A gradual but inevitable descent into cricket-based loathing and bile.

The Alphabet XIs: J

Posted on January 22, 2012 by in Opinion

It’s been a while since we published the previous edition of this feature, mostly because we have been trying to find an alternative to Mitchell Johnson. Although Aqib Javed was an option, he just missed out. We also thought long and hard about Douglas Jardine, but with one Test century to his name, he was ultimately rejected. It’s not as if this team will be short of leaders.

  1. Wasim Jaffer (India 2000-2008) 31 Tests 1944 runs @ 34.10 Right-handed opening batsman who had to wait six years from his debut to score a Test century. By his final match, he had scored five, including two doubles.
  2. Sanath Jayasuriya (Sri Lanka 1991-2007) 110 Tests 6973 runs @ 40.07, 98 wickets @ 34.34 Although more recognised for his incredible feats in limited overs cricket, Jayasuriya’s Test record is also more than handy. He started as an all-rounder batting down the order, before being promoted to opener. His 14 centuries include a highest score of 340.
  3. Andrew Jones (New Zealand 1987-1995) 39 Tests 2922 runs @44.27 A late bloomer – he debuted at the age of 27 – who for several years became a mainstay of a mostly unsuccessful New Zealand team. Scored 513 runs in three Tests, including three consecutive centuries, in the 1991 series against Sri Lanka.
  4. *Mahela Jayawardene (Sri Lanka 1997-2012) 128 Tests 10086 runs @ 50.43 Few players have scored as many Test match runs as this calm and classy batsman, who has so far compiled six scores in excess of 200. As captain, he averaged 66.93 from 28 matches.
  5. Dean Jones (Australia 1984-1992) 52 Tests 3631 runs @ 46.55 Attacking batsman who scored an incredible 210 in the tied Test in Madras despite dehydration and vomiting.
  6. Stanley Jackson (England 1893-1905) 20 Tests 1415 runs @ 48.79, 24 wickets @ 33.29 Headed the batting and bowling averages in the 1905 Ashes as captain. Winston Churchill was his fag at Harrow. Served as a soldier in the Boer War and Great War and became an MP and Governor of Bengal. Full title: Colonel The Honourable Sir Francis Stanley Jackson, GCSI, GCIE, PC, KStJn which just shades Ian Ronald Bell MBE.
  7. +Prasanna Jayawardene (Sri Lanka 2000-2011) 43 Tests 1594 runs @ 31.88 , 99 catches 8 stumpings An impressive and consistent wicket-keeper, the third Sri Lankan in this side just edges out Ridley Jacobs and Geraint Jones. Also capable of very handy runs with the bat, evidenced by four Test centuries.
  8. Mitchell Johnson (Australia 2007-2011) 47 Tests 1287 runs @ 21.81 190 wickets @ 31.29 Left arm quick bowler whose star shone brightly, but shortly. Capable of running through sides, but also of bowling like the proverbial drain. Has a mother.
  9. Ian Johnson (Australia 1946-1956) 45 Tests 1000 runs @ 18.51, 109 wickets @ 29.19 An off-spinner who became a respected, if often unsuccessful, captain of his country in the 1950s.
  10. Simon Jones (England 2002-2005) 18 Tests 205 runs @ 15.76 59 wickets @ 28.23 Highly-regarded exponent of fast reverse-swing, Jones could have been one of the leading cricketers of his decade, were it not for a string of terrible injuries.
  11. Bill Johnston (Australia 1947-1955) 40 Tests 273 runs @ 11.37, 160 wickets @ 23.91 As someone who could bowl both fast-medium and off-breaks, Johnston was a valued member of a fine Australian side. In the kind of quirk that makes cricket unique, he had the best batting average of the 1953 first-class season: 102 runs from 17 innings in which he was dismissed once.

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