All-time XI - World
ESPNcricinfo picks the best Test teams of all time

ESPNcricinfo to pick World XI

Team to be picked from all-star country teams selected so far

ESPNcricinfo staff

September 28, 2010

Comments: 753 | Text size: A | A

Don Bradman at the crease
Bradman: one of the few certainties in an all-time XI © Getty Images

ESPNcricinfo is set to pick an all-time world Test XI as the conclusion to its 15-month-long exercise of selecting all-time XIs for the leading Test countries.

The team will be selected from the 88 players who made it to the all-time teams for their countries.

The jury consists of a former captain from each of the top eight Test-playing countries - Ian Chappell, Tony Greig, Clive Lloyd, Ajit Wadekar, Intikhab Alam, Ali Bacher, Duleep Mendis and John Wright - and four cricket writers and historians: Gideon Haigh, Peter Roebuck, David Frith and Ramachandra Guha.

In the front rank of contenders are such all-time greats as Don Bradman, Garry Sobers, Viv Richards, Sachin Tendulkar and Shane Warne, all of whom were unanimously voted into their respective country XIs.

Each jury member will pick two XIs - his first-choice world team and a second XI. A weighted points system will be used to determine which players make it to the composite world team.

ESPNcricinfo users will have the opportunity to pick their XIs from the same shortlists as the jury, here. The readers' choice team will be announced at the same time as the jury's XI.

"It was only natural that our all-time XI series for the top Test-playing countries should culminate in an all-time World XI," ESPNcricinfo editor Sambit Bal said. "It's an apt finale to what has been a hugely successful exercise. Not only have these features been widely read, but our readers have participated in numbers in picking their own XIs.

"We have taken great care in choosing the jury for the world XI. All the cricketers on the panel have been captains, thus well-versed in the business of selecting teams. Also, they have either played alongside, or watched first-hand, a significant number of the nominees."

The shortlists

Openers Arthur Morris, Barry Richards, Glenn Turner, Gordon Greenidge, Graeme Smith, Hanif Mohammad, Marvan Atapattu, Saeed Anwar, Sanath Jayasuriya, Sir Conrad Hunte, Sir Jack Hobbs, Sir Leonard Hutton, Stewie Dempster, Sunil Gavaskar, Victor Trumper, Virender Sehwag

Middle order Arjuna Ranatunga, Bert Sutcliffe, Brian Lara, Dudley Nourse, George Headley, Graeme Pollock, Greg Chappell, Inzamam-ul-Haq, Jacques Kallis, Javed Miandad, Ken Barrington, Kevin Pietersen, Mahela Jayawardene, Martin Crowe, Martin Donnelly, Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar, Sir Donald Bradman, Sir Viv Richards, Vijay Hazare, Wally Hammond, Zaheer Abbas

Allrounders Aubrey Faulkner, Chaminda Vaas, Imran Khan, John Reid, Kapil Dev, Keith Miller, Mike Procter, Sir Garry Sobers, Sir Ian Botham, Sir Richard Hadlee, Vinoo Mankad

Wicketkeeper Adam Gilchrist, Alan Knott, Ian Smith, Jackie Hendriks, John Waite, Kumar Sangakkara, MS Dhoni, Rashid Latif

Bowlers Abdul Qadir, Allan Donald, Anil Kumble, Ashantha de Mel, Bill O'Reilly, Curtly Ambrose, Daniel Vettori, Dennis Lillee, Derek Underwood, Erapalli Prasanna, Fazal Mahmood, Fred Trueman, Glenn McGrath, Harold Larwood, Hugh Tayfield, Jack Cowie, Javagal Srinath, Lance Gibbs, Malcolm Marshall, Michael Holding, Muttiah Muralitharan, Rumesh Ratnayake, Shane Bond, Shane Warne, Shaun Pollock, Somachandra De Silva, Sydney Barnes, Waqar Younis, Wasim Akram

Pick your world all-time XI

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by Battled on (October 1, 2010, 23:08 GMT)

6,7 - Two all rounders; Sir Sobers is a shoo-in; The other has to be a GREAT fast bowler who can bat; That takes out Faulkner, Reid and Mankad; Vaas is a good bowler but not great; Kapil didnt bowl well in England, SA and New Zealand; Sir Botham didnt perform against West Indies (the dominant team then); Procter is an enigma; that leaves Miller, Sir Hadlee and Imran. All have impressive & identical bowling records; good records against all countries AND AT ALL VENUES; so the difference has to be batting; Sir Hadlee drops out; Not much between Miller and Imran; I'll go with Imran for his reverse swing.

Wicketkeeper 8 - On pure wicket keeping skills; Alan Knott; Dont require batting wicket keeper with a batting lineup like here on top.

Bowlers 9,10,11 - One fast bowler and two spinners; Malcolm Marshall, Warne and Muralitharan. 5 bowling options Marshall, Imran - Fast men, Sir Sobers (left hand seam, swing, orthodox and and chinaman spin), Warne - Legbreak, Murali - Offbreak


Posted by Battled on (October 1, 2010, 22:56 GMT)

Well....... My team selection....... with explanation 1,2 - Need a right left combination to start the innings, but had a tough time choosing a GREAT leftie; Smith has not done well against good teams barring england, ditto Anwar and Jayasuriya; that leaves Arthur Morris - the man who kept out Hayden from the all-time Australian XI...... so its Morris and Sir Len Hutton (Honorable mention to Sir Jack Hobbs and Sunil Gavaskar) 3,4,5 - Sir Don is a shoo-in, Tendulkar is a shoo-in, again need atleast one leftie; Lara is a very good choice but his position in the bating order is taken by the Don; Border and Ranatunga lack class (gritty though), Sutcliffe and Donnelly are good but not great; that leaves Graeme Pollock (the man with the second best batting average of all time)

Since there is a space constraint, its continued in the next comment

Posted by cricketchopper on (October 1, 2010, 21:55 GMT)

@amtava0112 - You reached almost at the same conclusion where I am already. You said two openers, Two middle orders, one Bating allrounder (Sobers),One Bowling allrounder(Imran),one Wk, Two or Three Same Bowlers with Warne and/or Murli.

Your team is Hutton,Gavaskar,Don,Sachin,Sobers,Gilly,Imran,Marshal,,Warne,Lillee, Murli (in some situations Waseem in place of Murli)

My team is almost same: Hobbs,Gavaskar,Don,Viv,Sobers,Imran,Gilly,Marshal,Warne,Lillee,Murli

Now you see the only real difference is Sachin vs King Richards. Tell me, do you really think that out of 12 neutral jury members most of them are going to vote Sachin instead of Richards?

Posted by cricketchopper on (October 1, 2010, 21:17 GMT)

@Siva Raman - Dear their will be two teams. For the first eleven names would be on separate sheet and counted separately from second Xi sheets. Repetition of names in the 12 sheets for first XI would decide the fate of Sachin. You can hope that in only 3 to four sheets there will be name of Sachin. Names of Don & Sobers would be almost in all the sheets. Name of Richards would be almost 9 to 10 sheets. On the other hand name of bowling allrounder Imran/Hadlee/Miller would be at around 8 sheets. This situation would compel jury to select one of bowling allrounders and when they select a bowling allrounder they will not compare individual votes of Imran/Hadlee/Miller etc. with Sachin. They will only see what bowling allrounder gets more vote. So Sachin has to compete only with Viv Richards. If jury members from all over the world prefer Sachin over King Richards then Sachin will be selected. Now tell me, how much chances Sachin has to surpass Viv Richards when voters are from neutrals.

Posted by   on (October 1, 2010, 20:36 GMT)

As for a middle order batsman, it is certain that Sachin is quite a favorite among the new breed of Indian fans but it happens to be that there have more than fine players than him in time , not to say that he is considered the "God" .But in my XI i would certainly compromise him for Graeme Pollock. Sachin is a class above,there is not even slightest out doubt in that , but his fans make feel a social outcast for not being a die hard fan of him. Now for an all rounder, there have been only four real contenders for the spot;Imran,Sir Botham ,Sir Sobers and Sir Hadlee. All of them where basically bowling all rounders, except for Sobers i guess.

So my XI would be : Sir Leonard Hutton,Sunil Gavaskar,Sir Donald Bradman, Graeme Pollock,Sir Viv Richards,Imran Khan,Sir Garry Sobers,Adam Gilchrist,Wasim Akram,Dennis Lillee,Shane Warne.12-man Sachin Tendulkar

But wouldn't be great to have our names in the list ;)

Posted by   on (October 1, 2010, 20:11 GMT)

Remember Each Jury Have Select Two XI.Former Captains Of Top 8 Test Teams And 4 Writers & Historians In The Jury's.Finally 12*2=24 XI will be Submitted,The Most Repeated Players Will Be In Final All-Time Test World XI.I Think Sachin will Be Included In Either First Or Second Choice Or Both XI Of Each Jury.Ther Is No Possibility To Omit Sachin In Both XI Of One Jury,Remember Sobers Will Be Included As All-Rounder Not As Batsman Because Shortlist Is Formed Like That Way,If One All-Rounder In The XI There will Be 4 middle order except WK & Opener Then Sachin Can Easily Enter Into XI, If There Only 3 Middle Order Then Sachin Will Be Selected Ahead of lara.

Posted by Shabnam-Narain on (October 1, 2010, 19:49 GMT)

Hi guys, What is this Sachin issue. Here in our locality in Mumbai people are playing Satta about inclusion of God of Cricket in world eleven team. It all seems rubbish.

Posted by   on (October 1, 2010, 19:40 GMT)

Hi Cricket Fans,The Jury's Not Select Players By Only Records,They See Lot Of Things.I Think Sachin Is Have Records As Well As Mostly He Don't Get Angry Even He Was Given Out Wrongly Which Is Good For Cricketer.Even Though The Greatest Players Bradman,Sobers,Richards etc Are In Competition,I Can Challenge Sachin Will Be Selected In XI.I Don't Have Hope But I Have Cofidence On Jury's..!Let's Wait And See Who Are Included And Excluded In XI.....!

Posted by amitava0112 on (October 1, 2010, 19:26 GMT)

The cricnfo mode of selection is faulty..wudlike to keep 2 batters in middleorder with 3rd as batting allrounder..20 wkts reqd to win test so bowling to be strong..have published my XI on 29/9..explaining my selection.. Hutton(best reord as opener of yesteryrs),Gavaskar(thought abt Barry Richards a more aggressive option but Sunnys longevity +record vs pace edges out Barry),Bradman(any doubts?),Tendulkar(his longevity,solidity,records just abt edges out Viv who did v well vs Lillee/thommo/Willis but did not hv to face Marshall & co),Sobers(LHB batting allrounder- edges out G Pollock-a grt leftie,Border,Lara both of whom carried their teams alone for much of their careers),Imran(fast bowling allrounder&capt),Gilchrist(Healy is better wk but with 5 batters above.Gillys batting skills reqd+ a top wk anyway),Akram(Best left arm fast revswing bwlr+capable bat),Marshall ,Lillee(2 best amongst fastmen) & Warne(just edges out Murali-better batting skills) On spin tracks Murali to repl Akram

Posted by Lion_of_Lanka on (October 1, 2010, 18:52 GMT)

@cricfanraj: You must have been in mars if you think Murali gets defensive very quickly. In ODIs if the team is in need to stop boundaries especially in the last few overs, yes then like all bowlers a defensive field is set. But Murali doesn't get defensive easily during initial & middle overs of ODIs and Tests. In fact he enjoys when a batsman is attacking because then the opportunity to get wickets increases. As for Warne being better than Murali - check Wisden the bible of cricket who the greatest bowler ever is or ask any Indian batsman (the best players of spin) who was more difficult to play @first_slip: True that, If Sanga was an Aussie then he would've had much more recognition and as I said before it should be either Alan Knott (Pure wicketkeeping skills) or Sanga (Wicketkeeper-batsman better stats than overrated Gilly)

Comments have now been closed for this article

Email Feedback Print
ESPNcricinfo staffClose

World Jury

Intikhab Alam
Intikhab Alam
Former Pakistan allrounder. Captained the side in 17 Tests and three ODIs between 1969 and 1975 and later served as team manager and coach.
Ali Bacher
Ali Bacher
Captained South Africa in 1970, when they defeated Australia 4-0; was managing director of the South African cricket board through the 1990s, and executive director of the 2003 World Cup.
Ian Chappell
Ian Chappell
Captained Australia in 30 Tests and 11 ODIs between 1971 and 1975. Now a cricket commentator and columnist.
David Frith
David Frith
Cricket historian, writer and archivist. Author of the definitive history of Bodyline
Tony Greig
Tony Greig
Former England allrounder who captained the side in 14 Tests and two ODIs in the mid-to-late 1970s. Currently a cricket commentator and presenter on television.
Ramachandra Guha
Ramachandra Guha
Historian and cricket writer. Author of A Corner of a Foreign Field, Wickets in the East, Spin and Other Turns, and editor of the Picador Book of Cricket
Gideon Haigh
Gideon Haigh
Cricket historian and writer. His books include acclaimed biographies of Warwick Armstrong and Jack Iverson, and the definitive history of the Kerry Packer era.
Clive Lloyd
Clive Lloyd
Captained the all-conquering West Indies team of the 70s and 80s in 74 Tests and 84 ODIs. Served as ICC match referee and chairman of the ICC's cricket committee.
Duleep Mendis
Duleep Mendis
Captained Sri Lanka in 19 Tests (including in their first Test and series victories) and 61 ODIs, between 1982 and 1987. Currently chief executive of Sri Lanka Cricket.
Peter Roebuck
Peter Roebuck
Former captain of Somerset; author of It Never Rains and Sometimes I Forgot to Laugh among other books.
Ajit Wadekar
Ajit Wadekar
Former India captain, between 1971 and 1974, during which period the team notched up their landmark first wins in the West Indies and England. Later a manager of the national side.
John Wright
John Wright
Former New Zealand opener and captain, and later India coach. Led in 14 Tests and 31 ODIs between 1983 and 1987.

    Test cricket needs fewer teams, not more

Ian Chappell: It's clear that for the ICC votes mean more than results

    Lara's peaks

Tony Cozier: While the 375 had a sense of inevitability to it, the 400 came amid a backdrop of strikes and the threat of a whitewash

    The world record that nearly wasn't

Rewind: Twenty years ago this week, Brian Lara became Test cricket's highest scorer, but he almost didn't make it

    An archaelogical probe into the state of the game

Review: Gideon Haigh comes out with another set of essays that sound uncannily prescient about the way the game is headed

From hockey sticks to whalebone

Nicholas Hogg: Bat-making as a craft has undergone revolutionary changes and then some since the days of Hambledon

News | Features Last 7 days

UAE all set to host lavish welcoming party

The controversy surrounding the IPL has done little to deter fans in UAE from flocking the stadiums, as they gear up to watch the Indian stars in action for the first time since 2006

Attention on Yuvraj, Gambhir in IPL 2014

ESPNcricinfo picks five players for whom this IPL is of bigger significance

The watch breaker, and Malinga specials

The Plays of the day from the match between Kolkata and Mumbai, in Abu Dhabi

India: cricket's Brazil

It's difficult to beat a huge talent base exposed to good facilities, and possessed of a long history of competing as a nation

The captain's blunder

The Plays of the day from the match between Chennai and Punjab in Abu Dhabi

News | Features Last 7 days