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Monday, October 31, 2011

Surname XIs

I feel like a blog post. I do not feel like writing. What do I do? I make up World XIs. What are my criterion? The first alphabet of the surnames of test cricketers. Technically there should be 26 XIs, but whatever reason people do not have surnames like Qendulkar, Xravid, Uaxman or Zumble, which made the job a lot tougher. Anyway, here we go:

Dennis Amiss, Saeed Anwar, Mohinder Amarnath, Zaheer Abbas, Mohammad Azharuddin, Warwick Armstrong (c), Les Ames (wk), Wasim Akram, Mushtaq Ahmed, Curtly Ambrose, Terri Alderman. Sub: Lala Amarnath.
This is a more formidable XI than it seems. The dogged, dour Amiss and Mohinder, supported by the elegant and destructive Anwar, Zaheer and Azhar means that they have a very solid line-up. Akram and Ambrose provide a very formidable duo, and the rest is quite determined and competitive as well.

Charles Bannerman, Geoff Boycott, Don Bradman (c), Ken Barrington, Allan Border, Ian Botham, Wasim Bari (wk), Syd Barnes, Johnny Briggs, Shane Bond, Bishan Bedi. Sub: Richie Benaud.
Possibly your 900/6 declared side, with all of them likely to amass 150s, The Don even more. The bowling is stronger than it looks to the 2011 viewer, with Barnes and Briggs being the lions of the attack.

Alastair Cook, Martin Crowe, Greg Chappell (c), Denis Compton, Colin Cowdrey, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Chris Cairns, Learie Constantine, Robert Christiani (wk), Colin Croft, Bhagwat Chandrasekhar. Sub: Ian Chappell.
An incredibly skewed, top-heavy batting order. The C middle-order is so strong that their other aspects look bleak in comparison. Martin Crowe is being made to open and Ian Chappell has to be left out.

AB de Villiers, Rahul Dravid, Aravinda de Silva, Ted Dexter, KS Duleepsinhji, Johnny Douglas (c), Kapil Dev, Allan Davidson, Jeff Dujon (wk), Dilip Doshi, Allan Donald. Sub: Roy Dias.
Not a single weak link in the side. A potential champion side.

Bruce Edgar, Farokh Engineer, Ross Edwards, Bill Edrich, John Edrich, Salim Elahi, Godfrey Evans (wk), John Emburey (c), Phil Edmonds, Steve Elworthy, Fidel Edwards. Sub: Dion Ebrahim.
A lack of options, honestly. This means that Edgar and Elworthy get picked, along with two wicket-keepers and two Middlesex spinners, and John Emburey gets to lead. Sigh.

Jack Fingleton, Roy Fredericks, CB Fry, Andy Flower (wk), Alan Fairfax, Stephen Fleming (c), Grant Flower, Andrew Flintoff, Kenneth Farnes, Tich Freeman, Chuck Fleetwood-Smith. Sub: Reginald Foster.
Once again, a lack of options, though this side would flatten the E-side on any given day.

Sunil Gavaskar, Gordon Greenidge, Graham Gooch, David Gower, WG Grace (c), Adam Gilchrist (wk), Tony Greig, Jack Gregory, Lance Gibbs, Joel Garner, Clarrie Grimmett. Sub: Subhash Gupte.
If they had another fast bowler, this side would beat anyone on any track anywhere.

Jack Hobbs, Len Hutton, George Headley, Wally Hammond (c), Inzamam-ul-Haq, Michael Hussey, Ian Healy (wk), Richard Hadlee, George Hirst, Wes Hall, Michael Holding. Sub: Mathew Hayden.
Now, this is what you call a complete, all-round side.

Faisal Iqbal, Doug Insole, Aminul Islam, Ray Illingworth (c), Asif Iqbal, Billy Ibadullah, KS Indrajitsinhji (wk), Ronnie Irani, Richard Illingworth, Bert Ironmonger, Jack Iverson. Sub: Tushar Imran.
Now, this is what you call a completely average side.

Archie Jackson, Sanath Jayasuriya, Mahela Jayawardene, Douglas Jardine (c), Gilbert Jessop, Neil Johnson, Ridley Jacobs (wk), Ian Johnson, Bill Johnston, Robin Jackman, Simon Jones. Sub: Dean Jones.
A group of honest triers, to put it authentically. There are names that have had significant or insignificant careers, but it cannot be denied that there is talent and determination in the side.

Majid Khan, Gary Kirsten, Alvin Kallicharran, Rohan Kanhai, Jacques Kallis, Allan Kippax, Lance Klusener, Imran Khan (c), Allan Knott (wk), Zaheer Khan, Anil Kumble. Sub: Mohsin Khan.
Kippax and Klusener are possibly the chinks, but then, any side that has Imran is bound to perform way above their potential.

Bill Lawry, Justin Langer, Brian Lara, Clive Lloyd (c), Allan Lamb, VVS Laxman, Rashid Latif (wk), Ray Lindwall, Dennis Lillee, George Lohmann, Jim Laker. Sub: Harold Larwood.
Once again, a balanced batting line-up and a lethal bowling attack. Never knew an alphabet like L had so much up its sleeve.

Hanif Mohammad, Vijay Merchant, Javed Miandad, Keith Miller, Stan McCabe, Mushtaq Mohammad (c), Vinoo Mankad, Rodney Marsh (wk), Malcolm Marshall, Muttiah Muralitharan, Glenn McGrath. Sub: Saqlain Mushtaq.
Possibly the team to beat. Incredible defence at the top, gutsy streetfighters and classy strokeplayers in the middle, and a bowling attack to die for.

Mudassar Nazar, CK Nayudu (c), Seymour Nurse, Dave Nourse, Dudley Nourse, Monty Noble, Bapu Nadkarni, Janardan Navle (wk), Mohammad Nissar, Sarfraz Nawaz, Makhaya Ntini. Sub: Jack Noreiga.
The bowling might cover up for the seriously weak batting line-up here. Never thought Navle would make it to an XI, though!

Javed Omar, Ali Omarshah, Norman O'Neill, Harold Owen-Smith, Leo O'Brien, Jacob Oram, Simon O'Donnell, Bert Oldfield (wk), Chris Old, Henry Olonga, Bill O'Reilly (c). Sub: Shayne O'Connor.
No comment, here. How many matches can O'Reilly win for his side? He shall have a top-notch wicket-keeper, though.

Bill Ponsford, Adam Parore (wk), Ricky Ponting (c), Graeme Pollock, Eddie Paynter, Kevin Pietersen, Mike Procter, Shaun Pollock, Peter Pollock, Bobby Peel, Erapalli Prasanna. Sub: MAK Pataudi.
Would have looked a lot weaker had the Pollock family not existed. Looks formidable, though - and competent enough to take on most sides.

Barry Richards, KS Ranjitsinhji, Richie Richardson, Viv Richards, Arjuna Ranatunga (c), Wilfred Rhodes, Abdur Razzaq, Jack Russell (wk), Andy Roberts, Doug Ring, Bruce Reid. Sub: Lawrence Rowe.
The bowling might lack penetration at some point of time, but the incredible batting line-up might just more than save the face.

Herbert Sutcliffe, Virender Sehwag, Garry Sobers (c), Dilip Sardesai, Bert Sutcliffe, Kumar Sangakkara (wk), Ravi Shastri, Harbhajan Singh, Dale Steyn, Brian Statham, John Snow. Sub: Bobby Simpson.
A more all-round side than it looks on paper. An in-depth batting order and a potent bowling attack. What else does one need?

Glenn Turner, Mark Taylor (c), Victor Trumper, Sachin Tendulkar, Ernest Tyldesley, Jonathan Trott, Fred Titmus, Hugh Trumble, Bob Taylor (wk), Fred Trueman, Jeff Thomson. Sub: Frank Tyson.
The batting looks 900+ material, but what happens after Trueman and Thomson are taken off?

Michael Vaughan (c), Lou Vincent, Dilip Vengsarkar, Gundappa Viswanath, Michael Vandort, Tom Veivers, Chaminda Vaas, Sadanand Vishwanath (wk), Bill Voce, Srinivas Venkataraghavan, Alf Valentine. Sub: Hedley Verity.
What was it about a chain being only as strong as its weakest link...?

Frank Worrell (c), Cyril Washbrook, Everton Weekes, Mark Waugh, Steve Waugh, Clyde Walcott (wk), Frank Woolley, Johnny Wardle, Shane Warne, Bob Willis, Courtney Walsh. Sub: Doug Walters.
The dark horses, beyond a doubt. Potent enough to take on any side in the tournament, if there's any.

Brian Young, Bryan Yuile, Mohammad Yousuf, Graham Yallop, Reece Young, Salim Yousuf (wk), Norman Yardley, Bruce Yardley, Sailor Young, Shivlal Yadav, Waqar Younis (c). Sub: Tinu Yohannan.
Can the three Pakistanis pull off a single victory? Against the O's, for example?

Q, U, X and Z:
Taufeeq Umar, Qasim Umar, Billy Zulch, Bill Quaife, Polly Umrigar (c), George Ulyett, Tim Zoehrer (wk), Abdul Qadir, Neville Quinn, Derek Underwood, Nuwan Zoysa. Sub: Iqbal Qasim.
A strange-looking side to mop-up the remaining alphabets. The spin attack definitely looks potent, but the rest?

Please, please suggest changes. Please.


  1. Darun list... amar mote G sobchye strong ar E weakest. M-r Bowling-ta asadhaaron!!

  2. took the help of appendix of a cricket encyclopedia?
    you are a plagiarist.
    no brainer really,ovi babu.

  3. I like B,L & W. Beautiful test teams these are. Classic....and it is indeed a beautiful piece of work...take a bow Sir Abhishek :)

  4. Well, There might be tough competition between Johnty Rhodes and Lawrence Rowe for the twelfth man slot of the R team. I know Rowe reigned in the covers but Johnty made far too many points of his own to be covered by Rowes.

  5. "The first alphabet of the surnames of test cricketers."
    "Never knew an alphabet like L had so much up its sleeve."
    " mop-up the remaining alphabets."

    There is just ONE English alphabet, which consists of 26 letters! Sorry, I had to point out this blatant misuse!

    Otherwise, a demonstration on your considerable knowledge on cricket!

    ~ Krishanu


    Kindly read this and get inspired.