July born cricketers’ fun World XI
The month of July seems to be a major month for the birth of some of the greatest cricketers to have ever played the game. It is almost as if July born babies are destined to become cricketers. From India, we have the likes of MS Dhoni, Sourav Ganguly and Sunil Gavaskar having their date of birth within 4 days of each other. On the world front we have the greatest all-rounder legend Sir Gary Sobers, three of the greatest fast bowlers of all time Dennis Lillee, Richard Hadlee and James Anderson and one of the leading all-time Aussie great Allan Border all being born in July.
Hence we created a July born cricketers’ fun World XI taken from the past 50 years and what a team we have come up with !! :
Sunil Gavaskar ( July 10)
Arguably India’s greatest opening batsman and one of the greats of the game with 10122 test runs in 125 tests at 51 average and 34 test hundreds. Sunny was known for his massive powers of concentration and technical excellence. He never wore a helmet in his career and faced some of the greatest fast bowlers in the game’s history.
Graham Gooch ( July 23)
Graham Gooch was one of the greatest openers for England from the 1980s to 1990s and amassed 8900 test runs in 103 tests with 20 hundreds at 43 average. in ODIs scored 4290 runs with 8 centuries at 37 average. He was one of the few successes against the demon West Indies fast bowlers of the 1980s and early 90s. He scored 333 vs India at Lords in 1990 and followed up with a century in the 2nd innings.
Zaheer Abbas ( July 24)
Known as the Asian Bradman and scorer of 100 first-class centuries, Zaheer was Pakistan’s greatest batsman of the 1970s. He scored 5062 runs in 78 tests at 44 average with 12 test 100s. In only 62 ODIs he smashed 2572 runs at 47 average with 7 tons and an outstanding 85 strike rate which was very high in those times. Zaheer was known for his wristy strokeplay and was one of the most sublime cover drivers.
Allan Border (27 July)
One of the greatest of all times across eras left-handed Border singlehandedly held Australia. Together in the 1980s in one of their most challenging phase of their cricket history. A brilliant record– 11174 test runs at 50 average and 27 test hundreds supplemented by 156 catches in 156 tests. 6524 runs in 273 ODIs at 31 average and 71 strike rate. 39 test wickets and 73 ODI wickets with his useful left-arm spin and the World cup winning captain in 1987. Border was a fierce fighter with tremendous mental resilience and possessed a lot of strokes.
Sourav Ganguly ( July 8)
Arguably India’s best test captain, Sourav had his struggles in the initial years before his famous Lords test debut 100 in 1996 after which he never looked back and was a superstar in both tests and ODIs. 7212 test runs at 42 average with 16 100s in 113 tests, 11363 runs in 311 ODIs at 42 average with 22 100s and 74 strike rate and 100 ODI wickets. Apart from 32 test wickets, Sourav had full of skills. His gorgeous offside strokeplay as a lefthander and ability to swing the ball and break partnerships has been a common feature. He is the captain of this team.
Sir Garfield Sobers ( 28 July)
The greatest all-rounder of all time, Sobers was a brilliant lefthanded batsman and a skilful lefthanded versatile bowler. As a batsman regarded as one of the greatest across eras with 8032 test runs at 58 average in 93 tests with 26 hundreds. As a bowler capable of bowling medium pace and chinaman spin, he was highly skilled in getting 235 test wickets. A superb fielder with 109 catches, Sobers had everything in his game. He was the first player to hit 6 sixes in an over in a county game.
MS Dhoni (July 7)
An icon in Indian cricket history, ” captain cool” had led India to their 2nd ODI world cup win in 2011 & 1st T20I world cup win in 2007. With a strong fan base, Dhoni scored 4876 runs in 90 tests at 38 average and 294 wicket keeping dismissals. In 350 ODIs he scored 10773 runs at 50 average with 10 hundreds and 88 strike rate followed by 444 wicket keeping dismissals. Dhoni is considered the greatest wicketkeeper-batsman of India and is the vice-captain of this team.
Richard Hadlee (July 3 )
One of the top four all-rounders of the 1980s and New Zealand best ever fast bowler. Hadlee took 431 test wickets at 51 strike rate and 22 average and scored 3124 test runs at 27 average in 86 tests. He took 158 ODI wickets and scored 1751 ODI runs in 115 ODIs. He was a great exponent of the outswinger and was devastating on his day. As a lefthander batter, he was aggressive and great to watch.
Harbhajan Singh ( July 3 )
India’s fiesty off-spinner with a skilful doosra. Harbhajan took 417 test wickets and 269 ODI wickets in 103 and 236 matches respectively. Very useful with the bat too hitting over 2000 test runs. His 33 wickets in the epic India v Australia 2001 series was the cornerstone of his glittering career.
Dennis Lillee ( July 18)
Lillee was one of the greatest fast bowlers across eras and the best in the 1970s. His pace, hostility and craftiness with more experience brought him 355 test wickets in 70 tests with 23 average and 52 strike rate and 103 ODI wickets in 63 games at 20 average. Coming out of career-threatening injury in 1973, his skills with the ball and his intimidating presence was a nightmare for all batsmen.
James Anderson ( 30 July)
The greatest fast bowler in English conditions, his records as a fast bowler with such longevity is awesome. 617 test wickets in 162 games at 26 average, 269 ODI wickets in 194 games at 29 average. He has completed a sensational record of 1000 first-class wickets. His skills with the ball are second to none. A living legend who is not yet finish in his playing career.
12th man: Trent Boult ( 22 July)
The skilful left-arm fast bowler from New Zealand just could not be accommodate in the above XI, such is the quality of the above cricketers, so kept him as a 12th man. Boult has 292 wickets in 73 tests at 27 average and 56 strike rate. Has 169 wickets in 93 ODIs and 46 wickets in 33 T20Is. His skills with the ball, swinging it around and bowling lethal yorkers are his weapons. He will still be around for a few more years .