We are now approaching the end of a glorious decade for world cricket and it is time to reflect upon the past 10 years. The leading news and betting authorities in the Cricket market have published tons of guides and lists about this marvelous sport and agreed to point the greatest cricketers of this decade, including The Cricketer, SBR’s Cricket guide and Cricket Australia. These are the top five:
5. James Anderson
Anderson was flourishing within Test cricket before the decade started and he will still be playing after it has finished. He provided a strong reminder of his brilliance by removing Proteas opener Dean Elgar with the first ball when England began the first Test against South Africa on December 26. He has emerged as the most successful pace bowler in Test cricket history, having racked up more than 400 scalps and sitting comfortably ahead of countryman Stuart Broad at the top of the pile. He is devastating in home Tests, but he has also taken wickets in Australia, India and Sri Lanka. His presence in the team ensures that England is narrow favorites to win their series in South Africa. He is a titan of the sport and he is still going strong.
4. Ellyse Perry
Commentators have heaped praise upon Perry this month after making a tremendous impact over the past decade. The 29-year-old has featured in eight Tests, 112 ODIs and 111 T20s for Australia. During the Tests, she has hit 624 runs and taken 31 wickets, while she has been brilliant in white-ball cricket, cementing her status as the world’s finest all-rounder. The Sydney Morning Herald said set to stand the test of time as one of the finest players Australia has produced, which is high praise considering she follows in the footsteps of Don Bradman, Shane Warne, and Ricky Ponting.
3. Dale Steyn
Steyn established himself as the premier fast bowler of the decade after thriving in South Africa and on the subcontinent. He led the Proteas to thrilling series draws with India in the mid-2000s and retired from first-class cricket in 2018 after taking 439 wickets at an average of 22.6 and a strike rate of 42.4 during a career comprising 93 Test appearances. Many former cricketers fretted about the decline of fast bowling at the beginning of the decade, but Steyn was the exception. He has taken five wickets in an innings against ever side he has faced, and he only began to fade when injuries took their toll towards the end of the decade.
2. Steve Smith
What a rollercoaster decade it has been for Smith. He made his Test debut in 2010 at number 8 or 9 in each format and went three years before first hitting a ton. Yet he has since gone on to become one of the greatest batsmen of all time. He has made 7,127 runs from 72 Tests at 63.63, including 26 centuries. As captain, he moves up to more than 70 on average. It all went wrong for Smith following the ball-tampering scandal of 2018, which caused him to be stripped of the captaincy and sparked tearful press conferences, but he has since rebuilt his reputation once more. He is pushing 80 since returning to the fold and he was in electric form during the Ashes in 2019, scoring more than 700 runs despite missing an entire Test through a concussion. He is just as devastating home and away, and he has caused all manner of nightmares for England and India over the past decade. He has also dazzled in white-ball cricket, particularly in the IPL.
1. Virat Kohli
India’s captain is a near-unanimous selection for the player of the decade among cricket writers and former players. He has scored more international runs than any other player over the past decade, as his haul of 20,960 leaves him well clear of second-placed Hashim Amla. Sachin Tendulkar dominated the previous decade, but the 2010s have been Kohli’s decade. He is the most influential player in the world and arguably the greatest star the sport has ever produced. He is a fine leader of the Indian national team and he constantly seems to rise to any challenges put before him. He is the only batsman to average at least 50 in all three international formats, and he deserves that status as the player of the decade.
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