England All-Rounders XI

As England’s middle- and lower-order batsmen once again set out to repair a top-order failure, this tweet from Twenty20 Cricket Company appeared in my timeline.

So – here is my All-rounders XI

  1. Wilfred Rhodes
  2. Trevor Bailey
  3. WG Grace
  4. CB Fry
  5. Tony Greig
  6. Ben Stokes
  7. Ian Botham
  8. Chris Woakes
  9. Freddie Flintoff
  10. Alan Knott +
  11. Ray Illingworth *

  • Wilfred Rhodes
    • Opened the batting with Jack Hobbs; still taking Test wickets at the age of 49
  • Trevor Bailey
    • Someone has to bat time in this team – maybe none better?
  • WG Grace
    • “They have come to watch me…” – can’t leave out the Doctor!
  • CB Fry
    • The ultimate allrounder – cricket, football, athletics, politics…
  • Tony Greig
    • Not that this XI will lack for motivation, but they might want someone to negotiate with administrators…oh, and a double threat of medium pace of off spin bowling.
  • Ben Stokes
    • Bats; bowls; catches; impact! See Flintoff.
  • Ian Botham
    • Especially for the Aussies, and any 500/1 shots.
  • Chris Woakes
    • A calming presence in a team packed with impact players.  Could he become England’s premier all-rounder? See Stokes.
  • Freddie Flintoff
    • Bats; bowls; catches; impact! See Stokes.
  • Alan Knott +
    • A top keeper who bats, rather than a batter who keeps – wouldn’t want to see even one catch go down.
  • Ray Illingworth *
    • In a team of with so many massive egos, it will take another to be captain.

Not, perhaps, many who would be counted as true all-rounders (selected as both a frontline batsman and bowler), but there have never really been many players who qualified for this exalted status.  In this XI, only Rhodes, Botham and (if he carries on playing the way he is right now) Stokes.

 

Published by

Andrew Beaven

Cricket coach, fascinated by the possibilities offered by the game. More formally - ECB CA cricket coach working at the MCC Academy, the Essex Indoor Cricket Centre, and with the junior sections at Oakfield Parkonians CC & Regent's Park CC; All Stars Cricket Activator; ECB ACO umpire.

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