Look, by now you know I’m something of a cricket tragic.
Well, proper cricket.
Don’t get me started on Twenty20 – does anyone remember who won last week, last month or last year? Didn’t think so! – but the longer forms of the game are my favourite of all sports.
Maybe it’s long lost summer days in front of the box or the radio. Maybe it’s that in summer at least, we can all follow the same sport, rather than being splintered into the different winter codes.
Or maybe it’s just slow, careful indoctrination by Richie, Bill, Tony, Ian, Greg and Max on Channel 9, and the voice of summer, Jim Maxwell on the ABC for a few decades!
In any event, this morning is both an exciting time – the fifth Ashes Test starts today, as if you didn’t know – and a bittersweet one: it’s the fifth of five, so the summer of cricket is drawing to a premature close.
And look, if I can find an excuse to put cricket and investing together, you just know I’m going to take it, right?
So, at the suggestion of one of my Twitter followers, Tristan, I got the investing team to nominate an ASX Test XI – the 11 companies we’d pick, if we were putting together a Test team to take on the rest of the investing world.
Now, a few things.
As with cricket, the panel didn’t agree on every position. And, as self-appointed Chairman of Selectors, I might have made some final calls (sorry, team!), but I tried to represent the views of the whole investment team in the selections.
Second, and again just like cricket, we’ve tried to pick players for positions. But remember, this is just a little fun, so don’t get too caught up in the nitty gritty.
Next, we don’t expect you to agree. Which is fantastic, because we’d love you to wander over to our Twitter, Facebook and Instagram pages to share your thoughts on who you’d pick and who you’d drop!
What I will tell you is that each company was nominated by at least one of the investing team (and more often, more than one) and they’re all companies we think are long term market-beaters.
Not only do you get to have a little fun with this, but I hope you might get a few stock ideas, too!
And for what it’s worth, this is a Test team that we think has long-term promise. We’re ‘pick-and-commit’ selectors, aiming for a side that’ll be together for a long time to come.
So, to the list:
To open the batting, we’re looking for solid, reliable, sensible characters with great technique.
Now, at first drop, the player who can still take some shine off the ball if an early wicket falls, but is also capable of building a big innings.
3. Steadfast Group Ltd (ASX: SDF)
Then to the best batter in the side. Great average, classy stroke-making and always more likely than not of putting together a big score
4. Xero Limited (ASX: XRO)
Next one in should be a solid player, capable of accumulating runs, and hanging around to add meaningfully to the score while batting with the tail.
5. Macquarie Group Ltd (ASX: MQG)
The team’s all-rounder is next in the batting order. Adds real value with both bat and ball. Quality teammate who brings diversification to the side
6. Betashares NASDAQ 100 ETF (ASX: NDQ)
Our ‘keeper is a vital part of the side, playing a specialist role, but also adding runs, encouraging the bowlers and keeping morale high during long days in the field. Reliable as they come.
7. Wesfarmers Ltd (ASX: WES)
Then we’re getting into the bowlers. First is the guy or girl who is a reliable line-and-length bowler, who can maybe add a couple of runs, or hold up an end to give the recognised batter a chance to do the same.
8. Brickworks Limited (ASX: BKW)
Then our mercurial spinner. More than a few tricks up the sleeve. Mercurial. Out and out match-winner… sometimes.
9. Catapult Group International Ltd (ASX: CAT)
Then the best bowler in the side. Wonderful line and length. Metronomic, but also takes wickets. Frustrates batters into mistakes. Best bowling average in the side
10. Washington H. Soul Pattinson and Co. Ltd (ASX: SOL)
Then the strike bowler. Takes three-for-none or bowls a brace of wides and goes wicketless. But you wouldn’t be without them, especially in Test cricket over a long series.
11. Dubber Corp Ltd (ASX:DUB)
Well, that’s our XI.
Given that there is usually more than one cricketer carrying the drinks, these days, we’ll add in a near miss for the starting XI in Kogan.com (ASX: KGN), and then a couple who were unlucky to miss out, given the quality of the team: Nanosonics Ltd. (ASX: NAN) and Pinnacle Investment Management Group Ltd (ASX: PNI).
Perhaps, like Scotty Boland, some of those names are new to you. Hopefully, then, you’ll have some new ideas to research.
And if you flat out disagree, that’s fine, too! Who do you think we should have included, instead?
And bring on the Test!