VVS Laxman (L), Sachin Tendulkar and Dale Steyn (R) © Getty Images
VVS Laxman (L), Sachin Tendulkar and Dale Steyn (R) © Getty Images

 

Jean Baudrillard once said “Like dreams, statistics are a form of wish fulfillment.” Using the same statistics to create an XI is both joy and fantasy of every cricket aficionados.

 

CricketCountry looks at some Test match stats of 2010 and unearth the performers through stats. This exercise will ultimately lead to a Test team of the year. The team will consist of two openers, four middle order batsmen, a wicketkeeper, a spinner and three fast bowlers.

 

While choosing the team of the year, emphasis is given on a particular player’s Average, Strike Rate, Economy, Team wins and dismissals. Runs scored and wickets taken are indicative but are not definitive and hence more weightage is given to other parameters.

 

The advent of ODIs has certainly helped in the outcome of a Test match. Hence Strike rates of batsmen are important; because that allows the bowlers more time to bowl out the opposition.

 

Three important numbers are calculated. The percentage of team wins Ratio (R) and dismissals per Innings called the Dismissal Ratio (DR) and finally a Quotient (Q) which is obtained by taking the Average, Strike rate, Economy, Ratio and the Dismissal ratio.

 

For the batsmen all the parameters are multiplied to get the Quotient since having a higher Average, SR etc indicates better performance. While for the bowlers it is divided since lesser Average, SR etc means they have fared better. Whereas for wicketkeepers, catches taken and stumpings are also considered.

 

Virender Sehwag’s astonishing strike rate meant he easily beat off competition for the top spot. Alistair Cook’s amazing season gets him to partner Sehwag at the top of the order.

 

Openers (Min: 500 runs)

 

Player

Mat

Inns

Runs

HS

Avg

SR

Wins

R

Q

V Sehwag (India)

14

25

1422

173

61.82

90.80

8

0.57

32.08

A Cook (Eng)

14

24

1287

235*

58.50

54.76

9

0.64

20.59

G Smith (SA)

11

18

971

183

53.94

57.42

5

0.45

14.08

A Strauss (Eng)

12

20

657

110

34.57

52.06

7

0.58

10.50

S Katich (Aus)

9

18

796

106

46.82

47.12

4

0.44

9.81

 

England and India had a year to remember winning nine and eight Tests respectively. They dominate the middle order with two players each. South Africa’s below par win ratio meant AB de Villiers, Jacques Kallis and Hashim Amla miss out even after having scored more runs than Ian Bell and VVS Laxman.

 

Middle Order (Min: 500 runs)

 

Player

Mat

Inns

Runs

HS

Ave

SR

Wins

R

Q

S Tendulkar (India)

14

23

1562

214

78.10

55.90

8

0.57

24.95

J Trott (Eng)

13

22

1242

226

69.00

50.59

9

0.69

24.17

I Bell (Eng)

10

14

786

138

65.50

52.26

6

0.60

20.54

VVS Laxman (India)

11

17

937

143*

72.07

51.79

6

0.55

20.36

AB de Villiers (SA)

11

18

996

278*

76.61

58.45

5

0.45

20.35

J Kallis (SA)

11

19

1198

201*

79.86

54.01

5

0.45

19.61

H Amla (SA)

11

18

1187

253*

79.13

51.83

5

0.45

18.64

K Pietersen (Eng)

14

22

831

227

41.55

62.2

9

0.64

16.61

 

Matt Prior eases his way into the team on the back of some great performances in front as well as behind the wicket. His better dismissal ratio edged Indian skipper MS Dhoni, who had more runs than him, to the spot.

 

Wicketkeepers (Min: 300 runs, 15 dismissals)

 

Player

Mat

Inns

Runs

HS

Ave

SR

Cts

St

Wins

R

DR

Q

M Prior (Eng)

14

20

640

102*

40.0

61.4

54

2

9

0.64

2.80

44.2

M Dhoni (India)

13

19

749

132*

41.6

55.4

41

7

7

0.54

2.53

31.4

B Haddin (Aus)

8

14

465

136

38.7

61.0

28

1

5

0.63

2.07

30.6

M Boucher (SA)

10

12

389

95

35.3

54.7

34

0

5

0.50

2.83

27.4

 

Dale Steyn made sure India and England didn’t run away with all the spots in the Test XI of the year. He was the second highest wicket taker in 2010 and had the best strike rate among all the bowlers. Zaheer Khan, James Anderson and Graeme Swann make up the rest of the spots.

 

Bowlers (Min: 25 wickets)

 

Player

Mat

Inns

Wkts

Ave

Econ

SR

Wins

R

DR

Q

Z Khan (India)

9

17

47

21.97

3.31

39.8

6

0.67

2.76

6.37

D Steyn (SA)

11

20

60

21.41

3.29

39.0

5

0.45

3.00

4.96

J Anderson (Eng)

12

23

57

22.96

2.82

48.7

7

0.58

2.48

4.58

G Swann (Eng)

14

25

64

25.96

2.88

54.0

9

0.64

2.56

4.08

S Finn (Eng)

11

22

46

26.23

3.96

39.7

8

0.73

2.09

3.69

M Morkel (SA)

11

20

49

24.06

3.04

47.4

5

0.45

2.45

3.21

D Bollinger (Aus)

8

15

30

27.16

3.42

47.5

5

0.63

2.00

2.83

Mohammad Amir (Pak)

7

13

33

22.33

2.92

45.7

2

0.29

2.54

2.43

The 2010 Test XI

 

Virender Sehwag (Ind)

Alistair Cook (Eng)

Ian Trott (Eng)

Sachin Tendulkar (Ind)(C)

VVS Laxman (Ind)

Ian Bell (Eng)

Matt Prior (Eng) (Wk)

Graeme Swann (Eng)

Zaheer Khan (Ind)

James Anderson (Eng)

Dale Steyn (SA)

 

(Dileep V is a Scouser fan, Sports freak, Movie buff, Laggard Quizzer and dreams of setting foot on Anfield one day)