Based off the ICC all-time rankings, the greatest combined England-India XI from players who have played in the 21st century.
As is the case when picking other Wisden XIs based on ICC Rankings, we will stick to a few rules to ensure the team is somewhat balanced, particularly the bowling line-up. In this all-time Test XI, we’ve picked the top five batsmen in the batting rankings, the top batter who is also a keeper, the top all-rounder and the top four bowlers, ensuring there is at least one spinner and at least three seamers. In this XI, we have also added the criteria that each player must have played in the 21st century. Here goes…
The England-India Test team of the century, according to the ICC rankings: The selections
ICC all-time Test batting ranking: 39 (888 points)
86 Tests, 6,267 runs, Avg: 46.08, HS: 206*
A batter who would have felt at home in any era of the game, Pujara’s resilient defence has made him one of the most prized wickets in the modern era. His performances away in Australia cemented his position as the heir to Rahul Dravid’s throne.
ICC all-time Test batting ranking: 23 (917 points)
105 Tests, 8,714 runs, Avg: 48.68, HS: 254
With quality as abundant as it is in this XI, Root is the one to bat out of position here and open the batting. That said, he does have a 180 at the top of the order so it shouldn’t be too much of a problem for him.
Rahul Dravid (wk)
ICC all-time Test batting ranking: 37 (892 points)
164 Tests, 13,288 runs, Avg: 52.31, HS: 270
We’ve listed The Wall at three. He will also take the gloves. No pressure. Fortunately, Dravid doesn’t feel pressure so it’s not a problem. One for the purists if him and Pujara both settle in for an afternoon.
ICC all-time Test batting ranking: 33 (898 points)
200 Tests, 15921 runs, Avg: 53.78, HS: 248*
No all-time side would be complete without the Little Master and this one is no different. For many he is the greatest batter of all time and for that reason he gets first dibs over No.4 in this side.
ICC all-time Test batting ranking: 29 (909 points)
104 Tests, 8,181 runs, Avg: 47.28, HS: 227
England’s maverick batter of the 21st century. KPs personality may have divided opinion but there is no doubt about the talent and excitement he brought to the game. He bats five in a nod back to the 2005 Ashes series where it all started.
ICC all-time Test batting ranking: 11 (937 points)
92 Tests, 7,547 runs, Avg: 52.04, HS: 254*
You’ve got the oppo four down. The back of the innings has been broken and in walks Virat Kohli. Absolute disaster. Kohli is well on his way to being considered an all time great and will no doubt continue to pile on the runs in this team.
ICC all-time Test all-rounder ranking: 8 (501 points)
79 Tests, 3,845 runs, Avg: 31.77, HS: 167; 226 wkts, Avg: 32.78, BBI: 5-58
Arguably English cricket’s most recognisable face and charismatic all-rounder of the last two decades, Flintoff makes this side. Amongst a team of such consistent performers, Flintoff’s ability to make things happen will provide the x-factor on the rare occasions it is required.
ICC all-time Test bowling ranking: 26 (899 points)
52 Tests, 1,985 runs, Avg: 35.44, HS 100*; 221 wkts, Avg: 24.41, BBI: 7-48
An absolute rockstar. Best fielder in the world, twirls his bat around his head when he scores runs, which is often, and takes wickets for fun. Jadeja’s stock will only continue to grow and grow in the game until the moment he’s gone and we look back and realise how lucky we were to watch him play. Jet.
ICC all-time Test bowling ranking: 19 (904 points)
79 Tests, 2,685 runs, Avg: 27.68, HS: 124; 413 wkts, Avg: 24.56, BBI 7-59
Jadeja turning it one way, Ashwin the other. If the opponent has somehow made it to day five Ashwin will be making sure they don’t make it to the end of it. Batting at nine also means we have five Test centuries coming in at seventh drop. Handy.
ICC all-time Test bowling ranking: 41 (880 points)
148 Tests, 523 wkts, Avg: 27.72, BBI 8-15
One of those spells please Mr. Broad. Taking the new ball alongside someone else who you can probably guess next, Stuart Broad has forged an incredibly successful career that has been scattered with match-winning performances.
ICC all-time Test bowling ranking: 20 (903 points)
162 Tests, 617 wkts, Avg: 26.67, BBI 7-42
Couldn’t have been anyone else, could it?
The England-India Test team of the century, according to the ICC rankings: The line-up
Rahul Dravid (wk)