Sachin Tendulkar is the only Indian cricketer to make the cut in the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) Test Team of 2011 announced on Friday while the presence of five English players reaffirms the side’s rise to the top of the rankings.
Indian seamer Zaheer Khan has been named the 12th man of the side chosen by a specially-appointed selection panel chaired by West Indian batting legend Clive Lloyd.
The 12-man line-up was chosen along with the short-lists for the ICC Awards 2011 which are due to be held in London Sep 12.
Tendulkar makes the line-up for the third year in a row – having appeared in the Team of 2009 and 2010 – while South Africans Hashim Amla and Jacques Kallis, along with Sri Lanka’s Kumar Sangakkara, and England duo of Graeme Swann and James Anderson all appear for the second year in a row.
Jonathan Trott, Alastair Cook and Stuart Broad are the other English cricketers who find a place in the playing eleven.
South African speedster Dale Steyn has earned a place in the Team for the fourth successive year. He was also featured in the Team of 2008, 2009 and 2010.
Former Sri Lanka skipper Sangakkara is named as captain of the team.
“The selection of this year’s Test team was a difficult one with so many worthy candidates available to fill just 12 places. The team has a formidable line-up that bats well down the order and has bowlers with the ability and form to dismiss any opposition twice on any surface,” said the Chairman of the selection panel Clive Lloyd.
“While selecting the squad, the selectors didn’t rely only on statistics only but took into account all other factors like the opposition, pitch conditions, match situation etc. But when you have only 12 places to fill from a big group of world-class players, there will always be a few who will miss out.
“In the panel’s expert opinion, it has selected the best team based on performances over the past 12 months.”
Lloyd was joined on the panel by former South Africa spin bowler Paul Adams, former Pakistan batsman Zaheer Abbas, former New Zealand bowler-turned-commentator Danny Morrison and former England batsman Mike Gatting.
The ICC Test team of the year (in batting order):
Alastair Cook (Eng)
Hashim Amla (SA)
Jonathan Trott (Eng)
Sachin Tendulkar (Ind)
Kumar Sangakkara (SL – wicketkeeper/captain)
AB de Villiers (SA)
Jacques Kallis (SA)
Stuart Broad (Eng)
Graeme Swann (Eng)
Dale Steyn (SA)
James Anderson (Eng)