I have compiled an 11-player batting list which includes great all-rounders, and some good all-rounders. It was tough picking 11, with an entire list of all-rounders.
I have done my best and your feedback is welcome. I'm sure some might trigger a thought of being biased but I did not have many options!
So I have written in the batting order, but I am not sure who will keep wickets!! Here goes!
1. Ravi Shastri
I was looking for an all rounder who could open, and this guy was the first I could find. He was a decent batsman with an average in the mid 30's, but his bowling was not great.
He did take 151 wickets, but was not a genuine spinner by any means! I don't know if he keeps but he seems to be the odd man out in this team who can keep (I don't think he does but no other option) as all others are fast bowlers!
2. Keith Miller
He is probably the first most genuine all-rounder of cricket. He had an average close to 37, with almost 3,000 runs. What was more phenomenal was his 170 wickets at 23 apiece!
3. Jacques Kallis
I have already mentioned his stats and I feel he is one of the most ideal No. 3 batsman in the world. He is also a tricky customer with the ball and has the knack of breaking partnerships!
4. Sir Garfield Sobers
Sir Gary is a legend and I think his stats would portray more than my words. He is in a totally different league.
5. Sir Ian Botham
Botham was a player who did not bother much about the situation and played his natural game, which was hitting the ball long and hard! He was good at it and that enabled him to turn situations around.
6. Imran Khan:
Coming in at No. 6 enabled Khan to play according to the situation. He has a very good average, which clearly shows he was good with the tail whenever he played with them.
His bowling has been spoken about and we can call him the ultimate user of reverse swing (Akram and Waqar played under him).
7. Andrew Flintoff
Freddie is one of those "g" guys. Whether he bats or bowls, he is always involved in the game (peppering at the batsman or talking from slips). If he plays to his potential he could end up as one of the greats.
8. Chris Cairns
Cairns was similar to Botham, but not as successful as the Englishman. As said earlier, his injury woes had kept him out of the game for a good part of his career.
9. Kapil Dev
Dev was lethal with his out swingers, and most of his wickets were bagged using this weapon. He was also an aggressive batsman, but I don't think I can put him higher in the batting order.
10. Shaun Pollock
Pollock has been a steady batsman. I cannot really call him a dasher. He was more of a stroke maker. He had a good technique for a lower order batsman and his average seconds it! He was not a quick bowler but his movement was his weapon.
11. Sir Richard Hadlee
I have not watched Sir Hadlee bat, and since his average is less than the others I have to put him at No. 11. He definitely was an outstanding fast bowler.
I have a tougher selection now to make in terms of picking the reserves!
12. Tony Greig
Not many would agree with this selection but I have to stress on the fact that he has 3,599 runs at a good average of 40 and picked up 141 wickets at 32! going by stats I find it fair enough!
13. Wasim Akram
Wasim Akram, Sultan of Multan, has a phenomenal bowling record. An average of 23 with 414 wickets. He was the first to take 400 wickets in tests and ODIs.
Now Muralitharan may have surpassed his tally of wickets but Akram will always remain the greatest left arm seamer in cricket history.
His batting was not very bad. He could strike it clean. I have to mention is 257* against Zimbabwe along with two other test hundreds.
14. Daniel Vettori
Vettori could be the surprise package amongst these greats. He has 3,000 runs at 27 with two hundreds and also 286 wickets. The main reason for him coming in is his wicket taking ability.
He is undoubtedly the best left arm spinner of our times (post 1990)! He has a lot more cricket left in him and I would put a bet on him to make it the main 11 by the end of his career.
15. Richie Benaud
Benaud was a leg spinner from Australia but is now more famous for his commentary! I have not seen him play but his records seem to be pretty good. 2,201 runs at almost 25 with 248 wickets at 27 are very good.
I have no idea if what I have written makes sense. It was a tough period and not lots of concentration on the article. So have a read and post your comments. Cheers.