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The all-time England-Australia Test XI, according to the ICC rankings

The All-Time England-Australia Test XI, According To The ICC Rankings
by Wisden Staff 5 minute read

Which players would make the all-time Test XI from England and Australia? The two nations have thrown up plenty of great cricketers in the past, and we determine who will make the all-time list, based on the ICC rankings.

We have picked the highest ranked wicketkeeper, the highest ranked all-rounder, the five highest ranked batsmen, and the four highest ranked bowlers, ensuring that, including the all-rounder, there is at least one spinner and at least three quicks.

The all-time England-Australia Test XI, as based on the ICC rankings, is as follows:

Len Hutton – England

All-time batting ranking: 3rd

Career-best batting rating: 945

79 Tests, 6,971 runs @ 56.67

One of England’s greatest ever batsmen, Len Hutton scored over 40,000 first-class runs and took just 619 innings to surpass the milestone of 100 first-class hundreds. Only one other opener (min.  50 innings) has a better Test average than Hutton.

Jack Hobbs – England

All-time batting ranking: 4th

Career best batting rating: 942

61 Tests, 5,410 runs @ 56.94

No batsman in history has scored more first-class runs, or made more hundreds. Hobbs’ career-peak was clearly pretty special, hence his place in this team, but his longevity set him apart too. His last Test ton came when 46 years old. No other player has made a Test hundred after the age of 45.

Don Bradman – Australia

All-time batting ranking: 1st

Career best batting rating: 961

52 Tests, 6,996 runs @ 99.94

The greatest batsman in history, both in the ICC rankings and by basically every other metric.

Ricky Ponting – Australia

All-time batting ranking: 4th

Career best batting rating: 942

168 Tests, 13,378 runs @ 51.85

Arguably the best batsman in arguably the best Test team there has been, Ricky Ponting ended with more runs than all but one other player. He led Australia in 73 games, with the team achieving great heights under his leadership, and so he captains this team.

Steve Smith – Australia

All-time batting ranking: 2nd

Career best batting rating: 947

77 Tests, 7,540 runs @ 61.80

One of the only two current players in this list, Steve Smith’s idiosyncratic technique has made him the best batsman since Bradman. The Australian is the fastest to 7,000 Test runs — he achieved the landmark in only 126 innings – and he has the best average among all batsmen who have scored at least 7,000 runs in the history of the game too.

Ian Botham – England

All-time all-rounder ranking: 2nd

Career best all-rounder rating: 645 points

102 Tests, 383 wickets @ 28.40; 5,200 runs @ 33.54

Ian Botham is regarded as one of the greatest all-rounders in cricket history, with England’s search for a ‘New Botham’ long. A fine swing bowler, Botham was the fastest to 100, 200, 300, and 350 wickets. He also picked up 120 catches in his career and, at his best, was a batsman who could change the course of a game in a session, most memorably doing so in the 1981 Ashes at Headingley, with England winning after being asked to follow on. His overall numbers are impressive, but given a late-career decline, even they don’t tell the true story of how good Botham was at his peak. Halfway through his career, after 51 Tests, Botham averaged 39 with the bat and 23 with the ball.

Adam Gilchrist (wk) – Australia

All-time batting ranking: 56th

Career best batting rating: 874

96 Tests, 5,570 runs @ 47.60

Credited with reinventing the role of the Test wicketkeeper-batsman, Adam Gilchrist combined an ultra-aggressive approach with a consistency unmatched by all but the best glovemen. A strike-rate above 80 indicates how brutal he could be, and it was his introduction to the Australia Test side, in 1999, that took them to the next level.

Pat Cummins – Australia

All-time bowling ranking: 5th

Career best bowling rating: 914

34 Tests, 164 wickets @ 21.59

Despite playing just 34 Tests so far, Pat Cummins has already confirmed himself as one of the best bowlers of the current era. His method is a simple one. He’s quick, unrelentingly accurate, and gets just enough movement to trouble the best in the business. It’s a lethal combination.

George Lohmann – England

All-time bowling ranking: 2nd

Career best bowling rating: 931

18 Tests, 112 wickets @ 10.75

Lohmann has best figures of 9-28 in an innings, and he ended his career with a strike rate of 34.10 — the best among players with at least 50 wickets. He was the fastest to 100 wickets, doing so in just 16 matches.

Tony Lock – England

All-time bowling ranking: 7th

Career best bowling rating: 912

49 Tests, 174 wickets @ 25.58

The finger-spinner picked up a whopping 2,844 first-class wickets at an average of 19.23, which is evidence of his outstanding longevity, and while arguably best remembered for taking the other wicket as Jim Laker collected 19 in a match, Tony Lock was formidable in his own right. He could bat too, scoring over 10,000 runs in first-class cricket.

Sydney Barnes – England

All-time bowling ranking: 1st

Career best bowling rating: 932

27 Tests, 189 wickets @ 16.43

Sydney Barnes’ career wrapped up before the Great War, but in more than 100 years since, no bowler has been able to match his best rating. He was the fastest player to get to 150 Test wickets, and was at his best against Australia, picking up 106 of his 189 wickets against them.

All-time England and Australia Test XI, based on ICC rankings:

Len Hutton
Jack Hobbs
Don Bradman
Ricky Ponting (c)
Steve Smith
Ian Botham
Adam Gilchrist (wk)
Pat Cummins
George Lohmann
Tony Lock
Sydney Barnes

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