In the last decade, cricket has evolved leaps and bounds. Everyone is talking about this new bunch of cricketers around the world known as ‘the modern-day greats’. But since 2010, many things have changed in international cricket. Several teams are in their transition phases due to the retirement of many greats since 2010. Many stalwarts of their respective international sides have hung their boots and started the new innings – ‘the after retirement life’.
As this decade comes to its conclusion, we have created an all-time eleven of the players who have retired this decade. But the main point to be noted before going ahead with the team is that we have only considered the players who have retired from all formats of international cricket. (They maybe still playing at the domestic level)
So, let us start and find out who are those cricketing legends who make the cut into our Retired XI of the decade:
The Nawab of Najafgarh as they call him, Virender Sehwag is one name when it is taken, many front line bowlers try to find a way to escape. This is the type of terror which he caused to the opposition bowlers when he stepped onto the cricketing field to open for India. Sehwag was a player who used to play T20 cricket in ODIs and ODI cricket in Test matches.
Sehwag was known to open his account while batting with a boundary off the first ball or at least in the opening over. He represented India in 104 Test matches scoring 8,586 runs at an average of 49 whereas in ODIs he managed to score 8,273 runs at an average of 35. He has 38 international hundreds to his name from which 23 came in the longest format and the remaining in ODIs.
The aggressive opener from India was the first Indian to score a triple century in any format of the game. He won two World Cups in his glittering career. He was an integral part of the side when India won the inaugural edition of ICC World T20 in South Africa in 2007. After that, he also won the ODI World Cup in Mumbai in 2011 alongside his idol Sachin Tendulkar.
The man who defines cricket, the man who needs no introduction when we talk about cricket. The great Sachin Tendulkar has left that kind of a mark in the world of cricket with the help of his impeccable cricketing skills over the years. He has been a living phenomenon whenever he stepped onto the cricketing field. Sachin’s international cricket career lasted almost two and a half decades.
Sachin has played a staggering 664 international matches for India over 24 years. In the 463 ODIs, he has amassed 18,426 runs at an average of 45 which also include 49 centuries. But he is not the legend of only one format. His Test records are also outstanding. He has scored 15,921 runs in 200 Tests at an impressive average of 54. He has 51 centuries to his name in this format.
Though Tendulkar already had two records under his belt namely highest run-scorer in ODIs and highest run-scorer in Tests, he was still missing the most illustrious trophy of them all, the ultimate World Cup. After being unsuccessful to win the World Cup 5 times in the past, he finally won it when he featured in the tournament for a record 6th time in 2011.
Hashim Amla has been a prolific run-scorer for his country for more than a decade. His grandparents were from Gujarat but migrated to South Africa afterwards. Otherwise, the already strong Indian batting attack would have gotten stronger than ever had they stayed in India.
Making his international debut at the age of 21, Amla played 124 Tests overall scoring 9,282 runs in the process at an average of 46 while in ODIs his records were even better. In 181 matches, at an average of 49, he amassed 8,113 runs. He scored 28 and 27 centuries in Tests and ODIs respectively.
Hashim Amla featured in the ICC ODI team of the year twice while he made it to the ICC Test team of the year four times. He was a sweet timer of the ball that’s for sure. Amla’s career took an upward curve when he was promoted as an opener in the limited-overs cricket.
Ricky Ponting (C)
Undoubtedly, the greatest captain who ever graced this game of cricket, Ricky Ponting has been no short of a legend when it comes to leading the side from the front. In his superior captaincy, his Australian side of the 2000s was almost invincible in world cricket. On top of that, he was one of the best batsmen of his generation.
In his glittering career, Ponting won as many as three back to back ODI World Cups in 12 years, two of in which he captained the side to the ultimate glory. Ponting was considered a complete package who had tremendous batting skills, outstanding fielding skills and a highly intelligent brain to captain a star-studded Aussie side.
In 168 Tests that the Tasmanian played, he scored 13,378 runs at an average of 52. He scored 41 centuries in Test cricket. In ODIs, he scored 13,704 runs at an average of 42 in 375 matches. He has 30 ODI tons to his name. A captain and a cricketer as tough as him is born once in a decade.
Kumar Sangakkara (WK)
Many consider Kumar Sangakkara the best left-handed batsman who ever graced the game of cricket and his records are a testimony of it. The Sri Lankan legend showed impeccable consistency in his batting throughout his decade and a half cricketing career. He is the leading run-scorer for his country in international cricket.
Sangakkara’s speciality wasn’t only his batting but his lightning-quick wicket-keeping skills behind the stumps impressed many. He is considered among the top wicket-keepers in the world. He featured 7 times in ICC Test team of the year and 4 times in ODI team of the year. These are just mind-boggling numbers for any cricketer.
The southpaw from Matale played 404 ODIs for Sri Lanka. He scored 12,400 runs in 134 Tests at an impressive average of 57. This included 38 centuries. In ODIs, he has 25 tons to his name with 14,234 runs at an average of 42. He even blossomed in T20I cricket scoring 1,382 runs at an average of 31.
Ab de Villiers
One of the most unorthodox batsmen of all time, Abraham Benjamin de Villiers painted the cricketing field like a pro artist. The naturally gifted wicket-keeper batsman from South Africa made the headlines with his out of the box thinking while batting and creating his very own shots to hammer the bowlers all around the park.
The Pretoria born cricketer was a wicket-keeper batsman at the start but his keeping skills were overshadowed by legendary Mark Boucher. He is considered not only a great batsman but an exceptional fielder. He featured in ICC ODI team of the year seven times.
Though he took early retirement from international cricket, in 114 Tests that the veteran played, he scored 8,765 runs at an average of 51. He scored 22 centuries in Test cricket. In ODIs, he scored 9,577 runs at an average of 54 in 228 matches. He has 25 ODI tons to his name.
In a career which lasted for 19 Years, Jacques Kallis emerged as the greatest all-rounder in the history of cricket. He is the only player to take over 250 wickets and score more than 10,000 runs in both ODIs and Tests. Many all-rounders came and went but nobody was able to match this man’s incredible statistics.
The South African legend featured in 166 Tests for his country scoring 13,289 runs at an average of 55. He also took 292 wickets along with that. In ODIs, he scored 11,579 runs in 328 matches at an average of 44 taking 273 wickets. He has scored 45 and 17 tons respectively in Tests and ODIs. And if this wasn’t enough he has a couple of hundred catches to his name as well.
Kallis is one of the many South African greats who conquered the world of cricket with their impressive skills but failed to grab hold of a World Cup. He deserves a big chunk of share in making South African cricket great after their readmission in 1991.
Mitchell Johnson, a fiery Aussie fast bowler who in his short cricketing career became a nightmare of many batsmen around the world with his ferocious bowling performances. Many consider Johnson as a bowler but honestly, he was more like a bowling all-rounder. One just cannot ignore his batting capabilities.
The Queensland southpaw played 153 ODIs for Australia taking 239 wickets at an impressive average of 25. This included 3 five-wicket hauls. In Tests, he has 12 five-wicket hauls and 3 ten-wicket hauls to his name at an average of 28, taking 313 wickets. In T20Is he has got 38 wickets to his name in 30 matches.
Johnson always wore his heart on his sleeves, especially when playing Ashes with their arch-rivals England. His imperious Ashes records are what sets him apart from other bowlers of his generation. He even batted his side out of trouble on various occasions.
Regarded as a Test specialist, the Sri Lankan left-arm orthodox bowler has had a roller-coaster of a ride in his international career. Rangana Herath debuted in Test cricket at the age of 21 but played a handful of matches in the next ten years. He was always living in the shadows of the great Muttiah Muralitharan.
In 71 ODIs, Herath took 74 wickets before shifting his entire focus to Test cricket in the second half of his career. He went on to grab 434 wickets in just 93 Test matches. This is a record in international cricket of taking the most wickets as a left-handed spinner. This is some achievement for the player who was in the shadows of a great in the early years of his career.
Herath has as many as 34 five-wicket hauls and 9 ten-wicket hauls in his outstanding Test career. After the retirement of the great Murali, Herath led the Sri Lankan spin attack tremendously over the past years.
When it was looking almost impossible for India to find a potent left-arm fast bowler, they found this gem from Mumbai – Zaheer Khan. A bowler who can swing the ball both ways with a steady pace became an asset for Indian cricket. In his prolonged career which spanned over 14 years, Zaheer became the best left-arm fast bowler India has ever produced.
The southpaw from Mumbai played 200 ODIs taking 282 wickets at an average of 29. This included 1 five-wicket haul. In Tests, he has 11 five-wicket hauls and a ten-wicket hauls to his name at an average of 33 taking 311 wickets. In T20Is he has got 17 wickets to his name in as many matches.
The speciality which made Zaheer different from everyone else was his ability to swing the new ball as well as the old one. He could reverse swing the ball at will. Bowlers around the globe usually find reverse swing the most difficult thing to acquire which he mastered quite easily.
The fastest bowler in the history of cricket doesn’t need any introduction, does he? The Rawalpindi express Shoaib Akhtar, only this name is enough to bring shivers down your spine. He was a synonym of raw pace. He still holds the record of the fastest delivery ever bowled or you can say ever recorded in the history of cricket, 100mph.
In a 14 year career, Akhtar took 178 wickets in just 46 Tests averaging 26 with 12 five-wicket hauls and 2 ten-wicket hauls to his name. In ODIs, he scalped 247 in 163 matches at an average of 25. He also played some T20I cricket taking 19 wickets in 15 games.
If not for his injuries, Akhtar could have played a lot of games in his injury-prone career. Nonetheless, the impact and fear which he left in the eyes and minds of the batsmen in his short career were so big that it diminished the impact the other fast bowlers had in their prolonged careers.
Everyone loves the stories of underdogs. They seem quite throughout the course of the story and often get ignored by the likes of showmen and heroes. Somewhat similar happened with the great Indian Wall as they call him, Rahul Dravid. People were in the awe of Tendulkar, Ponting, Lara, Kallis but here he was creating a legacy of his own quietly.
In an extraordinary career which lasted for about 16 years, Dravid broke numerous records. In 164 Tests, he scored 13,288 runs which included 36 tons at an average of 52. In ODIs, with an average of 39, he scored 10,889 runs with the help of 12 centuries.
Often known as an intelligent and smart cricketer, Dravid with his limited array of shots did some unbelievable things in his career. At the start of his career, people call him a guy with a Test technique. But he scored more than 10 thousand runs in ODIs. He rescued Indian so many times when their star-studded batting line-up failed.
SportsInfo offers cricket, soccer, kabaddi, tennis, badminton, racing, basketball and other sports news, articles, videos, live coverage & live scores, player rankings & team rankings. Also, offers minute details of any match along with live commentary.
- Top 10 international cricket teams and their New Year Resolutions in 2021
- One player from each country who can win the Man of The Tournament award in the 2021 T20 World Cup
- Team-wise one bowler who can be the leading wicket-taker in T20 WC 2021
- Country-wise number of overseas players who have featured in IPL
- Team-wise memorable moments of the decade