Combined Test team at No. 11

Like my previous combined teams, there is only one slot available for each Test playing country.

The basic criteria is very simple: a player has to bat in 11 positions at least once in a Test match to be considered.

Of course, there are only a few options available from the new boy, Ireland and Afghans. In contrast, Australia, England, Pakistan and India have offered some excellent options.

At first, I was a little worried about my top order, but in the end I found some nice options out there. As expected, for a team consisting of 11s, my team has a long tail.

So, on my team now. The first name may surprise some.

Victor Trumper (Australia)
For some unknown reason, the first-generation Australian selectors were keen to experiment with the team’s batting line-up. Sid Gregory has batted in 11 different positions, with Jack Blackham, Hugh Trumbull and Warwick Armstrong batting 10 each.

In contrast, Trumper had a relatively stable position. After initially playing as a middle order bat, he moved into the opening slot with great success.

His only move (due to injury) to slot number 11 came late in his career, in Adelaide in 1912. He batted six in the first innings and was the ninth person to be dismissed for 26 out of 133 runs.

He made an unbeaten contribution in the second innings as England advanced to a massive seven-wicket win.

(Photo by Halton Archive / Getty Images)

Graeme Smith (SA)
From the golden age to the modern age. In the first innings of the 2009 SCG Test, the SA opener played an outstanding innings of 30 off 31 balls before retiring.

Last evening, as the home side pressed for victory, Mitchell Johnson disappointed the Aussie bowlers for a short time before his pace proved too much for him. He was bowled out for three as the Aussies won by 103 runs.

George Headley (West Indies)
At Headingley in 1984, Malcolm Marshall famously batted with one hand and even hit a boundary, as Larry Gomes probably completed his best Test century at the other end.

Marshall later destroyed England’s batting 6-53. But while Marshall could be a worthy inclusion in any cricket team, I find it impossible to ignore the Panamanian-born Jamaican, who has dominated the West Indies batting for almost two decades.

Again, his only innings at 11 came late in his career, due to injury. On the final day at Bridgetown, he scored an unbeaten seven as the home side declared their second innings at 9-351. The match against England has been drawn.

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Dennis Compton (England)
There are plenty of options available from England: Wilfred Rhodes, Godfrey Evans and Ben Stokes to name a few. But in the end Compton got my vote.

In Gabba, in the first Test of the 1954-55 Ashes, Compton batted 11 in the first innings and ten in the second innings, scoring two unbeaten and zero runs, respectively. Australia won by an innings and 154 runs, their only success in the summer of Frank ‘Typhoon’ Tyson.

Interestingly, Compton, a football winger, usually wore the number 11 jersey for Arsenal.

Selim Malik (Pakistan)
Like many of his countrymen at the time, he was confused about the spelling of his name and the date of his birth. At his best, he was a great stroke-maker, who unfortunately ended his career in disgrace.

In Faisalabad, in October 1986, he went down to bat on the opening morning and fought at home side 4-37 and soon it turned into 5-37.

Pakistan supporters waved their national flag

(Donal Farmer / PA image via Getty Images)

Malik, along with captain Imran Khan, started the recovery, but then his fingers were damaged in the increasing delivery of young Courtney Walsh. Although he was forced to retire due to injury, he came to the crease in the second innings at a critical stage.

Pakistan had a 207-run lead of 9-296 when they joined Wasim Akram in the wicket. He made three unbeaten contributions but at the other end Akram led the bowling to 239.

Imran and Abdul Qadir then bowled out the Windies for 53 in the last innings. This is Windies’ first Test rate in almost five years.

Binu Manakad (India)
Since he has batted in one to 11 positions, I could have taken him to any batting position here.

In Bridgetown in 1953, he batted 11 in the first innings, unbeaten on zero, but returned to his normal role as opener in the second innings.

But he was able to make only three as the visitors were bowled out for 129 by the spinners. Home side won by 142 runs.

Heath Streak (Zimbabwe)
This is the beginning of my tail-end. A batting average of 22.35 is not enough for a seven in a modern game. In 1996 in Colombo (RPS) he batted in 11 positions and scored zero unbeaten and three unbeaten runs.

As he got older, his batting improved and in November 2003, in Harare, he scored an unbeaten 126 against the Windies, batting at eight – his only Test century.

Tim Murtagh (Ireland)
Murtagh batted in 11 slots in his first two Tests, but after scoring unbeaten 54 and 27 in Dehradun in March 2019, he has been promoted to ten.

He also impressed with the ball. His 5-13 briefly on the opening day at Lord’s in 2019 gave hope for a big disaster.

Muttiah Muralitharan (Sri Lanka)
Although he had no reputation as a batsman, his long Test career meant he completed a Test double late in his career.

Murali

(Photo by Rebecca Naden – PA Image / PA Image via Getty Images)

Almost half of his 1271 runs came at number 11.

Ken James (NZ) (wicketkeeper)
New Zealand’s first Test keeper had a reputation as a useful batsman at the first-class level. But in 11 Tests he has managed only 4.72 batting average. His average is a bit better as 11 – 12, thanks to two unbeaten innings.

Among other Kiwis, Chris Cairns once batted in 11 slots and quickly scored 23 runs unbeaten. But while he batted mostly at nine or ten in his early days, Sir Richard Hadley never batted in 11 slots.

Enamul Haque Jr (Bangladesh)
I wanted a real rabbit for this position, and Enamul must fall into this category with a batting average of 5.90 in 15 Tests.

As a slow left-arm spinner, his biggest moment came in Chittagong in January 2005, when his 6-45 run against Zimbabwe helped the Tigers record their first Test win.

He followed suit with 12 wickets in the drawn Test in Dhaka, but the success was almost over for him. He is still actively involved in domestic cricket as a player.

12th person: Zaheer Khan (Afghanistan)
His Test batting record (all in 11 slots) after three Tests and six innings is very impressive. He has not been able to open his account yet despite facing 28 deliveries. He has been fired three times.

As a bowler, he has become even more impressive and with his left-arm wrist spin, he could be Rashid Khan’s long-term bowling partner.

In a few more cases
Ray Lindwall has been seen as a bowler since 1956 and has batted very little in most cases.

Pakistan had three high profile Wasim on the list: Akram, Raja and Bari (wicket keeper). Wasim Raja could have diversified my team in spin bowling with his leg spin.

Wasim Bari is considered by many to be the best wicket-keeper from Pakistan, but he was old-school in cricket and rarely cared about his batting. He was the captain of the young Pakistan team in the era of Kerry Packer.

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