We’ve had World XIs, best county XIs and best England XIs but I don’t remember seeing anywhere anyone’s Heroes XI – ie a team of the players you admired when you were growing or after you grew up . So I thought I’d have a go myself. Feel free to join in and name your own. The only stipulation is that rather than just a list of names you admire/d it should be in the form of a team ie two openers, three in the middle order, an all-rounder, wicketkeeper, and four bowlers, of which one or two (your choice) should be a spinner. The fact that I supported Kent while watching Surrey as a nipper may have influenced my decisions. I will justify my selections at a later date Anyway, here goes:
1 Alan Butcher
2 Geoff Boycott
3 Geoff Howarth
4 Dilip Vengsarkar
5 Graham Roope
6 Bob Woolmer (batting all-rounder)
7 Alan Knott (wkt)
8 Intikhab Alam
9 Max Walker
10 Derek Underwood
Congratulations to Patrick Kidd and the Twelfth Man for getting yesterday’s quiz question right. It was indeed Jack Marsh, who should have played for Australia but for various reasons didn’t, and the year he wore splints to try to avoid being called for throwing was 1900. I can see I will have to be even more obscure. How about this then.
Can you name the umpire who stormed off on the first day of a match in 2006, the match at which he was officiating and the competition.
Well, what a strange pitch that is at Old Trafford. It seemed to change its temperament on each day of the Test and finally bore out Nasser Hussain’s contention that it has become a “bowl-first” wicket. While Monty Panesar was named man-of-the-match, and Andrew Strauss rightly lauded for his innings yesterday, it has to be said that the match-winning knock came from the bat of Stuart Broad. Broad didn’t impress with his bowling in this match, but he continues to look solid and enterprising with the bat, and that 30 that carried England past the follow-on figure was exactly what the team needed at the time. Had we been forced to follow-on, Vettori would surely have taken advantage of Sunday’s conditions in the same way that Panesar did, even though New Zealand may have contributed to their own downfall. I suspect, funnily enough, that Vettori’s men thought the job was done after bowling out England for 202. They probably reasoned that the lead was significant enough, regardless of their second-innings score. But they were not to know that the pitch was going to have the last laugh, the turn, bounce and spit that the spinners were getting on the third day fading after the heavy roller had flattened the surface. They had the attitude of a team that thought that they only had to turn up to get the victory – a state of mind that has too often afflicted England in the past. It will be interesting to see what effect this defeat has on the morale of the tourists as they head to Trent Bridge.