Before his retirement, former England captain Alastair Cook had picked out his all-time best eleven. A notable aspect in that is that there was not a single Indian player in his line-up despite India having produced some of the greatest players in Test cricket.
Alastair Cook retired in 2018 with 12472 Test runs, the most by an English batsman. Before his final Test, which was against Virat Kohli’s Indian at The Oval, the left-handed named his best Test eleven.
He chose former England batter Graham Gooch as one opener and the captain of the side. Dynamic Australian opener Matthew Hayden to partner Gooch at the top.
Alastair Cook picked an extremely strong middle order comprising legendary West Indian Brian Lara, former Australian skipper Ricky Ponting, South Africa’s AB de Villiers, Sri Lankan stalwart Kumar Sangakkara. The iconic duo of Rahul Dravid and Sachin Tendulkar was ignored by Cook in his best Test eleven.
Jacques Kallis, arguably the greatest all-rounder of all time, makes into Cook’s eleven the bridge between the batters and the bowlers.
“I’d pay a lot of money to watch that middle order bat,” Cook had said.
With Kallis as one seamer, Cook went with the combination of two spinners and two more pacers. Muttiah Muralitharan and Shane Warne, the top two leading wicket-takers in Test cricket, were no brainers.
In the pace department, Alastair Cook had no doubts over the place of compatriot James Anderson, the swing-king who is the highest Test wicket-taker among pacers, along with Australia’s Glenn McGrath as the final man in his line-up.
“None of them need explaining, really, absolute guns of players,” Cook opined about that dreamy bowling attack.
Alastair Cook’s all-time XI:
Graham Gooch (C), Matthew Hayden, Brian Lara, Ricky Ponting, AB de Villiers (wk), Kumar Sangakkara, Jacques Kallis, Muttiah Muralitharan, Shane Warne, James Anderson, Glenn McGrath
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