Cricket is a big passion of mine and I have been playing since 2005. Since then I have continued to follow the sport, in particular my favourite teams (Surrey and England) which has of course lead to favouritism:
He is a limited overs player for England. In addition, he is an opening batsman and has already seen success for England with his consistency even though he joined the squad in May this year. During a T20 game this year, he made an incredible 122* for Surrey against Somerset. I was lucky enough to be spectating and I have to say it was the most incredible batting display I have ever seen. What makes him special is that I saw him develop through County Cricket right up to his England call up. It should be no surprise that a Surrey player made it onto the list!
I am sure that many people would agree that James Anderson has been a key bowler for England for a while. In fact, he is England’s leading wicket taker in test cricket at 426 wickets which equates to being the 8th highest wicket taker of all time. He has been in the squad since 2003 and is still playing today. His swing bowling is just deadly and with his consistency, batsmen struggle. The best example of this was his 7-43 against New Zealand in 2008 where he ripped apart their top order batsmen. For a player to be at the top of his game for 12 years and to even today to be the 2nd best test bowler in the world (ICC rankings) is quite an achievement. How could someone of this calibre not make it?
I consider Stuart Broad and James Anderson to be a bowling duo. To have these two opening the bowling for England, you can only feel sympathy for what is about to come the batsman’s way. In my eyes they are the best bowling pair England has had since 2005. There is without a doubt no better example of his than during the Ashes Test this year (Fourth Test). He took 8-15. To really hit home just how dominant he was here, Australia were bowled out for only 60! Although many believe he has a baby face, he is a volatile and feisty player that will make your life a nightmare when batting. Furthermore, he is the 4th best bowler in the world (ICC Rankings) and rightly so!
Ian Bell has been my favourite player ever since I first got into cricket. His debut was in 2004 and has been a vital part of the English Batsmen ever since. I think what made me like him so much was his batting technique – it is very unique. I also feel like my batting technique is somewhat similar to his. I rely very much on my drives and my square cuts and I try to be very cautious with my shots. I find him to be extremely sensible with his shot selection. Even when he is not scoring runs, I still see very clear contact with the ball as well as good placement whilst using a full technique. His best performance has to have been during the 2013 Ashes Test, where he was named ‘Man of the Series’ for his three centuries. Even when he was not making centuries, he still put up good numbers. Although many are questioning his place in the squad right now, he brings such experience and when needed – he delivers!
To me, when I think of Andrew Strauss, I think of the opening pair consisting of himself and Alistair Cook. I feel this was the best opening pair England has had in a long time. He had his debut in 2003. Anyone who knows of Andrew Strauss, will have heard about his struggles and his lack of form time to time, but in the end he only came back stronger than ever. When he took over as captain in 2009, I was very excited as I knew all along that he was perfect for the role. I like the fact he was very intelligent and you could tell he was always analysing his game to improve. He had a very successful captaincy, with numerous wins throughout. Now that he has retired and taken on the role of the Director of Cricket, I know he will continue to do big things!