Search
  • Devang Arya

Team of the Decade - Test 2010s Bowlers

Finally, we reach the bowlers…

Fast Bowlers - 3 will be picked for the main side and the ‘A’ team.

The Contenders…

wickets at , SR : , Econ : , 5wi , 10wm

James Anderson (🇬🇧) - 408 wickets at 23.79 , SR: 54.0 , Econ: 2.63 , 18 5wi , 3 10wm , Home : 264 wickets at 21.14 , SR: 48.2 , Econ : 2.63 , 15 5wi , 3 10wm , Away : 144 wickets at 28.57 , SR: 64.8 , Econ : 2.64 , 3 5wi , 0 10wm

Dale Steyn ( 🇿🇦 ) - 225 wickets at 21.88 , SR: 44.1 , Econ : 2.97 , 13 5wi , 1 10wm - Home : 130 wickets at 18.97 , SR: 39.0 , Econ : 2.91 , 9 5wi , 1 10wm - Away : 95 wickets at 25.86 , SR : 51.1 , Econ : 3.03 , 4 5wi , 0 10wm

Morne Morkel (🇿🇦 ) - 231 wickets at 25.90 , SR: 52.5 , Econ : 2.95 , 6 5wi , 0 10wm , Home : 119 wickets at 25.68 , SR : 51.0 , Econ : 3.02 , 3 5wi , 0 10wm - Away : 112 wickets at 26.13 , SR : 54.1 , Econ : 2.89 , 3 5wi , 0 10wm

Stuart Broad (🇬🇧) - 350 wickets at 27.21 , SR : 56.1 , Econ : 2.90 , 13 5wi , 2 10wm - Home : 234 wickets at 25.67, SR : 51.9 , Econ : 2.96 , 9 5wi , 2 10wm - Away : 116 wickets at 30.31 , SR : 64.7 , Econ : 2.80 , 4 5wi , 0 10wm

Ishant Sharma (🇮🇳) - 190 wickets at 34.66 , SR : 65.0 , Econ : 3.19 , 7 5wi , 1 10wm - Home : 48 wickets at 35.02 , SR: 75.9 , Econ : 2.76 , 0 5wi , 0 10wm - Away : 142 wickets at 34.54 , SR : 61/3 , Econ : 3.37 , 7 5wi , 1 10wm

Vernon Philander (🇿🇦) - 205 wickets at 21.54 , SR : 48.6 , Econ : 2.65 , 13 5wi , 2 5wm - Home : 129 wickets at 18.27 , SR : 41.4 , Econ : 2.64 , 9 5wi , 1 5wm - Away : 76 wickets at 27.07 , SR : 60.8 , Econ : 2.67 , 4 5wi , 1 10wm

Trent Boult (🇳🇿) - 215 wickets at 27.84 , SR : 56.1 , Econ : 2.97 , 6 5wi , 1 10wm - Home : 114 wickets at 24.77 , SR : 50.7 , Econ : 2.92 , 3 5wi , 1 10wm - Away : 101 wickets at 31.31 , SR : 62.0 , Econ : 3.02 , 3 5wi , 0 10wm

Mitchell Starc (🇦🇺) - 186 wickets at 28.52 , SR : 50.2 , Econ : 3.40 , 9 5wi , 1 10wm - Home : 96 wickets at 28.51 , SR : 50.1 , Econ : 3.41 , 3 5wi , 0 10wm - Away : 90 wickets at 28.53 , SR : 50.4 , Econ : 3.39 , 6 5wi , 1 10wm

Tim Southee (🇳🇿) - 195 wickets at 29.53 , SR : 59.4 , Econ : 2.98 , 6 5wi , 1 10wm - Home : 110 wickets at 27.19 , SR : 55.2 , Econ : 2.95 , 3 5wi , 0 10wm - Away : 85 wickets at 32.56 , SR : 64.8 , Econ : 3.01 , 3 5wi , 1 10wm

Josh Hazlewood (🇦🇺) - 151 wickets at 26.84 , SR : 57.3 , Econ : 2.80 , 6 5wi , 0 10wm - Home : 86 wickets at 25.48 , SR : 55.6 , Econ : 2.75 , 4 5wi , 0 10wm - Away : 65 wickets at 28.64 , SR : 59.6 , Econ : 2.87 , 2 5wi , 0 10wm

Kagiso Rabada (🇿🇦) - 151 wickets at 21.71 , SR : 39.3 , Econ : 3.31 , 9 5wi , 4 10wm - Home : 102 wickets at 18.38 , SR : 31.9 , Econ : 3.45 , 8 5wi , 4 10wm - Away : 49 wickets at 28.65 , SR : 54.6 , Econ : 3.14 - 1 5wi

Mitchell Johnson (🇦🇺) - 158 wickets at 28.76 , SR : 50.1 , Econ : 3.44 , 7 5wi , 1 10wm - Home : 87 wickets at 25.36 , SR : 42.3 , Econ : 3.59 , 4 5wi , 0 10wm - Away : 71 wickets at 32.92 , SR : 59.7 , Econ : 3.30 , 3 5wi , 1 10wm

Fast bowling is where the divide in the cricketing world is very clear, especially in the 2010s. In the last 2 or 3 years of the decade (2018 onwards), Pakistan have found Mohammed Abbas, Shaheen Afridi and India have found Jasprit Bumrah and a much improved Bhuvneshwar Kumar, but for a majority of the decade (Abbas and Bumrah may well be in the team of the next decade or even this one in 2020), the lack of quality Asian fast bowlers and lack of quality non-Asian spinners (apart from Lyon) is one of the main reasons away teams have struggled so much. Ishant is the only Asian bowler and has the worst bowling average out of all of the contenders, as there are 2 English, 4 South African, 2 New Zealanders and 3 Australians. Even in the ‘honourable mention’ section for the quicks, there is only one Asian bowler (Mohammed Shami - perhaps there could’ve been at least 1 or 2 more if Pakistan and India had stuck with some of their pacers and Mohammed Asif and Mohammed Amir had not had ‘that’ moment and had actually lived up to their irresistible potentials) and 2 West Indians, with there being 2 Australians, 1 New Zealander and 1 more Englishman.

It is truly remarkable (although not too surprising if you look at their away record) that the top 3 away bowling averages of the decade for fast bowlers are all South African. In fact, the South Africans take 4 of the top 5 spots for overall bowling average, with only James Anderson in 4th stopping a clean sweep. Anderson is also 4th in home average and a very respectable 5th in away average, not to mention having taken the most wickets in the decade means that Anderson is a certainty in the side. Despite the Australian quicks possessing very impressive records, competing with the South African quicks is very tough, and the best bowler of his generation in Dale Steyn has to take the 2nd fast bowling spot. 4th in the total wickets (despite all of his injuries), 3rd in overall average, home average and 1st in away average simply reaffirms the fact that Steyn, when fit, is basically unstoppable.

The 12th man will also be a fast bowler, and this is another decision between the remaining South African bowlers. The other bowlers have good stats, but have at least one thing ailing them, for example, Boult and Broad’s away record, and Starc’s home record.

Rabada has not taken enough wickets having only played for 3 and a bit years when this was written for him to be in the XI yet (although I strongly suspect he will be 12th man by the end of the decade, if not pushing off one of Anderson or Steyn). This leaves Philander and Morkel, and it is mighty close. Morne Morkel has a lot more wickets than Philander, but Philander tops the bowling average and the home averages. Morne has a better away average than Philander, so the question remains that has Philander proved himself in enough conditions worldwide for him to get in the side ahead of Morne Morkel. If you compare the record for Philander and Morkel by continent, you will see that Philander trumps Morkel in Oceania (Australia and New Zealand) and Europe (basically England until Ireland become competitive), and Philander has never even played in the Americas (West Indies), so Morkel takes that one. However, it is in Asia where Morkel’s quality shines. His average is 26.80 in 11 tests, while Philander has an average of 32.42 in 8 tests.

Morkel gives the attack more variety, but because this is a 12th man position, it means that this player would only play if the match was outside Asia, giving the Philander the edge. However, if Anderson and Steyn were to open the bowling, then you would want Morkel at first change instead of Philander. The only way that Philander could fit in the side would be if Philander opens the attack with Anderson, and Steyn comes on first change, but do you really want Steyn not opening the bowling?

I am going to leave you to decide which bowler you would prefer to have, personally, I am going to go for Morne Morkel.

This means Philander takes the first bowling position in the ‘A’ Team, and there are 2 more spots available. Of the remaining contenders, Stuart Broad and Trent Boult have the most wickets, Kagiso Rabada has the best average and home average, while the Australian duo of Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood have the best away average. Tim Southee, Ishant Sharma and Mitchell Johnson are out of the running in this as their averages are generally worse than the rest (and Johnson only really had 2 or 3 years if that where he was at his peak, hence the strong home average).

Therefore there are 2 spots available out of Kagiso Rabada, Josh Hazlewood, Mitchell Starc, Trent Boult and Stuart Broad.

Starc and Hazlewood have the best away averages but in Starc’s case, an identical home record lets him down. The other 4 are very close together, but Rabada having had a strong record both home and away makes it all 4 South African contestants finding a spot in one of the teams.

Boult and Broad have more wickets than Hazlewood, and they all have similar averages. Boult has a slightly better home record than the others, but Hazlewood has a slightly better away record. In the end, it will have to be Josh Hazlewood getting the spot because of the 3rd seamer only playing outside Asia, and Boult has the strongest home record. Stuart Broad and Josh Hazlewood were extremely unlucky to miss out here. Boult would therefore open the bowling with Philander, and Rabada would come on first change.

Conclusion : James Anderson (🇬🇧) , Dale Steyn (🇿🇦) , Morne Morkel (🇿🇦)

‘A’ Team : Vernon Philander (🇿🇦) , Kagiso Rabada (🇿🇦) , Trent Boult (🇳🇿)

Honourable Mentions : Peter Siddle (🇦🇺 ) 154 wickets at 29.80, SR: 62.0 , Econ : 2.88 , Neil Wagner ( 🇳🇿 ) 149 wickets at 28.26 , SR: 52.9 , Econ : 3.20 , Kemar Roach (🇧🇧) 143 wickets at 28.17 , SR: 52.25 , Econ : 3.21 , Mohammed Shami (🇮🇳 ) 128 wickets at 29.96 , SR: 52.6 , Econ : 3.41 , Steven Finn (🇬🇧) 121 wickets at 29.94 , SR: 50.4 , Econ : 3.56 , Shannon Gabriel (🇧🇧) 115 wickets at 30.20 , SR : 53.2 , Econ : 3.40 , Ryan Harris (🇦🇺) 104 wickets at 23.56 , SR : 51.0 , Econ : 2.76

Finally, we have the

Spinners - 2 will be picked for each team

The contenders :

Ravindra Jadeja (🇮🇳) - 185 wickets at 23.50 , SR : 59.1 , Econ : 2.38 , 9 5wi , 1 10wm - Home : 144 wickets at 19.70 , SR : 54.2 , Econ : 2.17 , 7 5wi , 1 10wm - Away : 41 wickets @ 36.82 , SR : 76.4 , Econ : 2.89 , 2 5wi , 0 10wm

Yasir Shah (🇵🇰) - 173 wickets at 29.80 , SR : 57.5 , Econ : 3.10 , 13 5wi , 2 10wm - Home : 87 wickets at 26.40 , SR : 55.1 , Econ : 2.87 , 5 5wi , 1 10wm - Away : 86 wickets at 33.25 , SR : 59.9 , Econ : 3.32 , 8 5wi , 1 10wm

Nathan Lyon (🇦🇺) - 318 wickets at 32.21 , SR : 63.1 , Econ : 3.06 , 12 5wi , 2 10wm - Home : 139 wickets at 33.74 , SR : 66.5 , Econ : 3.04 , 3 5wi , 1 10wm , Away : 179 wickets at 31.02 , SR : 60.4 , Econ : 3.07 , 9 5wi , 1 10wm

Ravi Ashwin (🇮🇳) - 336 wickets at 25.44 , SR : 53.1 , Econ : 2.87 , 26 5wi , 10 10wm - Home : 234 wickets at 22.68 , SR : 49.2 , Econ : 2.76 , 20 5wi , 6 10wm - Away : 102 wickets at 31.78 , SR : 63.1 , Econ : 3.07 , 6 5wi , 1 10wm

Graeme Swann (🇬🇧) - 170 wickets at 30.11 , SR : 60.4 , Econ : 2.98 , 11 5wi , 2 10wm - Home : 99 wickets at 28.15 , SR : 56.2 , Econ : 2.99 , 7 5wi , 1 10wm - Away : 71 wickets at 32.85 , SR : 66.2 , Econ : 2.97 , 4 5wi , 1 10wm

Keshav Maharaj (🇿🇦) - 90 wickets at 27.65 , SR : 52.8 , Econ : 3.14 , 5 5wi , 1 10wm - Home : 38 wickets at 29.52 , SR : 52.2 , Econ : 3.38 , 2 5wi , 0 10wm - Away : 52 wickets at 26.28 , SR : 53.2 , Econ : 2.96 , 3 5wi , 1 10wm

Rangana Herath (🇱🇰) - 360 wickets at 26.25 , SR : 57.2 , Econ : 2.75 , 30 5wi , 9 10wm - Home : 231 wickets at 21.90 , SR : 48.3 , Econ : 2.71 , 23 5wi , 1 10wm - Away : 129 wickets at 34.03 , SR : 73.0 , Econ : 2.79 , 7 5 wi , 2 10wm

Keshav Maharaj is very unlucky to be South African cricket player in the 2010s. If he was any other combination of nationality and decade then he would’ve walked into most XIs. As it stands, because of South Africa’s constant 4 seam attack threat through the decade, Keshav Maharaj has never really got the opportunity to shine, especially at home. If he had a few more matches he would’ve been the best spinner on this list by quite some way, as he is the only one to average below 30 away from home. Yasir Shah’s overall record is not great, but it is perhaps because of the dead UAE pitches that he plays on.

Nathan Lyon’s improvement in the second half of the decade has not yet been translated into his statistics, at the time this is being written Lyon is probably the best spin bowler in the world, but it is not reflected in his statistics. Graeme Swann has an average record in this decade, and it probably isn’t enough to get him a spot in the main side. This leaves Jadeja, Ashwin and Herath. Jadeja is quite brilliant at home and even though he and Ashwin are improving away from home, it has not been translated into their stats. Having said that, Ashwin has a healthy average of 31.78 away from home, better than Herath’s average of 34.03.

Ravi Ashwin is therefore a certain pick, as is Rangana Herath. For the ‘A’ team, Nathan Lyon and Yasir Shah are the clear picks, especially as Maharaj doesn’t have 100 wickets in the decade.

Conclusion : Ravi Ashwin (India) , Rangana Herath (Sri Lanka)

‘A’ Team : Yasir Shah (Pakistan) , Nathan Lyon (Australia)

2010s Overall Test Team

  1. Alastair Cook (England)

  2. David Warner (Australia)

  3. Kumar Sangakkara (c) (Sri Lanka)

  4. Steven Smith (Australia)

  5. Virat Kohli (India)

  6. AB de Villiers (South Africa)

  7. BJ Watling (wk) (New Zealand)

  8. Ravi Ashwin (India)

  9. Dale Steyn (South Africa)

  10. James Anderson (England)

  11. Rangana Herath (Sri Lanka)

  12. Morne Morkel (South Africa)

2010s ‘A’ Team

  1. Murali Vijay (India)

  2. Kraigg Brathwaite (West Indies)

  3. Kane Williamson (c) (New Zealand)

  4. Younis Khan (Pakistan)

  5. Joe Root (England)

  6. Shakib al Hasan (Bangladesh)

  7. Jonny Bairstow (wk) (England)

  8. Vernon Philander (South Africa)

  9. Kagiso Rabada (South Africa)

  10. Trent Boult (New Zealand)

  11. Yasir Shah (Pakistan)

  12. Nathan Lyon (Australia)

©2018 by cricexplorer.