The Indian team recently left for the 4-month long and grueling tour of England, consisting of 3 T20Is, 3 ODIs, and 5 Tests. It's going to be a mouth-watering prospect as the top 2 teams in ODI cricket lock horns against each other, in what could well be a dress-rehearsal for one of the key match-ups in next year's ICC Cricket World Cup.
Although India has been far superior in One-day cricket over the years, England has finally started paying more attention to limited overs cricket and currently boast of an exceptionally talented group of players in their squad.
They are currently ranked number one in the ICC ODI Rankings and recently completed a 5-0 whitewash against Australia. That is not a mean feat by any stretch of the imagination, despite Australia not being in the best of form.
England have never won a 50-over World Cup, but they have come close to winning it. They finished as runners-up in 1979, 1987 and 1992. On the other hand, India have won the World Cup twice and have finished as runners-up once.
Traditionally a powerhouse in ODI batting, they can boast of a long list of great batsman and spinners, especially in the ODI format. They also have played a lot more ODI cricket as compared to England, since the longest format of the game also remains the most popular format there. No wonder then that the all-time combined India-England ODI XI is dominated by Indians. Let's look at who made it to this list of ODI greats, shall we?
#1 Sachin Tendulkar (Opener)
No all-time ODI XI would be complete without the inclusion of the Master Blaster. The man who literally stopped the heartbeats of an entire nation is often considered to be the best batsman ever to have played the game. In his long and illustrious career, Sachin managed to break almost every single batting record.
The numbers speak for themselves, but the fact that he was able to score all those runs with the immense pressure of playing in a country of billion people, where cricket is a religion is nothing short of extraordinary. Sachin retired from ODI cricket in 2012 and continued to play Tests for a year thereafter.
Runs: 18426, Average: 44.83, SR: 86.23
#2 Virender Sehwag (Opener)
To open the batting with Sachin, we couldn't have picked anyone better than his partner in crime - Virender Sehwag. The dynamic duo opened the innings for India on 93 occasions, and finished with a total of 3919 runs including 12-century stands and were one of the most prolific opening partnerships of the modern era.
Although more renowned for his exploits in the longest format of the game, Sehwag on his day had the ability to take the game away from the opposition. He was instrumental in providing India with some blazing starts over the course of his career.
Runs: 8273, Average: 35.05, SR: 104.33
#3 Virat Kohli (Middle Order)
When Sachin Tendulkar retired from ODI cricket a few years ago, it was almost impossible to imagine that his records could ever be broken. Fast forward 6 years and it is quite likely that Virat Kohli will go past him, if he continues to play the way he is for at least another 7-8 years.
The current Indian captain made his debut in 2008 and immediately impressed everyone with his amazing consistency. The right-hander who brings the best out of himself when chasing under pressure has scored 35 centuries already, 19 of which were scored in successful run chases. For his sheer consistency and ability to score runs under pressure, Virat Kohli automatically slots in at number 3 in this dream XI.
Runs: 9588, Average: 58.1, SR: 92.14
#4 Kevin Pietersen (Middle Order)
If there was someone in the England batting line-up oppositions used to fear the most even in the days when England weren't as good an ODI side as they are today, it was Kevin Pietersen. The stylish right-hander played with confidence only a few could boast of.
His ability to hit boundaries even in the middle-overs with an extra fielder outside the circle was incredible. With a career often marred by controversy, the talismanic batsman could not play to his full-potential due to his disagreements with the ECB. Nevertheless, KP makes it at number 4 in our all time India-England ODI XI.
Runs: 4440, Average: 40.73, SR: 86.58
#5 Jos Butler (Middle Order)
At number 5, is England's hard-hitting middle-order batsman - Jos Butler. Arguably, the best wicket-keeper batsman in the world right now, Butler has the ability to slot into any ODI XI purely as a batsman too. His recent heroics in the ODI series against Australia have been nothing short of breathtaking.
Touted as the greatest finisher in ODI cricket since MS Dhoni, Jos Butler has been the most impactful limited overs cricketer for England in the last few years.
He also has the distinct record of scoring all of the top 3 fastest hundreds for England in ODI cricket. While he has scored his runs in ODI cricket at an impressive average, what is even more amazing is the pace at which he scores those runs.
Runs: 3091, Average: 40.67, SR: 117.52
#6 MS Dhoni (WK and Captain)
Being one of the most successful captains in the history of ODI cricket and possessing almost every cricket trophy in his cabinet, MS Dhoni would be the obvious choice for being the captain of this dream team.
Despite batting quite lower down the order throughout his career, the former Indian captain has scored close to 10,000 runs in ODI cricket at an incredible average and has been the chief architect of many wins for India.
Most well-known for his ability to absorb pressure and finish games, this team will possibly have two of the best finishers in ODI cricket (the other being Jos Butler). Known for his lightning quick hands behind the stumps, MS Dhoni would also don the wicket-keeping gloves for this team.
Runs: 9967, Average: 51.37, SR: 88.4
#7 Andrew Flintoff (All-rounder)
At number 7, comes in England's fast-bowling allrounder - Andrew Flintoff. Back in the 2000s when he was a regular feature in England's ODI team, he was perhaps their brightest hope in this format. Apart from being capable of batting at a blistering pace lower down the order, he also had the ability to give his skipper ten solid overs every game. Flintoff would provide this team the much needed fire-power down the order, along with some useful wickets in the middle overs.
Runs: 3394, Average: 32:01, SR: 88.82
Wickets: 169, Average: 24.38, Economy: 4.39
#8 Kapil Dev (All-rounder)
At number 8, would be India's former World Cup winning captain - Kapil Dev. Often known as the 'Haryana Hurricane', Kapil Dev had the ability to swing the new ball and provide the team with crucial breakthroughs upfront. He was quite simply the greatest pace bowler India has ever produced.
Although more renowned for his bowling, Kapil Dev was very useful with the bat too, his most famous innings being the 175* that he scored against Zimbabwe in the 1983 World Cup.
Runs: 3783, Average: 23.79, SR: 95.07
Wickets: 253, Average: 27.45, Economy: 3.71
#9 Anil Kumble (Spinner)
Coming in at number 9, is the India's highest wicket-taking spinner in ODI cricket - Anil Kumble. He was lethal on worn-out tracks but quite effective even on flat pitches with his fast and flat leg-breaks. His 6 for 12 against the Windies at the Eden Gardens in front of a capacity crowd of close to 100,000 people would forever remain etched in the minds of every Indian cricket lover.
Wickets: 337, Average: 30.89, Economy: 4.30
#10 Zaheer Khan (Fast bowler)
Zaheer Khan was perhaps one of the most intelligent fast bowlers India has ever produced. His ability to swing the ball both ways with the new ball and to reverse it when it got old, was priceless. He was the joint-highest wicket-taker in the 2011 World Cup and was one of the main reasons for India winning the tournament in in the end. His ability to take wickets at any stage of the innings, made him a captain's delight. Being a left arm quick, he would provide variety to this star-studded bowling line-up.
Wickets: 282, Average: 29.43, Economy: 4.93
#11 James Anderson
England's most prolific and skillful fast bowler - James Anderson, completes the number 11 spot in our all-time India-England combined ODI XI. The very sight of him running in and making the ball talk is one of the most beautiful sights to behold in cricket. More known for his Test match bowling prowess, where he became the first English bowler to take 500 wickets, James Anderson has done plenty in ODI cricket to deserve a place in this XI.
Wickets: 269, Average: 29.22, Economy: 4.92