What’s the story?
Former England international James Taylor picked his All-time XI that included three England internationals, including two current players and both Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers. There were some surprising picks as well as some legends of the game.
The 26-year-old picked a side that had three players apiece from England and South Africa, two from India and Australia and a solitary player from Pakistan. The team consists of five front-line batsmen, one genuine all-rounder, keeper, two spinners and two pacers.
Speaking about the reason behind the selection of Kohli and AB, James Taylor said: “At No.3 and No.4, Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers. Two guys of this modern era that are just dominating the game and are phenomenal batsmen in their own right. Again two very different players but mighty effective and elegant at the same time. Virat Kohli as captain to lead the side, he is doing a great job at the moment for India and he is definitely going to be one of the greatest of the game.
In case you didn’t know...
Over the last year and a half, Lord’s Cricket Ground have had several current and past players announcing their All-Time XIs. The former England international, who played for Leicestershire and Nottinghamshire was forced to retire from cricket after being diagnosed with a serious but rare heart condition known as Arrhythmogenic Right Ventricular Cardiomyopathy (ARVC).
For his All-time XI, Taylor went for a mix of past and current internationals along with some county veterans as well. Opening the batting is England’s Alastair Cook and Sachin Tendulkar. The right-hander also added that Cook is likely to break Tendulkar’s record in Tests.
Kohli and AB de Villiers are at No.3 and No.4 but the biggest surprise is the selection of H.D. Ackerman at No.5. Although Ackerman only played four Tests for South Africa, Taylor added that he learned a lot while playing with him at Leicestershire. Ben Stokes is the all-rounder and he also added that he is likely to end up as one of the greatest all-rounders that the game has seen. Paul Nixon is the keeper and there is another surprise as county veteran, Claude Henderson gets in at No.8 with his tidy left-arm spin.
Shane Warne, Shoaib Akhtar and Mitchell Starc complete the bowling line-up.
James Taylor’s All-Time XI: Alastair Cook, Sachin Tendulkar, Virat Kohli (C), AB de Villiers, H.D. Ackerman, Ben Stokes, Paul Nixon (WK), Claude Henderson, Shane Warne, Shoaib Akhtar, Mitchell Starc.
Most players go for players that they admired or who had a great impact in their careers in their All-time XIs. So it was no surprise to see that James Taylor went for two prominent Leicestershire players in Ackerman and Henderson, even if they didn’t make much impact in international cricket. The line-up has the perfect blend of contemporary cricketers and legends that during Taylor's time.