England’s wicketkeeper-batsman Sam Billings, who is a part of team Chennai Super Kings in the IPL, recently revealed his all-time playing eleven to the Youtube channel of Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) at Lord’s Cricket Ground in London.
To start with, Billings has picked Robert Key, who played 15 Tests, five ODIs and a solitary T20I for the Three Lions. Key has scored over 28,000 runs, combining all three forms of the game. Next, Billings went for former England skipper Alastair Cook, who retired from international cricket last year. With 38 centuries, Cook had been one of the most successful English batsmen, especially in Test cricket.
Thereafter, Billings went for Australia’s batting legend Ricky Ponting, the two-time World Cup winning captain. With 71 hundreds and 144 fifties, Ponting is one of the greatest batsmen the game has ever produced.
Billings also picked Indian talisman Virat Kohli, who has been creating new batting records for the last decade or so. At the age of 30, the Indian captain has 66 international centuries and is speculated to break a number of records in the near future.
AB de Villiers comes in at No. 5 in Billings’ side. The South African star batsman said “Good Bye” to international cricket last year but plays for the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in the IPL.
Billings then picked Ben Stokes as the lone all-rounder in his team. He went for his IPL teammate MS Dhoni as the captain of his playing eleven. Dhoni has glory in all the three ICC trophies to his name and also guided India to the helm of the rankings in Test cricket.
The next pick for Billings’ was Darren Stevens, who didn’t get a chance to play for England but plied his trade expertly for Kent and Leicestershire in the English domestic circuit.
Among bowlers, the 27-year-old picked Kagiso Rabada and Mitchell Starc as his two seamers. Both of them have been frontline speedsters of South Africa and Australian bowling unit respectively.
Muttiah Muralitharan, the Sri Lankan legend, is the lone spinner in Billings’ side.
Sam Billings’ all-time XI:
Robert Key, Alastair Cook, Ricky Ponting, Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers, Ben Stokes, MS Dhoni (c & wk), Darren Stevens, Kagiso Rabada, Mitchell Starc, Muttiah Muralitharan.