It's trivia time...
Following on from the 'W' XI and John Watson's comment about going through
the alphabet, I've been thinking (with the aid of the 1992 Wisden). I've
tried, where possible, to concentrate on picking the best six batsmen, a
specialist wicket-keeper and four specialist bowlers, but there are, of
necessity, deviations from these criteria; in some cases, the players are
simply not available, and in others, well... some players just naturally
pick themselves. :-) The 12th man, in each case, is designed to shore up
the area in which the team is weakest. All players are assigned to the
team of the letter under which their name appears in Wisden. Here are the
D. L. Amiss (E)
W. W. Armstrong (c) (A)
M. Armanath (I)
K. L. T. Arthurton (WI)
M. Azharuddin (I)
Asif Iqbal (P)
L. E. G. Ames (w) (E)
G. G. Arnold (E)
Abdul Qadir (P)
C. E. L. Ambrose (WI)
T. M. Alderman (A)
J. C. Alabaster (NZ)
Captaincy was pretty much a toss-up between Armstrong and Azharuddin.
Armstrong got it on seniority. :-)
R. Abel (E) just missed out here. Aamir Malik (P) may also be a contender,
as may L. Armanath (I) (edged out by Arthurton's form over the last year or
so), Aqib Javed (P), to whom I preferred Arnold because he is (or rather
was) a better batsman, and M. A. Atherton (E).
G. Boycott (E)
E. J. Barlow (SA)
D. G. Bradman (A)
K. F. Barrington (E)
A. R. Border (A)
I. T. Botham (E)
R. Benaud (c) (A)
J. McC. Blackham (w) (A)
I. R. Bishop (WI)
S. F. Barnes (E)
B. S. Bedi (I)
D. C. Boon (A)
The combined Test batting averages of the top seven batsmen (as of the end
of the 1991 English season) were 363.28! Blackham could bat a bit, too; he
may well bat at 6 above Botham, with the order remaining the same from
there on down. 400+ per innings would be the expectation. The bowling
(assuming the early 1980s vintage Botham) looks pretty damned strong, too;
no shortage of options.
J. Bracewell (NZ) was a near thing; so was B. F. Butcher (WI), R. Binny (I),
R. J. Bright (A), and, if we wanted a specialist captain, J. M. Brearley (E).
B. C. Broad (E) was overlooked in favour of Barlow's ability with the ball.
Also left out: B. J. T. Bosanquet (E), W. Bardsley (A), T. E. Bailey (E),
A. Bedser (E), S. L. Boock (NZ). The makings of a quite useful 2nd XI,
though it would be rather short of a pace spearhead. D. L. Bairstow (E)
would be the natural choice for 2nd XI wicket-keeper.
D. C. S. Compton (E)
D. B. Close (E)
M. C. Cowdrey (E)
G. S. Chappell (A)
I. M. Chappell (A)
L. N. Constantine (WI)
M. D. Crowe (NZ)
C. H. Croft (WI)
B. L. Cairns (NZ)
E. J. Chatfield (NZ)
B. S. Chandrasekhar (I)
N. J. Contractor (I)
Wicket-keeper is a problem here (unless someone knows something I don't,
although Cowdrey was known to take the gloves on occasion, under duress),
as is the captain; there are at least five Test captains of more or less
equal merit in this squad. I'd probably go for I. M. Chappell. As for
the batting order... well, work it out for yourself. N. G. Cowans (E)
and J. V. Coney (NZ) are also worthy of mention.
K. S. Duleepsinjhi (E)
J. Darling (c) (A)
E. R. Dexter (E)
P. A. de Silva (SL)
J. Dyson (A)
D. B. D'Oliveira (E)
P. J. L. Dujon (w) (WI)
A. K. Davidson (A)
P. A. J. DeFreitas (E)
G. R. Dilley (E)
D. R. Doshi (I)
G. T. Dowling (NZ)
Tougher. Less Ds of note than I expected. Still not bad, though. P. R.
Downton (E) could take over as 'keeper in the event of injury to Dujon.
Batting order is a bit of a problem again.
No, I didn't forget Kapil Dev; Wisden lists him under K.
More to follow (as if you cared... :-)
David A. Wheeler | "There is a widely-held and quite erroneous
Motorola Ltd. | belief that cricket is just another game."
Basingstoke | - HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh
England | "Excreta tauri astutos confundit"