Former England skipper Alastair Cook stunned the cricketing world on Monday when he announced retirement from international cricket after the completion of the fifth Test between England and India at Oval. No one saw this coming, given the left-hander opener is just 33, and could very well have played for at least 2-3 years.
He had quit playing limited-overs cricket since the past few years, concentrating solely on Test cricket. His record in the longest format of the game is incredible, with him being the highest-run getter of his country, as well as the most capped Test player.
But keeping in mind his recent form, wherein he has managed only one half-century in nine matches this year, Cook stated that 'he has nothing left in his tank'. Soon after his decision to step back from the sport, tributes started to pour in for England's best player in Tests. The official Facebook handle of Lord's cricket ground released a video which showed Cook picking his 'all-time XI'.
What will come as a huge surprise is that Cook has not picked any Indian player in his team. Neither Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, or Indian player for that matter found a place in his line-up.
The 33-year-old picked a XI based on the players he played against, or played with, except for Graham Gooch. For the openers, he chose Gooch, the second highest-run getter for England in Tests with 8900 runs, as the captain, along with former Australian Matthew Hayden.
At No.3, West Indies legend Brian Lara, who has the highest individual score in Test cricket (400), was picked, followed by former Australian skipper Ricky Ponting, second highest run-scorer in Tests. After the top-4 comes former South African skipper AB de Villiers, who retired earlier this year and Kumar Sangakkara, fifth highest run-getter in Test cricket. For the all-rounder, Cook went in with Jacques Kallis, the man with 13289 runs and 292 wickets.
In the bowling department, he has decided to go with the spin duo of Muttiah Muralitharan and Shane Warne, the leading two-wicket takers in Test cricket, followed by the pace duo of James Anderson and Glenn McGrath, who are the two leading pace bowling wicket takers in Test cricket.