Greatest Teams November 3, 2011

As great as the sum of their parts

George Dobell
George Dobell picks his top five teams in the history of Test cricket
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West Indies 1976-1995
Has any team in any sport every dominated as completely as this West Indies side? At one stage, between 1980 and 1994, they went 15 years without suffering a Test series defeat and, between March and November 1984, they won a then-record 11 Tests in a row. As Michael Holding put it: "We hammered everyone."

Much of their success was built upon a battery of wonderfully skilful fast bowlers. The likes of Marshall, Roberts, Holding, Garner and Croft tested not only the techniques of batsmen, but their courage, too, as they were peppered with ferocious short-pitched deliveries. It says much for the strength in depth of West Indies at the time that bowlers as fearsome and talented as Sylvester Clarke played only 11 Tests.

But this wasn't a success based simply on great fast bowling. Captained by Clive Lloyd, who managed to unite individuals from the disparate nations of the Caribbean into a harmonious team, they were trained to their optimum by physio Dennis Waite - a trailblazer in an age of semi-professionalism - and possessed several indisputably great batsmen including Sir Viv Richards - who many opponents insist was the finest they have seen - Brian Lara and the superb Bajan opening partnership of Greenidge and Haynes.

There were some hiccups: most of the first choice team was briefly banned for its involvement in Packer's World Series Cricket, while rebel tours accounted for other players. Some might also bemoan the lack of a quality spinner. But the strength in depth of Caribbean cricket was formidable. At one stage in 1984, three of the top five batsmen (Richards, Greenidge and Lloyd) and three of the top six bowlers (Garner, Marshall and Holding) in the Test rankings were West Indian. Between 1980 and 1994-95 West Indies went a record 29 successive series without defeat (the next longest sequence is 16 series by the Australian team of 2001 to 2004/05), a record 27 Tests without defeat (between Jan 1982 and Dec 1984) and eventually beat all regular opponents home and away.

Australia 1999-2008
According to the official ICC rankings, the Australian team of 2007-08 is the highest rated in Test history. It's not hard to see why. Twice (once between Oct 1999 and Feb 2001 and once between Dec 2005 and Jan 2008) Australia won 16 successive Tests (no other team has managed more than 11 successive wins) with a superbly balanced team playing a brand of aggressive, fast-scoring cricket that swept opponents aside.

Blessed with at least two great bowlers - legspinner Shane Warne and seamer Glenn McGrath - this Australia side also boasted awesome batting strength: at one stage in 2002, six of their top seven batsmen were ranked in the top ten. The likes of Ponting, Hayden and Langer could all justifiably claim to be great players.

Even in such rarefied company, however, a few individuals stood out. As captain, Steve Waugh instilled a selfless, ruthless culture that endured long after his own retirement, while Adam Gilchrist, as wicketkeeping allrounder, scored his runs with such speed that it broke the spirit of many opponents. Warne, armed with superb control and an ability to turn the ball prodigious distances on even the most docile pitch, tormented batsmen for 15 years, while McGrath's control ruined many a career.

There were setbacks along the road: a very strong India side defeated them in 2001, while England claimed back the Ashes in 2005. On each occasion, however, Australia regrouped and avenged their defeat. England were slaughtered 5-0 in 2006/07 and India were beaten in India in the 2004/05 series.

Australia 1948
The first Test team to remain undefeated throughout an entire tour of England, this Australian team earned the nickname "The Invincibles". They played 34 matches (31 of them first-class), winning 25 (17 by an innings, two by 10 wickets and another by over 400 runs) and drawing the rest. They defeated England 4-0 in the five-Test series.

It is true that England, wearied and weakened by war, were not at their strongest. They had, after all, just returned winless from a tour of the Caribbean. But Australia, sans Bradman, went on to thrash South Africa in a similarly comprehensive manner and boasted a team of considerable individual talent that would surely have excelled in any era.

Remarkably, all five Wisden Cricketers of the Year were selected from the Australian tour party: the prolific Lindsay Hassett, the tireless left-arm seamer Bill Johnston, the brilliant fast bowler Ray Lindwall, the elegant left-hander Arthur Morris and the superb wicketkeeper Don Tallon. Add to them the likes of batsmen Sid Barnes, allrounder Keith Miller and a young Neil Harvey and a clear picture emerges of the strength of the Australian squad.

And then there was Bradman. While he celebrated his 40th birthday during the tour and was, by his own remarkable standards, on the decline, "The Don" still managed 11 centuries during the summer. He remarked in the 1980s that, in his opinion, the Invincibles remained the finest Australian team he had seen.

South Africa, 1969-70
When South Africa thrashed Bill Lawry's Australians 4-0, it should have marked the beginning of a new era in Test cricket. Instead it marked an end. The South African side, victims of their government's apartheid policy, were instead ostracised from Test cricket for more than 20 years. As a result, some of the most talented cricketers the world has seen were denied the international careers their ability merited.

Among the batsmen in that '69-70 team were Barry Richards - dubbed "a batsman of staggering talent" by John Arlott and playing the only four Tests of his career - and Graeme Pollock, who was credited by Bradman as being the best left-hander he saw. The bowling attack, meanwhile, included the ferocious pairing of Mike Procter (who finished with a Test bowling average of just 17 from his seven Tests) and Peter Pollock (who claimed 116 wickets from just 28 Tests) and was bolstered by the considerable all-round talent of Eddie Barlow, who averaged almost 46 with the bat and 34 with the ball in his 30 Test career.

Trevor Goddard didn't enjoy the best of series, but must be considered one of South Africa's leading allrounders, while Denis Lindsay was a fine wicketkeeper who was good enough to win selection as a specialist batsman. It says much about the strength of the South African side that Ian Chappell, who many regarded as the finest batsman in the world at the time, could average only 11 in the series.

England, 2009-2011
A controversial choice, perhaps (and only just edging the England side of 1911-12), but the statistics of England's recent success are compelling. England have won eight (and drawn one) of their last nine series and 20 of their last 31 Tests.

Perhaps even more impressively, 10 of those victories have been by innings margins. Four of England's batsmen are rated in the top ten and five of their bowlers are in the top 11 of the Test rankings. They have a well-balanced bowling attack that offers pace, bounce, swing and spin and a strong batting line-up including several men - Pietersen, Cook, Strauss and Bell - who all look set to surpass the current English record of 22 Test centuries.

Not only that, but they have inflicted crushing defeats upon India, Australia and Sri Lanka who have, in recent times, all been vying for top positions in the ICC Test rankings. No team has ever gone to Australia and inflicted three innings defeats in a series, while the Indian team defeated 4-0 in the summer of 2011 contained several players of the highest class - Tendulkar, Dravid, Dhoni and Laxman among them.

Uniquely among all the teams in this list, they key man in the England set-up is not actually a player. It is the coach, Andy Flower. Inheriting an under-performing, divided squad, he has instilled a work ethic and sense of purpose that has taken the side to the top of the world rankings.

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Comments have now been closed for this article

  • farazzubair on November 5, 2011, 18:38 GMT

    Putting the present England lot into contention seriously devalues the comparison. Would it be if they were defeated,it would come as a surprise.IMHO,the SA of the 69-70 series have been played way too far.Yes they might have been excellent, but its often forgotten they played at home and with the apartheid isolation round the corner had made it a point to go at it hard.Well with Don,any team could be the Invincibles and had every bit in them to go the long way but that only lasted for a series,so not enough there to look at.No matter what one says of the Aussie domination to as late as 2008,they were never the WI of the 70's- 80's.The sheer fear that an upcoming series would instill in many an excellent batsmen could lead to weeks of sleepless nights and bowlers would just wonder if there stats could be the same again after a dominant thrashing.To win even a single ODI against the WI seemed a war won, not so with the Aussies,who had their moments of toughness against stiffer oppositio

  • on November 5, 2011, 17:46 GMT

    Some of the comments here are actually funny in their content. "to prove their greatness they still have to continue that form for at least a year". Literally, that wrote itself. The greatest sides "EVER" don't just win for two years. Also, I don't remember any "top 5 teams in history" ever being whitewashed.

    Given the evidence I think the WI side that bowled England out for about 50 should be on this list. In that match, they absolutely dominated. An obvious choice.

  • on November 5, 2011, 16:33 GMT

    some people hare are suggesting that the ashes winning side of 2005 is better then this english side but no one has mentioned that before being whitewashed 0-5 by australia they were beaten by pakistan 2-0 in tests (3 match series) and 3-2 in the one day series in nov/dec of 2005, just three months after the so-called great team had won the ashes.all 11 players from the last ashes test were in the team which toured pakistan.

  • Puffin on November 5, 2011, 16:26 GMT

    I don't think the current England team should really be on this list either. Teams aren't normally judged to be great just from a couple of good years and one or two trashings of weak or underprepared/injury ridden opponents. They need to regularly win in all or nearly all situations, including strong teams. Not just "minnow bashers". It can't be ruled out they should never be on this list. It's just that the current situation does not suggest their dominance will be long lived.

    Then again, I wonder if the cricketing world was really prepared for 4 west indian fast bowlers, or Shane Warne & co? Perhaps we should prepare ourselves for the next surprise.

  • on November 5, 2011, 16:25 GMT

    some people hare are suggesting that the ashes winning side of 2005 is better then this english side but no one has mentioned that before being whitewashed 0-5 by australia in the next ashes series they were beaten by pakistan 2-0 in tests (3 match series) and 3-2 in the one day series in nov/dec of 2005, just three months after the so-called great team had won the ashes.all 11 players from the last ashes test were in the squad which toured pakistan.

  • OmkarGavhane on November 5, 2011, 14:20 GMT

    England's dis side has a lot 2 prove and wil be interesting hw long dey retain d world test championship

  • OmkarGavhane on November 5, 2011, 14:17 GMT

    Current England side in top teams ,wat a joke dey hav gt whitewashed a couple of times in dis span ... I agree dat west indies was d most dominant team wid aussies

  • chapathishot on November 5, 2011, 13:20 GMT

    Why promoting current England team as one of the greatest ever

    1.They are going to tour Sub continent and wont be No 1 ,if we they wait for some time

  • AlanHarrison on November 5, 2011, 11:45 GMT

    @ harshthakor: Good call about Ian Chappell's Australia side, which also surely deserve to be on this list rather than the current England side. After all, Ian Chappell never lost a series when captain of his country, not something which can be said of Andrew Strauss who lost a series against a poor West Indies team in 2009. @ Gizza: Disagree in so far as I think one thing one can say about the current England team is that it is better than that of 2005: even Flintoff, who was a part of the latter, agrees.

  • kasyapm on November 5, 2011, 11:02 GMT

    Do not know much of the 'invicibles' or the SA team of 69, but I would go with the WIs of 80-95. Not losing 29 consecutive series (a span of 15 years!) and beating all the opponents everywhere is a feat that can't be bettered. This team has to be the best ever.

  • farazzubair on November 5, 2011, 18:38 GMT

    Putting the present England lot into contention seriously devalues the comparison. Would it be if they were defeated,it would come as a surprise.IMHO,the SA of the 69-70 series have been played way too far.Yes they might have been excellent, but its often forgotten they played at home and with the apartheid isolation round the corner had made it a point to go at it hard.Well with Don,any team could be the Invincibles and had every bit in them to go the long way but that only lasted for a series,so not enough there to look at.No matter what one says of the Aussie domination to as late as 2008,they were never the WI of the 70's- 80's.The sheer fear that an upcoming series would instill in many an excellent batsmen could lead to weeks of sleepless nights and bowlers would just wonder if there stats could be the same again after a dominant thrashing.To win even a single ODI against the WI seemed a war won, not so with the Aussies,who had their moments of toughness against stiffer oppositio

  • on November 5, 2011, 17:46 GMT

    Some of the comments here are actually funny in their content. "to prove their greatness they still have to continue that form for at least a year". Literally, that wrote itself. The greatest sides "EVER" don't just win for two years. Also, I don't remember any "top 5 teams in history" ever being whitewashed.

    Given the evidence I think the WI side that bowled England out for about 50 should be on this list. In that match, they absolutely dominated. An obvious choice.

  • on November 5, 2011, 16:33 GMT

    some people hare are suggesting that the ashes winning side of 2005 is better then this english side but no one has mentioned that before being whitewashed 0-5 by australia they were beaten by pakistan 2-0 in tests (3 match series) and 3-2 in the one day series in nov/dec of 2005, just three months after the so-called great team had won the ashes.all 11 players from the last ashes test were in the team which toured pakistan.

  • Puffin on November 5, 2011, 16:26 GMT

    I don't think the current England team should really be on this list either. Teams aren't normally judged to be great just from a couple of good years and one or two trashings of weak or underprepared/injury ridden opponents. They need to regularly win in all or nearly all situations, including strong teams. Not just "minnow bashers". It can't be ruled out they should never be on this list. It's just that the current situation does not suggest their dominance will be long lived.

    Then again, I wonder if the cricketing world was really prepared for 4 west indian fast bowlers, or Shane Warne & co? Perhaps we should prepare ourselves for the next surprise.

  • on November 5, 2011, 16:25 GMT

    some people hare are suggesting that the ashes winning side of 2005 is better then this english side but no one has mentioned that before being whitewashed 0-5 by australia in the next ashes series they were beaten by pakistan 2-0 in tests (3 match series) and 3-2 in the one day series in nov/dec of 2005, just three months after the so-called great team had won the ashes.all 11 players from the last ashes test were in the squad which toured pakistan.

  • OmkarGavhane on November 5, 2011, 14:20 GMT

    England's dis side has a lot 2 prove and wil be interesting hw long dey retain d world test championship

  • OmkarGavhane on November 5, 2011, 14:17 GMT

    Current England side in top teams ,wat a joke dey hav gt whitewashed a couple of times in dis span ... I agree dat west indies was d most dominant team wid aussies

  • chapathishot on November 5, 2011, 13:20 GMT

    Why promoting current England team as one of the greatest ever

    1.They are going to tour Sub continent and wont be No 1 ,if we they wait for some time

  • AlanHarrison on November 5, 2011, 11:45 GMT

    @ harshthakor: Good call about Ian Chappell's Australia side, which also surely deserve to be on this list rather than the current England side. After all, Ian Chappell never lost a series when captain of his country, not something which can be said of Andrew Strauss who lost a series against a poor West Indies team in 2009. @ Gizza: Disagree in so far as I think one thing one can say about the current England team is that it is better than that of 2005: even Flintoff, who was a part of the latter, agrees.

  • kasyapm on November 5, 2011, 11:02 GMT

    Do not know much of the 'invicibles' or the SA team of 69, but I would go with the WIs of 80-95. Not losing 29 consecutive series (a span of 15 years!) and beating all the opponents everywhere is a feat that can't be bettered. This team has to be the best ever.

  • JP_the_genius on November 5, 2011, 10:13 GMT

    I would agree that current England team is one of the best in the history, but it will take time for them to prove that they are among five greatest teams ever. They just had last 12 extraordinary months. To prove their greatness they still have to continue that form for at least an year.

  • piegonfeather on November 5, 2011, 10:03 GMT

    westindies are far better then any other team in cricket era ...listing there greatness with englisg present team is not acceptable..!1

  • MikesSpinOnCricket on November 5, 2011, 9:58 GMT

    I'd be interested in what was the most successful Test ELEVEN. The Aussie 'team' of the '90s and Windies 'team' of 1976-95 were of course each an evolving squad over a number of years. For example, the latter began with Lloyd, Richards, Holding and co and ended with Lara, Ambrose, Walsh and co but the nations enjoyed a steady stream of new talent to step in when the old guard faded or retired. I'd like to think that Greenidge, Haynes, Richardson, Richards, Lloyd, Dujon, Marshall, Harper, Holding, Croft, Garner was arguably the best team, but how often did they actually play together, if at all?!

  • RFeynman on November 5, 2011, 9:43 GMT

    Why does everyone in a hurry to get the current England team in the list fo great teams? How desperate can you get? The great teams of WI and Australia were great teams. Period. Not great test teams or great ODI teams. Quite frankly, there is no great team at present, not England, nor any other team for that matter. Please stop abusing the words "Great team" by saying England is one. It is an insult to the true great teams of the past. Format of the cricket should not matter for great teams as was the case with WI and Australia. I don't recollect any great team have won a test series against Aussies at their home only to be beaten 6-1. With due respects to Ireland and Bangladesh, nor did the great teams lose to Ireland and Bangladesh a month later. And this is not a one-off incident. They dominated the Indian side in their backyard, tests more comprehensive than ODIs only to surrender rather abjectly in ODIs in India. Stop pumping the chests, supporters of true great teams never did.

  • ansram on November 5, 2011, 9:37 GMT

    England 2009-11 amongst the greatest?!! Hahahaha. Let them first learn to avoid white washes.( yeah, including ODIs). This team like India is a home track bully. Let us see how they do over the next three years before judging them. Great teams perform everywhere, pitches and conditions do not bother them.

  • dunger.bob on November 5, 2011, 8:58 GMT

    If, by some miracle of temporal mechanics, you were able to pit the recently departed Aussies against the wonderful Windies of the previous era, the first thing you would have to decide is which era's rules you were going to play under.

    Such was the dominance of the Windies fast bowlers that they forced two very important changes to the rules of the game. First is the requirement to bowl 90 overs in a day and the second is the limiting of the number of bouncers allowed per over.

    As great as they were, they were sometimes backed into a corner by the opposition batting and had to defend. Their response was as predictable as it was boring. They would simply starve the opposition of scoring opportunities by taking 10 minutes to bowl an over with five bouncers in it. And keep doing it until one of the batsmen lost patience and hooked himself out. Don't get me wrong, I grew up watching Viv and Richie and Curtly and loved them for the way they played, but that is what they used to do.

  • Nutcutlet on November 5, 2011, 8:38 GMT

    TheOnlyEmperor: your educated English friends can't communicate with you because you lack their sense of humour. I give you this; it is an acquired taste, employing a range of irony. There is not much to be done about that, just I am certain about your being in denial about Bradman. May I suggest that you do some research and find out more about him? Find me one wise, well read judge of cricket who would support your contention that DB was 'no great shakes' - apart from yourself, of course.

  • loung_singh on November 5, 2011, 8:05 GMT

    @gupta.ankur mate u got it wrong, read d title it says top five teams in the history of test cricket not t20 or odis and u said india did very well overseas hw well ? they have beaten only new zealand and windies (both 1-0) in 3 match series abroad and that is no achievement for a no 1 test team which india was then...i dnt undervalue achievements but u ve got 2 accept d facts n i ll surely be proud when india becomes a champion team which it wasnt ...bcoz for me a champion team takes pitches n conditions out of the equation ..u can say whatever 2 please ur mind but u cant ignore facts

  • TheOnlyEmperor on November 5, 2011, 6:38 GMT

    Bradman was no great shakes, playing entirely in Australia and England for his records, against teams which were decidedly substandard and at times with no use of technology or neutral umpires. Such was his era and one couldn't fault him for that, but I can't help thinking that Sangakkara, Kallis, Lara and Sachin would have out gunned him had they played the same opposition as Bradman in that era. The English writers are the worst of the lot, trying to prop up England at any given opportunity. I still know a lot of educated Englishmen who seriously seem to believe and they say this in face-to-face conversations that they are "ODI World Champions too, because India couldn't(sic) defeat them". Really, I can't even attribute all this to their smoke!

  • Gupta.Ankur on November 5, 2011, 6:33 GMT

    Don't know what's the fuss about? India did win T20 and ODI WC and also was No.1 Test team for almost 2 years and did very well overseas....

    Also, i was talking about India's batting line-up in tests...........one of the best of all time in tests.......and don't forget kumble....

    Pity some fellow indians devalue their own team;s achievements....

  • RohanMarkJay on November 5, 2011, 6:17 GMT

    @mikey76 The England team of the 1950s was the best England team ever. I agree.

  • on November 5, 2011, 6:04 GMT

    WI were by far the best team, there has not been a team before or after that can compare to them. The sheer domination of their opposition especially in the away series is what makes them great. Aus. team of Waughie could never conquer the "Final Frontier" and when they finally did; they end up losing to Eng. The unfortunate thing for the invincibles is that they never faced quality opponent and the SA never got to play again - cant hold that against them. But Eng. on this list - seriously !!!! The only away series they had was against Australia and that too a completely beaten up Australia. Which dominant teams on this list had their rear end whopped like England got in India recently. For a team to be considered dominant they should be good in all formats that are being played. West Indies and Australian's did that. South Africa ('06-10) did a better job even on away series, the only blip is defeat to Aus. after beating them in Aus but even then wont put them on this list.

  • Windies89 on November 5, 2011, 5:40 GMT

    Don't think Eng 09-11 belongs in there as yet. They need to maintain the #1 test ranking for a while longer. Also, maybe it should be Eng/SA/Ire since 5, yes FIVE, of the 11 players fielded in that 4-0 trashing of India were born outside of Eng.

  • Mark00 on November 5, 2011, 5:36 GMT

    @ Gupta Ankur, Tendulkar isn't even the best batsman in the Indian team, let alone the world and he certainly isn't the best of any era and further still from being the best ever. Bradman and atleast a dozen others are demonstrably superior.

  • Kaze on November 5, 2011, 3:59 GMT

    To me Australia 1994-2008 were better than WI. WI were undefeated yes, but they played so many less matches per year than Australia. Michael Holding himself said that the WI record cannot be eclipsed because no modern team can play as many matches as is played now and remain unbeaten for all those years. It's a completely different game now.

  • Kaze on November 5, 2011, 3:53 GMT

    @nlambda That is without a doubt the funniest post I have read on this site. You want India to be considered great because of their record over 1 month :))

  • harshthakor on November 5, 2011, 3:43 GMT

    The current English side deserves consideration as it vanquished strong Australian side with greater conviction than even Lloyd's West Indians did.It also beat the no 1 ranked test team 4-0 ,which is unprecedented.However remember the decline in Aussie cricket and the injuries that beset India.It is only over a certain period of time can you truly judge a team.In terms of a man to man composition it cannot compare with the all-time great teams,but in terms of pure performance yes.

    On a turning track the recent champion Australian sides may have edged Lloyd's team with the talent of Shane Warne.A very significant impact in a contest would have been of Adam Gilchrist the best match-winner of his day,batting at no7.Hayden,Waugh brothers,Ponting,Gilchrist matched the Greenidges,Haynes,Viv Richards and Clive Lloyd's.The Carribean pace battery game them that edge.

  • on November 5, 2011, 2:32 GMT

    oh come off it with the England nomination at the end. a period of 2 years? there's a reason the South African one was short, and the australian side of 1948 had dominated before the war as well. Typical knee jerk reaction, like remember when you put KP in your best ever English XI? would you still do that? The current england team has yet to beat it's closest rival in South Africa and hasn't played a match on the SC. The ashes victory is grounds to celebrate a famous win, not to claim this team is legendary outfit.

  • ibbotsoni on November 5, 2011, 1:30 GMT

    http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/series/474459.html

  • loung_singh on November 5, 2011, 1:26 GMT

    @gupta.ankur : mate i m frm india n i dnt knw which all conquering indian team r u talking about...r u refering 2 d team dat lost 4-0 in england ..d team which havent won a single series in australia,south africa n even sri lanka for dat matter ...n i thnk having great batsmen is of no use if u cnt win abroad as simple as dat

  • ibbotsoni on November 5, 2011, 1:26 GMT

    Gupta.Ankur - you serious!? oh yeah, beer, habajan, mishra and the rest really tied our boys up in knots this past year... YOU HAVING A LAUGH? this is test cricket we're talking about, not one day stuff.

  • Rakim on November 5, 2011, 0:09 GMT

    West Indies all the way !! Best team ever. Sir Donald Bradman is the greatest!! Although I choose as 5th team Imran Khan's Pak for series draw against WI when WI were at their peak. This Eng side needs to maintain their test status for 3-5 years, win a WC and test world championship. Then you may consider them for category greatest of all time

  • BillyCC on November 4, 2011, 22:58 GMT

    The greatest team to play cricket was the West Indies from 1976 to 1993 (not 1995, by then, Australia was clearly dominant), and this was closely followed by Australia from 1994 to 2008. If we deconstruct the teams further, Australia had the more complete team given they had Adam Gilchrist and a leg spinner in Shane Warne, but the West Indies had more quality with seven true greats in this era compared with Australia who had only four true greats in their dominant era. The current England side has no greats, and have beaten noteworthy but not great opposition. Their best opposition is still to come, with India in India shortly. My current perspective would have changed had they beaten South Africa in South Africa a couple of years ago but that did not happen.

  • Juiceoftheapple on November 4, 2011, 22:31 GMT

    'The sum of all their parts'. hmmm, is this the route of the problem of the debate, England currently has no apparent weakness, we bat to 9, have a quality spinner, pace, height, swingers, quality coaching, preparation. Perhaps Cook or Bell will become English greats, but world all time GREATS? hmmm. I think we've got the batting depth (and the style of our batsman is suited) to getting draws away from home (SA for example) and POSSIBLY in the sub-continent, and wins where conditions suit, for as long as Swann keeps going, then its ummm Briggs? Borthwick? and possibly back to mediocrity. What is certain, if England can get another big away series scalp in the next couple of years, and avoid defeat elsewhere, this debate will rage.......

  • nlambda on November 4, 2011, 22:17 GMT

    What about the Indian team between March 1 and 31, 2001? We beat Waugh's Aussies in both tests played that month! A 100% win record to boot.

  • gazelle79 on November 4, 2011, 22:07 GMT

    The author could have avoided a lot of controversies if he stuck to the common definition of greatness - dominant performances over an extended period - while assessing these sides . IMHO the only two teams to prove themselves over a long period are the Windies of 76-95 and the Aussies of 98-08 , with the Windies sneaking ahead on pure dominance . Trying to stretch this definition just to make up more teams can only lead to controversies . This is not to belittle the Aus 48 squad or the SA 69 squad . They had great players , but their dominance was restricted to just 2-3 series . England here seems more of a patriotic choice than a cricketing one . It's a good team and have good performances in the last few series but its way waaay too early to call them great yet .

  • Nutcutlet on November 4, 2011, 21:57 GMT

    @ Gupta.Ankur: Say after me:" Bradman is the greatest batsman of all time." Again. Again! Some things, my friend, are beyond argument.. Now again, "Bradman is..." That's better!

  • Nutcutlet on November 4, 2011, 21:45 GMT

    @ForwardDefensive, love the comment, well put, even for a Tyke! I too would choose the Windies of '66 under Sobers as being the side that was the best to watch even at the Oval where they lost by an innings as, it was rumoured, they were rather free with the rum during the course of the game (I'm sure it was just a rumour!). The England side of the last two years really doesn't belong in this august company: they have a distance to travel before this very good test side can be described as great. The imponderable question is: have they peaked already? With Andy Flower & Andrew Strauss running the show for a little time yet, there is reason to hope that they haven't.

  • on November 4, 2011, 21:33 GMT

    @Cummins_Hazlewood your jibe at Indians is poor. Ind-Nz series would be 2-0 for rain on the last day. (In wellington ,needed 2 wkts. Chris Martin one of them lol.) Go and see Aus,SA were struggling in 2009-10.England were improving. Really India earned that ranking, you forgot Perth 2008, Aus were no.1 when India beat them in 2008 at home,England were no 4. Indians are not telling the writer to include their team in the list. It is sarcasm.

    @spence1324 stop assuming that India only cares for odis.

  • BellCurve on November 4, 2011, 20:31 GMT

    @ Beertjie - You clearly don't have a clue. SA batsmen have dominated in India since readmission. Amla averages 102.87, Kallis 58.46 and De Villers 53.14. As a unit the Top 5 averages more than 45. Barry Richards and Graeme Pollock would have massacred Bedi and Co.

  • on November 4, 2011, 19:49 GMT

    Disagree with England here !!

  • nuru76 on November 4, 2011, 19:46 GMT

    Present England team ! What is this ? a joke or seriously a typo right ? How can u insult the other gr8 teams like this !

  • spence1324 on November 4, 2011, 18:55 GMT

    George Dobell I think you should do a greatest odi's teams article because our indian friends are feeling a bit left out here ha ha! Anyway I disagree on some of your choices namely the Saffers side of 69 why? because supporters are good at telling what mite have been but not what acutely happened,and the answer is we just dont no want would have happened.As for this england side Not yet! but let the next 2-3 years be their judge!,as you can only beat want is put in front of you!

  • on November 4, 2011, 18:48 GMT

    I'm a huge England fan but there's no way this team is among the 5 best of all time.

    I'm not even sure it's better than the summer of 2005 team.

    England are playing well but benefiting from weakness among other test nations. Plus, as has been noted, successful subcontinental tours are required to prove a team's worth.

  • Valavan on November 4, 2011, 18:47 GMT

    @Gary_111,spot on that makes some angry fans to spice up the forum. Whatever happens, everyone knows, Windies between 1976 - 1995 and Aussies between 1995 - 2008 are just outstanding and phenomenal. No other team can get close to that. Many ppl here forget to understand that this forum discusses only about test success. Now the Cricket is set for anyone to attain Test no.1 spot. cricinfo please publish.

  • on November 4, 2011, 18:35 GMT

    england cannot be grouped with these great teams because beating australia in australia is not a criteria..every team is a difficult to beat when it any playin in there backyard.

  • on November 4, 2011, 18:32 GMT

    Holy fun! Are you kidding me? The current English team is one of the five best of the game?!?! Seriously? In my opinion this English side is nothing more than an inch better than average. How can a team be placed so high when it can't face spin with dignity left intact at the end of a day?

  • Gary_111 on November 4, 2011, 18:32 GMT

    England 2009-11 have clearly only been included in this list to generate hits on the website and increase the number of irate comments, but i'm far too clever to fall for that.

  • lararichards on November 4, 2011, 18:19 GMT

    West indies 76-95 gets my vote. Any doubt about whether the recent Aussie team was better was surely put to bed in the 2005 Ashes. We all saw what Harmison, Hoggard, Jones and Flintoff did to that Aussie batting lineup. Just imagine what those great West Indian quicks would have done! The current England side included here? Do me a favour. What have all the other contenders got in common? All time greats playing for them. Who in the present England side can even be remotely considered an all time great!

  • Gupta.Ankur on November 4, 2011, 18:06 GMT

    I think Mr.Dobell will not only embarrasses people in england , but also embarrasses the other four teams mentioned above it....

    I really really can't see a team so poor in sub-continent and who depends heavily on seaming conditions to be among top-5 teams....

    The all conquering Indian side has some of the greatest players of all time and arguably the greatest batsman of all time.....

  • Jamesc89 on November 4, 2011, 17:17 GMT

    an otherwise interesting read ruined by such an outrageous, 'controversial' inclusion of the current england team. they have had great success for the past few seasons, but beyond that the team and squad surely must not be considered in the same vein as the other 4 teams listed, all of whom had the 'aura' we heard so much about when the last great australian team 'lost' theirs around 2007/08. ironic the article is titled as great as the sum of their parts, the current england team is the perfect example of a team greater than the sum of their parts- their parts really don't add up to anything impressive. KP and maybe COok if he continues his form for another 5+ years are the only ones who could possibly be considered even remotely close to 'great' players, and even kp is averaging just above 50 (a fantastic but not outrageous average for a number 4). i rate the team highly, i really do, but surely the inclusion of this team ruins the integrity of this article.

  • DaveMorton on November 4, 2011, 17:16 GMT

    Nay, George lad, nay, nay. I rarely disagree with anything you write, but this current England side is not that good. Not as good as the Hutton/May sides of the 1950s, not as good as the Illingworth Ashes team. Much as I enjoyed being at the MCG last winter, and the Boxing Day massacre was wonderful to behold, let's not get carried away.

    The best side I ever saw was the 1966 W Indies under Sobers - what an attack! None of the current England bowlers would have got in, not even Swann. And Sobers' men played with a smile, looked as though they were having fun.

  • on November 4, 2011, 17:03 GMT

    It is silly to include the present England team, much as I support them and admire their professionalism. Only time will tell.

  • arjunj on November 4, 2011, 16:33 GMT

    seriously, i mean seriously, england of 2011, one of the greatest teams in the history of cricket. this is just getting sad now.

  • on November 4, 2011, 15:51 GMT

    Ludicrous inclusion of the current England side. We beat the worst Australian team for two decades in Australia, beat a Murali-less Sri Lankan side at home in utterly alien conditions for the Sri Lankans, and beat an exhausted Indian side with a horrendous bowling attack and ageing batsmen. England's success has been as much about the fall in standards in the opposition as it has been about England raising their game.

  • N_Bali on November 4, 2011, 15:42 GMT

    Definitely Aussies of 2000s under Waugh. a well rounded and well balanced team, and one pointer that tilts the balance in Waugh's team is the presence of a world class spinner (read Warne), which Lloyd or Richards team did not have (not that they needed one but still). Bradman's team and saffers of 1970 not in same bracket as these two. Their magic was pretty much limited to one season or one series, not long enough to draw comparsion to Waugh's aussies or Lloyd's windes. As for England team of present, if they keep the same momentum and put a good show in subcontinent, they might fit into this bracket, but they need to be consistent.

  • Nutcutlet on November 4, 2011, 15:35 GMT

    Warwick Armstrong's 1920-1 & 1921 Australians surely deserve a mention. And before someone says that England had just suffered huge losses in the Great War and therefore was particularly weak, let's just remember that no nation on earth suffered more casualties per capita than the Australians did in that bloody conflict. For the record, between December 1920 and August 1921 their record was: P10, W8, D2 (one was an Old Trafford washout!). The margins were huge and the side stacked with legends: Collins, Bardsley, CG Macartney, Gregory & McDonald, Mailey, besides the formidable WW Armstrong himself. This side has every right to contend with the other five that George has brought to our attention!

  • adityanaikdesai on November 4, 2011, 15:19 GMT

    George Dobell?????? who???????

  • on November 4, 2011, 15:15 GMT

    No Pakistan? Are you kidding me, Just a word of advice check who's the 3rd most successful team in history of test cricket!!!

  • maddinson on November 4, 2011, 15:04 GMT

    Well I am surprised that English current team has been included in this list. Though they give a no. 1 ranked team and the golden generation of Indian cricket a trashing which will be remembered for a long long time but still they have to go a long way to reach at the level of Australia and WI.

    @To my Indian mates, accept that India's no.1 test ranking was a mere statistical phenomena created by there media and fans. I remember they were not even able to beat NZ more than 1-0 even on there home grounds during there no. 1 position

  • Valavan on November 4, 2011, 15:00 GMT

    I feel England of 50s is better bunch with hutton/compton/laker/trueman. @Nikhil puri, i can see your anticipation, but Think about India winning in Australia rather than Pak and SL thrashing England, thats basically our concern. If India lost to England, it must be sorted by England and India. not such hatred views, want to acquire no.1 by back door. As an English fan we want to win and make justification, not like waiting to go some reults in favour of us. cricinfo please publish

  • JFAB on November 4, 2011, 14:59 GMT

    Dear me George, desperate English bravado! I guess it is no surprise given that the entire team were given MBEs ( at least) for a single (narrow) series victory in 2005, even those in their first ever tests!!! ( ignoring ythe many better players in losing teams for the previous decades. TYou stuck the Windies eras and long Australin era together to make room for 5 and stuck England on - clearly the entire purpose for writing the article. Look not just at series wins but how they played. On how they played the 2009 Ashes was the worst performed vistory in test history and the series in South Africa was the liuckiest drawn series ever. The performance in Australia was superb as was the recent win over India, but that is it really - hardly enough for one of the greatest teams of all time. I agree with otehrs that even in England there have been sevaerl much greater teams and I ceertainly regard the 2005 team's win over a very strong Australia at their peak as far more impressive

  • 2.14istherunrate on November 4, 2011, 14:34 GMT

    Very interesting...but suspicious. I think a side which rules the roost over 10 or 15 years is of a different order to one which is only at the top for a series. though1948 Aussies were obviously class, England were so weak after the war that Bangladesh of the moderns would give them a run for their money. As for SA over a series, they only played v A, NZ, and E in anycase. Would they have performed on the subcontinent or Carribean? It's all conjecture! As for England, it is fashionable for us to run ourselves down, and no-one else is going to talk us up. I keep having to pinch myself when I think of the good bowlers around and realise that our players do not face that many these days because we have them. I think for England it's a case of not suddenly getting vertigo because we are at the top. otherwise the present side have right to be included in this piece though not ahead of the two sides that did over years rather than weeks. we will know more in a year.

  • Beertjie on November 4, 2011, 14:24 GMT

    Well, @aruntheselector, the SA team in the mid to late sixties won 8 out of 11 tests against England and Australia, yet having seen them and the WI of the same period in action, I would rate the WI of 1963-1968 superior using your criterion of "must be very good in all departments". The WI had the better balance and proved it in India in 1966-67. @Xolile, there is no doubt SA would gave done no better than England did on the sub-continent, where the absence of a quality spinner would have cost them. @Donda, your remarks are spot on about the reason for writing the article.

  • QingdaoXI on November 4, 2011, 14:21 GMT

    If England side of 2009-11 is there why not Indian side of 2007-10

  • on November 4, 2011, 13:59 GMT

    Hahahahaha ...England of 2011? Are you kidding me? They will get thrashed in the Middle East / Sri Lanka. By that count, India's side from 2007 through to 2011 should be included as well.

  • jasonpete on November 4, 2011, 13:51 GMT

    @julian Dawson,England beat Australia by three innings defeat in ashes but only when Australia ranked below England in test ( during 2010 ashes) and lost many key players during that period(transition time).when Australia used to be dominant during the 2006 ashes series ,we all knew what happened to England team that time .(5-0 whitewash ).To be dominant ,England is no where near Australia or westindies.They need to win everywhere first south Africa then subcontinent,till that achievement comparing with westindies and aus is a big no.

  • on November 4, 2011, 13:45 GMT

    Ok, England?? Really?? In my opinion only two sides qualify for this honour... The West Indies and the recent Australians. The "Invincibles" played against a few teams in similar conditions and the others I'm not even going to bother deconstructing...

  • khurramlone on November 4, 2011, 13:42 GMT

    Agree with all other choices except that last one. That was shocking. This is not even the best English team of last 50 years. 1968-72 was a much better team and won against far more formidable opponents and even that team does not compare well with the other teams in this list. 1952-1958 English team could have been considered, as well as 1960-1966 West Indies teams.

  • HatsforBats on November 4, 2011, 13:42 GMT

    @ mikey76, it's nice to see some home grown perspective, the 1950's were a juggernaut of an English side. @ Paul Rone-Clark; stats aren't everything mate, they don't look so great when you consider that in the 09-11 period England have played 5 of 10 series against 3 teams (WI, Bangladesh, & Pak) ranked in the bottom 4, they drew in SA, (despite winning) were outscored and out-bowled at home by Aus, and beat uncharacteristically weak Indian and Aus teams. To place them in the TOP 5 test sides of all time is ridiculous and insulting to geniunely great sides of the past.

  • AlanHarrison on November 4, 2011, 13:39 GMT

    No, Julian Dawson, there is plenty of room for debate. The three innings victories prove nothing. Perhaps the Australians just played lousy cricket for three matches (as getting bowled out for 98 and numerous pies from Mitchell Johnson, etc, strongly suggest). I really don't think the current England team would have beaten many Australian teams from previous eras, let alone secure three innings victories. Do you really think they'd have done that for instance to Mark's Taylor's team of 1994 (not listed above)? No, on the contrary, I think Taylor's team would have beaten them, and is therefore another better candidate for inclusion.

  • Gupta.Ankur on November 4, 2011, 13:30 GMT

    It seems the author hasn't much of cricket between 2008-2011.........otherwise a team which was no.1 in Icc Test ranking for 19months , winner of T20 and ODI WC's would have surely been considered.....

    Also, most of the said wins for england have come at home........they are one of the worst players of spin ever....

  • bumsonseats on November 4, 2011, 13:02 GMT

    although i think the present england team are a good side i cannot agree. there should not be a current side in these listings when they have ended their careers if still of the same opinion fair enough. you mentioned beating the aussies. the old addage that has been used about a team. cannot bat cannot bowl cannot field. brings to mind when that aussie side is mentioned. to be beaten by 3 tests innings defeats in a home series sounds good. but i ask you. the same team are now been touted as going to #3 in the icc test list. streth ur joking . dpk

  • on November 4, 2011, 12:58 GMT

    Now children, play nicely. The author admitted that the choice was controversial. But in a purely test context the statistics speak for themselves. *No team has ever gone to Australia and inflicted three innings defeats in a series* When another team does this then perhaps we can continue the debate.

  • on November 4, 2011, 12:48 GMT

    utter nonsense to put the english team there

  • AlanHarrison on November 4, 2011, 12:45 GMT

    The current England team one of the best five teams of all time. Right. So presumably the sign of a good team is getting stuffed 5-0 by India? Yes, I know this article is about test cricket teams, but the qualities which this article suggests the team possess in abundance ('work ethic and sense of purpose') would surely assist a team's one-day performance as well, so surely they can't be that good. Before any England fans complain at me for saying that, let me add that I simply think other England teams in the past have been better than this one, notably the Hutton/Laker/Trueman/Statham, etc team of c.1952-7. So I think the latter team should be on this list, not the Broad/Swann/Pietersen hissy-fit prima donnas.

  • aruntheselector on November 4, 2011, 12:41 GMT

    Maybe England of 1911-12 would have been a better choice.It is too early to include England Team between 2009-2011 among the all time best team.They might have been at their best in these 2 years,but still cannot say that unbeatable.A tour to India and Sri Lanka would tell the real story.No doubt that West Indies between 1976-1995 and Australia between 1999-2008 and Bradman's invincibles are the best of all time.Only those teams can qualify who were unbeatable atleast for a period of 5 years or have achivements like 10 consecutive victories. Also the team must be very good in all departments.Even though India was No.1 in rankings, it could not be sais that it is the best team since India has never won a series ever in South Africa or Australia.India did win in England in the last 5 years (2007).However, the team did not have a good bowling attack that is required to dominate other teams.So as of now it can be only 3 teams that qualify as all time best and a consolation for S Africa.

  • Nomad73 on November 4, 2011, 12:40 GMT

    Agree with what many other have said about England 2010-11. Too early. Anyway, there are other great England sides to consider - mid 50s (Hutton, Compton, May, Bailey, Trueman, Statham, Evans, Bedser, Tyson, Laker, Lock, Wardle) or early 30s (Sutcliffe, Jardine, Hammond, Leyland, Paynter, Wyatt, Ames, Verity, Larwood, Voce, Allen).

  • 4test90 on November 4, 2011, 12:37 GMT

    Simple really - the 1948 team. On the basis that it is impossible for a team with Bradman to be inferior to one without him.

  • on November 4, 2011, 12:37 GMT

    England's inclusion in this maybe a bit premature yes but the talk of having an Indian side in here is absolute tosh! India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka have no place in "A top 5 team" until they beaten Australia, South Africa and England all away. Yes, India did smash England about in 06 but t they haven't managed a series win against SA or Aus away. This is also why England shouldn't be here. We haven't proven ourselves in the sub-continent and until we do England shouldn't be put in such a list.

  • on November 4, 2011, 12:23 GMT

    Records speak for themselves. England have not lost a test series for years, and win 50% of the tests they have played in the past 18 months by an innings. The top ten batting and bowling rpositions are both 50#% English players (which means the other 8 main teams are fighting over the other 50% between them). IN contrast, thaty's a better sequence of innings wins than either the WI of the 80's or the ozzies of hte 2000's managed, it's more players in the top ten then either of those teams managed, it's a better win/loss ratio than the aussies in the 2000's managed, England score more runs are bowl out more sides than the WI of the 80's. Yeah - hate England all you like. We'll take the cold hard stats in test cricket any day

  • srini1088 on November 4, 2011, 11:49 GMT

    George dockerell.....Have u followed cricket ????i seriously doubt it....england among top 5 english sides of all time...sir pls...come down to india we ll show u hw bad u are in tests

  • o-bomb on November 4, 2011, 11:37 GMT

    I think it's a bit premature putting the current England side in this list (although it is funny seeing everyone else get wound up by it). Despite our impressive recent record I'd say India have always been poor away from home and the Australian team we played last year were as bad as they've been for 20 years. If we beat South Africa next summer and then win in India this time next year then the team would deserve to be on this list, but at the moment it's a bit early to say we're one of the best 5 teams ever.

  • UglyIndian on November 4, 2011, 11:34 GMT

    @jasonpete - true none of them explicitly asked for the Indian team to be included, but knowing my fellow countrymen, I have a feeling that the demand was rather impilicit. Anyways, I'd like people who disagree with that selection to perhaps suggest another team or/and era instead. Lets get some more insightful thoughts, rather than pedantic rants.

  • on November 4, 2011, 11:27 GMT

    2009-2011 english side in one of the 5 greatest teams ? somebody please tell me that it's a joke... i would say this is utter-nonsense.. i bet that they would lose their top ranking by next year december. When will cric-info stop hyping up this english team?

  • Y2SJ on November 4, 2011, 11:25 GMT

    Calling the current test side as great is Blasphemy. They have won against Australia, SA, and hammered India. They are a very good team. But they are not great yet. If they can carry the form for a couple more years, they can be called great. I personally thijnk that they have it in them to aceive that feat.

  • Uglyenglish on November 4, 2011, 11:15 GMT

    Comparing with west indies and Australia is a bit biased and going over the top ,we just won only in Australia,we need to win in subcontinent and southafrica.westindies and Australia used to dominate both forms of the game and they beat everyone in all the conditions.To be called as great team ,we should win test series outside along with Odis's ( including world cup). For me the best team is westindies,such a dominant force in the cricket,wonderful players.my vote always goes to WI,it's a shame to compare England team with WI and Australia even though I am avid England supporter.

  • on November 4, 2011, 11:15 GMT

    George, judging by your selection criteria, you should also include the Current Zimbabwe Team and the bangladesh team in your list! but seriously, English team of 2009-11 in your all time greats- Let them try and save a match in India to start with!

  • on November 4, 2011, 11:14 GMT

    Nice to see some honesty from English supporters here.. :) It wud hv been better if he had picked only four here.. If fifth is a mandatory, Pak hav always had a better Team in 80s and 90s.. Though they didn't dominate completely like WI r AUS, they r way better than current Eng Team.. Of the above mentioned teams, Aus is the only one which I have witnessed LIVE.. At their prime, any game for them seemed to be a cakewalk direct to presentation ceremony.. I doubt, any other team will come to that caliber in near future..

  • bonguly on November 4, 2011, 11:07 GMT

    England have benefited from transitioning to a new set of players earlier than other sides. Australia, India, Srilanka and Pakistan are in the process of transitioning. The real test will be a few years into the future. As of now, the real test would be South Africa who have performed their transition at almost the same time as England.

  • amphoterik on November 4, 2011, 11:07 GMT

    We'll see how the current English side fares in a test match in the sub-continent against India. The recent one-day performance may be an indicator of their comfort in playing the Indians in their backyard.

  • on November 4, 2011, 11:07 GMT

    As everyone else says, too early to place England. The only two teams to be placed in this bracket are West Indies (1976-95) and Australia (1999-2008). And out of these, West Indies are definitely better. Really cant judge Australia and South Africa on one series alone. Who knows how Graeme Pollock would have played Prasanna on a Chennai dustbowl in 1970 with five fielders around the bat or in fading light against a reverse swinging Sarfraz Nawaz at Karachi?

  • mikey76 on November 4, 2011, 11:03 GMT

    As an Englishman I think it is way too premature to rate the current England side this highly. Perhaps if we beat SA home and away, beat India in India and retain the ashes you could maybe make a case for it. But for me there are better England teams through the ages. The Ray Illingworth led side that won the ashes in 1970-71 was a very good side with the likes of Boycott, Snow,Knott and Underwood. The ashes winning sides of 1926 and 1932-33 were both magnificent featuring greats such as Hobbs,Sutcliffe,Larwood,Verity,Tate,Ames and Leyland. But for me the greatest group of players to represent England were around between 1953-1958, this was the greatest side of the era and a definite match for Bradmans invincibles of 1948. Great spinners in Laker,Lock and Wardle. Great fast bowlers in Trueman,Statham and Tyson and Great batsmen in Hutton,Compton,May and Cowdrey.Plus two solid allrounders in Godfrey Evans and Trevor Bailey...a great team that beat everybody home and away for six years.

  • adm21 on November 4, 2011, 11:03 GMT

    @Vaibhav, whether England deserve to be included or not, their record in the time-frame mentioned includes 6 wins (as opposed to 2 defeats) in 11 overseas tests.

    In case you need help with your maths, this mean 70% of their 20 wins happened at home, which is only slightly more than the 65% of matches that have taken place there.

  • on November 4, 2011, 10:30 GMT

    I agree - a bit biased including the current England set up. They need to prove themselves in the sub continent.

  • Valavan on November 4, 2011, 10:14 GMT

    England's inclusion in this list is a little too early. we must wait till the Pak series next in UAE and then we can conclude that England is better. Even in 2005, it was a false dawn, so we must wait till they dominate atleast 2 subcontinent teams in Asia, that is 2 from Pak,SL or India. that will justify their mettle in test side. I think the author only counted the test victories not the ODI dominations, If the author has missed a trick or two here, Windies 1976 - 1995 and OZ 1995 - 2008, did aussies loose many tests between 1995 - 1998, i say no. so that should be correected. In other case I wish England to prevail in any 2 subcontinent teams to justify this premature statement by the author. cricinfo please publish

  • rickywanting on November 4, 2011, 10:09 GMT

    The writer seems to be a very patriotic Englishman - he's placed England with the greatest teams to play the game. What a joke! I'm from India and am as patriotic as any man, but judging quality has nothing to do with patriotism. Apart from the Invincibles and the 1999-2008 Aussies, I'm sure Australia has had better teams that the current England team. And Pakistan in the 1970s and 1980s - in the latter decade they never lost a series to West Indies. They were fantastic even in the 1990s, with great bowlers and some very good batsmen.

  • Lord.emsworth on November 4, 2011, 10:08 GMT

    Put a lid on it George. Its great to be patriotic and all that jazz but keep a level head for Petes sake. I love England as you do and dearly love to see them win and win and win... but they have no right to be on your list. The only really super great team that had the longest reign was the West Indies. Nobody can take that away from them.

  • jasonpete on November 4, 2011, 9:46 GMT

    @uglyindian, your fellow Indians didnt say that India should be one among the top 5 test teams along with great west indies and mighty Aussies,they just say England don't deserve to be in that top list,anyway india not in the list.Westindies and Australia won everywhere but England and India both do well only in home.so you can't bring up England team along with Australia and west indies which is quite shame to compare with those two best teams.

  • TheOnlyEmperor on November 4, 2011, 9:37 GMT

    The English Team of 2009-11? Really? I just wish they have a rematch with India in England once again with all of the top Indian players playing the Tests! The Indian tour of England in 2011 was jinxed tour for the Indians with injuries affecting everybody. Besides, how can one forget the way the umpires conspired to over-rule the much acclaimed "technology" which the Indians were supposedly afraid to use... especially at critical times of the matches...In India, the entire episode of over ruling the DRS came to be derisively referred to as the Dravid Review System... and let all history writers capture and record that fact!

  • 2929paul on November 4, 2011, 9:25 GMT

    Too early to judge the current England team. It's also unfair to scoff about a team that's still a work in progress and hasn't had a chance to prove itself. That's why they shouldn't be on the list. The WI team are the best in my opinion but the Aus team were onderful as well, although perhaps overly reliant on Warne and McGrath in the bowling department.

  • Kothandaram on November 4, 2011, 9:08 GMT

    tough to compare the teams but the West Indies team of the 1980s should rank above the others including the all-conquering Aussies. the Caribbeans struck fear into opposition outfits and were never threatened. awesome batting and fearsome bowling made for a terrific combo. the current england team is way behind them in terms of success and class

  • on November 4, 2011, 8:53 GMT

    Is George Dobell an English.?? Other than English, none can claim their current side as a part of all time great Teams. That too.. in top 5..?? God..

  • on November 4, 2011, 8:36 GMT

    england inclusion is fairly bias......because srilanka and india are far better team.....out of 20 test england won 95 % on home grounds......

  • harshthakor on November 4, 2011, 8:24 GMT

    My top 5 are 1.Bradman's 1948 Australains 2.Clive Lloyd's 1979-80 and 1984 West Indian teams 3.Ricky Ponting's and Steve Waugh's Australian teams 4.Frank Worrel's 1963 West Indians 5.Ian Chappell's 1975 Australians.

    The Australian team's defeats in India in 2001 and in England in 2005 count against their being rated better than Lloyd's or Bradman's men.Remember West Indiies annihilated India in India in 1983-84.

    The current English team is an all-time great one but has not been tested on the sub-continent.I rate the Peter May led English team of the late 1950's to be superior,with the likes of Dexter,Trueman,Statham,Cowdrey and May himself.

  • harshthakor on November 4, 2011, 8:15 GMT

    To me Bradman's Australian's would have just edged Lloyd's West Indians.This is primarily because of the presence ofa great all-rounder in Keith Miller,great left -handers in Morris and Harvey and the Don himself who was 2 great batsman combined into one.

    You have missed out on important teams like Frank Worrell's 1963 West Indian side which included Sobers,Kanhai,Nurse,Hunte,Hall etc and would have almost matched Clive Lloyd's champions.You have also missed Ian Chappell's powerful 1975 Aussies who vanquished the Carribeans with the likes of Lillee,Thomson ,Chappel brothers etc.All these teams discussed were ahead of the current English team.

    Recent champion Australian sides had greater killer instinct than any champion team but lacked the flair and talent of Bradman's and Lloyd's teams by a small margin.

    One error made is that the West Indies teams have been categorized as there was a significant difference between the taems led by Lloyd,Richards and Richardson.

  • pitch_curator on November 4, 2011, 8:09 GMT

    Putting the English team in the same league as the Aussies of late 90s and West Indies of 80's is a joke. Infact it is an insult to those teams. Tomorrow you will put the English ODI side of 2011-2011 in the top 5 best ODI teams because they have been India in one home series...

  • UglyIndian on November 4, 2011, 8:02 GMT

    Fellow Indians taking a dig at England 2009-2011, lets not forget, India has never ever won a test series in either South Africa or Australia. Lets give credit where its due. They did beat us pretty nastily over the summer. Can't deny that. Overall, its a close call between the 76-95 Windies and the 99-08 Aussies. Would have made a rivetting contest between the two of them, though if the games were played sans helmets, the Windies would have won 5-0 :)

  • on November 4, 2011, 7:59 GMT

    England 2009-2011 one of the greatest sides ever? Has any great team lost 0-5 in an ODI series? Has this team ever won anything in subcontinent? People may say that this discussion is based on tests, but did West Indies or Australia ever suffer 0-5 defeats in ODIs? In fact they won multiple World Cups.

    Coming to individual talent. Compare Cook-Strauss with Greenidge-Haynes or Hayden-Langer or Barry Richards, compare Bell-Trott-Pietersen with Richards-Lloyd or Ponting-Waugh-Waugh or even Graeme Pollock, compare the wicketkeepers, compare Bresnan-Finn-Broad-Swann with WI quartet or Mcgrath-Warne-Gillespie or Proctors. I am not even daring to compare with Bradman-Barnes-Miller-Lindwall-Harvey-Morris-Hassett-Johnston-Tallon.

    Just by defeating an Aussie team in transition or an Indian team without any bowler does not make them one of the greatest.

  • maddy20 on November 4, 2011, 7:55 GMT

    A team that has not won in the subcontinent even once in the past 35 years is in the greates teams of all times list. In my opinion only the WI side of the 80's and the Aussie side of 1999-2007 make the cut. The rest of them don't deserve to be here. A team cannot be considered great if they cannot hold the no.1 ranking for a min of 5 years.

  • BellCurve on November 4, 2011, 7:55 GMT

    By 1971 the SA team would also have included Vince van der Bijl and Clive Rice. A few years later Peter Kirsten, Jimmy Cook, Ray Jennings, Garth Le Roux and Ken McEwan would have joined. There were also Kepler Wessels, Stephen Jeffries and Spook Handley. On the other side of the racial divide there were players such as Saait Magiet who may have developed into world beaters if given the necessary opportunities. Anyway. A truly sad era, apartheid was.

  • jonesy2 on November 4, 2011, 7:46 GMT

    hahahahahaahahahahahahahahahaha current england team!! haahahahaha funniest thing i have ever heard in my life! oh boy this is brilliant. yeah and while your at it i guess matt prior better than gilchrist and stuart broad better than mcgrath, james anderson better than dennis lillee, jonathan trott better than jaques jallis, ian bell better than sachin tendulkar, graeme swann better than shane warne. hahahahahahaa this just goes to show how pathetic england are and have been through history and will continue to be

  • on November 4, 2011, 7:37 GMT

    the west indies was the best without a doubt.they thrashed EVERYONE both home and away.not to mention that they went undefeated in a series for 15 years(29 series).they won two world cups and reached the final of another one.their batsmen DOMINATED bowlers like lille, imran, kapel dev, botham, headly, abdul qadir to name just a few.their bowlers TERRORIZED batsmen like gavaskar, miandad, crowe, gooch, border, waugh etc.

  • AJ_Tiger86 on November 4, 2011, 7:29 GMT

    England 2009-2011 is by far the greatest test team ever. The way they HUMILIATED and THRASHED Australia with 3 innings defeats IN Australia was incredible. And then they WHITEWASHED India 4-0. NO other no.1 team in the history of cricket has ever been whitewashed before. That shows the greatness of this incredible England side.

  • Dashgar on November 4, 2011, 7:20 GMT

    I'd take Australia from 89-99 over the current England side any day. Not sure why the Aus dynasty is so restrictive, it really started after we reclaimed the ashes from England. By the mid nineties Australia had beaten West Indies away and become the undisputed kings of world cricket and remained so until Warne and McGrath retired.

  • on November 4, 2011, 7:00 GMT

    Let England win in India/Sri Lanka, then there will be no doubt on their claim to greatness.

  • smalishah84 on November 4, 2011, 6:59 GMT

    The English team currently would probably get a run for their money from most sides of the 90s let alone be an All Time great team. And the SA team of the late 60s didn't play enough to warrant an inclusion in this august gathering.

  • Dilmah82 on November 4, 2011, 6:50 GMT

    The West Indian side was the greatest. If the Aussie dominant side played the West Indies pacemen at the best I don't think they would have scored enouigh runs to win the game (especially if there were no helmets). A good example is take a look at Matthew Hayden's record in Tests in games Ambrose played, and then against the rest, where he would walk down the wicket at them. When the Aussies were dominanting the rest of the sides were mediocre. Thats why the ICC came up with the superseries! The great bowlers (Ambrose, Walsh, Wasm, Waqar, Donald) were at the end of their careers, and there were no great opening batsmen to challenge them either! West Indies won in all conditions around the world!

  • on November 4, 2011, 6:31 GMT

    Let this English side win something...anything...in the subcontinent beore jumping the gun!Greatness in a cricket team is the ability to win in ALL conditions, not just in your backyard.

  • mits6 on November 4, 2011, 6:30 GMT

    West Indies is the only visiting team to have a win loss ratio >1( ie 2) in India , they truely prevailed in every conditions during their domination.

  • maddinson on November 4, 2011, 6:18 GMT

    Australia and WI are easy choice as both team hammered every team home and away. I think Australia of 1999-2008 have a minor edge over WI of 1980s as they have the greatest WK and greatest Spinner bowler of all time. Australian batting and WI batting are almost similar and though WI's fast bowling is slightly ahead but it is bit one dimensional

  • on November 4, 2011, 6:17 GMT

    No doubt it is the great West Indies which demolished the bowlers and bowled with raw pace even on flat pitches and even in sub continent.

  • on November 4, 2011, 6:09 GMT

    the West Indies without a doubt.i mean just the fact that they didn't lost a series in 15 years is evidence enough just how dominent they erer. look at the batsmen they played against,the likes of gavaskar,miandad,gooch,border,waugh,zaheer abbas, crowe,boon and many others.their batsmen DOMINATED bowlers like lille, imran, kepel dev, abdul qadir, hadely, botham, and many others.they won two world cups and reached final of another.i agree with west_indiesBoss on the fact that had they played the number of tests played these days, their records would have been even GREATER.

  • since7 on November 4, 2011, 6:01 GMT

    The only challenge that england brushed aside enroute to no.1 was their routing of australia in australia in an exceptional manner and their whitewash of india though in favourable conditions.They are yet to beat south africa both at home and away and havent had their new great team tested in India which could be their toughest test of all.Now if a sub continental team had done outstandingly well in their conditions and routed the present australian team away,would they be allowed to flaunt their no.1 status let alone being the greatest team of all time unless they win in england and south africa?.No way!.The good thing is that the english team and its coach have always been sensible in their aims,their goals ahead!.For all the demolitions acts performed by australia in the early 2000's they never prided themselves in being universal champions untill they best india in india!.

  • AK_India on November 4, 2011, 5:59 GMT

    Windies were the best... but can't say the same about England 2009-11, if they can defeat India in India then they can be called dominant, but till then a big NO...

    The list should probably be just 4 teams long. Eng are just to round it to 5...

  • pradeep_dealwis on November 4, 2011, 5:53 GMT

    West Indies of the 80's for sure! they weren't a "textbook perfect" team, since they didn't have a quality spinner, but they didn't need one did they? and ENG 09-11? SERIOUSLY?!!? they can't hold a candle to any of the other great teams...and they'll bulldozed in the subcontinent and SA! They beat an half-strength and injury hit India, and AUS and SL teams in transition, even then they could only beat a mediocre SL 1-0. I'll rate Cronje's SA and Imran Khan's PAK considerably higher than this ENG outfit. They weren't the best of their times, but sure as hell better than ENG today!

  • donda on November 4, 2011, 5:52 GMT

    Obviously this article is written just to mention england current team. This current team has just played for 2 years and the writer is comparing them with WI of 15 years and aussies of 12 years dominance.

    It make no sense. I think current england team is not the greatest 5 team at all. If they can beat SA in SA and India in India then i would consider this team great. Also it just 2 years, it's totally unfair to put this team with greatest teams. Even SA team of 69 cannot be considered as greatest because they never played for more than 2 years.

    This is just like that if you take first two years average of michael hussey and micheal baven then they will be consider the greatest ever but it's not that case. Sachin is standing there for 22 years. Years count in cricket.

    Only WI and Australia deserve to added to this list all others are not greatest. though they can be great but not greatest. especially current english team. sorry.

  • on November 4, 2011, 5:21 GMT

    England don't deserve to be there yet... need to win test series in the sub continent, that 1 draw was in SAF where England whimpered to a draw 9 wickets down twice in a 1-1 draw however this team certainly has the potential to join this list if we look again in 2-3 years.

  • akshay1994 on November 4, 2011, 5:06 GMT

    You can't call a team that has performed well for only a couple of years to be the one of the greatest sides, that's a complete joke. I can understand SA's inclusion because of external factors but having this England team is a joke. Sure they destroyed Australia away and India, but that is only two series. Maybe 3/4 more years of the same consistency and you can start to think about it.

  • addiemanav on November 4, 2011, 4:58 GMT

    contd- eng 09-11 is a very good side who have proven their ability at home,and also in australia!but they have to first come & win in sub-cont &!they did that in 2001(pak & Sl),also in 2004(in SA),but that period was called as a 'FALSE DAWN' by many former eng plyrs themselves!so how can we say,it isnt now??Eng have to prove the cricket fans all over the world wrong(including me),to claim the tag of being the one of the best in the history of the game!They are a very good side who are ranked no#1 currently,just like ind did 4-5 months back!No1 rankings are like the oscars,every year there's gonna be a new winner!These are exciting times for test cricket where more than 1 team can claim top rank!SA for example is the only side who has had major success in india!since 96,they hav played 5 series here,won 1,lost2 &drawn2!Eng is on a roll,look fresh and have a new attitude..the series in india next yr is going to be exciting!but as for this list,only WI & Aus can OWN it!!

  • statguru on November 4, 2011, 4:55 GMT

    I'd have to say the Aussies were ... they beat everybody! Mr Holding never did bowl to Graeme Pollock who loved the short pitched rising ball and I believe would have hammered all the West Indian bowlers around the ground. The same for Barry Richards who had every shot in the book and the timing to go with it. No Mr Holding you never hammered every team. It might have been a very close contest between those two sides. I'd say the South Africans were better batsmen and the WI better bowlers. On a green pitch WI and a turning wicket the SA team. Pretty even... But no team could compete with the Aussies in early 2000 ... Great all round team for any kind of pitch. They had the batting, fast & spin bowling. England 2010/11 was a joke i think. Or maybe journalist-fixing??

  • pranab708 on November 4, 2011, 4:53 GMT

    Was this article worth writing?? We all know, the limited exposure cricket had before say 1950s (only 3 major teams played the sport regularly), there are only two great teams. The first and the second in this piece. The respective order can be argued. No matter whatever people say about Bradman's invincibles, it simply didn't play too many quality opponents and not also in different conditions. The SA team of the seventies simply didn't play enough, so they are a mere speculation. And England 2009-2011.... ho ho ho ha ha ha ha.... I barely managed to hold myself from falling off my chair. Well Poms, they are just like that.... They would also put Tim Henman and Andy Murray as the best tennis players in the world. Wake up Mr. Dobell. I know your excitement on finally seeing a strong english cricket team (the nineties and the noughties were nightmares for them), but let your team win some matches (even ODIs will do) in the subcontinent then comeback to us with slightly prouder chest.

  • Hummi on November 4, 2011, 4:42 GMT

    No Indians complaining about the usual? the most unusual thing i have ever seen !

  • redneck on November 4, 2011, 4:41 GMT

    putting the current enlgand side in there cheapens the other 4 worthy contenders. one ashes series win in australia is really all that they have achieved. yeah they managed to win the ashes in 09 dispite taking less wickets and making less runs. but lets not forget this england side has yet to beat south africa. how can a side be put in the same catagory as those increadable west indies teams, the aussies or the south african side robbed by aparthied. cant claime to one of the greatest ever when you havent even beaten the number 2 side of the current time!!!! rose coloured glasses if ever ive seen it.

  • addiemanav on November 4, 2011, 4:36 GMT

    If the yardstick for getting into the top 5 teams in the history is winning at home only, then there are many more teams that can get into this list!Eng has won the ashes in aus,but they need to prove HOME AND AWAY against every side of the world,something that WI(80s-95) and Aus(90s-08) did!I dont think you can even try and put any other team other than WI & Aus,coz no team has ever dominated for such a length in the game!WI used to 'blackwash' teams away from home..even in sub-cont!Even aus failed to win in ind during their most celebrated period(only exception being the 2004 series,where they were definitely better prepared,but the result still was 2-1)!TEST CRICKET is one rare sport which has seen such domination & it aint an american football or a t20 league where a 2 year golden period is said to be the greatest in history!and if home wins are a yardstick,then india can also contest to be in the 'top' list as they hav lost only 2 test series in 25 yrs at home!eng 09-11 is contd..

  • Gizza on November 4, 2011, 4:28 GMT

    Also, surely England 2005 was stronger than the current England?

  • Gizza on November 4, 2011, 4:23 GMT

    "England 2009-2011" Sounds like the author is implicitly suggesting England will lose the No. 1 ranking by next year. Otherwise he would have said "2009-present".

  • on November 4, 2011, 4:23 GMT

    Haha this is a premature claim by at least FIVE years. Look at every other team (barring the apartheid-hit SA side) - they dominated consistently. The Invincibles played 34 matches in 1 tour, and lost their best years to the war. At least wait till they have conquered every frontier before jumping the gun!

    Don't forget, the 04/05 Ashes win by a great England side was followed next year by embarrassment, their great run in aus before the world cup but followed by fatigue in the cup itself. England has a long history of losing steam - let's see if they can realise their potential this time.

  • on November 4, 2011, 4:15 GMT

    I started loving cricket only after Australia started playing from 1999. they were simply immortals at there game. the great thing was they never let there spirit down even when they trailed............ i used to watch the matches gettin up early as in India it use to start at 5.30 am most of the time..

    I simply loved that team. they took away the match in first session itself by scoring at almost run a ball. loved them

  • Zahidsaltin on November 4, 2011, 4:11 GMT

    @Sandeep, WI were far far better if you cmpare them with Australia of 1999-2008. There are lot of factors which should be considered here. The competition was much harder i WI omination times than what Australia faced. That was the generation of great bowlers in every team. Likes of Hadle, Imran, Lille, Thomsen, Botham and Kapil are known to every one.

  • Zahidsaltin on November 4, 2011, 4:06 GMT

    George, you put the west indians first while quoting Holing that they hammered every one BUT in case of their games against Pakistan it only holds truth as long as Holding counts home umpires in that "we" hammered.... . That pakistan team has to be one of the 5 finest team ever. Inclusion of England is totally wrong. They have to prove in South Africa and India before they can call themselves a better team.

  • harshthakor on November 4, 2011, 3:58 GMT

    I feel it is wrong to club together all the West Indian teams from 1976-1990 as there was a s significant difference between Lloyd's team to those led by Viv Richards and Richie Richardson.One team that has also been forgotten is the Frank Worrel led 1963 West Indian team with Gary Sobers,Conrad Hunte, Wes Hall,Lance Gibbs.etc.-,which demolished a strong English team in 1963.It may well have given Lloyd's team a run for their money.

    My list in order of merit is

    1.Bradman's 1948 Australians 2.1979 and 1984 West Indian teams 4.2001-2004 Australian teams led by Waugh and Ponting 6.Frank Worrel led 1963 West Indies team 7.1975 Australian side led by Ian Chappel 8.South African team of 1969-70 9..Viv Richard's led West Indies team of 1988-1989 10.English team led by Peter May in 157-1962 11.Pakistan in 1987-89 12.England in 2010-2011

  • on November 4, 2011, 3:53 GMT

    great teams also dominated ODIs... they also won world cups...how can england be a great team then? they have an abysmal ODIs record...South Africa is way better than England. Cricinfo, Please Publish.

  • harshthakor on November 4, 2011, 3:45 GMT

    A good assessment but at it's peak I may give Bradman's 1948 Australian team a marginal edge over Clive Lloyd's West Indian team.Lloyd's team had a lethal pace attack and batting line up but it did not posess the variety in Bradman's team,which had a great allrounder in Keith Miller,2 great lefthanded batsman in Morris and Harvey and the phenomenal batting of Bradman himself.Very close behind I would place the recent Australian champion teams which had more killer instinct than any great team in the history of the game.I applaud your selection of South Africa of 1969-70 but feel you should have added Ian Chappell's 1975 Australian team with the likes of Lillee,Thomson,Chappel brothers etc and Imran Khan's Pakistan team with the likes of Imran himself in addition to Miandad,Akram ,Qadir etc.The current English team is very talented but I would still rate Peter May's side as marginally better,with the talent of May,Cowdrey,Dexter,Truemna,Barrington etc.

  • on November 4, 2011, 3:34 GMT

    OK, there'd surely be comments pouring in about choice of ENG in this list - especially since they are yet to prove their worth in Pakistan and India. They had a similarly optimistic run in 2004-05 - only for Pakistan ( and to give due credit, their own plateau after the draining Ashes 2005 ) to effortlessly crush them. I'd keep the last place for the Pakistan test team of 1980s ( the only one who drew the great Caribbean teams into three series draws) - they had great bowlers in Wasim, Qadir, rich batting talent in Miandad, Zaheer Abbas - statistically the finest among the quartet of allrounders - Imran Khan, and perhaps their most competent keeper ever in Wasim Bari. Waqar was added to the mix soon. And no, ICC rankings or not, Indian team of recent vintage (2007-2010) wouldn't rank in top 8 - purely because apart from Zaheer Khan at times, they lacked a truly great bowler. Also they are yet to win in a series in AUS and SA, even SL. None ever can match West Indies. Respect!

  • on November 4, 2011, 3:33 GMT

    What!!!!! England 2009-2011!!!!?? They are yet to win a series in subcontinent. Playing and Winning home series doesnt make a team no.1 . English people have a habit of exaggerating things.

  • on November 4, 2011, 3:26 GMT

    easily the Windies of the late 70's & the 80's. not only did they win everything in their wake & remain undefeated for vast length of time, all through they remained popular & always endeared themselves to even the opponents they vanquished. they never needed to resort to sledging and were the finest ambassadors of the game - on the field & off it.

  • Blal on November 4, 2011, 3:24 GMT

    England, 2009-2011...one of the best teams in the history if cricket..? What a joke...it is height of stupidity..plain and simple.

  • on November 4, 2011, 3:15 GMT

    to early to call on england, i think, they'll need to keep at it for a couple more years at least. each of the other teams either dominated for very long lengths of time or had unbelievable talent in their ranks. england presently have neither, so it's a bit early to make that call.

  • alexlt on November 4, 2011, 2:57 GMT

    England, 2009-2011!?!?!?! Don't make me laugh.

  • on November 4, 2011, 2:16 GMT

    I say the Aussies of 1999-2008 were the best.........

  • west_indiesBoss on November 3, 2011, 22:58 GMT

    i guess everyone agrees england shudnt be there.. but i think West Indies truly were the most dominant.. not just because i am west indian.. and if they played as much cricket in those days as they do now.. we wudve had the record for most successive matches as well with a win

  • on November 3, 2011, 21:51 GMT

    i say the aussies of 90s...they were indestructible and had that fighting spirit..that never say die spirit which helped them win matches out of nowhere situations..

  • Scrop on November 3, 2011, 17:43 GMT

    Are you Serious about England 2009-2011 ??

    They are 'pussy cats' outside the English conditions. They won against against a struggling Aus helped by poor form of their players. Even NZL could have given a tough run for that Aus team. Ask England to perform same feets when they tour Subcontinent and SAF. I would agree with your judgement.

  • Stark62 on November 3, 2011, 13:55 GMT

    England 2009-2011?!?! o.O Talk about spotting the odd one out!

    Anyway, the 15 year of the Windies are by far the greatest and no other team comes even close and yes, not even the Aussies of the early 2000's.

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  • Stark62 on November 3, 2011, 13:55 GMT

    England 2009-2011?!?! o.O Talk about spotting the odd one out!

    Anyway, the 15 year of the Windies are by far the greatest and no other team comes even close and yes, not even the Aussies of the early 2000's.

  • Scrop on November 3, 2011, 17:43 GMT

    Are you Serious about England 2009-2011 ??

    They are 'pussy cats' outside the English conditions. They won against against a struggling Aus helped by poor form of their players. Even NZL could have given a tough run for that Aus team. Ask England to perform same feets when they tour Subcontinent and SAF. I would agree with your judgement.

  • on November 3, 2011, 21:51 GMT

    i say the aussies of 90s...they were indestructible and had that fighting spirit..that never say die spirit which helped them win matches out of nowhere situations..

  • west_indiesBoss on November 3, 2011, 22:58 GMT

    i guess everyone agrees england shudnt be there.. but i think West Indies truly were the most dominant.. not just because i am west indian.. and if they played as much cricket in those days as they do now.. we wudve had the record for most successive matches as well with a win

  • on November 4, 2011, 2:16 GMT

    I say the Aussies of 1999-2008 were the best.........

  • alexlt on November 4, 2011, 2:57 GMT

    England, 2009-2011!?!?!?! Don't make me laugh.

  • on November 4, 2011, 3:15 GMT

    to early to call on england, i think, they'll need to keep at it for a couple more years at least. each of the other teams either dominated for very long lengths of time or had unbelievable talent in their ranks. england presently have neither, so it's a bit early to make that call.

  • Blal on November 4, 2011, 3:24 GMT

    England, 2009-2011...one of the best teams in the history if cricket..? What a joke...it is height of stupidity..plain and simple.

  • on November 4, 2011, 3:26 GMT

    easily the Windies of the late 70's & the 80's. not only did they win everything in their wake & remain undefeated for vast length of time, all through they remained popular & always endeared themselves to even the opponents they vanquished. they never needed to resort to sledging and were the finest ambassadors of the game - on the field & off it.

  • on November 4, 2011, 3:33 GMT

    What!!!!! England 2009-2011!!!!?? They are yet to win a series in subcontinent. Playing and Winning home series doesnt make a team no.1 . English people have a habit of exaggerating things.