International Cricket Council (ICC) recently announced a lot of awards for this decade (2011-2020). They announced the ODI, Test, and T20I cricketers of the decade. Not only that, but they also announced a Test XI of the Decade. When you have to choose players from a whole decade it is a difficult task. There are so many great players and the people in the panel can only choose 11 out of those.
The panel has done a good job in picking some of the great players but there are a lot of other players who have missed out on this team. So, let’s have a look at the five unlucky players who have missed out on the ICC Test XI of the decade.
5. Mitchell Starc
Mitchell Starc couldn’t make the ICC Test XI of the Decade as the panel has gone for James Anderson, Stuart Broad, and Dale Steyn. All these three bowlers have been brilliant but being a left-armer Starc could be an option. It is always an advantage if you have a left-arm fast bowler and Starc is one of the best in the business.
In this decade, he has picked up 240 wickets in 56 matches at an average of 27.08 and a strike-rate of 48.2. Very few bowlers have a strike-rate below 50 in tests. Starc can swing the new ball upfront and then can knock over the tail in a matter of 2-3 overs. He can even be handy with the bat and so Starc wouldn’t be a bad option.
4. Jason Holder
The West Indian all-rounder Jason Holder missed out on a spot in the ICC Test XI of the Decade as the all-rounder’s spot went to Ben Stokes. Ben Stokes is an unbelievable cricketer, and he has done some extraordinary things, but Jason Holder is also right up there. He has led the West Indian team in tough situations and has managed to get the best out of some players.
Holder has picked up 106 wickets and also scored more than 2000 runs in this decade. In the last couple of years, his bowling has gone to a different level as he averaged less than 20 with the ball. Jason Holder’s name would have been up for debate in the ICC Panel when they were selecting the XI.
3. Nathan Lyon
The Australian off-spinner Nathan Lyon missed out to Ravichandran Ashwin as the spinner in the XI. R Ashwin has a better average and a strike-rate than Lyon but also have to consider that Lyon plays most of his Tests in Australia where the pitches are not conducive to spin bowling.
Lyon has picked up 380 wickets in 95 Test matches at an average of 32.11 and a strike-rate of 63.9. There is always a debate between Ashwin and Lyon and the ICC panel has gone with R Ashwin as the spinner in the XI.
2. Joe Root
Joe Root has been the second-highest run-scorer in tests in this decade, and he still hasn’t managed to get in the XI. The England Test captain has scored 7359 runs in 89 Test matches at an average of 48.41 with 17 centuries and 45 half-centuries.
He has managed to score runs across conditions for his team. The middle-order is packed with Virat Kohli, Steve Smith, and Kane Williamson but, unfortunately, a player like Joe Root couldn’t make the ICC Test XI of the decade.
1. AB De Villiers
The one thing which AB De Villiers can’t do is make the Test XI of the decade. It is very hard to understand how does a player like AB De Villiers misses out on any Test team. He can score quickly; he can block for hours he can bat in difficult conditions, and he can even keep wickets.
ABD has scored 5059 runs in 60 Test matches at a staggering average of 57.48 with 13 centuries and 27 half-centuries in this decade. The South African batsman also kept wickets for his team in Test matches in this decade. There is no doubt that AB De Villiers should have been a part of the ICC Test XI of the decade.