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Cricketing Teams of the Decade

January 4, 2010

Cricinfo published their Cricketing “Teams of the Decade” and were pretty much spot on, with a couple selections that might have been slightly off. I’ve listed the Cricinfo picks along with my assessments on each as either: “RIGHT ON“, “PERHAPS“, or “ABSOLUTELY INCORRECT“, followed by my B Team selection’s for Test and ODI’s.

Enjoy     🙂

CRICINFO’S TEST TEAM OF THE DECADE & ZAINAB’S ASSESMENT

Matthew Hayden: PERHAPS: Although he was deadly in his day, his career was short lived and sometimes inconsistent. To be considered for the decade, he would have needed a longer contribution to the game. As opener, he was good, but wish we could have seen more of him.

Virender Sehwag: ABSOLUTELY INCORRECT: In Tests, Sehwag is effective when he get’s by on drop catches! The 2 triples centuries Cricinfo mentions in their reasoning for choosing him as opener didn’t mention that those scores were accompanied by at least a couple drop catches when he was under a hundred. Sehwag simply doesn’t have Test cricket mentality: although he scores a lot of runs when on a roll, his lacking consistency, patience and batting skill don’t compare to Test greats like Dravid, who can smash just as well, but know better than to risk it. Even if he puts a 100 in 1 innings, it’s usually not wroth gambling your wicket or a duck. He’s not cut out for Test, and certainly not as opener.

ZAINAB’S SUGGESTED REPLACEMENT: Chris Gayle: With a test average of roughly 42, he’s can smash the ball just as well as Sehwag, and usually with better consistency.

Ricky Ponting: RIGHT ON: Although my feelings for him went sour after the graphite controversy, fact is he’s put up exceptional performances.

Sachin Tendulkar: RIGHT ON: A man who can single handedly alter the course of a game as opener or fourth man down. The little master needs no justification.

Rahul Dravid: RIGHT ON: The best batsman in this lineup, hands down. Dravid’s the most classy, consistent, and solid batsman any team could hope for in a Test match. A man who will never let you down, it’s outstanding cricketers like him who keep decent players like Virender Sehwag from making the cut in this lineup.

Jaques Kallis: RIGHT ON: A Solid all rounder and the man who always has two of the three critical aspects of any game at 100%. Kallis’ fielding, bowling or batting will meet any opposition with formidable force.

Adam Gilchrist: RIGHT ON: I simply can’t say it better that Cricinfo here: ” by the time he departed the game he had raised the bar so high for wicketkeepers that they were forced to prove themselves as batsmen first” 🙂

Sean Pollock: PERHAPS: Not bad, he’s a great cricketer, solid, effective and his line and length are impeccable, but he’s not the man you go to when you need a wicket, there are better options.

ZAINAB’S SUGGESTED REPLACEMENT: Mohammad Asif: Although young and might not have the largest sample size with which to asses him, Asif has already proven himself. He’s never let the team or aduiences down in a match having already bowled a 10 wicket match and 5, five wicket matches in 15 games. Not to mention he massacring the Aussies in a Test going on right now. A gritty strike bowler from the start, he’s perfect for the past decade, and next one.

Shane Warne: RIGHT ON: Despite controversy, “ball of the century“. Enough said.

Muttiah Muralidharan: RIGHT ON: He can bowl the deadly doosra like no other. Although Saqlain Mushtaq revoluntionized the game by inventing it, Muralidaran mastered it and used it to catapult Sri Lanka to new heights int he past decade. Always fun to watch him.

Glen McGrath: RIGHT ON: He is to bowling what Dravid is to Batting: the ultimate in skill, consistency and perfect text book cricket. Can’t go wrong with MCGrath in your attack.

ZAINAB’S PICKS FOR TEST TEAM B OF THE DECADE :

          • Chris Gayle – West Indies
          • Herschelle Gibbs – South Africa
          • Kumar Sangakkara – Sri Lanka
          • Mohammad Yusuf – Pakistan
          • Inzamam ul Haq – Pakistan
          • Brian Lara – West Indies
          • Mahela Jayawardena – Sri Lanka
          • Heath Streak – Zimbabwe
          • Daniel Vettori – New Zealand
          • Mohammad Asif – Pakistan
          • Danish Kaneria – Pakistan

CRICINFO’S ODI TEAM OF THE DECADE AND ZAINAB’S ASSESMENT

Sachin Tendulkar: RIGHT ON. Greatest batsman in the decade, and still today. 17, 0000 + runs and counting. Need I go on?

Sanath Jayasuriya: RIGHT ON: Only one player has hit more sixes than him, and that’s Shahid Afridi, whose average is of course expectedly lower than Jasuriya’s. So having the power, presence and capacity to smash of Afridi along with sharp skill and consistency is a dream come true for an ODI opener. Good call on Jayasuirya.

Ricky Ponting: PERHAPS: He’s good, but there are more deadly batsman who could play one down this decade:

ZAINAB’S SUGGESTED REPLACEMENT: Kumar Sangakkara. Cricket’s Renaissance Man, Sangakkara’s one of the hottest bats this decade and still going. While ponting looks about done, Sangakkara has only just begun. He’s tearing bowlers apart consistently and with class. Always one of my favorite players to watch 🙂

Jaques Kallis: RIGHT ON: As an all rounder, he has averages that are comparabale to soem ofthe best batsman, or bowlers, not to mention his consistent fielding.

Andrew Symonds: ABSOLUTELY INCORRECT: He was a non critical part of the Australia team at their peak and saw fair success during that reign and there are far more skilled batsman than Symonds to choose from:

ZAINAB’S SUGGESTED REPLACEMENT: Brian Lara: No one had the presence he did, let alone struck the ball like he did. There’s a reason why every cricket video game in the past decade was named after him 🙂 Brian Lara is arguably batting king of the decade (“arguable” only because of Sachin)

Andrew Flintoff: PERHAPS: I love Flintoff. He never screws up, is always consistent and great team leader. He could work either way, but I might prefer someone with more raw talent:

ZAINAB’S SUGGESTED REPLACEMENT: Abdul Razzaq: The worlds best game changer, hands down. When the team’s five wickets down and needs 14 runs an over, half way through an ODI, Abdul Razzaq is one of the only men i’d trust at bat. I’ve seen him do that against world class teams like New Zealand and did I mention he can bowl? My favorite all rounder for the decade.

Adam Gilchrist: RIGHT ON: It’s rare to find keepers who can not only bat, but open, play middle order and keep your runs flowing at any position. Gilchrist was always an exceptional keeper and batsman.

Sean Pollock: RIGHT ON: He’s cosistent and will never let a team down. When you’re running behind, he’ll step up and bring the team back to a possible win, whether with a bat, or ball. A solid choice.

Brett Lee: ABSOLUTELY INCORRECT: Did they pick him just for pace? This is as bad as the Sehwag for Test opener pick! Lee’s not a deadly strike bowler and if it was pace they were praising, Shoaib Akhtar is faster. Brett Lee’s career average economy of 5 runs an over coupled with the fact that he’s never taken more than 5 wickets in an ODI match doesn’t cut him out for the team of the decade. Bad call Cricinfo.

ZAINAB”S SUGGESTED REPLACEMENT: Harbhajan Singh: He picks up crucial wickets: when your team is in the hole and the opposition is creating havoc with a run fest. He strikes with spin and takes out the few key wickets needed to bring you back into the game. A far better choice than Brett Lee!

Glen McGrath: RIGHT ON: One of the best bowlers in history. We’re still waiting to see a replacement from Australia.

Muttiah Muralidharan: RIGHT ON: He’s just too cool with the doosra that confounded probably every batsman in the world at some point. He defines Sri Lankan cricket for the past decade.

ZAINAB’S ODI B TEAM FOR THE DECADE:

            • Chris Gayle: West Indies:
            • A.B. De Villiers – South Africa
            • Kumar Sangakkara – Sri Lanka
            • Brian Lara – West Indies
            • Inzamam ul Haq –  Pakistan
            • Abdul Razzaq – Pakistan
            • Shoaib Malik – Pakistan
            • Daneil Vettori – New Zealand
            • Harbhajan Singh – India
            • Makhaya Ntini – South Africa
            • Shoaib Akhtar – Pakistan

So, that’s my take on Cricketing greats for the decade. Cricinfo came up with a nice list, and i think my tweaks made the list slightly better. Hope you enjoyed my B Team roster, and cheers to another ten years of exciting cricket !

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4 comments

  1. nice post, zainab u cricket freak 😛 want to make one comment though i am planning to write a post on lot of cricket coming up for cricket freaks, hope nobody will steal the idea 😉 oh yes lot of good color combination in above post, orange, brown, pink, zinda dil awam Pakistan Pakistan 😀

    Like


    • ooooh. I”m looking forward to the posts on cricket 🙂

      Like


  2. a great write-up with some interesting analysis I must say…
    surprising to see u pick chris gayle for both test’s and ODIs… and certainly there are traces of loyalty in your B team picks !! 🙂
    but keep writing on this sport with a busy season ahead — hear ur thoughts on ongoing Pak-Auz tour and chances of India seeing 1 spot as ODI team ?

    Like


    • Thanks!

      The Pak-Aussie tour demonstrates two things: One, Pakistan harnesses its talent when playing as a team and not over shuffling the lineup.
      Two: the Aussie’s hay day as # 1 are winding down.

      Which brings me to your next question: India having already secured #1 spot in the World for Tests, is a shoe in for the ODI ranking also. Although they could use a better bowling attack, they’re playing better than anyone else right now.

      Prediction for the next World Cup in South Asia :::: India vs. Sri Lanka 🙂

      Like



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