England's Greatest ODI XI

By Dean Wilson - Daily Mirror Cricket Correspondent, May 7, 2019

Dean Wilson





With the 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup just weeks away, England could not be in a better position for the tournament on home soil.

Ranked No.1 in the World and unbeaten in their last 10 bilateral series, winning nine, this year's vintage are rightly heralded as one of the big pre-tournament favourites.

Many already consider this group of players to be the finest one day side England have ever produced with records falling at a consistent and impressive rate. And yet, just like all those who have gone before them, the trophy cabinet is still bare when it comes to a global 50-over trophy.

If they achieve greatness in July then the debate will be done and dusted, but right now, there is still plenty to discuss when it comes to the names who would get into England's greatest ever ODI side.

Dean Wilson, Cricket Correspondent of the Daily Mirror has a look over those who have played the short form and tries to work out whether any of England's one day greats would deserve to break into this current side.


Jason Roy v Marcus Trescothick

Two of the most powerful opening batsmen England have ever had go head to head up top and it is a tight contest with Trescothick's 12 ODI tons setting the standard for more than a decade. Both make good use of the new ball in the powerplay overs and neither are afraid to go over the top and use their feet. To my mind Trescothick is the better all round batsman, able to cope with any bowler on any surface, but Roy is just too destructive for words. The Surrey man edges it by striking a little more fear into bowlers with his super aggressive approach that brought him the highest score by an England player in ODI cricket. ROY



Jonny Bairstow v Graham Gooch

Considering Bairstow has fashioned himself into an opener rather than living and breathing the art like Gooch did, his output is quite astonishing. During 2018 he blasted four tons in six innings including three in a row to show how devastating he can be, but here he is up against one of England's all time greats and a man who has played in three World Cup finals. Gooch's performances in 1987 in getting to the final were of a man at the peak of his powers, mastering the sweep like no Englishman before him. How can you leave him out? GOOCH


Joe Root v Jonathan Trott

An honourable mention for Graeme Hick here too, but with a pair of averages above 50 and nearly 8,000 runs between them, Root and Trott are the two stand out No.3s in England ODI history and they are not worlds apart in their accumulation of runs. It is just that Root does it a lot better. Trott was perhaps 10 years too late for his ODI career where his strike rate of 77 runs per 100 balls could have been more effective. Root scores his runs much faster, and with 14 ODI hundreds he is arguably England's best ever one day batsman. A World Cup would seal the deal. ROOT



Eoin Morgan v Kevin Pietersen

Well this is a tough pair to choose between. In one corner Eoin Morgan has been the biggest inspiration behind England's revitalised one day cricket over the past four years. His captaincy and leadership have been spot on, while his contributions with the bat have increased to the point where he is now England's highest ever run scorer. And in the other corner there is Pietersen who is one of the greatest batsmen England have ever had. The three hundreds he scored in South Africa in 2005 were astonishing, while his 2007 World Cup was immense but with very little support. In the end ODI cricket ground him down. MORGAN



Ben Stokes v Andrew Flintoff

Two of English cricket's modern greats and two men who can do anything on a cricket field with big hearted commitment that tends to get the crowd going while they're at it. Another tough call on who gets the nod with both men offering plenty. Stokes is the better batsman but Flintoff is the better bowler. The question is who steps up in their other discipline best and on this score Flintoff just shades it. The cricketer turned light entertainer and latest host of Top Gear found batting in one day cricket much more to his liking than Test cricket and was much more consistent at number five. In 2004 he hit three hundreds in six innings with a 99 in between. The great shame though is that he didn't produce his best at a World Cup, while Stokes is still yet to play in one. FLINTOFF


Jos Buttler v Paul Collingwood

You've got to feel a little bit for any player of the past going up against Buttler in white-ball cricket. He has blossomed into one of the very best in the global game and is the very definition of a match-winner. Buttler scores his runs faster than any Englishman before him by a long chalk and he scores them in a way that very few can with ramps and flicks and deflections added to brute force and power that turns most yorkers into full tosses. He can also move up and down the order at will to make the most of his extraordinary hitting ability. Collingwood stands out as the only man to have lifted a global white-ball trophy for England with the 2010 World T20, and in one day cricket he offered a terrific all round package with bat, ball and in the field, but even he loses out to Buttler. BUTTLER



Moeen Ali v Tim Bresnan

Ok so this isn't exactly like-for-like, with a spinning all rounder taking on a seam bowling all rounder, but they fulfil a similar role in the one day sides they play in, generally bowling in the middle overs with the ball and then trying to add some lower order runs with the bat. Bresnan was an exceptionally handy cricketer and when his tail was up could trouble the best batsmen with both his pace and a well disguised slower ball. Moeen tends to rely more on his accuracy and the fact that batsmen need to be aggressive towards him. In the field, Bresnan is comfortably in front, but with the bat it is Moeen who leads the way, and so often it is those lower order runs that make a huge difference. MOEEN



Chris Woakes v Chris Lewis

The battle of the Chris' is a difficult one to decide on with Woakes proving himself hugely valuable to the current side, but Lewis playing his part in England march to the World Cup final in 1992. Lewis was a genuine athlete with pace and skill with the ball and more than useful ability with the bat. He was cat-like in the field too. Woakes though has shown that he can take wickets at crucial times and has become England's most reliable bowler at the toughest times at the start and finish of an innings. Phil deFreitas could make an argument for trying to oust both these players as a bowler in English conditions especially, but Woakes takes more wickets more often than both of them. WOAKES



Adil Rashid v Graeme Swann

If this was Test cricket Swann would win every time, but when it comes to one day cricket Swann's performances for England were good without being exceptional. In fact Swann's record is not too dissimilar to James Tredwell who did a tremendous job whenever he got the chance to play. Neither off spinner though could send down as many wicket-taking deliveries in their 10 over spell as Rashid. The Yorkshire leg-spinner has gone from strength to strength over the last four years and is arguably England's most important player in the upcoming World Cup. Rashid's variations are absolutely integral to England's chances and he would be one of the first names down in a World XI let alone England. RASHID



Liam Plunkett v Darren Gough

No seam bowler has taken more wickets for England in the last four years than Plunkett. He has been a model of consistency and effective reliability for Eoin Morgan. He is the older statesman of the side but has produced his best cricket in the last few years and has a knack of picking up wickets at regular intervals to stem the run rate. Up against him though is one of England's greatest bowlers. Second only to James Anderson for wickets taken Gough was an all action hero of a bowler with a yorker to die for. Gough had a huge amount of heart but you cannot forget how much skill he possessed too. Gough is a true one day champion and if it wasn't for injury he may well have set a wickets tally that even Anderson couldn't beat. GOUGH


Mark Wood v James Anderson

The sheer pace and energy provided by Wood in the recent series in the Caribbean was a timely return to form for the Durham fast bowler who has been plagued with injuries throughout his career. If he can get through this tournament unscathed he could become more than a cult hero who once rode an imaginary horse in Ashes-winning celebration. Up against him though is England's all time leading one day wicket taker who burst onto the international scene in the build up to the 2003 World Cup and then took 4-29 in a stunning win over Pakistan in a tournament England should have gone far deeper in. Anderson's use of swing at a useful pace when he was younger was such a huge weapon that England always had a chance when he was playing. ANDERSON





Final XI

Jason Roy

Graham Gooch

Joe Root 

Eoin Morgan (c)

Andrew Flintoff

Jos Buttler (wk)

Moeen Ali

Chris Woakes

Adil Rashid

Darren Gough

James Anderson


CWC 2019


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