Wednesday, 6 August 2008

A combined 11+11=11

One thing I like to do as a mental exercise in a Test series is choose a combined team – just to see how many England players make it into the eleven. Clearly the result will be the biased by me – so feel free to disagree in the comments. I have tried to match player against player and I have used the Edgbaston line-up… and anyway the Oval line-up without Vaughan or a direct replacement makes it more difficult  Here goes:

Strauss or Cook v Smith or McKenzie
I am not that fond of Graham Smith and his particular brand of arrogance but there is no doubt he has bags more ability than Strauss or Cook. I think the Strauss, Cook, McKenzie choice is not clear cut. What is clear though is that McKenzie is in miles better form that either of the other two so I would choose him.

Vaughan v Amla
On anywhere near current form it’s a no-brainer for Amla

Pietersen v Kallis
Hmm, tough one. Of course it wouldn’t be a tough one because you would choose Pietersen and Kallis and drop someone else. Kallis’s record is miles better than Petersen although their ICC rankings are near identical. If I had to choose on batting alone it would be Pietersen, he is lots younger and can still improve.

Bell v Prince
Another no-brainer: Prince.

Collingwood v de Villiers
de Villiers and Collingwood have very similar Test records so in theory it’s a tough call. de Villiers is much younger and just as good a fielder. Collingwood is a useful bowler though. I would go for de Villiers, although it is very tight – he has three centuries this year (one a double).

Ambrose v Boucher
Quite a large mismatch… Boucher by a mile.

Flintoff v Morkel
Morkel is good, but Flintoff is Flintoff.

Sidebottom v Nel
Although Sidebottom has been excellent for England, I would choose Nel every time He has that ability to get wickets when none look likely. In addition, Nel replaced Steyn and Sidebottom v Steyn is a simple call.

Anderson v Ntini
Ntini is the most experienced current pace bowler in world cricket but he has looked past his best on this tour. I have been impressed with Anderson recently and so would choose him.

Panasar v Harris
Although Panasar is a liability in the field his ability to change a Test match wins here.

That makes the combined side:
Smith
McKenzie
Amla
Pietersen
Prince
de Villiers
Boucher
Flintoff
Nel
Anderson
Panasar

I would swap Kallis for de Villiers and get a better batsman and a very useful bowler. Anybody else fancy a try?

5 comments:

Mahesh said...

Hmm, I'd have

Vaughan v Amla: I'd put Kallis there instead. I just can't let a player the calibre of Kallis not being in the team!! He's a match winner and very handy with the ball.

Collingwood v de Villiers: Collie - fielding and bowling gives him the thumbs up

Anderson v Ntini: Ntini - he's a lot more consistent than Anderson, I still think Anderson needs a few more tests to establish himself.

You forgot the captain Rob :)

KP or Vaughn / Smith - To quote you, No brainer, Smith, though I hate the arrogant prick.

Rob said...

Yea (or should that be Yar) Smith for el-Capitan.

Straight Point said...

i would swap kallis with amla...for only change in your team...

jackchafer said...

well i would have vaughn in for amla and he would be captain and have strauss in for collingwood
and have smith and cook opening.
squad:
smith vc
cook
Vaughn c
Kp
kallis
flintoff
Bell
ambrose
anderson
nel
panesar

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