India-England Test XI of the modern era (last 25 years)
An overseas tour is always a tough assignment and the upcoming England series will undoubtedly be a very challenging one for India. As the Indians try to acclimatise to the conditions in England, let us take a look at the combined Test XI of the last 25 years.
The criteria for eligibility is - a player should have played most of his cricket in the last 25 years. He should have played a minimum of 50 test matches.
While India is superior in batting, England has the wood on India in the bowling department. Here is our formidable team.
#1 Virender Sehwag
A crowd favourite. Virender Sehwag's batting style is the antithesis of what the budding batsmen learn from their coaches. He was a swashbuckler who tore the coaching manuals apart and batted in an adventurous fashion that gave the bowlers a hope of dismissing him cheaply.
And then, he tore the bowling attacks apart with a deluge of boundaries.
Even in test cricket, Viru scored runs at a breakneck pace. He smashed two triple hundreds in tests and narrowly missed becoming the first batsman in the history of the game to score three triple centuries when he was dismissed for a magnificent 293 against Sri Lanka.
As long as he was at the crease, it was impossible to keep him quiet, even when he was on the brink of a gigantic milestone such as the 300 run mark.
Without caring for the reputation or the rhythm of the bowlers, he put them to the sword and kept the scoreboard galloping. His intrepid style of batting set him apart from the rest of the batsmen.
Among others, only Australia's legendary Adam Gilchrist scored runs at a similar pace.
Matches: 104, Runs: 8586, Average: 49.34
#2 Alastair Cook (captain)
Alistair Cook has a slew of England test records to his name - he is the most capped player, the highest run getter, the highest century maker. Cook has raced so far ahead that the original records now seem to be mere dots on the horizon.
He is already assured of a place in the list of the English batting greats and the only subject of debate is where to put him in the list. As he churns out more hundreds, his place can go only higher and higher.
In his career, Cook compiled many masterful knocks and had a penchant for big scores. One of the major highlights of his career is his stellar record on the turning tracks of India, which have traditionally been graveyards for many English batting line-ups.
With plenty of gas still left in the tank, Cook's chances of overtaking Sachin Tendulkar's tally of 15921 runs look very bright. Cook's solidity will be an ideal foil to Sehwag's daredevilry. He will also take up the captaincy of the side.
Matches: 156, Runs: 12145, Average: 45.65