June 15, 2021
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Bradman's Best

'World's Best Team'

Only three Indians -- Gavaskar, Kapil and Sachin -- in the pool of 69 players out of which Bradman selected his final XII

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'World's Best Team'


Three Indian cricketers - Sunil Gavaskar, Kapil Dev and Sachin Tendulkar - were among a pool of 69 from whom the legendary Sir Donald Bradman made his selection of the 'World Best Team' before he died.

'The all-time ideal team' of Bradman will be announced on Monday, Roland Perry, who chronicled the careful considerations of individual talent and corporate balance behind how the Don selected his best XI, wrote in his book 'Bradman's Best', a report in the Times Daily, said today.

"In interviews for Bradman's Best, the Don, over a concentrated six months in 1995 and intermittently over the next five years, discussed the greatest players of the game, from W G Grace and Victor Trumper at the beginning of the 20th century to Shane Warne and Sachin Tendulkar at the end of it," the report said.

Bradman exhibited an enormous capacity for analysing the strengths, weaknesses, technical skills, temperament, personality and character of scores of cricketers who have graced the world stage over more than 120 years.

"I was intrigued to know his all-time ideal team. At first we discussed it in terms of achieving the perfect balance under normal playing conditions," Perry wrote.

According to the report, Bradman opted for the following: two recognised opening batsmen of whom one shall be a left- hander, three other batsmen of whom one should be a left-hander, one all-rounder, one wicketkeeper who is also a good bat, one fast bowler to open with the wind, one fast or medium-pace bowler to open into the wind, one right-arm off spinner or right-hand leg spinner and one left-arm orthodox first-finger spinner.

Perry said Bradman's understandable obsession to avoid publicity made a book on his best team untenable.

"Yet I was still interested to know his world best XI. I suggested that the team only be made public posthumously and sent him a range of selections for the positions in the team, based on our discussions," Perry said.

The pool of players:

Openers (one a left-hander): from Gavaskar, Greenidge, Haynes, Hobbs, Hutton, Ponsford, Barnes, Lawry, Simpson, Morris, Sutcliffe, Barry Richards, Slater.
Three other bats:
which was two, given that Bradman would be an automatic selection. Ideally, one should be a left-hander: from (Bradman), Lara, Tendulkar, Viv Richards, Mark Waugh, Steve Waugh, Graeme Pollock, Headley, Weekes, Hammond, McCabe, Harvey, Macartney, Greg Chappell, Compton, May, Trumper.
One all-rounder:
from Sobers, Miller, Davidson, Benaud, Proctor, Kapil Dev, Botham, Hammond, Grace.
One wicketkeeper
, who is also a good bat: from Tallon, Healy, Knott, Dujon, Marsh, Evans.
One fast bowler to open with the wind, and one fast or mediumpacer to open into the wind: from Ambrose, Hadlee, Lillee, McGrath, Lindwall, Donald, Marshall, Holding, Roberts, Walsh, Alec Bedser, Tyson, Larwood, Wasim Akram, Davidson, Johnston, Barnes.
One right-arm off-spinner:
from Laker, Gibbs.
One left-arm orthodox first-finger spinner or an orthodox leg-spinner: from Verity, Rhodes, O'Reilly, Grimmett, Mailey, Warne.

When Perry asked Bradman if the 1948 team was the best in actuality since cricket's inception, Bradman replied; "It's difficult comparing teams from era to era," but conceded that it was "the best team I was ever involved with as a player. I suppose that could be argued (that it was the best ever. It's biggest challenger would probably be (Warwick) Armstrong's 1921 side or the West Indies teams of the 1980s (under Clive Lloyd and Viv Richards)."

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