Forget The Best: Picking The Worst Test Match Batsmen XI Of All-Time

Courtney Walsh holds the record for the most number of ducks and is considered as one of the worst test match batsmen of all-time

Picking The Worst Test Match Batsmen XI

We spend so much time eulogising about the best players on the planet, comparing the likes of Ben Stokes, Virat Kohli, Kane Williamson, and Steve Smith, we don’t give a second thought to the humble last man. We’ve taken a look at the worst test match batsmen eleven of all time in Test cricket and attempted to compile a team from them.

The number eleven can be a pivotal batting position, for all the wrong reasons, a man who’s batting prowess is thought so little of, but often expected so much is expected of.

Speaking from experience it can be an agonising existence being the last batter in waiting, often arriving in the middle with the game on a knife-edge with an emphasis and occasional expectancy on your ability to either survive or hit the winning runs – despite you batting number eleven for one reason, you aren’t very good.

BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND – AUGUST 03: James Anderson of England shows discomfort from a calf injury while batting during day three of the 1st Specsavers Ashes Test between England and Australia at Edgbaston on August 03, 2019 in Birmingham, England. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

England and West Indies are currently embroiled in an enthralling Test series, do any of Shannon Gabriel or James Anderson warrant a place in our worst test match batsmen side?

Forget the best: Here’s how our Worst Test Match Batsmen Number Eleven XI lines up:

The Openers 

Glenn McGrath and Meryvn Dillon

Glenn McGrath is considered as one of the worst test match batsmen of all-time
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA: Australian batsman Mike Hussey (L) and Glenn McGrath (R) congratulate each other after a record stand against South Africa on the second day of the second Test Match against South Africa being played at the MCG, in Melbourne 27 December 2005. Hussey, with tailender Glenn McGrath put on 107 runs for the last wicket before Australia was dismissed for 355. AFP PHOTO/William WEST (Photo credit should read WILLIAM WEST/AFP via Getty Images)

Mervyn Dillon – West Indian fast bowler Mervyn Dillon opens for the worst number eleven’s side. Not the worst we’ve ever seen but hardly a joy to behold either. 26 ducks and four pairs to his name, he did however once muster 43 whilst batting eight v India. Test Match Batting Average: 8.44 Top Score: 43

Watch – Glenn McGrath’s Only Test Match Half-Century

Glenn McGrath – One of the best bowlers the world has seen. Far from it with the bat in hand. At times a walking wicket although he did muster a half-century v New Zealand in 2010, it seems every dog does have it’s day. Average 7.36 Top Score: 61

Also, Read – Top 5 Most Test Match Wickets For Australia

Glenn McGrath and Mervyn Dillon open the batting in our worst test match batsmen XI.

The Middle Order 

Monty Panesar, Alan Mullally and Fidel Edwards

CHELMSFORD, ENGLAND – APRIL 20: Monty Panesar of Essex batting during Day Two of the Division Two LV County Championship match between Essex and Kent at the Essex County Cricket Ground, on April 20, 2015 in Chelmsford, England. (Photo by Mitchell Gunn/Getty Images)

Monty Panesar – Safe to say batting and fielding weren’t Monty’s strong suits. A brilliant bowler with infectious enthusiasm. Once batted out the final overs of an Ashes Test under intense scrutiny, a highlight in an otherwise lamentable batting career. With 20 Test match ducks, he was a shoo-in Average: 4.88 Top Score: 26

Monty Panesar and James Anderson Save England

Fidel Edwards – Dismissed for ducks on 19 occasions in his 88 Test innings. The West Indies pace bowler who has represented Hampshire of late in county cricket is worthy of his spot at number four in this side. Average: 6.56 Top Score: 30

Alan Mullally – Seemingly had plenty of ability with the bat, although his aggressive strokeplay often got the better of him. His first-class high of 75 was more befitting of his ability, though he never proved it in Tests. Average: 5.52 Top Score: 24

Monty Panesar, Fidel Edwards and Alan Mullally form the middle-order in our worst test match batsmen XI.

The Lower Order – Worst Test Match Batsmen XI

Shannon Gabriel and Danish Kaneria

West Indies’ batsman Shannon Gabriel is bowled off Pakistan’s bowler Mohammad Amir on day three of the first Test match between West Indies and Pakistan at the Sabina Park in Kingston, Jamaica, on April 23, 2017.
West Indies scored 286/10, at the end of their first innings. / AFP PHOTO / Jewel SAMAD (Photo credit should read JEWEL SAMAD/AFP via Getty Images)

Danish Kaneria – The wonderful Pakistan leg-spinner often left plenty to be desired with the bat. Spinners notoriously offer a little more than other bowlers with the bat in hand – not Kaneria. Average: 7.05 Top Score: 29

Watch – Shannon Gabriel is bowled by Chris Woakes

Shannon Gabriel – Had to be involved, a fearsome bowler, without doubt, struggles to make the same impact with the bat. Has four runs in three innings during the ongoing series. His most infamous moment came in 2017 when with seven balls remaining in a Test with Pakistan, he had an almighty swipe at a delivery, only to be clean bowled – thus losing the match. Average: 4.63 Top Score: 20*

Shannon Gabriel and Danish Kaneria make up our lower-order in our worst test match batsmen XI.

The Bowlers – Worst Test Match Batsmen XI 

Phil Tufnell, Courtney Walsh, Pommie Mbangwa and Chris Martin

South Africa’s bowler Makhaya Ntini (C) is congratulated by team-mate Hashim Amla (R) for dismissing New Zealand’s last batsman Chris Martin(L) 17 November 2007 on the 2nd day of the 2nd Cricket Test between South Africa and New Zealand at SuperSport Park in Centurion 40 Km north of Johannesburg . AFP PHOTO /ALEXANDER JOE (Photo credit should read ALEXANDER JOE/AFP via Getty Images)

Phil Tufnell – Self-confessed dislike of any bowler who troubled the higher echelons of the speed gun, affectionately known as ‘The Cat’, Tufnell was often made to look silly during his duels with Shane Warne. Average: 5.10 Top Score: 22*

Courtney Walsh – Purely the unwanted record of the most ducks in the history of Test cricket is enough to earn Walsh his spot. An outstanding 43 scores of zero is a phenomenal effort, thankfully he inflicted a few to opposition batsmen down the years also. Average: 7.54 Top Score: 30*

Also, Read – Picking The West Indies Best Test XI

Pommie Mbangwa – The recently retired Zimbabwean swing bowler is now a famous voice amongst commentary boxes around the world. Unfortunately for Pommie, he was never likely to be famous for his run-scoring ability. Average: 2.00 Top Score: 8

Chris Martin – Only one man could bat eleven in the worst test match batsmen side. Chris Martin, the fine New Zealand bowler with bags of wickets, was almost equally as legendary for his poor batting. He reached double figures just once in his career against Bangladesh. Average: 2.36 Top Score: 12*

The number eleven of all number elevens. Chris Martin is the worst batsmen in our worst test match batsmen XI.

The Worst Test Match Batsmen XI

Glenn McGrath, Mervyn Dillon, Monty Panesar, Fidel Edwards, Alan Mullally, Shannon Gabriel, Courtney Walsh, Pommie Mbangwa, Phil Tufnell, Chris Martin.

I think we can all agree this team is full of talented individuals, albeit primarily in the bowling capacity. Should each player reach their highest score, they may just have the bowling prowess to win the odd Test match.


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