The World's Best Test XI of the current era
Every era in Cricket unearths talents that leave fans, pundits as well as purists in awe. In an era where T20 leagues have sprung up like mushrooms, there has been a multitude of cricketers who still prime themselves in honing their skills at the Test level.
From batsmen with impeccable technique and pristine temperament to bowler's bamboozling the batters with their guile and panache, every Test team has its own set of match-winners.
Having said that, in this blog today, let us dig deep and form the best Test 11 of the current era.
Here's my compilation:
#1 Alastair Cook
The youngest player in terms of age to cross the 10,000 run barrier in Test cricket, there is no way we could make a World XI without featuring Former English skipper Alastair Cook on the list.
Having made his debut in 2006 against India, Cook gave an instant account of his penchant for batting for a long period of time, as he stroked a masterful hundred. However, it is the tour of Australia and England that define an English player's credentials as a top-level Test batsman, and Cook has not only passed both the test but has also staggering returns in both places.
Cook was the cornerstone of two of England's biggest success of the decade. He scored 766 runs across five matches in England's 3-1 Ashes win in Australia, while he led from the front against India, with 562 runs that included three hundred as England went on to win the historic Test series in India after two decades.
With seven scores in excess of 150 and two double-hundreds, Cook has thus far accumulated 12028 runs at an average of 45.73 which includes 32 hundred.
#2 David Warner
Joining Cook at the top will be Aussie David Warner. The pocket-sized dynamo, as he is fondly called by the cricketing folklore, was the first cricketer since 1877 to make a debut for Australia without having played any first-class cricket. He made an instant impact in his T20I debut against the Proteas with a breathtaking knock of 89 off 43 balls. Following his blitz, he was handed the ODI debut against the same opposition on 18 January 2009.
The only opener to smash a hundred in an opening session of the Test match, Warner has stamped himself as one of the leading Test openers of the current era, with 21 hundred at an average of 48.2 in 74 matches.
While he may be out of cricket for a period of twelve months following the ball-tampering scandal, it is difficult to imagine a Test side without the swashbuckling Australian at the top of the order.