Not only do England deserve to be crowned the best cricket team in the world – but Andrew Strauss’s heroes have the sheer quality and irestistible talent to dominate the sport for years to come – just like the great West Indies and Australia teams of the past.
Brushing India off their perch with the swagger of true champions, England officially claimed top spot in the world rankings for the first time when they completed victory by an innings and 242 runs on Saturday, to take a 3-0 lead in their four-match Test series.
It was the culmination of an awesome surge to supremacy by England who have now won eight of their last nine Test series, including Ashes triumphs at home and away. But this is only the beginning for the team that simply outclassed and overpowered the tourists – and stormed to victories at Lord’s, Trent Bridge and now Edgbaston.
Michael Vaughan, winner of a record 26 Tests as England captain, has already predicted: “I really think this side are going to dominate Test cricket for a period because of their strength in depth, fitness levels, determination and the real hunger they display. It is not just this 11, the depth of the 24 or 25 players England have to choose from is fantastic – there is some great talent out there.”
There is no doubt in my mind that Vaughan is absolutely right, so long as the England players retain their hunger to go down in history as one of the all-time best sides. And that is the real measure of greatness. Not just getting to the top, but having the hunger and the desire to keep on winning.