England Test team of the decade
As we move into 2021, the last decade of Test Match cricket has been full of ups and downs.
It started in incredible fashion with victory in the Ashes in Australia, however on their return a couple of years later resulted in the retirement of Graeme Swann and the exclusion of Kevin Pietersen.
2012-13 saw England’s first Test series victory in India since 1984-85, however the 2016-17 tour saw the hosts win the series 5-0 with Virat Kohli scoring over 650 runs.
The test team end 2020 in 4th place in the ICC Test Rankings behind Australia, New Zealand and the aforementioned Indians.
Here is our Test Team of the last decade.
- Sir Alastair Cook
Where else could we start? With 12,472 runs at and average of 45.35, including 33 centuries, Cook would be nailed on to open in any era and is, of course, England’s greatest ever batsman!
- Andrew Strauss
Picking someone who only played 2 years of the last decade proves how badly England have struggled to find decent openers since Cook and Strauss. Hopefully when the next decade’s list is posted we will be able to add a Zac Crawley or Rory Burns to the list but nobody since Strauss can compete with his 100 Test Matches, 7000+ runs and average of over 40.
- Ian Bell
England have struggled for a number 3 since Ian Bell. With 118 Tests, 7727 runs and and average in excess of 42, perhaps England were premature in dropping Bell when they did.
- Joe Root
It’s strange to think that people still manage to criticise Joe Root. At 30, he’s already played 99 Test Matches and boasts an average of 47.99 and would walk into most Test teams around the world.
- Kevin Pietersen
Pietersen managed to split opinions when he was playing like no other player in recent history, yet, nobody can argue with his incredible record of 104 Test Matches and 8181 runs at an average topping 47. Sadly for England fans, we never saw KP again after the 2014 Ashes Test Match in Sydney when he probably had 2-3 more very good years in him.
- Ben Stokes
There are not enough superlatives to describe Ben Stokes. He is a match-winner in every capacity of the game. His heroics in the 2019 Ashes will never be forgotten.
- Jonny Bairstow
It’s still bizarre that people still question the ability of Jonny Bairstow. With 6 centuries and 21 half-centuries in 70 Test Matches, he should be (in our humble opinion) England’s first choice keeper batting at 7.
- Chris Woakes
We almost put Moeen Ali in the number 8 spot, however in a different era of English Test cricket, Woakes would be one of the first names on the team sheet. It’s scary to think he has still only played under 40 Test Matches, although he does perform better in England than abroad and we wouldn’t be surprised if he starts opening the bowling in England when James Anderson decides to hang up his boots.
- Graeme Swann
Swann was a revelation when he came onto the scene 2008, and became the spinner that England had been looking for for decades. He took 255 wickets in 60 Test Matches but sadly never played again after the Perth Test Match in the infamous 2013-14 Ashes series.
- Stuart Broad
Broad is England’s second most successful bowler in history. With 514 wickets and 143 Test Matches to his name, the partnership he has formed with James Anderson is still going stronger than ever. When his legs are pumping, there’s no batsman in world cricket can cope with him. He also averages a very hand 19 with the bat that has been very useful for England in recent years.
- James Anderson
Where else could we finish than with the greatest fast bowler cricket has ever seen? Not many people at the start of the decade would have thought that James Anderson would finish 2020 with 600 wickets to his name, having played an incredible 156 Test Matches over 17 years, and when he’s fit, he still looks as good as he ever has!
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