Harsha picks Shakib, de Villiers in Test XI of the decade
Cricket commentator and expert Harsha Bhogle has picked the Test team of the decade, that includes Bangladesh all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan alongside Virat Kohli of India.
In a video for Cricbuzz, Harsha announced his team for the given time period: 2011 to 2020.
Shakib is the only Bangladeshi in the XI. He was chosen over Indian counterpart Ravindra Jadeja for the No.7 slot. Shakib played 35 Test matches during this period and scored 2683 runs at an average of 44.71 and took 135 wickets at 30.57. Jadeja’s stats read 1869 runs at 35.26 and 213 wickets at 24.62 in 49 Test matches (as of December 25, 2020).
Despite having a strong batting line-up, Harsha opted for Shakib instead of Jadeja, who had a better bowling average.
“Now I’m looking at five bowlers (after picking six batsmen). I’m looking at all-rounders. Two names hit you straight up front – Shakib Al Hasan and Ravindra Jadeja. I know there’s Ben Stokes and in recent times, there’s Jason Holder as the standout candidate,” Harsha said in the Cricbuzz video.
“But you look for an all-rounder. You look for different region – batting and bowling stats. And these two [are] stand outs. So who would you pick – Shakib or Jadeja? You could say, go with the bowling stats because you have already got six batsmen and Jadeja with an average of 24 (24.62) to Shakib’s 31 (30.57) scores there.
“Or you could say, whoever you pick is your fifth bowler. And so you look a little bit more batting than the bowling for the fifth bowler. Shakib’s batting average is just supreme. So I’ve gone with Shakib at number seven. Now I’m waiting for the punches to come my way (laughs).”
During this decade, Shakib registered his first Test double hundred – 217 vs New Zealand in 2017. He also achieved a feat of century and ten wickets in a match against Zimbabwe in Khulna back in 2014.
Kohli and Ravichandran Ashwin are two Indians in the XI The XI also includes two English – Alastair Cook and James Anderson, two South Africans – AB de Villiers and Dale Steyn, three Australians – David Warner, Steve Smith and Pat Cummins, and the lone Sri Lankan Kumar Sangakkara.
Harsha Bhogle’s Test XI of the decade: Alastair Cook (England), David Warner (Australia), Kumar Sangakkara (Sri Lanka), Virat Kohli (India), Steve Smith (Australia), AB de Villiers (wk) (South Africa), Shakib Al Hasan (Bangladesh), Ravichandran Ashwin (India), Pat Cummins (Australia), Dale Steyn (South Africa), James Anderson (England)