Whenever some one comes up with a greatest of all time team, there is as much criticism as much as praise for it. The ICC in honor of the 2000th Test match, held a poll on its website for the fans to determine a Greatest Test cricket team of all time.
The fans chose the following XI from the given options…
THE GREATEST TEST XI OF ALL TIME :
Virender Sehwag (India)
Sunil Gavaskar (India)
Sir Donald Bradman(Australia)
Brian Lara(West Indies)
Adam Gilchrist (wk – Australia)
Curtly Ambrose(West Indies)
The main bone of contention is the omission of several great players form pre 1970 era. Eminent batsmen like Sir Len Hutton, George Headly, Sir Jack Hobbs,Sir Vivian Richards,Zaheer Abbas, Mushtaq Mohammad, Victor Trumper, Javed Miandad.
All- rounders such as Sir Ian Botham, Imran Khan, Sir Richard Hadlee. Quick bowlers omitted like the West Indian quartet of Michael Holding,Joel Garner,Malcolm Marshall,Colin Croft, Dennis Lillee, Jeff Thompson and spinners like Murlitharan, Lance Gibbs, Jim Laker.
As soon as the list was out, former players began giving their views on the team and it was heavily criticised and panned by every player.
First former English captain and wicketkeeper Alec Stewart did his thing in his article which you all can read here…Alec Stewart`s take on the ICC`s greatest test cricket team
Then recently former England opener Geoffrey Boycott had something to add probably hurt by omission of other old greats and selection of the number of Indians (4) in the team. You can read the article here..
One thing to keep in mind is that it is a FAN SELECTED team and not a team selected by a panel of former players. Most of the fans of the previous generation don`t have access to internet to vote or have information to do so. That is the main reason except Sir Donald Bradman ,most of the players are post 1970 era.
Today`s youngsters have not seen players like Hutton,Headley, Laker play except for YouTube clips, which can`t gauge their greatness. All they have is to read about them on internet.
I don`t say that I know how great they were, but I do follow cricket regularly and based on their records it can be said that they were great.
For e.g , Jack Hobbs holds the record for 197 First class centuries and more then 60,ooo First class runs , George Headley is known as the “black Bradman” for he has an average of 60.83 only second to Sir Don`s 99.94 .
Ian Botham , Sir Richard Hadlee , Imran Khan and Kapil Dev formed the 4 great allrounders in 1970s and 1980s.
Muralitharan the highest wicket taker in tests (800) , Jim Laker took the highest number of wickets in one test-19 vs Australia. And whatever you write about the West Indian fast bowlers of 1970s and 1980s which included Holding, Garner,Marshall,Benjamin,Walsh,Croft, Roberts, Bishop.
People know about them but not to the extent. Second reason for 4 Indians chosen in the test team is because most of the people who voted would have been Asians or for the fact, Indians. Hence you have Sehwag, Sachin,Gavaskar,Kapil in the team.
I also don`t think the team is perfect but I respect the team chosen by fans. But former players would continue o out forth their views.
By the way, this is my all time greatest Test team:
Sir Donald Bradman
Glenn Mcgrath (12th man)
Yeah yeah, you would say wht changes have u made, but its my team… 😛
Well you could put your team in the comments… looking forward to seeing your teams in comments.