England dominate ICC Test team of the year

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Old 29-Aug-2011
Harpreet Seehra
England dominate ICC Test team of the year

Five English cricketers were named in the ICC's Test team of the year, reflecting England's rise to the No. 1 spot, achieved during their 4-0 whitewash of India earlier this month. Two batsmen, Alastair Cook and Jonathon Trott, and three bowlers, Stuart Broad, Graeme Swann and James Anderson, made the XI, but there was no place for Ian Bell despite his averaging 89.50 and making four hundreds during the qualifying period from August 11, 2010 to August 3, 2011.

Dale Steyn, the South Africa fast bowler, made the team for the fourth straight year, while Sachin Tendulkar was named to the team for the third consecutive year. Three South Africa batsmen, Hashim Amla, AB de Villiers and Jacques Kallis, plus Kumar Sangakkara, the former Sri Lanka captain, made up the rest of the XI, while India fast bowler Zaheer Khan was named 12th man. Sangakkara was named captain and wicketkeeper, though he no longer performs either role for Sri Lanka in Tests.

"While selecting the squad, the selectors didn't rely only on statistics only, but took into account all other factors like the opposition, pitch conditions, match situation etc," Clive Lloyd, the former West Indies captain and chairman of the ICC Awards selection panel, said in a release. "But when you have only 12 places to fill from a big group of world-class players, there will always be a few who will miss out. In the panel's expert opinion, it has selected the best team based on performances over the past 12 months."

The ICC also released the short-list for its annual awards and Tendulkar will have a chance to repeat as Cricketer of the Year award but will have to fend off challenges from Amla, and the England pair of Cook and Trott to do so. Tendulkar wasn't quite as prolific as last year, but still managed to score 973 runs in 10 Tests at an average of 64.86 and 513 runs from 11 ODIs at an average of 46.63.

Cook and Trott were also short-listed for the Test Player of the Year award alongside their team-mate Anderson, with Kallis the other nominee. Cook was in particularly inspired form in Tests, making 1302 runs from 12 games at an average of 76.58 with six centuries and four half-centuries. Trott was almost as good, accumulating 1042 runs from 12 Tests at an average of 65.12 with four centuries and three half-centuries. Anderson meanwhile was a handful with the ball, picking up 50 wickets in 11 Tests at an average of 25.48 and a strike-rate of 54.00.

Amla was nominated for the ODI Player of the Year award as well, along with Kumar Sangakkara, Australia allrounder Shane Watson and India opener Gautam Gambhir. Watson continued to excel in the 50-over game, making 955 runs in 19 matches at an average of 59.68 and a strike-rate of 111.17, while also chipping in with 15 wickets.

New Zealand's Tim Southee's five-wicket haul against Pakistan was up for the Twenty20 International Performance of the Year, alongside England's Tim Bresnan, Watson and South Africa batsman JP Duminy.

Test team of the year: (in batting order) Alastair Cook, Hashim Amla, Jonathan Trott, Sachin Tendulkar, Kumar Sangakkara (capt/wk), AB de Villiers, Jacques Kallis, Stuart Broad, Graeme Swann, Dale Steyn, James Anderson, Zaheer Khan (12th man)

Old 29-Aug-2011
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