Alex Massie

Australian Summary

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Having come-off second-best in our West Indies game, I'm duty bound to suggest (gently) that I've had the better of Norm in the Australian leg of the series. In large part, of course, this reflects the luxury of being able to select Don Bradman with the first pick, just as Norm benefitted from choosing Gary Sobers first last time. In each case the player picking first has been able to acquire two players for the price of one. That's quite an advantage.

Having Bradman in my side permitted me to pick Keith Miller second, to provide balance, and my two favourite Aussie fast bowlers with my third and fourth selections. After that, the bonus was remembering that Bill O'Reilly was eligible for selection, thanks to a solitary test in 1946. His presence, plus that of Ritchie Benaud, ensures that my side is also stronger in spin-bowling than Norm's. 

Norm's side benefits from Gilchrest's presence obviously, but Healy, Benaud and Lindwall ensure my team bats down to 9. I'd also suggest that in Miller, Morris and Harvey my team also has the cricketers to play with greater style and panache than Norm's (Warne and Gilchrest excepted).

I was all set to make Keith Miller skipper - even though he never captained Australia - until I remembered that I had in fact also picked Richie Benaud who must, the claims of Bradman and Chappell notwithstanding, be given the job.

Written byAlex Massie

Alex Massie is Scotland Editor of The Spectator. He also writes a column for The Times and is a regular contributor to the Scottish Daily Mail, The Scotsman and other publications.

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