Top row, from left: George Ulyett, Billy Zulch, Qasim Umar, Polly Umrigar (c), Billy Quaife, Tim Zoehrer (wk) Bottom row, from left: Iqbal Qasim, Abdul Qadir, Derek Underwood, Zaheer Khan , Neville Quinn    Getty Images and Wikimedia Commons
Top row, from left: George Ulyett, Billy Zulch, Qasim Umar, Polly Umrigar (c), Billy Quaife, Tim Zoehrer (wk)
Bottom row, from left: Iqbal Qasim, Abdul Qadir, Derek Underwood, Zaheer Khan, Neville Quinn Getty Images and Wikimedia Commons

Alphabetical All-Time XIs are great fun. Composing one from the cricketers with their last names starting with the unusual letters Q, U, X and Z, Arunabha Sengupta finds a side with an unusually strong spin attack.

Throughout the series we have considered cricketers who have played Test cricket, and whenever possible we have gone for players with a decent sample size of Tests under their belts.

If we proceed with these criteria in mind, it is impossible to get XIs for the alphabets Q, U and Z; while there is no cricketer with the surname starting with X who has come anywhere near to playing Tests.

Hence, the alternative option is to combine the letters Q, U, X and Z to form the 23rd and final XI of this series.

Even that is a rather difficult task, with only a handful cricketers in each of these lexicographic categories. However, it is not impossible.

Indeed, even in this small collection, there are some really big names. The first that pops up belongs to the Kent and England left-arm spinning great Derek Underwood: 297 wickets at 25.83, and few doubt that with his medium-paced spin he was the greatest left-armer of his era. Or perhaps the greatest spinner of his times.

The other great name under these letters belongs to the old England professional all-rounder George Ulyett. A man good enough to open both the batting and bowling for England, Ulyett was undoubtedly one of the first great all-rounders in Test cricket.

Also under U we have the Indian middle order maestro of the 1950s and 1960s Polly Umrigar, the man who held most of the national batting records till the mid to late 1970s before being overtaken by Sunil Gavaskar.

Qasim Umar too has a decent record, with 1,502 runs in 26 Tests at 36.63. Had he not blown the whistle on the some early suspects of match-fixing in his day, he would have perhaps gone on to play many more Tests.

Under Q we do have two other excellent spinners to join their fingers with Underwood. Abdul Qadir kept the tradition of leg-spin alive through the spin-unfriendly decade of the 1980s, while Iqbal Qasim was perhaps the most underrated spinner of that era, his left-armers yielding better numbers than the likes of Bishan Singh Bedi and EAS Prasanna.

True, Underwood is already there as a left-arm spinner in the side. But his medium-paced spinners are different enough to be classified as a diverse category and I see no difficulty in playing both him and Qasim in the same team.

Moving to Z, we have one obvious choice in Zaheer Khan with his 311 wickets at 32.94 apiece.

And another man who gets into one of the slots for the openers is the South African stalwart Billy Zulch, one of the country s best batters on either side of the First World War.

A rather obscure cricketer who comes in brandishing surprisingly good numbers is Zulfiqar Ahmed, the off-spinning all-rounder who played 9 Tests for Pakistan during their early Test cricketing years. However, if we look at his career carefully the figures seem to be bloated by Tests against the weak New Zealand side of the 1950s.

With not many to choose from, Nuwan Zoysa would seem a medium-pacer of quality we cannot afford to ignore. However, even this motley crew has some depth and we have to leave the Sri Lankan out to make room for Neville Quinn, the left-arm medium fast bowler of South Africa who impressed Don Bradman so much when he visited Australia.

Hence the bowling line-up is more or less settled, with Zaheer and Quinn to be followed by the seam of Ulyett, and the triple spin attack of Underwood, Qadir and Qasim. There is also the medium-pace of Umrigar to fall back on. On a turning track, this bowling unit can be really deadly.

Tim Zoehrer is the man to keep wickets, his broader experience of 10 Tests pipping the claims of Zulqarnain. Even he was a decent leg-spinner.

Hence, alongside Zulch, Umrigar and Qasim Umar and Ulyett, we now need one more batsman to make up the numbers.

Here we need to consider a cricketer with a rather ordinary Test records but excellent First-Class numbers to fall back on. Willie Quaife was for long a stalwart for Warwickshire, with more than 36,000 runs from the middle-order and also 931 wickets with his leg-breaks.

Thus, not only does the side have a trio of excellent spinners, there is also some back-up spin options.

Not the most balanced of the strongest of sides, but it does possess a brilliant spin attack.

Hence the team:

Name R Ave W Ave
George Ulyett 949 24.33 50 20.4
Billy Zulch 983 32.76
Qasim Umar 1,502 36.63
Polly Umrigar (c) 3,631 42.22 35 42.08
Billy Quaife 228 19
Tim Zoehrer (wk) 246 20.5 18 (Ct) 1 (St)
Iqbal Qasim 549 13.07 171 28.11
Abdul Qadir 1,029 15.59 236 32.8
Derek Underwood 937 11.56 297 25.83
Zaheer Khan 1,231 11.95 311 32.94
Neville Quinn 90 6 35 32.71

12th man: Zulqarnain

Manager: Shaun Udal