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Surprised why no Indians in ICC's Test Team of the Year?

November 10, 2014 09:45 IST

India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni

Image: India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni. Photograph: Gareth Copley/Getty Images

India registered just three victories in 11 Tests, worse than even Zimbabwe and the West Indies, and it wasn't surprising that no Indian found a place in the International Cricket Council's Test team of the year.

Rajneesh Gupta is mystified by some of the the ICC's choices for its Test team of the Year.

Last week the International Cricket Council announced its Test and ODI teams of the year, as chosen by a specially-appointed selection panel, chaired by its cricket committee chairman, former India captain Anil Kumble.

While Mahendra Singh Dhoni was named captain of the 'ODI Team of the Year', no Indian player found a berth in the ICC's Test Team of the Year, which was led by Sri Lanka's Angelo Mathews.

The team has two Australians, three New Zealanders, two from England, three Sri Lankans and two South Africans.

Was it because of India's 1-3 defeat in England and its 0-1 series loss to New Zealand that Kumble and Co didn't find any Indian worthy of making the cut in the ICC Test team of 2014?

Rajneesh Gupta presents a statistical outlook of the ICC's selection and suggests names who could have also made the team.

First, a look at the ICC's selection.

The ICC Test Team of the Year 2014 (in batting order):

David Warner (Australia)

Kane Williamson (New Zealand)

Kumar Sangakkara (Sri Lanka)

A B de Villiers (South Africa)

Joe Root (England)

Angelo Mathews (Sri Lanka) (captain)

Mitchell Johnson (Australia)

Stuart Broad (England)

Dale Steyn (South Africa)

Rangana Herath (Sri Lanka)

Tim Southee (New Zealand)

Ross Taylor (New Zealand) (12th man)

How the teams and players performed in the specified period (August 26, 2013 to September 17 2014):

Team's win-loss record:

Australia had the best win percentage amongst all the teams, winning seven out of eight Tests. Excellent record! However, there are just two Aussies in the ICC's Test Team of the Year: Opener David Warner and fast bowler Mitchell Johnson.

Sri Lanka and New Zealand, with a much-lesser victory percentage of 45.45 and 50 respectively, have three players each!

India's struggles in Test cricket this past year proved costly for its players. India registered just three victories in 11 Tests, worse than even Zimbabwe and the West Indies.

 

Matches

Won

Lost

>Tied

Drawn

Win%

Australia

8

7

1

0

0

87.50

New Zealand

10

5

1

0

4

50.00

South Africa

10

5

3

0

2

50.00

Sri Lanka

11

5

2

0

4

45.45

Pakistan

9

3

5

0

1

33.33

Zimbabwe

3

1

2

0

0

33.33

West Indies

10

3

6

0

1

30.00

India

11

3

5

0

3

27.27

England

12

3

7

0

2

25.00

Bangladesh

6

0

3

0

3

0.00

Captains' win-loss record:

Australia captain Michael Clarke

Image: Australia captain Michael Clarke. Photograph: Ryan Pierse/Getty Images

The choice of captain for the Test Team of the Year is quite baffling.

Australia's Michael Clarke should have been a clear choice after his team's outstanding performance during the specified period (August 26, 2013 to September 17, 2014) but the ICC panel preferred Sri Lanka's Angelo Mathews.

India's Mahendra Singh Dhoni rightly finds himself at the bottom of the table below with a victory percentage of 27, just above Alastair Cook of England, who had a success rate of 25 percent.

 

For

Mts

Won

Lost

Drawn

Win%

Michael Clarke

Aus

8

7

1

0

87.50

Hashim Amla

SA

3

2

0

1

66.67

Denesh Ramdin

WI

5

3

2

0

60.00

Brendon McCullum

NZ

10

5

1

4

50.00

Brendan Taylor

Zim

2

1

1

0

50.00

Angelo Mathews

SL

11

5

2

4

45.45

Graeme Smith

SA

7

3

3

1

42.86

Misbah-ul Haq

Pak

9

3

5

1

33.33

M S Dhoni

Ind

11

3

5

3

27.27

Alastair Cook

Eng

12

3

7

2

25.00

Hamilton Masakadza

Zim

1

0

1

0

0.00

Darren Sammy

WI

5

0

4

1

0.00

Mushfiqur Rahim

Ban

6

0

3

3

0.00

Leading batsmen:

There were a few surprises in the choices for leading batsmen of the year.

Sri Lankan veteran Mahela Jayawardene, despite amassing 1,008 runs in 11 Tests, including three centuries and an unbeaten double, failed to make the cut.

Another key performer to miss out was Pakistan Captain Misbah-ul Haq, who averaged 61, with 866 runs in nine Tests, and team mate Younis Khan, who had 861 runs in the same number of Tests.

The biggest surprise was the exclusion of West Indian run-machine Shivnarine Chanderpaul. The 40-year-old left-hander averaged 77 during the period, aggregating 854 runs in 10 Tests.

New Zealand Skipper Brendon McCullum, who had 847 runs from 10 games, was also conspicuous by his absence from the squad.

 

Mts

Runs

Hs

Avg

SR

100

50

Kumar Sangakkara (SL)

11

1502

319

75.10

55.71

4

9

Angelo Mathews (SL)

11

1292

160

92.28

50.29

3

7

David Warner (Aus)

8

1066

145

71.06

80.21

5

4

M Jayawardene (SL)

11

1008

203*

53.05

50.85

3

5

Kane Williamson (NZ)

9

992

161*

66.13

47.57

4

5

Joe Root (Eng)

11

969

200*

64.60

50.57

3

4

A B de Villiers (SA)

10

932

164

54.82

49.23

3

4

Kaushal Silva (SL)

11

870

139

43.50

42.70

1

6

Misbah-ul Haq (Pak)

9

866

135

61.85

44.87

2

7

Ross Taylor (NZ)

9

861

217*

78.27

54.73

3

3

Younis Khan (Pak)

9

861

200*

57.40

48.28

3

2

S Chanderpaul (WI)

10

854

122*

77.63

52.39

2

4

Brendon McCullum (NZ)

10

847

302

49.82

61.15

3

0

Gary Ballance (Eng)

8

729

156

60.75

50.87

3

3

Faf du Plessis (SA)

10

704

134

44.00

40.32

1

4

Leading bowlers:

Image: England bowler James Anderson. Photograph: Stu Forster/Getty Images

What could be the panel's worst mistake was the omission of England pacer James Anderson.

Jimmy is one of the world's best fast bowlers and few can forget how he played a major role in England's 3-1 demolishing of India, claiming 25 wickets in five Tests.

Overall, he was among only four bowlers to take 50 wickets or more during the specified period, with 51 wickets in 12 Tests.

Pakistan's off-spinner Saeed Ajmal, with 45 wickets in nine Tests, may have missed out because of his suspension for a 'suspect bowling action'.

Among the Indians, Ishant Sharma and Mohammed Shami were in the reckoning following hauls of 34 and 32 wickets respectively.

 

Mts

Wkts

Best

Avg

5WI

10WM

Rangana Herath (SL)

10

60

9-127

27.53

5

1

Mitchell Johnson (Aus)

8

59

7-40

15.23

5

1

Jimmy Anderson (Eng)

12

51

5-53

27.21

1

0

Dale Steyn (SA)

10

51

6-100

21.98

3

0

Stuart Broad (Eng)

12

47

6-25

26.74

2

0

Saeed Ajmal (Pak)

9

45

7-95

29.60

3

1

Trent Boult (NZ)

10

42

6-40

25.50

1

1

Tim Southee (NZ)

8

40

4-19

20.50

0

0

Junaid Khan (Pak)

9

36

5-58

29.36

2

0

Dilruwan Perera (SL)

7

36

5-69

30.08

3

0

Ishant Sharma (Ind)

7

34

7-74

31.50

3

0

Ryan Harris (Aus)

8

32

5-25

23.21

1

0

Mohammed Shami (Ind)

9

32

5-47

36.31

1

0

Neil Wagner (NZ)

7

31

5-64

27.87

1

0

Leading all-rounders (Minimum 200 runs and 20 wickets):

When it came to the all-rounders, the selection committee played it safe and went with the two best performers.

Mitchell Johnson shone for Australia with both and ball, as he scored 231 runs and claimed 59 wickets in eight Test matches.

England's Stuart Broad also proved his worth, scoring 338 runs in 12 matches in addition to the 47 wickets he claimed.

 

Mts

Runs

Bat Avg

100s

Wkts

Bowl Avg

5WI

Mitchell Johnson (Aus)

8

231

23.10

0

59

15.23

5

Stuart Broad (Eng)

12

338

21.12

0

47

26.74

2

Vernon Philander (SA)

10

320

35.55

0

26

36.76

0

Moeen Ali (Eng)

7

286

31.77

1

22

28.09

1

Bhuvneshwar Kumar (Ind)

7

263

23.90

0

22

27.63

2

Ben Stokes (Eng)

6

279

25.36

1

22

32.90

1

JP Duminy (SA)

10

491

35.07

2

20

37.45

0

 

Rajneesh Gupta
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