Top 5 ODI teams in international cricket between 2000-2009
One day cricket has witnessed periods of dominance by some great teams which were a cut above the rest during their peaks years. The Mighty West Indies had their heydays in the 70s and 80s when they were simply unconquerable.
Then you had Hansie Cronje’s South Africa which ruled ODI cricket in the late 90s. At the turn of the century, Australia raised the bar of excellence in ODI cricket and became an impregnable force first, under Steve Waugh and later Ricky Ponting.
Sri Lanka under Arjuna Ranatunga and India under Sourav Ganguly and MS Dhoni raised the bar during the 90s and 00s. All the champion sides of the yesteryears, be it the Windies or the Aussies were well-balanced units courtesy of a string of cricketing superstars who were simply the best.
These teams were led by courageous leaders and brilliant tacticians who brought the best out of their payers by leading from the front. So it would be interesting to draw a list of the top five international teams that dominated ODI cricket between 2000-2009.
To compile this list, consistency of the teams and their performances in major ICC tournaments have been taken into account:
India became a formidable cricketing unit in the limited overs format under the captaincy of Sourav Ganguly. Ganguly instilled a 'never say die' attitude in the Indian team which made them a force to reckon with.
The Indian side was batting heavy and spearhead by 'Master Blaster' Sachin Tendulkar. Sachin formed a highly successful opening duo with Sourav Ganguly, which won many matches for the 'Men in Blue'.
The technically sound Rahul Dravid was indeed a 'Wall' in the middle order and anchored the innings well to set the tone for the stroke-makers to flourish. The immensely gifted Yuvraj Singh was sensational with his flashy strokeplay and won many matches along with Mohammad Kaif who possessed a calm head.
India had depth in their pace attack with Zaheer Khan, Ajit Agarkar, Ashish Nehra and Irfan Pathan who were all wicket-takers. Anil Kumble and Harbhajan Singh spun webs around the opposition batsmen on subcontinental pitches.
The second half of the decade saw MS Dhoni taking over the reins from Sourav Ganguly. Dhoni brought in a degree of calm and composure into the team as team India improved on its dismal record in major finals.
Virender Sehwag emerged as a swashbuckling opener and provided India with some thunderous starts with Delhi team-mate Gautam Gambhir. Suresh Raina and MS Dhoni added firepower to the lower middle order with their hitting prowess.
The likes of Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma proved their pedigree as world class batsmen and promised a bright future as the stalwarts walked into the sunset. All in all, the Indian team had the requisite arsenal to beat any of the top teams.
ODI Record Jan 2000 to Dec 2009
Played-307; Won-161; Lost-130; NR-16; Win%: 52.44
ICC Champions Trophy 2002: Champions
ICC World Cup 2003: Finalist
ICC Champions Trophy 2000: Finalist