Three current players – Joe Root, Alastair Cook and James Anderson – have made the best-ever England men’s Test XI as voted for by cricket fans across the country.
More than 6,000 people picked a team from over 100 players in a survey to celebrate the 1,000th England men’s Test match, which gets underway against India on Wednesday, live on Sky Sports.
Test captain Root, who has a batting average of 52.28, is included alongside England’s all-time leading Test run scorer Cook (12,145) and England’s top Test wicket-taker Anderson (540).
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August 1, 2018, 10:00am
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Opening with Cook in the best-ever XI is the great Sir Len Hutton, who still holds the record for the highest individual innings in a Test match for England – which he set in 1938 with 364 against Australia at The Oval.
At three and four are two former England captains in David Gower (117 Tests, 44.25 average) and Kevin Pietersen (104 Tests, 47.28 average) – with Root scheduled to bat at five.
The all-rounder in the side is the one and only Sir Ian Botham, who scored 5,200 runs, claimed 383 wickets and took 120 catches in 102 Test matches.
Alan Knott got the nod as wicketkeeper having claimed the most dismissals by an England gloveman in Test cricket with 269 (250 catches and 19 stumpings) in 95 matches.
The fans have voted for one spinner and that man is Graeme Swann, who took 255 wickets in his 60 Tests between 2008 and 2013, playing a key role as part of an England team who reached top spot in the Test rankings.
And Anderson is joined in a formidable pace attack by Yorkshire legend Fred Trueman (307 wickets in 67 Tests) and Bob Willis (325 wickets in 90 Tests, including 8-43 in historic 1981 win over Australia).
Root said: “To be selected in the best-ever England men’s Test XI side by cricket fans across the country is incredibly humbling.
“When I think of some of the incredible players who haven’t made the cut, legends of the game such as Denis Compton and Wally Hammond, I’m not sure I would have voted for myself, but I certainly want to thank the fans for thinking of me.
“It’s great to see my current team-mates Alastair Cook and James Anderson be recognised for their contributions to England Test cricket too.”
ECB Chief Executive Officer Tom Harrison added: “To be playing our 1000th men’s Test is a true testament to the enduring importance of Test cricket.
“It is the pinnacle for players and fans at home and abroad.
“This selection, chosen by England followers, has Test careers ranging from 1937 to the present day, and encapsulates both the history of this great game and showcases the fine players we’ve produced in this country.”
England best-ever Test XI:
Alastair Cook, Sir Len Hutton, David Gower, Kevin Pietersen, Joe Root, Sir Ian Botham, Alan Knott (w), Graeme Swann, Fred Trueman, James Anderson, Bob Willis