Ricky Ponting’s Test Team of the Decade raised some eyebrows.
Ricky Ponting’s Test Team of the Decade raised some eyebrows.

Ponting’s surprising Team of the Decade

FORMER Australian captain Ricky Ponting have revealed his men's Test cricket team of the decade, which featured some surprising omissions.

The 45-year-old posted his choices on his newly-created Twitter, writing he wanted to "join in the fun" and share his thoughts on the much-debated XI.

Despite being ranked fourth and fifth on the current ICC Test rankings, seven players from Australian and England feature in Ponting's XI.

In contrast, although India have more wins per match than any other nation this decade, only one Indian features in Ponting's team - current captain Virat Kohli.


David Warner - AUS (7099 runs @ 48.21)

Alastair Cook - ENG (8818 runs @ 46.41)

Kane Williamson - NZL (6379 runs @ 51.44)

Steve Smith - AUS (7164 runs @ 62.84)

Virat Kohli (c) - IND (7202 runs @ 54.97)

Kumar Sangakkara (wk) - SL (4851 runs @ 61.40)

Ben Stokes - ENG (3787 runs @ 35.72, 139 wickets @ 33.13)

Dale Steyn - RSA (267 wickets @ 22.29)

Nathan Lyon - AUS (380 wickets @ 32.11)

Stuart Broad - ENG (403 wickets @ 27.65)

James Anderson - ENG (429 wickets @ 24.35)

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Ponting played with or against every player in his chosen XI in the Test arena, with the exception of England's Ben Stokes.

The most criticised inclusion in Ponting's XI was Australian off spinner Nathan Lyon.

Although the GOAT has taken the most wickets of any spin bowler this decade, his Test bowling average and strike rate are considerably weaker than Sri Lanka's Rangana Herath and India's Ravi Ashwin.

India’s Ravi Ashwin was unlucky to miss out on a spot in Ponting’s XI.
India’s Ravi Ashwin was unlucky to miss out on a spot in Ponting’s XI.

Lyon took wickets every 63.9 deliveries in Test cricket, which is higher than Herath (57.5) and Ashwin (53.6).

Similarly, Lyon's bowling average of 32.11 is noticeably weaker than Herath (26.41) and Ashwin (25.36).

Lastly, Herath and Ashwin collectively claimed 16 ten-wicket hauls in Test cricket this decade - Lyon finished with just two.

This statistical disparity is probably why Wisden, Fox Cricket and Super Sport chose Ashwin as the strike spinner in their teams of the decade.

However, Ashwin and Herath had the advtange of bowling the majorty of their career on turning pitches in the sub-continent.

The inclusion of Stuart Broad also raised some eyebrows - although the English paceman claimed 403 Test wickets this decade, his bowling average of 27.65 is fairly mediocre compared to other modern greats.

South Africans Kagiso Rabada and Vernon Philander averaged a McGrath-like 22.57 and 21.99 respectively with the ball this decade.

Broad's Test strike rate of 56.6 is also weaker than Rabada (40.0) and Philander (49.9).

However, Broad's unforgettable spell of 8/15 during the 2015 Ashes may have boosted his credentials.

Another notable omission from Ponting's team is AB de Villiers, who averaged 57.48 with the bat in Test cricket this decade.

The South African's batting average was better than Kane Williamson, Ben Stokes and Kohli, and he finished the decade with more Test runs than Kumar Sangakkara.

Since retiring from international cricket in 2012, Ponting has commentated for Channel 10 and Channel 7.