Picking England’s All-Time ODI XI
England Cricket played their first-ever ODI against Australia at Melbourne in 1971. Since then, they have appeared in 4 World Cup Finals – losing 3 and winning 1. Along the way, England Cricket has had some incredibly talented players. From Graham Gooch to Jos Buttler, the Three Lions have never been short of talent. But picking England’s All-Time ODI XI is a tough job.
Can we really pick Jofra Archer due to one superb Cricket World Cup? And what about the older generation batsmen who played a completely different brand of cricket?
Taking everything into account, who makes it into England’s Best ODI XI of all time?
Marcus Trescothick and Jonny Bairstow
A left-hand right-hand combination to open the batting.
Two very destructive batsmen who would make a perfect foil for each other in England’s All-Time ODI XI.
Marcus Trescothick was well ahead of his time as an opening batsman. In fact, he took on some of the greatest ODI bowlers of all time and had success against them. He scored centuries against Australia, Pakistan, the West Indies and South Africa among his many others.
These teams all had excellent pace attacks at the time when Marcus Trescothick was playing and he mastered them pretty well. A simple technique, yet highly effective. Trescothick was also an excellent player of spin – highlighted by his averages of 41 against both India and Sri Lanka.
His partner was a tough choice. Graham Gooch was excellent for England in the 1992 Cricket World Cup. He would perhaps count himself unlucky to miss out. Ideally, I wanted someone slightly more destructive so I had to choose between Jason Roy and Jonny Bairstow. Both were crucial in helping England win the 2019 Cricket World Cup.
Jason Roy had an excellent world cup and played some terrific innings. However, his partner Jonny Bairstow arguably played the two most important innings of the tournament for England. Bairstow scored back-to-back centuries against India and New Zealand in England’s last two games of the tournament. This helped England avoid a shock exit in the group stages.
Jonny Bairstow also has better statistics then Jason Roy. Bairstow averages a staggering 47.15 in ODI cricket. Plus, his strike rate of 104.50 is almost unthinkable.
Tough to leave Roy and Gooch out but Bairstow just shades them in England’s All-Time ODI XI.
Joe Root, Eoin Morgan, Kevin Pietersen
A stunning middle-order trio of batsmen.
Joe Root was England Cricket’s highest run-scorer in 2019 Cricket World Cup. He was also in the top 5 run-scorers in the competition. Joe Root scored 556 runs at the tournament to help England win the Cricket World Cup. He will bat at number 3 in England’s All-Time ODI XI.
Eoin Morgan was captain of the triumph in 2019. In fact, it was Morgan himself who allowed the team to play freely after a shocking 2015 Cricket World Cup. Eoin Morgan is England’s highest ODI run-scorer of all-time and deserves to be in this team on the merit of his runs and his captaincy combined.
Kevin Pietersen changed the mindset of English Cricket. He was perhaps one of the first players to play attacking ODI cricket without being reckless. Pietersen’s switch hit was a thing of beauty and Eoin Morgan adapted it into his game as well. In 2005, Kevin Pietersen played one of ODI Cricket’s best innings. Pietersen scored a fantastic 91 from just 65 balls to haul England to a spectacular victory against world champions Australia. Kevin Pietersen walks into England’s Best ODI XI of All-Time.
Also, Read – Kevin Pietersen – England Cricket’s Biggest Mistake?
“Shades of Vivian Richards.”
All 3 make great cases to be in England’s All-Time ODI XI.
Jos “The Finisher” Buttler
Jos Buttler has played 142 One-Day Internationals and scored 3843 runs at an average of 40.88. Plus, his strike rate is amazing. Jos Buttler strikes at 119.83 in ODI’s – among the best to have ever played the game. He will be the finisher in England’s All-Time ODI XI.
Buttler had a stellar 2019 Cricket World Cup for England. Arguably, his best performance was in the final against New Zealand. He scored 59 on a tough pitch in a crucial partnership with Ben Stokes to help England win the Cricket World Cup 2019.
He also holds the record for the fastest ODI hundred by an Englishman. Jos Buttler scored a 46-ball century against Pakistan at Dubai in 2015.
The best wicketkeeper-batsman that England have ever had makes it into England’s All-Time ODI XI.
Also, Read – The Debate Between Jos Buttler and Ben Foakes
Ben Stokes and Andrew Flintoff
Two England Cricket Superstars.
The 2019 Cricket World Cup Final will always be synonymous for the overthrow and the super over. Ben Stokes was part of both events and helped England to win the Cricket World Cup. Stokes was player of the match after scoring a match-winning 84. In fact, he had a superb tournament with both the bat and the ball. Plus, he was electric in the field.
Stokes provides an excellent balance to any ODI side because of his abilities to bowl up to 10 overs on his day. Most days, Ben Stokes can provide 5-6 overs. Perhaps the most important player in England’s ODI history. Ben Stokes definitely makes into England’s Best ODI XI of All-Time.
Finally, Andrew Flintoff was an underrated ODI player. He was the leading wicket-taker in the 2004 ICC Champions Trophy. England narrowly lost to the West Indies in the final but Flintoff had a very good game. Flintoff would almost certainly provide this team with 10 overs of bowling. Like Ben Stokes, Flintoff was a superb fielder and a more than capable lower-order batsmen for England.
The easiest choices to make in England’s Best ODI XI of All-Time.
Darren Gough, Graeme Swann and Jimmy Anderson
James Anderson is England’s highest One-Day International wicket-taker, despite not having played a game since 2015. In 194 ODIs, James Anderson picked up 269 wickets at 29.22. He has 11 four-wicket hauls to his name and famously blew Pakistan away at the 2003 Cricket World Cup.
Anderson had a superb 2013 Champions Trophy where he almost helped England to win the competition. England narrowly lost out to India in the final. James Anderson took 11 wickets in the competition at a bowling average of 13.72 plus an economy rate of just over 4. He was the third-highest wicket-taker in the tournament.
That he is still the highest wicket-taker perhaps illustrates that England may not have taken ODI cricket seriously until recently, tournaments aside. However, James Anderson due to his accuracy and ability to swing the ball both ways makes into England’s Greatest ODI XI of All-Time.
Also, Read – The Top 5 Spells of Jimmy Anderson
Graeme Swann played 79 ODI’s and took 104 wickets for England. He had an excellent economy rate of 4.54. This meant that he controlled the scoring run rate during the middle-overs for England. He should have perhaps played a lot more ODI cricket in his time.
Lastly, Darren Gough is perhaps England’s best ever ODI bowler. In 158 matches, Gough picked up 234 wickets. Shane Warne famously stated that “Darren Gough ran in like a bull.” An economy rate of under 5 and a bowling average of 26 means that he will lead the attack in England’s Best ODI XI. However, he was a man of more than statistics. Gough received little support during his ODI career in the bowling department. Despite this, he was ranked as one of the best bowlers in the world.
England’s All-Time ODI XI Reserves
Jason Roy, Graham Gooch, Sir Ian Botham, Jonathan Trott
Jason Roy was one of the other two opening options. He had a fabulous World Cup 2019. In fact, it was his absence that nearly knocked England out of the World Cup in the group stages. First with Alex Hales and then with Jonny Bairstow, Jason Roy has revolutionized the ODI game for England. He averages over 40 and strikes at over 100.
Graham Gooch perhaps suffered from a low strike-rate in this modern era of ODI batting. This is probably the main reason why he did not make it into England’s All-Time ODI XI. He scored 3 half-centuries in England’s run to the final at the 1992 Cricket World Cup. His ODI average of 37 is still very healthy and he has also picked up 36 ODI wickets.
Sir Ian Botham was one of England’s finest ever white-ball players. He made it into the side purely as a batsman alone. However, he became a destructive opening batsman as well who could launch the ball into the stands. He narrowly misses out on two fronts in England’s All-Time ODI XI. Sir Ian Botham could have made it as an all-rounder or as an opener and still done both roles.
Jonathan Trott averages 50 in ODI cricket and yet still misses out on selection. He was perhaps unlucky due to the dynamic middle-order that he had to surpass. Jonathan Trott was England Cricket’s rock in limited-overs cricket for the best part of half a decade. He would perhaps be the reserve batsman in the side. Very unfortunate not to make it to England’s All-Time ODI XI.
The Final XI
Marcus Trescothick, Jonny Bairstow, Joe Root, Kevin Pietersen, Eoin Morgan, Jos Buttler, Ben Stokes, Andrew Flintoff, Graeme Swann, Darren Gough, James Anderson.
Finally, a superb team to represent England’s Best One-Day International XI of All-Time!
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