Wisden has gone and done it again. They’ve pissed off the whole of South Africa. Wisden has named their all-time Test World XI to mark the 150th anniversary of Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack. Sadly for all South African’s they’ve picked a side that doesn’t feature any of our cricketing greats. Rest easy Protea fans, I’m picking my side that would teach the Wisden All Stars a thing or two.

Honestly have this opening the innings for you?

Honestly you’d pick this to open for you?

So let’s start by listing Wisden’s picks.

Wisden World XI:

1. Jack Hobbs (England, Wisden Cricketer of the Year 1909) 61 Tests, 5 410 runs at 56.94

2. W. G. Grace (England, CY 1896) 22 Tests, 1 098 runs at 32.29

3. Don Bradman (Australia, CY 1931, captain) 52 Tests, 6 996 runs at 99.94)

4. Sachin Tendulkar (India, CY 1997) 198 Tests, 15 837 runs at 53.86

5. Vivian Richards (West Indies, CY 1977) 121 Tests, 8 540 runs at 50.23

6. Garry Sobers (West Indies, CY 1964) 93 Tests, 8 032 runs at 57.78, 235 wickets at 34.03

7. Alan Knott (England, CY 1970, wkt) 95 Tests, 4 389 runs at 32.75, 250 catches, 19 stumpings

8. Wasim Akram (Pakistan, CY 1993) 104 Tests, 414 wickets at 23.62

9. Shane Warne (Australia, CY 1994) 145 Tests, 708 wickets at 25.41

10. Malcolm Marshall (West Indies, CY 1983) 81 Tests, 376 wickets at 20.94

11. Sydney Barnes (England, CY 1910) 27 Tests, 189 wickets at 16.43

Now there are a few changes I would make to this. A few very crucial changes. Let’s start at the top. Firstly I think Wisden are confusing WG Grace with another great cricketer with a beard. WG might have been a legend in the roaring 20′s but with an average in the dirty thirties he’s confined to operating the bowling machine in my team. The Don can do anything, and so naturally he moves up to open the innings with Jack Hobbs who retains his place to keep the old codgers happy.

At first drop Brian Lara comes to the crease. Apart from dominating world cricket for many a year he did it with a rather pathetic West Indian side around him. Viv Richards can go and chase Dinesh Ramdin around the outfield because he is not getting a game this weekend. A one Jacques Henry Kallis comes in for Richards and Gary Sobers breathes a sigh of relief as he is retained as the 2nd best All Rounder ever.

There is only one King

There is only one King

Allan’s Knott playing for my XI with Adam Gilchrist head and shoulders above him in the batting stakes. Bloody English bias again!

Wasim Akram was a great fast bowler. Of that there is no doubt but his hair has clearly been factored in here because he is not better than anyone of McGrath, Lillee or Trueman. I can only think Wisden were looking for someone who could hold at bat at 8 and both Hadlee and Khan could do that better than Akram.

Do the right thing and vote Imran

Do the right thing and vote Imran

Sydney Barnes at 11? Sure his stats look impressive but imagine the carnage the likes of Ambrose, Holding, Steyn, McGrath or Lillee would have wrecked on the oncovered wickets of yesteryear? Factor in the palookas that were at the other end trying to hold a bat in the early 1900′s and Barnesie is handing out the oranges very quickly.

What sets Steyn apart from the rest is his unbelievable strike rate of 41.2.

So here we have it. My All Time Test XI that would whip the socks off the Wisden boys any day of the week. I would bet Jacques Kallis’ hair on that.

Sportbilly’s World XI:

1. Jack Hobbs (England, Wisden Cricketer of the Year 1909) 61 Tests, 5 410 runs at 56.94

2. Don Bradman (Australia, CY 1931, captain) 52 Tests, 6 996 runs at 99.94)

3. B. C. Lara (West Indies) 131 Tests, 11953 runs at 52.88

4. Sachin Tendulkar (India, CY 1997) 198 Tests, 15 837 runs at 53.86

5. Jacques Kallis (South Africa)163 Tests, 13133 runs at 55.64, 288 wickets at 32.58, 196 catches

6. Garry Sobers (West Indies, CY 1964) 93 Tests, 8 032 runs at 57.78, 235 wickets at 34.03

7. Adam Gilchrist (Australia, wkt) 96 Tests, 5570 runs at 47.60, 379 catches, 37 stumpings

8. Imran Khan (Pakistan) 88 Tests, 3807 runs at 37.69, 362 wickets at 22.81

9. Shane Warne (Australia, CY 1994) 145 Tests, 708 wickets at 25.41

10. Malcolm Marshall (West Indies, CY 1983) 81 Tests, 376 wickets at 20.94

11. Dale Steyn (South Africa) 66 Tests, 336 wickets at 22.67

What do you think? Let me know on twitter @sportbillysays or leave a comment below.

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