🏏 Hypothetical cricket challenge

Driving home from Dorset yesterday I heard Adrian Chiles posing this hypothetical question on the radio and it intrigued me.

I thought the real cricket boreZzz of Sotonians would like it.

In a 50 over ODI style game, who would win if a team of the top bowlers in the world played the top batsmen?


Alex Stewart had three goes at answering and convinced himself to change his mind each time.

What do you reckon?

Best batsmen…

1 Virat KohliVirat KohliIndia 911 911 v England, 12/07/2018
2 Babar AzamBabar AzamPakistan 825 846 v Sri Lanka, 20/10/2017
3 Joe RootJoe RootEngland 818 818 v Australia, 19/01/2018
4 Rohit SharmaRohit SharmaIndia 806 825 v Sri Lanka, 13/12/2017
5 David WarnerDavid WarnerAustralia 803 880 v Pakistan, 26/01/2017
6 Ross TaylorRoss TaylorNew Zealand 785 789 v England, 07/03/2018
7 Quinton de KockQuinton de KockSouth Africa 783 808 v Bangladesh, 22/10/2017
8 Faf du PlessisFaf du PlessisSouth Africa 782 802 v India, 01/02/2018
9 Kane WilliamsonKane WilliamsonNew Zealand 778 798 v Zimbabwe, 07/08/2015
10 Shikhar DhawanShikhar DhawanIndia 770 794 v South Africa, 22/02/2015

Best bowlers

1 Jasprit BumrahJasprit BumrahIndia 775 787 v South Africa, 16/02/2018
2 Rashid KhanRashid KhanAfghanistan 763 787 v Zimbabwe, 19/02/2018
3 Hasan AliHasan AliPakistan 742 766 v New Zealand, 06/01/2018
4 Trent BoultTrent BoultNew Zealand 699 766 v India, 20/10/2016
5 Josh HazlewoodJosh HazlewoodAustralia 696 733 v England, 26/01/2018
6 Kuldeep YadavKuldeep YadavIndia 684 698 v England, 14/07/2018
7 Imran TahirImran TahirSouth Africa 683 786 v Sri Lanka, 04/02/2017
8 Adil RashidAdil RashidEngland 681 681 v India, 17/07/2018
9 Kagiso RabadaKagiso RabadaSouth Africa 679 724 v England, 29/05/2017
10 Yuzvendra ChahalYuzvendra ChahalIndia 666 668 v England, 14/07/2018

Best all-rounders (although I don’t know where they go!l)

1 Shakib Al HasanShakib Al HasanBangladesh 363 453 v Zimbabwe, 05/11/2009
2 Mohammad NabiMohammad NabiAfghanistan 324 349 v Zimbabwe, 26/02/2017
3 Mohammad HafeezMohammad HafeezPakistan 322 362 v Sri Lanka, 16/10/2017
4 Mitchell SantnerMitchell SantnerNew Zealand 317 317 v England, 10/03/2018
5 Angelo MathewsAngelo MathewsSri Lanka 306 427 v England, 07/12/2014
6 Moeen AliMoeen AliEngland 301 306 v Australia, 24/06/2018
7 Rashid KhanRashid KhanAfghanistan 298 311 v Zimbabwe, 19/02/2018
8 Chris WoakesChris WoakesEngland 285 313 v New Zealand, 10/03/2018
9 Jason HolderJason HolderWest Indies 283 313 v Zimbabwe, 19/03/2018
10 Mitchell MarshMitchell MarshAustralia 260 322 v New Zealand, 06/12/2016

It would depend on who batted first.

If the Bowlers batted first and managed to see out all 50 overs because the batsmen cannot get them out. the target low as it might be the bowlers would know that they have to bowl good consistent overs to get the batsmen out in less than 50 overs.

If the Batters are in first and put a massive score on the board they will know that the bowlers will never reach. they will have 50 overs to bowl them out.

So who ever bats first will win.


I need a prediction. Not “it depends”.

Anyway, what if the batsmen are in first and don’t get a massive score ?

whoever bats first will win is the prediction.

so it will be decided on the coin toss.

The bowlers

They generally have to bat a bit against decent bowlers in every match they play so they ought to sort out the pie chuckers easily enough.

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You see @PhilippineSaint, that’s how you do it. Just like @CB-Saint did, you stick your neck out and make a prediction

I can’t believe you took.an interesting concept, considered it for a while and then reach no conclusion.

It was like watching a Test match.

Art imitating life?

But I did reach a conclusion whoever bats first will win so if the bowlers win the coin toss and put the batsmen in the batsmen will win and vice versa. or if the batsmen win the toss and decide to bat they will win and vice versa.

its simples gents whoever bats first wins. which is decided on the toss of a coin.

Nope. Not having it and it’s my thread. So boo to you.

You changed the conditions of the question.

I mean I could have said “it depends if there is an earthquake in the second innings. Whoever batted first would win.”

Forget the qualifications, bowlers or batters who would win?

In the current era, the Bowlers.
Batsmen have lost the ability to stick it out in the way Mike Atherton did in SA all those years ago. Cricket is more exciting for it than the days of say Chris Tavare hanging around scoring 10 runs an hour.
If you go back in time then say to the Richards, Greenidge era it would be batsmen that would shave it.
The Bradman era batsmen would walk it.
Now, will you STFU @saintbletch and let me die in peace.
Bloody Polish.

You been sniffing this again?

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BTW it’s ODI not Tests.

Surely that would be match abandoned? Very unfair otherwise.

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Life’s unfair, @Fatso.

Coin toss came out heads.
Who wins?

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OK, I would suggest that the 11 best bowlers in the world would, very likely, get through the 11 best batsmen or at least restrict their run rates.

There seems to be a good mix of spin and fast bowling in the bowling line up so, given it’s a ODI, the captain would be able to mix up the bowling quite easily.

Best batsmen, apart from Root, I don’t think bowl so even if the bowlers couldn’t bat, and I think a few of them can, then they would be able to chase/set a score. I should imagine quite a few runs would be quite streaky too.

So, if it were a 10 match ODI series I would suggest that the batsmen would come out of top 6-4.

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Who called heads?

Only you know that.