Sir Alistair Cook- I think he had to be in there with the big hundreds he had scored. 12,472 runs at an average of 45 is an outstanding record. His two greatest performances are captaining England to victory in India for the first time in 50 years. Also, he was a big cog in that team that beat Australia in 2010-11 in Australia. In both of the series, he scored multiple hundreds.
David Warner, modern-day opening batsmen taking the game to the bowler. He definitely had a hot head streak but has toned that back recently. But his record speaks for itself. 7009 runs at an average of 48 and a strike rate of 73. Also, his recent 335 is the second-highest test score ever. A great achievement.
Kumar Sangakkara, classy wicketkeeping batsmen ( not keeping in this XI) who played a lot of games for Sri Lanka. From 2000 to 2015 he played a total of 134 tests and had an incredible average of 57.4. He was a person who played the game in the right way and got better with age.
Steve Smith his transition from a number 8 leg spinner to arguably the best batsmen in the world has been incredible. In only 71 matches he has amassed 7072 runs at a staggering average of 63.1. I feel if the ball-tampering event didn’t happen he would be Australia captain. But I feel after Paine he will return as Australian captain.
Virat Kohli, (captain) the modern-day Tendulkar adored all over India. His work ethic and the sheer amount of cricket he plays is incredible. He is number one in the batting ranks and has conquered all locations. The only thing he could improve is his captaincy. He has a win rate of 60%. However, when it was a close series like in England his tactics we’re very questionable.
Ben Stokes, an exciting player who everyone pays to watch. Whatever he does is exciting and he does with 110%. He has one England games with bat ball and in the field. Sometimes he has one test matches with bat and ball in the same test. What has come recently has been his adaptability and maturity. He is no longer this young fearless immature player. At 28 I believe he has 7 years Left at the top of the game.
Ab De Villiers (wk) South Africa’s best batsmen in the last decade. An average of 50, amassing 8765 runs in 14 years of test cricket. He will have no regrets in the test arena winning lots of test series. His South Africa team being at number 1 for a long time was a large consequence of his great batting.
Ravi Ashwin. I think that there is a debate between him and Nathan Lyon for this spot. Nathan Lyon has 14 more wickets but Ashwin has a superior average. However, I think Lyon should be in this team because of the fact Ashwins home country India is a place easier to get wickets. Lyon, I feel could take wickets anywhere.
Dale Steyn the South African paceman had been consistently brilliant until 2017 where his injuries started playing up. But when fully fit he bowled 90 mph in good areas with a destructive yorker. This is what got him his 439 wickets at an average of 22.
Kagiso Rabada, a very good young cricketer but I don’t think he should be in the team. He has played since 2015 but he hasn’t performed for long enough to warrant a place in this team. I think that Mitchell Starc should be in here instead of him. Starc has played 15 more test matches and has taken 55 more wickets. Starc’s average is slightly higher but he is an out and out wicket-taker.
James Anderson, a consistent swing and seam performer. He would definitely take the new ball. He has performed well all around the world. He was one of the main reasons England claimed number one in the world and won overseas in Australia. The best swing/seam bowler of the decade.