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Here’s an England XI to beat the all-time best chosen by the ECB’s panel | The Spin


Side chosen by 6,000 voters is no more than a hybrid, with three current players from a middling England team, two recent ones, and three Sky pundits

We cricket fans love a good selection, whether it’s Tom Graveney, summoned at 39 to have the time of his life, or Jos Buttler, flying in from the IPL to give today’s England more flair. We secretly love a bad selection too, as it gives us the chance to moan and mansplain. This summer, the process has become livelier still under a new selection supremo. Ed Smith has brought a spark of fresh thinking, driven half of Yorkshire to frothing rage, and made a bold selection for his own panel by signing up James Taylor, who is two years younger than Dawid Malan.

Now we armchair selectors have a bone to chew on that’s even meatier than the morality of Adil Rashid’s recall. The England and Wales Cricket Board has announced England’s all-time best Test XI, as chosen by 6,000 voters. And the winners are: Alastair Cook, Len Hutton, David Gower, Kevin Pietersen, Joe Root, Ian Botham, Alan Knott, Graeme Swann, Fred Trueman, Jimmy Anderson and Bob Willis.

Related: England’s 1,000th Test: Guardian writers pick their favourite so far

Related: Spirit of détente breaks out as England prepare for Test series with India

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