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ICC Men’s Test Team of the Decade

While 2020 hasn’t always been a spectacular year for the game, the end of the year brings an end to a decade of cricket that felt like an era in itself. An era in which India became World Champions, New Zealand lost two World Cup finals, T20 cricket produced some gritty performances from the Windies, and not the least to say we saw the magnificent rise of the Afghanistan cricket team.

The Test format in itself showed a brilliant rise of itself again with the birth of Day-Night Test matches. England’s series win in India, The Johnson Ashes series of Australia, the brilliant Edgsbaston comeback, India’s series win down under at the Aussies, New Zealand’s clinical performance against India, South Africa almost pulling off a run-chase of 458 against the Indians, Kusal Perera’s 153 run screamer for Sri Lanka, Afghanistan’s test debut- countless such and many more events mesmerized in the decade.

It isn’t always easy to put a decade full of amazing sporting action into words, but ICC made it a little easier for us by taking on the tough mantle of picking out the ICC Men’s Test Team of the decade. Let us see what ICC has chosen for their lineup:

ICC Test Team of the Decade

ICC test team of the decade
Image Source: ICC Twitter

No better place to start with but England’s top run-scorer in the longest version of the game. A decade where Alastair Cook scored tons of runs all over the world with his hundred at Wankhede personally being a joy to witness in 2012. Cook ended with 12145 test runs, a spectacular achievement in itself.

Joining him are three other Englishmen, all-rounder Ben Stokes, and the swing & pace combination of Stuart Broad. Anderson who recently completed 600 wickets in test cricket and Broad not far away with 514 wickets. The duo is the most undisputed pick in my opinion to be there. Ben Stokes who scored 4428 runs with 10 centuries under his belt and took 158 test wickets in the last 7 years deservedly took one of the all-rounder spots. The Edgbaston knock was definitely all about the class of Ben Stokes, a moment forever scripted as the best comeback in Ashes history.

Dale Steyn ended his test career in 2019 with 439 wickets to his name, with multiple bowling spells that almost made the batsmen cry to their plight. R Ashwin was the deserved spinner in this setup with his 370 wickets that spun the batsman into digging their own grave. Let us not forget his 4 hundreds and 11 fifties with the bat to add to that spinning web that he serves.

Kane Williamson, Steve Smith, and Virat Kohli – 3 names that would send shivers down the spine of even the best bowlers in the decade. An average of 53 with 27 test hundreds contributing to the 7318 runs that the Indian Captain scored this decade. A decade that made him the best batsman in the longest format of the game at one point until a certain Australian turned up to challenge Kohli.

Let us remind ourselves first that Smith was also away from the test format for almost 2 years with his ban. Now his numbers, 7229 runs with an average of 62.3 and 26 hundreds. He was almost unbeatable in the 2019 ashes series, that series alone could have made him make this team maybe! Kane Williamson, the rather unnoticed Kiwi in this top batsman battle has also notched up an impressive 6727 runs with an average of 52.5 and 22 test hundreds.

Do not worry we haven’t forgotten David Warner at all. How could we even! The flamboyant Aussie opener has scored 7244 runs this decade (more than Smith, let that sink in!) with 24 hundreds and 30 fifties. His strike rate- 72.8! Oh yes, he took 4 wickets with the ball as well. Sweet!

We save the best for the last. The finest wicketkeeper-batsman the game has produced! In my opinion anyway. He only played half the decade, but fair to say what he did in that period was more than enough to earn him that place not just in the team of the decade but of the last 20 years. 202 dismissals, 12400 runs with an average of 57.4, and 38 hundreds with 52 fifties, Kumar Sangakkara’s career has been not just a blessing to Sri Lankan cricket but to the entire cricketing fraternity. He truly defined what it means to be a wicketkeeper-batsman. The best indeed!

Fair to say, the ICC Test Team of the Decade is extremely hard to argue against considering everything that the players have done over the decade.

Also Read: Four Indian Batsmen with ODI and Test Centuries in Australia

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