Just like cricinfo, I thought of picking an all time team for West Indies. As expected, I found it a task of mammoth proportions to pick the all time West Indies team as over the years, many legends have played for West Indies.
Anyway, my team
It was tough to leave out so many legends, but as we know that only eleven players can be picked in a side. Anyway, my explanations for leaving out some of the great players.
I picked both Haynes and Greenidge as they forged together a great opening partnership. Between them, they have amassed as many as 6482 runs, which even now stands as the record for the highest number of runs scored by any pair in history of test cricket. It was very tough to leave out Fedricks and especially Hunte, but Haynes and Greenidge were so good at top of the order that I won't like to separate them.
In the middle-order, there are so many great players to consider like Richardson, Kahnai, Kallicharan, Nurse, 3 W'S, Loyd and even Chanders, but I couldn't find a middle-order better than Headley,Lara and Richards. I did consider Loyd as well as Sir Frank Worrell as they were great captains, but I just couldn't think of leaving anyone out of Headley, Richards and Lara.
I don't think anyone would argue with Sobers being the all-rounder in the Windies side, but there were a few cricketers, who were very good in their own right like Learie Constantine, a bowler who could bowl at real pace and was said to be a fine striker of the ball too. Another player who is worth a mention is Gomez. He did well in the 50's as a all-rounder, but when it comes to choosing a all-rounder in the Windies all time team, it is hard to look past Sobers!
I did think of Walcott, but he was mainly a batsman. I also thought of Deryck Murray, but Dujon was perhaps the best keeper of the three and was a fine batsman too. So, I went for Dujon.
It is always a real headache to select fast bowlers as West Indies in the past, has seen so many legendary fast bowlers playing for them. One can think of great bowlers like Ambrose, Holding, Walsh, Marshall, Garner, Croft, C.Griffith, Roberts, Hall, Garner, and maybe S.Clarke. (He could have become a great fast bowler, but played in an era, when they had great fast bowlers and eventually, joined the rebel tour) Actually, even bowlers like H.Griffiths, Martin Dale, Bishop, W.Davies, R.Gilchrist, Francis and co. would do a fine job, but unfortunately, one can't select everyone. So, I went for Holding, Ambrose and Marshall. Holding was a strike bowler, Marshall was a complete fast bowler and I selected Ambrose for his ability to get awkward bounce and for his unrelenting accuracy. I found it tough to leave out Garner as he was similar to Amby, but I grew up watching Amby destroy so many batting line-ups which perhaps made me prefer Amby. Actually, I have seen equal number of supporters for both Garner and Amby, so it maybe better to toss a coin to see who should get selected!
Finally, let us look at selecting the spinner in the side. Actually, I was tempted to select four fast bowlers as so many great fast bowlers have played for the Windies side and Sobers could bowl chinaman, but Gibbs was himself a great bowler and I would like to have variety in the bowling attack. The tall off spinner took as many as 309 wickets and was rarely ever hit around.
I would just say that selecting the all time West Indies side can be a real headache as they have produced so many legendary cricketers. Actually, one can come up with few more teams, which can look as good as the team that I have selected or maybe better!!