26 December 2019 10:42

Cook played more innings, faced more balls and scored more runs in Test cricket than anyone this decade.

india national cricket team

3 Englishmen, 2 Indians and 1 Aussie in Kohli-led Test Team of the Decade As the decade comes to an end, it's time to look at the best players over the last 10 years and the contenders are many. However, among the many great players, who played the game, consistency and ability to handle the pressure become the most important thing in Test cricket and the players, who have passed the test with flying colours are the ones, who make the cut in the team of the decade. Therefore, with few days remaining for the year to end and the decade to cap off, we take a look at the best XI players and put them in a team that has ruled 2010-2019. From scoring a century on his Test debut to singing off with a double ton in his retirement series last summer, Cook's has been an everlasting presence in the England squad. As he hung up his boot in 2018, Cook retired with 12472 runs from 161 Test matches at an average of 45.35.

In this decade, the former England captain scored 8818 runs from 111 Tests, averaging 46.41. Kane Williamson might not be your usual opener but keeping the Black Caps captain out of a Test team of the decade would be plain unfair. Williamson, who debuted on November, 2010, scored 6370 runs from 77 Test matches and has scored at an average of 52.21. Since making his debut in England, Smith has accumulated 7072 runs from 72 Test matches at an average of 63.14, smashing 26 centuries as well. Kohli, who made his Test debut in 2011 has scored 7202 runs from 84 matches at an average of 54.97. Under Kohli, India became the first Asian team to win a Test series in Australia and has been on top of the standings since 2017. AB retired with 8765 runs from 114 Tests at an average of 50.66 and hit 22 centuries. From 2010 onwards, he scored 5059 runs from 60 games, averaging 57.48 and hitting 13 centuries before retiring in 2018. Sanga hung up his boots in 2015 but whatever he has done in the five years of cricket since the turn of the decade, no one has been able to match up to the Sri Lankan keeper. Sangakkara made his Test debut in 2000 and scored 12400 runs from 134 Test matches and was a mainstay of the Sri Lankan batting along with Mahela Jayawardene for the most part of the previous decade and some of this. Stokes made his Test debut in 2013 and adds balance to the side with both bat and ball. The England all-rounder has so far played 59 Test matches and scored 3738 runs at an average of 35.94, scoring 8 centuries. R Ashwin: Ravichandran Ashwin becomes the lead spinner of the team thanks to his consistent perforamances with the ball and lately with the bat as well for India. The Tamil Nadu tweaker has played 70 Tests since making his debut in 2011 and taken 362 wickets at an average of 25.36. With the bat, he has scored 2385 runs at an average of 28.73 and scored 4 centuries as well. Herath, who mad his Test debut in 1999, had been in Murali's shadows for the longest of times and has played 72 of the 93 Tests in this decade. Overall, Herath has played 93 Tests, taking 433 wickets at an average of 28.07 and since the turn of the century, he has grabbed 363 wickets at an average of 26.41 and taken 30 five-wicket hauls out of his 34 overall. Since making his debut in 2004, Steyn has played 93 Tests, taking 439 wickets at an average of 22.95 and is the leading wickettaker for South Africa in the longest format of the game. Anderson currently has 575 wickets and is the highest amongst the pacers in Test cricket and fourth overall behind three spinners. After making his debut in 2003, Anderson slowly became a regular fixture in the England side and along with Cook, he perhaps was one of the first names on the team-sheet. Anderson currently has 427 wickets from 105 matches in this decade and an average of 24.19. The 2010s end, like they began, with India top of the world rankings and in between 598 players, from Varun Aaron to Zulqarnain Haider, have played 431 Tests in 171 series. Cook played more innings, faced more balls and scored more runs in Test cricket than anyone this decade. But even more than that, in an era when teams found it harder than ever to win away from home, Cook was the key player in England's greatest series victories, in Australia 2010‑11, when he made 766 runs, and in India 2012-13, when he made 562. If Cook was one of the last of the old breed of Test match batsmen, Warner was one of the first of the new. He had hardly played 10 first-class games but more than 100 T20 matches when he made his Test debut. He began the decade by scoring a century on debut, against India in Ahmedabad. Like Williamson, Smith made his Test debut back in 2010, only he was batting No 9 in the second innings, and bowling his pug-ugly leg-spin. His batting average as a wicketkeeper this decade is just under 60, which (ridiculously) is half as good again as anyone else. Steyn has ripped through every team at one time or another and he has taken five cheap wickets in an innings against every side he has played against. The only player in the XI who was playing Test cricket before the decade started and will still be playing it after it is finished. He has taken his wickets in Australia, India, Sri Lanka and in England, where batsmen grope after him like little kids trying to find the lady under the cups.