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The World XI

With the World XI all set to take on Australia in the inaugural Super Series matches at Melbourne and Sydney, it is interesting to peep into details of previous international games involving 'World XIs'.

Sir Garfield Sobers


*Lord's, 1965: A 70 overs-a-side match between England and a World XI. England batted first and were restricted to 175 with Garfield Sobers, the legendary all-rounder, taking five wickets for just 22 runs. The World XI replied with 178-1 with Conrad Hunte remaining unbeaten on 88. Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi, the reigning Indian skipper, was vice-captain of the World XI.

*Lord's, 1966: A 50-over encounter between England and a World XI. England batted first again, and scored 201-7. The World XI was bowled out for 119.

* Lord's, 1966: A 50-over game between the West Indies and a World XI. The West Indies batted first and scored 254-7, with Hunte making 57 and Seymour Nurse 88. The World XI was restricted to 236-8. Wesley Hall took four wickets.

* Lord's, 1967: Two one-day games: In the first match, England XI scored 144 with Sobers claiming three for 13. The World XI won by eight wickets with South African Eddie Barlow making an unbeaten 74. The second game was played between a World XI and Pakistan. The World XI batted first and scored 223-6 off 50 overs, with Rohan Kanhai (88) and Sobers (72 not out) being the top-scorers. Pakistan could muster only 179-9 from their allotted overs.

* 1970 - England v/s World XI South Africa's sickening Apartheid policy led to the cancellation of its cricket team's tour of England in the summer of 1970. A World XI was then put together under the captaincy of Garfield Sobers. It won the five-'Test' series 4-0.

* 1971-72 - Australia v/s World XI South Africa's tour of Australia in 1971-72 was also cancelled for political reasons. Sir Donald Bradman, then Chairman of the Australian Cricket Board, persuaded Sobers to assume charge of another World XI that played Australia in a series of five 'Tests'. World XI won 4-1.

*Karachi 1970-71: Pakistan v/s World XI Pakistan XI won this game by a whopping 226 runs. Brief scores: Pakistan XI 373-6 declared (Mushtaq Mohammad -103*, Shafqat Rana - 117) and 320-6 declared (Saeed Ahmed - 119, Pat Pocock 3- 55) beat World XI 184 (Saeed Ahmed 3-42) and 283 (Sarfraz Nawaz 5-65).

*Australia, 1977-79: Kerry Packer's World Series Cricket 'Revolution' involved as many as fifty cricketers from all over the world, including Australians, West Indians, Englishmen, Pakistanis and South Africans. The two seasons of World Series Cricket featured as many as sixteen 'Super Tests' between Australian, West Indian and 'World' teams.

Sachin Tendulkar

* Lord's, 1987: MCC v/s World XI A five-day game was organized at Lord's in 1987 to commemorate the Bicentenary of the MCC, the oldest cricket club in the world. Both sides featured an assortment of players from different countries. Brief scores: MCC XI 455-5 declared and 318-3 declared (Gordon Greenidge - 122, Graham Gooch - 117 and Mike Gatting - 179) and World XI 421-7d (Sunil Gavaskar - 188) and 13-1. The match ended in a draw with rain washing out the last day's play.

* Lord's, 1998: One-day game - MCC v/s World XI: Both sides again featured players from different countries. Sachin Tendulkar captained the World XI. The game was played for the Princess of Wales (Diana) Memorial Fund, on Dr. W.G. Grace's 150th birth anniversary. The game fetched around 5,20,000 Pounds. MCC XI batted first and scored 261-4 off 50 overs with Shivnavine Chanderpaul making an unbeaten 127. The World XI was superbly guided by Tendulkar, who made a swashbuckling 125, and Aravinda De Silva, who scored 82. World XI won by six wickets with 39 balls to spare .


* Dhaka, 2000 : One-day game - Asia v/s World: A keenly contested game, it was part of the ICC's worldwide 'Cricket Week' Celebrations. Asia batted first and amassed 320-9 off 50 overs. Australian Michael Bevan then batted exceedingly well to bring the World XI to the brink of a sensational win. He was on strike off the last ball, with World XI needing six to win. He got a boundary, and returned to the pavilion with 185 runs to his name. Asia thus won by one run.

* Melbourne, 10th January 2005: Asia v/s World - Tsunami Relief Fund match The World and Asian sides were led by Ricky Ponting and Sourav Ganguly respectively. World XI elected to bat after winning the toss and scored a monumental 344-8 off the allotted 50 overs. Ponting scored a brilliant 115. Asia were bowled out for 232 in just under 40 overs with Rahul Dravid top-scoring with 75.

* Lord's, 14th June 2005:

Another Tsunami Relief game between an MCC XI and an International XI.

Most of the batsmen currently ruling the roost in one-day cricket possess all the shots in the book. Hence, the 'outfielders' also have to stay focussed. One of the best ways of boosting the confidence of your teammates is to save a boundary or take a difficult catch.

Fielders in positions like backward point, short mid-wicket and short extra-cover should be 'alive' all the time, for it is their job to swoop on the ball and make the batsmen think twice before tapping the ball and running. These fielders have to be agile enough to intercept cuts and drives, which are the scoring shots of most top batsmen. Jonty Rhodes, Ricky Ponting, Yuvraj Singh and Mohammed Kaif are some of the best fielding exponents in these positions.

Batting in one-dayers is also more taxing than in first-class matches. Yes, the batsmen thrive in one-day games on the sub-continent, with the wickets tailormade for them. But nothing comes easy at the highest level.

Running between the wickets is an aspect of batting whose importance is unmatched in one-dayers. It is not easy to find the boundary consistently once the fielding restrictions have been lifted. What does the batting side do in such a situation? This stage calls for consolidation, by taking singles and twos, and ensuring that the scoring rate remains healthy. Singles can be as effective as fours and sixes. Every batting side should remember that even if it scores a single off every ball of a 50-over game, it will still reach 300, an imposing total by all means! Taking singles and twos consistently keeps the fielders on their toes, and people who are made to concentrate for such a long period of time are prone to making mistakes, like conceding extra runs and overthrows.

Effective running between the wickets enables a batting side to seize the initiative. Skilful rotation of the strike affects the rhythm of the bowlers and unsettles them. If a right-hander and left-hander are batting together, the constant switching of the strike means that the bowlers have to alter their line. If a tall batsman is in the middle with a short one, the bowlers have to keep altering their length. In both cases, the bowlers are unable to get into a groove. As the pundits always emphasise, running between the wickets is all about communication and judgement. The longer a partnership lasts, the better is the calling. Batting also becomes much simpler.


  do you kow him
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  do you recognize him
  Spot The Difference
1 AustraliaAustralia 118
2 IndiaIndia 112
3 cricketPakistan 111
4 EnglandEngland 108
5 AustraliaNew Zealand 98
6 SouthSouth Africa 92
7 sri LankaSri Lanka 85
8 West IndiesWest Indies 65
9 BangladeshBangladesh 57
10 ZimbabweZimbabwe 48
1 AustraliaAustralia 123
2 new ZealandNew Zealand 113
3 ZimbabweIndia 110
4 South AfricaSouth Africa 110
5 EnglandEngland 106
6 sri LankaSri Lanka 102
7 BangladeshBangladesh 98
8 countryWest Indies 94
9 cricket Pakistan 87
10 AfghanistanAfghanistan 49
1 New ZealandNew Zealand 132
2 IndiaIndia 128
3 west IndiesWest Indies 122
4 AfricaSouth Africa 119
5 EnglandEngland 116
6 AustraliaAustralia 110
7 Pakistan Pakistan 104
8 sri LankaSri Lanka 96
9 AfghanistanAfghanistan 78
10 BangladeshBangladesh 74
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