West Indies most celebrated batsman of the last decade, Brian Lara, was not good enough to make it into either one of the Test or One-day teams of the just completed first decade of this century, according to a panel of experts on the cricketing website, Cricinfo. Five Australians have made it into each of the teams, according to the panel which included the Web site's editors Sambit Bal and Andrew Miller as well as former Australian captain Ian Chappell and Indian batsman Sanjay Manjrekar. Three, along with Sachin Tendulkar, Muttiah Muralitharan and the South African all-round pair of Jacques Kallis and Shaun Pollock, found a place in both sides.
Apart from West Indies, there are no New Zealanders. And only one Englishman, Andrew Flintoff, made it to either side. There were four unanimous picks in the Test side–Ricky Ponting, Adam Gilchrist, Glenn McGrath and Muralitharan, but none in the ODI one (Gilchrist came closest, with 12 votes; Ponting, Tendulkar and McGrath got 11 each). According to Cricinfo, Matthew Hayden and India's Virender Sehwag were the men who paved the way for a change in attitude and mentality while opening the innings. Hayden scored 8364 Test runs from 96 games and reached 29 centuries, while Sehwag hit two triple-centuries and four doubles in 72 Tests. The number three batsman is Ricky Ponting who scored 9458 runs at 58.38 and he has recorded 38 hundreds.
Following Ponting is Sachin Tendulkar, who just completed his 20th year of international cricket, and scored over 7000 Test runs at 53.20 with 21 centuries during the decade. His teammate, Rahul Dravid is at five and the Cricinfo jury stated that Dravid was at the forefront of almost all of India's memorable Test wins in the 2000s including Kolkata 2001, Headingley, Adelaide 2003, Rawalpindi 2004, Kingston 2006 and Perth 2008. South Africa's Jacques Kallis takes the number six spot, with Adam Gilchrist the wicketkeeper's spot. He too revolutionised the game, with a Test strike rate of 82 best exemplified in Perth against England in 2006 and by his audacious 204 in Johannesburg in 2002. Gilchrist hit more Test sixes than any batsman in history, 99 of them this decade.
Pollock was the second South African allrounder to make the list. His control of line and length got him 260 Test wickets at under 25 this decade, and though his pace dipped, inevitably, he still managed to extract a significant amount of seam movement in various conditions, and his unnerving accuracy made him hard to get away. Add to this a healthy batting average of 32.56. The ODI team includes Sachin Tendulkar and Sanath Jayasuriya at the top. They have a mind-boggling 30,822 ODI runs between themselves (over 17,000 of those scored this decade). The middle order has a combined career tally of a touch under 25,000 runs. Kallis and Andrew Symonds are in the middle followed by Andrew Flintoff. Gilchrist takes the gloves again along with Pollock while the opening bowlers are Brett Lee and McGrath. Murali is the only spinner.
Matthew Hayden, Virender Sehwag, Ricky Ponting, Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, Jacques Kallis, Adam Gilchrist (wk), Shaun Pollock, Shane Warne, Muttiah Muralitharan, Glenn McGrath
12th man: Andrew Flintoff
Sanath Jayasuriya, Sachin Tendulkar, Ricky Ponting, Jacques Kallis, Andrew Symonds, Adam Gilchrist, Andrew Flintoff, Shaun Pollock, Brett Lee, Glenn McGrath, Muttiah Muralitharan
12th man: Shane Warne
Sambit Bal, editor, Cricinfo
Harsha Bhogle, sports presenter and writer
Ian Chappell, former Australia captain
Peter English, Australasia editor, Cricinfo
Jayaditya Gupta, executive editor, Cricinfo
Gideon Haigh, cricket historian, writer
Sanjay Manjrekar, former India batsman
Andrew Miller, UK editor, Cricinfo
Dileep Premachandran, associate editor, Cricinfo
S Rajesh, stats editor, Cricinfo
Christian Ryan, writer
Rob Steen, writer
Telford Vice, writer