Top trio in frame to play

IT’S not an easy task to pick a top-order for the Dream Team as there are sure to be several candidates all capable of dismantling the best bowling attacks on offer.

The batsmen who bat at positions 3 and 4 in the order are typically the most technically proficient with the best stroke play. They must aim to make a large number of runs. They may also be exposed to the new ball if an opener loses his wicket early.

Some of the best batsmen to ever grace the cricket field have been top-order batsmen.

The likes of Bradman, Lara, Tendulkar and Ponting were all great stroke-players who had no hesitation in taking on the bowlers.

So who will bat in the coveted 3 and 4 positions?

Here are three batsmen sure to be in the mix.

Russell Ellem

A talented all-rounder and supreme athlete, Russell continually topped the batting and bowling averages.

In 1950 he played against the touring MCC, top-scoring with 40 runs and taking 3-10 with the ball.

Russell also played for Balmain in the Sydney first-grade competition facing the likes of the great Keith Miller and Jim Bourke.

Russell continually dominated the inter-district scene, topping both the batting and bowling averages.

In an illustrious career Russell scored 43 hundreds, including a highest score of 193, made 70 half centuries, took five wickets in an innings on 71 occasions and bagged four hat-tricks.

John Frame

An all-rounder of prodigious talent, John was all class with both bat and ball.

Arguably one of the best products to come out of the Clarence, John dominated local cricket for close to four decades.

He represented NSW Country several times and played against touring sides from Sri Lanka and New Zealand.

A dynamic left-hand batsman, John regularly tore opposition bowling attacks apart with his aggressive batting. He scored many centuries and posted a top score of 202.

John won the CRCA all-rounder of the year award six times and the highest batting aggregate on six occasions.

Robert Stevens

A dashing left-hand batsman who played shots both sides of the wicket. His elegant batting style was a joy to watch and his ability to punish the loose delivery combined with water-tight defence gained him the reputation as one of the best batsman in the Clarence.

Rob’s hunger for runs was emphasised by his running between the wickets and his uncanny ability to place the ball into the gap.

Rob was also a handy first-change bowler and a brilliant fieldsman.

Pick up next week’s Examiner for a list of some of the middle-order contenders.

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