Monday, October 12, 2009

Vettori and Bond in New Zealand all-time XI

Two players from New Zealand's current side, Daniel Vettori and Shane Bond, have been voted into the country's all-time XI by a jury of noted cricket writers and ex-players. Three other notable modern-day contenders, Stephen Fleming, Chris Cairns and Brendon McCullum, miss out.

New Zealand is the third country to be covered in Cricinfo's all-time XI series - the two previous ones are Australia and England.

Three players were unanimously picked by the 10 members of the jury - Glenn Turner, Martin Crowe and Richard Hadlee.

The XI also includes two pre-war cricketers, neither of whom played more than 10 Tests apiece - fast bowler Jack Cowie and opening batsman Stewie Dempster. Cowie, who teams up with Bond, Hadlee and Vettori in the bowling line-up, took 45 wickets in the nine Tests he played."Had he been an Australian, he might have been termed a wonder of the age," Wisden said of him. Dempster had an average of 65 in the 10 Tests he played, and is still regarded as among the very best batsmen New Zealand has produced.

Apart from Crowe, the middle order of the side features Martin Donnelly, another highly acclaimed player who figured in only a handful of games at the highest level, and Bert Sutcliffe.

The allrounder's slot was hotly contested - though neither Vettori or Hadlee was in the shortlist in the segment - and finally won by John R Reid, a big hitter who led New Zealand in their first three Test victories, a fine medium-pacer and a fine fielder.

The wicketkeeper's spot goes to Ian Smith. ("More dynamic than Parore, more precise on his feet than McCullum, and possibly more to say than either of them," Richard Boock, one of the jurors said.)

The jury included Don Neely, the president of New Zealand Cricket; Ross Dykes, the former New Zealand chairman of selectors; David Leggat of the New Zealand Herald; and former players John Morrison and Jonathan Millmow.

Cricinfo also asked readers to select their all-time XI, and while the bowling line-up remained the same in that XI, Donnelly and Dempster missed out, Cairns took the allrounder's spot and McCullum the wicketkeeper's, John Wright came in as opener, and Stephen Fleming in the middle order.

More details here

Stewie Dempster, Glenn Turner, Graham Dowling, John Wright, Bruce Edgar, Mark Richardson, Bert Sutcliffe

Middle order
John R Reid, Bert Sutcliffe, John F Reid, Martin Donnelly, Bev Congdon, Martin Crowe, Andrew Jones, Stephen Fleming, Nathan Astle, Craig McMillan

John R Reid, Bruce Taylor, Chris Cairns, Jacob Oram

Ken Wadsworth, Ian Smith, Ken James, Adam Parore, Brendon McCullum

Fast bowlers
Jack Cowie, Dick Motz, Richard Collinge, Richard Hadlee, Ewen Chatfield, Danny Morrison, Chris Martin, Shane Bond

Hedley Howarth, John Bracewell, Stephen Boock, Tom Burtt, Daniel Vettori

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