Greatest England Test XI of all time
Upon ushering in Test cricket along with Australia at the iconic Melbourne Cricket Ground in 1877, England have grown from strength to strength and accrued a formidable record in the premier format of the game. Thus far, they have played an unmatched 995 Tests. Their tally of 356 wins as well as win-loss ratio of 1.206 are second only to Australia's collection of 382 victories at a win-loss ratio of 1.768.
Also Read: Greatest South African Test XI of all time
Thus far, England have fielded a whopping 683 players at Test level. Assembling an all time Test XI encompassing almost 141 years of history is no easy task. Not surprisingly, the vast majority of the entrants in the dream team are masters of yore. Only two players in this star-studded lineup debuted in the post 2000 era.
(*Note: All statistics of active players are accurate as of 7th February, 2018)
The original 'Master', Sir Jack Hobbs was a colossus in England cricket during an era wherein the sport was still evolving constantly. With a homegrown batting technique, he remorselessly piled on mountain-loads of runs across all levels of the game. The legendary right-hander played 61 Tests and registered 5410 runs at a sparkling average of 56.94 with 15 centuries and 28 fifties.
Forming an immensely productive opening combination with Hobbs during the mid to late 1920s, Herbert Sutcliffe thwarted the new ball with unwavering determination. He could negate searing swing with the same ease as hooking the fastest of bowlers. 54 Tests fetched him 4555 runs including 16 centuries and 23 fifties. Among all batsmen with more than 4000 runs in Test history, Sutcliffe's average of 60.73 is the third best after Sir Don Bradman's 99.94 and Steven Smith's current average of 63.75.