As the world heads to bidding goodbye to 2019 and embrace 2020, Cricket Australia (CA) has delved deep into statistics and picked their Test XI of the decade. Alastair Cook and David Warner are their opening duo. Both batters have contrasting styles of play, but have been equally effective for the respective teams. Cook hung his boots last year after England’s home Test series against India.
Cook averaged 48.94 and 51.45 in Australia and India, numbers which set him apart from the rest. Warner, on the other hand, had his travails, but managed to flourish. Lately, he came close to breaking Brian Lara’s record of the highest individual Test score, racking up an unbeaten 335 at the Adelaide Oval. Kane Williamson, Virat Kohli and the ever so consistent Steve Smith form the middle order.
Of late, Virat and Smith have been tussling for the top spot in ICC’s ranking for batsmen.CA has picked the Delhi-born Kohli as the skipper though. Williamson hasn’t flattered to deceive, having scored over 6,000 runs with 21 centuries at an average in excess of 50. The Tauranga-born has also done exceptionally as the New Zealand skipper. CA went for AB de Villiers as the wicketkeeping option.
Only one spin option in Cricket Australia’s lineup
The former South African had all the gears up his sleeves and adjusted as per the match scenarios. Ben Stokes has been picked as the sole genuine all-rounder. Stokes has been pivotal to the Three Lions’ success, both with bat and ball. Earlier this year in September, he notched a century that helped the Brits snatch victory from the jaws of defeat against Australia in the 2019 Ashes.
Dale Steyn, Stuart Broad and James Anderson are the specialist pace-troika picked by CA. Anderson and Broad have hunted in pairs and have wreaked havoc in a number of batting units. Both are still as key part of England’s plans in Test cricket even as they near the end of their careers.
However, Steyn has already called it quits in the longest format. Steyn was among the rare breed of bowlers, who could swing the leather at sheer pace. Nathan Lyon is the only spinner in CA’s lineup. Lyon is Australia’s second-most successful spinner after Shane Warne with 376 wickets.
Here is CA’s Test XI of the decade
Alastair Cook, David Warner, Kane Williamson, Steve Smith, Virat Kohli (C), AB de Villiers (wk), Ben Stokes, Dale Steyn, Stuart Broad, Nathan Lyon, James Anderson
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