Further to the post below, I kept thinking about the team I'd pick to play the Wisden All-Time XI. This would be my side - each selected at their peak:
1. Geoffrey Boycott
2. Barry Richards
3. Ricky Ponting
4. Brian Lara
5. Jacques Kallis
6. Steve Waugh (c)
7. Adam Gilchrist (wk)
8. Ian Botham
9. Jeff Thomson
10. Glenn McGrath
11. Muttiah Muralitharan
Had they been available I'd have certainly had Warne, Marshall, Wasim Akram and Sachin. The quantity of batting above is in part a response to the first three of those.
There was a hair between Boycott and Sehwag, who, to my mind, readjusted the boundaries of modern batting. In the end, the thought of Boycott in that dressing room was irresistible - and he knew how to play Malcolm Marshall.
Only Kallis' wickets got him in ahead of Miandad and the great Dravid. Imran is the equal of Botham, but Beefy had that golden arm: he'd probably get Bradman with a wide long-hop. Thommo's there because a game like this one deserves to have the fastest man ever to have bowled running in.
I thought about players from previous eras - CB Fry, Larwood, Ranji - but things change. They couldn't live in the modern game, just as these players might not flourish in theirs. The canyons of time are unbridgeable.
India vs England Test Series: India Report Card
2 months ago