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Welcome to the predominant of ESPNcricinfo’s dream teams for the closing 25 years: fascinating teams of fascinating players whose careers overlap with the lifetime of this net location.

Twenty-five years is relating to the scale of a know-how, and the riches of this one are printed no longer noble by the players chosen however these disregarded. Within the Check XI below, as an illustration, no Sangakkara or Dravid, no KP or ABD, no Cook dinner or both of the Smiths, no Ambrose or Donald or Pollock or Steyn or Kumble – and now we appreciate already bought something love a rotund squad despite the indisputable truth that we’re handiest noble getting started.

But what there is is improbable. This is a crew that can stand huge in opposition to a delusion XI from any varied know-how in history. A batting line-up that can rob you on from the high and by no manner let dash. A bowling attack that, varied than by uncooked waddle, can rob you apart in every manner conceivable. It’s miles a crew that would additionally be as breathtakingly watchable because it may maybe maybe additionally be ruthlessly efficient.

The different was surprisingly unanimous. As many as five from the XI were picked by all five selectors; one other four bought four votes every. There was noble the one tie: for Virender Sehwag’s opening associate, where Matthew Hayden muscled out Alastair Cook dinner. [see sidebar for jury and method]

Five Australians decide in the XI, as befits the champion crew of the know-how, and they also’re joined by two Indians, a West Indian, a South African, a Pakistani and a Sri Lankan. Captaining this hypothetical crew is a person that by no manner led his country in a Check match.

1. Matthew Hayden

Suited fella, trustworthy coronary heart, trustworthy shots, trustworthy ratings. Hayden’s very physique intimidated opponents, and when he came down the observe to a rapid bowler it was the predominant sign of Australia exerting their domination. When Hayden scored a century, Australia on occasion ever lost.

Invent ? Handiest one batsman has more Check thousands when opening the batting than Hayden’s 30: Sunil Gavaskar, with 33.

8625 runs at 50.seventy three from 103 Exams (strike charge 60.10); Easiest: 380; 30 thousands, 29 fifties

2. Virender Sehwag

An unreal strike charge even by trendy standards – eighty two! – and seven runs rapid of turning into the handiest man in Check history to some triple-thousands. No longer handiest did Sehwag’s batting make set for ends in Check matches, it offered a brand contemporary language for openers. Somewhat merely a phenomenon.

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Invent ? Sehwag is the file-holder for the fastest triple-hundred by manner of balls confronted (278). He also capabilities Three times in the list of six fastest double-thousands.

Batting: 8586 runs at Forty nine.34 from 104 Exams (strike charge eighty two.23); Easiest: 319; 23 thousands, 32 fifties
Bowling: forty wickets at forty seven.35 (strike charge 93.2); Easiest: 5 for 104; 1 five-for

three. Ricky Ponting

As captain Ponting led Australia to more Check victories than somebody else; as batsman he was without extinguish surroundings the agenda from No. three. He was aptitude and grit in equal measure, with a pull shot to check up on on loop. On the harsh, rapid tracks of Australia and South Africa in particular, few batsmen had been as relentless.

Invent ? Ponting is the handiest batsman to score thousands in every innings of his A hundredth Check.

13378 runs at Fifty one.85 from 168 Exams (strike charge fifty eight.72); Easiest: 257; forty one thousands, sixty two fifties

four. Sachin Tendulkar

The enduring cricketer of his know-how was also its most prolific. Practically from the time he debuted at sixteen (effectively prior to Cricinfo) until he retired at forty, India regarded to Tendulkar for inspiration. The master rewarded them with an extra special different of runs and centuries scored in all conceivable prerequisites round the planet.

Invent ? Tendulkar is the handiest batsman to score 10,000-plus Check runs from No. four: he made thirteen,492 runs at a median of Fifty four.forty.

14461 runs at Fifty four.ninety eight from 176 Exams (strike charge Fifty four.78); Easiest: 248 no longer out; Forty six thousands, sixty one fifties

Bowling: forty two wickets at fifty five.76 (strike charge 92.9); Easiest: three for 10

5. Brian Lara

Opponents confess to ripping their hair out in frustration and concurrently smiling with pleasure as Lara took them apart. He was 24 when he broke the world file for the best Check score. A decade later he did it every other time. Some of Lara’s most stirring innings came in West Indian defeat; others, magically, took them to victory in opposition to all odds.

Invent ? Lara is one in all handiest four batsmen to pass 300 twice in Exams; unlike him, none of the others – Bradman, Sehwag and Gayle – bought to four hundred.

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11357 runs at fifty three.07 from 124 Exams (strike charge 60.fifty three); Easiest: four hundred no longer out; 33 thousands, 44 fifties

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6. Jacques Kallis

Kallis crafted mountains of runs the usage of a mixture of indestructible methodology and indestructible temperament, prised out terminate to to 300 wickets with brisk seam and outswing, and pouched an extra special 200 catches, the huge majority of them in the slips. If there has ever been a more total cricketer, his title must had been Sobers.

Invent ? Kallis obtained 23 Man-of-the-Match awards, the most by any player in Check history; Muttiah Muralitharan is subsequent with 19.

13289 runs at fifty five.37 from 166 Exams (strike charge 45.97); Easiest: 224; 45 thousands, fifty eight fifties

292 wickets at 32.sixty five (strike charge sixty nine.2); Easiest: 6 for Fifty four; 5 five-fors

7. Adam Gilchrist

Check line-u.s.a.were by no manner the identical after Gilchrist. To abet wicket love him – beautifully protected to wristspin, generally acrobatic to the rapid bowlers – was admirable. To bat love him – with thrilling freedom, at a strike charge topping eighty – was unbelievable. To discontinue every was insane.

Invent ? Gilchrist scored thirteen Check thousands when batting at No. 7 or lower; the following handiest at these positions is Kapil Dev, with seven.

5570 runs at forty seven.60 from ninety six Exams (strike charge Eighty one.Ninety five)
379 catches, 37 stumpings

eight. Wasim Akram

He made the ball swing, seam, enlighten, streak and plan: rare is the batsman who has confronted Akram and doesn’t think that is the handiest he has ever confronted. Even though handiest about half of Akram’s profession fell in the length into consideration, there is little arguing his sport-changing instincts and his sheer magic.

Invent ? Akram is one in all handiest four bowlers to rob two Check hat-solutions; Hugh Trumble, TJ Matthews and Stuart Mountainous are the others.

237 wickets at 23.Forty nine (strike charge fifty three.four) from Fifty nine Exams; Easiest: 7 for 119; thirteen five-fors, three ten-fors

1885 runs at 23.86 (strike charge fifty two.18); Easiest: 257 no longer out; 2 thousands, three fifties

9. Shane Warne (captain)

No one spun the ball from leg to off slightly love Warne, and few tangled batsmen’s brains love him. He was also presumably the most aggressive cricketer of his know-how, with a nostril for enormous moments and the killer intuition of a shark. By no manner appointed captain of Australia, here he takes charge of the world.

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Invent ? Warne’s ninety six Check wickets in 2005 are the most by any bowler in a calendar year; Murali is subsequent, with ninety in 2006.

687 wickets at 25.05 (strike charge Fifty six.9) from 136 Exams; Easiest: eight for seventy one; 36 five-fours, 10 ten-fors

2996 runs at 17.72 (strike charge Fifty nine.70); Easiest: Ninety nine; Zero thousands, 12 fifties

10. Glenn McGrath

Alongside with his acute control, steep soar and lethal incutter, McGrath hounded and harrowed his manner to more wickets than any varied waddle bowler in Check history. Fat of sound solutions and subtle adjustments, he was as well-known at dwelling in India or England as in Australia. When McGrath bowled a unsuitable ball – effectively, he did now not of route.

Invent ? McGrath averaged less than 28 in opposition to every opponent – his poorest sensible was 27.33 in opposition to South Africa.


563 wickets at 21.sixty four (strike charge Fifty one.9) from 124 Exams; Easiest: eight for twenty-four; 29 five-fors, three ten-fors

eleven. Muttiah Muralitharan

When Murali started his Check profession, the file for the most wickets was 431. The employ of his wickedly mountainous offbreaks, and latterly a doosra that would keep most legbreaks to shame, he himself signed off with an improbable 800. To bowl more deliveries than somebody else in Check cricket was one component; to discontinue so with the fixed and merciless scrutiny on his bowling motion slightly one other.

Invent ? Murali took 67 five-fors and 22 ten-fors in Exams. The following handiest in these categories are 37 and ten, by Warne.


789 wickets at 22.fifty five (strike charge Fifty four.eight) from one hundred thirty Exams; Easiest 9 for Fifty one; 67 five-fors, 22 ten-fors

*All statistics are for the length March 1, 1993 to December 31, 2017

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