What’s the story?
England‘s Director of Cricket and former captain Andrew Strauss has picked his All-Time XI, consisting of just two players who are still playing the game but also some of the best to have ever played cricket.
The 39-year-old's side consisted of four Australians, two Englishmen, two South Africans and just one Indian in Sachin Tendulkar. Alastair Cook and Morne Morkel are the only two current players in his side, which doesn’t include the likes of Rahul Dravid or Virat Kohli.
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Several past and current cricketers have come out and presented their All-time XI ever since Lord’s Cricket Ground began the series. The last player to announce his before Strauss was current English batting sensation, Joe Root and the lists have only gotten better and encompassed some of the best to have ever played the game.
The heart of the matter
The opening pair of Marcus Trescothick and Alastair Cook are straightforward picks with Strauss admitting that the former was a huge influence on him when he started his Test career. At No.3 is a slight surprise as Australian opener Justin Langer makes the cut as the batsman was crucial in helping Strauss go from “cruising at county level” to becoming an international standard Test opener.
The middle-order is largely straightforward as it features some of the best players to have ever played the game. As one of the finest all-rounders of all-time, Jacques Kallis makes the cut along with Sachin Tendulkar and Brian Lara.
In the wicketkeeping department, the 39-year-old has opted to go for Adam Gilchrist ahead of Kumar Sangakkara. In the spin department as well, he went with Shane Warne over Muttiah Muralitharan.
“Something about the way he bowled just exposed a chink in my armory” explained Strauss about Morne Morkel, which is why he makes the side ahead of his compatriot Dale Steyn. Glenn McGrath and Shoaib Akhtar complete the fast bowling line-up.
Andrew Strauss’ All-Time XI: Marcus Trescothick, Alastair Cook, Justin Langer, Jacques Kallis, Sachin Tendulkar, Brian Lara, Adam Gilchrist (WK), Shane Warne, Morne Morkel, Glenn McGrath, Shoaib Akhtar.
After Joe Root, it was the turn of Andrew Strauss to pick his All-time XI. Ever since Lord’s began their series of having players pick their All-time XI it has been interesting to see the choices they have made. And it will be interesting to who is next on the list of cricketers who get the opportunity to pick their All-time XI.
Strauss has certainly picked largely from the players that he faced or grew up admiring. While the usual suspects suh as Brian Lara, Sachin Tendulkar all the cut, it is interesting to note that he went for Adam Gilchrist over Kumar Sangakkara as the keeper. But the biggest surprise has to be Morkel ahead of Steyn, who is arguably the best fast bowler of his generation.