 Dennis Lillee

Mar 02, 2020, 19:00

Good player Plum but Steyn and Donald were better

Mar 02, 2020, 23:59

Dave, You might want to rethink this one...…"He had an unbelievable record but when you watch the standard of cricket back then it was Sunday club cricket stuff"

Quiet man dealt in terror at 100mph

Graeme Wright, former 'Wisden' editor, on the brilliance of Harold Larwood, who died yesterday

  • Graeme Wright

    AND SO, with the passing of time, the players pass from the scene; heroes and villains alike. The images that have flashed across our television screens since the news from Sydney yesterday that Harold Larwood had died at the age of 90, of pneumonia and a stroke, might have left the impression that he was once one of the villains.

    Jerky film from the Australian summer of 1932-33 shows Larwood racing to the end of his long run-up, legs pumping like pistons at speed. The left arm is flung up, the torso cocks, and the right arm swings in a great, rapid arc from his calf and wheels over until his knuckles almost graze the ground in the follow-through.

    At the other end of the pitch an Australian batsman reels back, struck over the heart by the fiercely rising ball, and throws aside his bat in pain. It is the indelible image of "bodyline" - which was both a method of bowling and a controversy that threatened cricketing and diplomatic relations between England and Australia.

    Larwood was not the architect of bodyline. That was his captain, Douglas Jardine. But he was its chief executioner, and it could never have been employed without him. He was the fastest bowler of his time. With his great pace came an unerring accuracy, and in Australia during that Ashes series "Lol" Larwood was, at 29, at the peak of his powers, "investing his work," as Wisden put it, "with plenty of devil."

    One of his deliveries in the Fourth Test hit Australian batsman Bert Oldfield on the head, fracturing his skull and causing a huge outcry. Australian supporters threatened to tar and feather Larwood. Some spectators spat on him and he needed police protection when he left his hotel.

    "Bowling out here," he once told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation in a rare interview, "you drop your left foot. It got me such a grip I could let go the ball yards faster than I could in England. I used to drink a drop of beer," he added, "and I think that helped me tremendous."[sic.]

    Larwood must have been one of the few fond of a pint to find so much disfavour Down Under. But then the bodyline tactic succeeded in its primary object of reducing Don Bradman, the Australian run machine, to the ranks of the merely mortal.

    Larwood's speed was estimated at between 90 and 100 mph. But as the cricket essayist Raymond Robertson-Glasgow wrote: "You didn't think of mathematics when you saw Larwood open the bowling; spectators thought of the poetry of rhythm and the panache of assault; batsmen thought of survival and, sometimes, of their wives and testamentary dispositions."

    Yet unlike the fast bowlers of today, who pepper batsmen inordinately with short balls delivered from a great height, Larwood was not a tall man. He stood between 5ft 7in and 5ft 8in. But, as befits a man who began his working life as a miner at the Langton Colliery in his native Nottinghamshire, he possessed powerful back and shoulder muscles. He also, for a man his size, had big hands and strong fingers. This helped him cut the ball off the pitch into the batsman. In English conditions he could make the ball come back so much that he was often unplayable, while that beautifully grooved action enabled him to swing the ball away sharply at the last moment.

    Such was the impression Larwood made as a 20-year-old in his first full championship season for Nottinghamshire that the following year, 1926, he was called up by England to play against Australia at Lord's and the Oval. With six wickets at the Oval his was an important contribution to the victory that regained the Ashes. Also in 1926 he claimed more than 100 wickets in a season for the first of eight times. His best return was in 1932, immediately prior to that fateful tour of Australia, when he captured 162 wickets at an average of just 12.68 runs apiece. Five times he headed the national bowling averages. In total, in a career lasting from 1924 to 1938, he took 1,427 wickets at an average of 17.51.

    In 21 Tests Harold Larwood took 98 wickets at 19.40, 33 of them in the bodyline series. But after that tour of Australia he never played for England again. When he limped from the Sydney Cricket Ground in the final test with a broken bone in his left foot, he unknowingly limped out of test cricket.

    He believed he was made a scapegoat in the furore after the series, even though he was only following orders. Certainly, the MCC's somewhat belated condemnation of Jardine and Larwood's methods caused them both to be ostracised.

    Ironically, he emigrated to Australia with his wife and five daughters in 1950. There this gentle, modest man, who was virtually blind in his old age, warmly welcomed visitors from the world of cricket. It was not until 1993, when he was awarded the MBE, that Larwood's place in English cricket was officially recognised.

    As he showed with a phone call of encoragement to England's 1990s fast bowling hero, Darren Gough, during the Sydney Test last winter, he always followed the fortunes of his homeland.

    Last night Larwood's former adversary Sir Don Bradman, now 86, said from his home in Australia: "Although we were arch-enemies on the field, this was because of Jardine's tactics. There was no personal animosity between Larwood and me and we always remained good friends."

Mar 03, 2020, 00:51

There is no way back then they could measure the accurate speed of balls bowled!!

To be fair I’ve only seen limited footage of cricket back then and it looked pretty ordinary but in reality I don’t really know given I never saw!!

Mar 03, 2020, 01:54

Some have said that it's impossible to select a World XI....I agree. For that reason I made a promise to myself that I would never pick an All-time great side, I broke that promise and the reason I did was  because I'm so gatvol of our kak cricket that instead of posting something negative I came up with the above post instead. 

What makes it even harder is that it's hard to asses what went before, I've read that there were other greats who played in the shadow of Bradman. Keith Miller e.g. has been said to be the greatest Allrounder ever and Alan Davidson was a great fast bowler just to mention a couple. Another worth a mention is Ken Barrington.There were others. We don't know because of limited poor quality video footage and a lack of records. Sobers to me is the greatest allrounder and that again is another example commanding our respect of what went before the modern era. For all we know we might have missed the finest to have graced the game. 

Today there's a better understanding of the science of cricket, there's an abundance of intellectual property. Who exactly knew anything about the game back then? Today the result is virtually decided at the toss. Back in the day they played on cabbage patches with bigger boundaries and pretty ordinary willow. Anyone who wants to learn how to do a cover drive these days just has to head to UTube. Travel wasn't a luxury, accommodation in foreign hotels or wherever they bunkered down was a miserable experience when competing with pests for floor space. Ask the Ozzies and English how they enjoyed hot curries in India. I should mention the ease of communication these days as compared to back then. Also, they were self taught and amazingly technically correct with absolutely no literature to turn to for assistance.

Naaah I'ts impossible to select an all-time great team, selection remains subjective but it was interesting reading Rooi and Mozart's selections, matter of fact I enjoyed there's more than my own and that's not saying they are "right" or "wrong" or have better or poorer selections.

Now be a good lad and give me a proper team and when I say proper, I mean start with two openers :)

Mar 03, 2020, 02:20

Shit Denny ok here goes

1. Hayden

2. Richards

3. Kallis

4. Tendukar

5. AB

6. Lara

7. Kumar 

8. Warne

9. Steyn 

10. Aktar 

11. McGrath 

Mar 03, 2020, 02:36

Not bad, it's a balanced side. Is that Shoaib Akhtar?

Mar 03, 2020, 02:44

Yeah I loved him, his pace was scary, his record will not match the greats but in my time I’ve not seen a more fearsome bowler 

Mar 03, 2020, 03:21

He reminded me of Thommo…...bowled at 160kms with no idea where it would land.

Here an interesting titbit......Brett Lee bowled at 150clicks from the start to the end of his career. How many bowlers can boast that?

Just thought of this.....

The Windies dominated cricket for 15 years and so did the Ozzies after them....shouldn't an all-time great team be entirely made of a combination of the two sides? Just kidding :D

And speaking of a balanced side......the Windies unlike the Ozzies were an unbalanced side in not having an allrounder or a spinner! Imagine fronting with 4 speedsters on dead Indian wickets favouring spin .....awesome!

I was fortunate enough to see Walsh, Holding, Garner, Marshall and Ambrose.

Courtney Walsh: 132 Tests; 519 wickets; 24.44 average; 2.53 economy rate; 7-37 BBI

Curtly Ambrose: 98 Tests; 405 wickets; 20.99 average; 2.30 economy rate; 8-45 BBI

Malcolm Marshall: 81 Tests; 376 wickets; 20.94 average; 2.68 economy rate; 7-22 BBI

Joel Garner: 58 Tests; 259 wickets; 20.97 average; 2.47 economy rate; 6-56 BBI


Dale Steyn: 


Shane Bond: 

Glen McGrath: 
Alan Donald:

Mar 03, 2020, 12:04

I missed out on seeing most of that brilliant WI side they were before my time but had I seen them I’m sure my side would be different

Then a player like Ponting from that Oz side could easily make my side

Mar 03, 2020, 20:13

Matthew Hayden yes I forgot him. I believe is up there with the top order.

(Incidentally an avid fly fisherman too who has fished our waters with a member of our club, the Natal Fly Fishing Club...I'm told a great character too, also surfs. He has a great balance of coordination and when he was off his game he took to the surf to get "his mind right and focus" and came back with a few great innings.) He fishes in the NE Cape Highlands and W Cape with Tom Sutcliffe a  good friend of mine. Jacques Rudolph, SA cricketer also too is a fanatic.)

Tom says that cricketers make good flyfishermen...a good sense of balance and rhythm.

But yes Hayden had a few mind blowing innings for Australia.

Mar 04, 2020, 07:29

...and your team is???

Mar 04, 2020, 14:38

In my first year at Rhodes Uni, there was a match in PE against SA and Hayden ended up taking that years Miss Fresher back to his hotel for the night

I recall her being a hottie

Mar 05, 2020, 04:25

I believe he's a Happy Clapper these days as well as an outstanding cook.

Mar 09, 2020, 18:24

Trouble is too much talent to choose from but 11 players plus an extra would make an unbeatable team...high scores to chase and devastating bowlers to finish off:

Sachin Tendulkar

Don Bradman

Matthew Hayden

Barry Richards

Gary Sobers

Hansie Cronje (Capt)

Jonty Rhodes

Mark Boucher

Michael Proctor

Shane Warne

Dennis Lilee

Hugh Tayfield

You might shift the batting order around to suit the game a bit but each of these players will do their bit...Hansie as capt would know how, an uncanny ability to captain, maybe Eddie Barlow could substitute him but this team would be hard to beat.

Mar 10, 2020, 01:59

One genuine speedster? 

Hansie and Jonty over Lara?

Mar 10, 2020, 12:31

Jonty was an average bat and a brilliant fielder

Fielding does not merit inclusion in a all time world side - not even close

Jonty would not smell an all time best SA side let alone world one

Cronje is in a similar boat

Mar 11, 2020, 00:50


Mar 11, 2020, 01:03

Proctor not a genuine speedster?

Mar 11, 2020, 01:11

What speed did he bowl?

Mar 12, 2020, 00:55

Proccy was fast enough, he was difficult and effective if his co-opener bowler was a strike bowler because opening batsman could not settle in with variation style, his bowling off the wrong foot was opening bowler pair with a real pace bowler like Dennis Lilee would have been effective. Yes my side is lean on real speedsters but with the core of strong batsman and good all rounders it would have been effective, Hansie/Barlow (clever strategists and Jonty the best fielder ever), were not the "best" in the case of a Lara sure but a steady core that contributed all round and then Gary Sobers too was the best all-rounder ever. With such balance (anti-traditional approach) it would be hard to beat a side like that. Shane Warne (best leg break bowler ever) would finish 'em off and the "average"slower bowlers would create dents, how often do you remember when star strikers could not get results and seemingly "dour" bowlers like Eddie Barlow with his charismatic magic would get the key wickets.

Cricket is a great psychological game, great skills both in body and mind... probably the most superior sport of all.

Unfortunately there are only 11 + 1 out of probably a 1000 odd players that are up there but eras and variation are difficult to fit in and blend...I would think that my selections would challenge anything left and there is a lot, unfortunately not proveable

Nevertheless an interesting fickle exercise..

Mar 12, 2020, 01:41

Seba, there's no need to defend you selections, I'm just not sure whether Proccie for a lack of stats was a "genuine speedster" when compared to say Donald, Steyn, Ambrose or Marshall.

Mar 12, 2020, 04:30

Proccy at his best...pity about boycotting in apartheid days, as a batman as well he was the 2nd batsman to hit 6 sixes in an over.

Certainly would be in my team, a natural sportsman, in fact he could play rugby, tennis and golf.

He played 1st team for Hilton College in rugby but a guru at cricket.

Mar 12, 2020, 05:57

"...…....pity about boycotting in apartheid days....."

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