Following up on the recent trend of cricketers selecting teams containing their favorite peers, former England batsman James Taylor has picked his best playing eleven from the contemporary era. During April, the 26-year old was forced to quit the game due to a serious heart condition.
Debuting in 2012, he showed enormous potential and represented his country in 34 international matches. The right-hander was part of the England team which won the Test series in South Africa earlier this year.
Taylor nominated Alastair Cook to lead the side which also includes four other Englishmen. Australia’s David Warner could complement the experienced southpaw at the top of the order with his flamboyant strokeplay.
The middle-order comprises three of the most versatile present day batsmen in Kane Williamson, Joe Root and Virat Kohli. From the celebrated quartet, Steven Smith misses out due to lack of vacant slots.
Writing for the Evening Standard, Taylor quipped, “There is extra pressure when you play for India and even more when you’re the captain — but nobody is better than Kohli at delivering under that strain. He doesn’t mind confrontation and will always defend his players. He also has that ‘superstar’ image — which is fine as long as you do the job on the field.”
Asked to take up the wicket-keeping duties as well, South African icon AB de Villiers finds himself alongside the aggressive Ben Stokes at number six and seven respectively with the latter fitting into the fifth bowler role too.
Tailor-made for pitches assisting seam and swing, the bowling lineup will be led by the proven new-ball pairing of James Anderson and Stuart Broad. Offering a left-armer’s perspective, Mitchell Starc should ruffle up opposition batsmen with his raw pace.
Pakistan’s maverick leg-spinner Yasir Shah has been called up to shoulder the spin department. Even though he does not have another member of his ilk to support him at the other end, the likes of Williamson and Root can send down a few overs of off-spin.
James Taylor‘s Current World XI: Alastair Cook (c), David Warner, Kane Williamson, Joe Root, Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers (wk), Ben Stokes, Mitchell Starc, Stuart Broad, Yasir Shah, James Anderson