HomeAnalysisCricket Greats: Retired XI of the Decade

Cricket Greats: Retired XI of the Decade

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The last decade was more than a blessing for cricket fans all over the world. The decade witnessed a ton of records created, while tons of records were broken by some of the most influential and promising players. Indian team witnessed a completely new side and bagged the World Cup after a long wait of 28 years. English Team got its hands on the World Cup trophy after the finals were extended to a super over. 
The cricketers in action right now and the fans who are lucky enough to watch this delighted game owe it all to the ‘modern-day greats’. The superstars we all grew up watching, the superstars whom we used to imitate, the Cricket Greats with whom we lived the journey of evolution of the game, gave it all to the beautiful sport of cricket.
There were times when we would take leave from our work or frame a story to stay at home, just to watch these superstars represent their nations whole-heartedly. Blessed are us who witnessed the Master Blaster’s game, blessed are us who could learn from Ricky Ponting’s captaincy, blessed are us who could watch the incredible knocks by Ab de Villiers, blessed are us who could witness Zak’s bowling, blessed are us who could witness Yuvi battle through cancer and make a comeback, and blessed are us who could proudly say we were a part of the decade that saw these legends make their place in the hearts of the fans. 
Be it Brett Lee’s fast bowling, or Daniel Vettori’s slow-arm orthodox, the players never failed to surprise with their all-round capabilities. As the decade came to an end, we saw a bunch of these brilliant players calling their time-off the field. It seemed like with this decade, came to end an era that would probably define the cricket the way it is. 
We have put on a list of players who retired from all forms of cricket in this decade and performed exquisitely. Let’s take a look at the Playing XI from the bunch of Cricket Greats who retired in the decade. 

Tilkatarane Dilshan

If we go down the road and look at Dilshan’s career stats and performances, his presence in the world of cricket will feel like that of Rohit Sharma in the current scenario. One of the most talented batsmen in the Sri Lankan side, Tilkatarane Dilshan was not a stand-out cricketer when he used to bat in middle-order. 
His shift up the order as an opening batsman earned him a big hill of accolades for his exceptional batting prowess. TM Dilshan not only went on to become one of the finest openers after Sanath Jayasuriya in Sri Lanka but was also a house-hold name in the sub-continent. The very famous ‘Dil-Scoop’ which was modified by Ab de Villiers in modern cricket, was practiced by all the aspiring cricketers on and off the field. 
In 330 ODIs he played, Dilshan batted in 303 innings and scored 10290 runs at an average of 39.3. He proved himself as a batsman and with the ball. The Retired XI of the decade needs a head start and Dilshan is an incredible opener and one of the Cricketing Greats of the era. 

Sachin Tendulkar

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We have all been fans of him, he is one of the most respected cricketers in the world, and is truly deserving of the title ‘God of cricket’. Sachin Tendulkar, the master blaster was one of the most dangerous yet innocent batsmen in the world. His batting skills were like no other in this world and he was the king of the era and that time belonged to him. 
One of the most generous human beings, on and off the field, Sachin did not fear a single bowler and defined the modern-day cricket greats. He excelled in all the three formats of the game and left an unerasable mark in the world of cricket with his impeccable cricketing skills. A true ambassador of the game, Sachin retired in 2013 and played for India for over 24 years. 
Sachin has featured in 6 World Cups and after 5 unsuccessful attempts, he was able to get his hands on the 2011 World Cup. The highest run-getter in ODIs and Tests, Sachin was the first batsman in the history of cricket to score a double century in ODI cricket. In his career as a professional cricketer, Tendulkar played 463 ODIs and scored 18,426 runs at an average of 45. In the 200 Test matches he played, Sachin has scored 15,921 runs at an impressive average of 54. 

Ricky Ponting (C)

The captain of captains, and the sailor of the unbeatable Australian team, Ricky Ponting made his mark as one of the finest players in the cricketing history. One of the cricket greats and greatest captain to have graced the field with his presence, Ricky Ponting was simply a man with a few words but infinite propositions. The Australian team, under his captaincy, at one time was completely invincible and the man knew how to play his cards in every match.
When it comes to picking up a captain for the side, there’s no better than Ponting but the fact that he was one of the greatest batsmen and fielders in the world was just a cherry on top of his incredible skills. In his clinquant career, Ponting won three World Cups in 12 years, two of which he led his team from the front as the captain of the ship. A complete package as a captain, Ponting’s stats speak for themselves. 
In the 375 ODIs he played, Ricky Ponting scored 13,704 runs at an average of 42 and his record was somewhere near excellence in the Test matches too. Ricky Ponting recorded an average of 52 in 168 Test matches he played, amassing a total of 13,378 runs. 

Ab de Villiers

One of the recent retirees in the list, Ab de Villiers was recognized at a very later stage in his career. His hard-hitting ability and presence on the field count for all the exceptional shots he has invented and played in his career. On the cricketing field, Ab de Villiers was the director and cinematographer of his innings, as he would make the simplest of shots look beautiful. 
The Protean started as a wicket-keeper but his skills were soon overshadowed by the legendary Mark Boucher, but Ab de Villiers was good enough to mark his presence as a legendary fielder. Not only was he able to get some runs for his team, but Ab was also a proven match-winner and was featured in the ICC ODI Team of the year seven times. 
One of the most creative batsmen on the field, De Villiers played quite unorthodox shots and managed to score 9577 runs at an average of 54 in 228 matches. His early retirement was a surprise for everyone but before bidding adieu to international cricket, he scored 8765 runs in 114 Tests at an average of 51. 

Yuvraj Singh

Undoubtedly one of the biggest match-winners ever produced by Indian Cricket, Yuvraj Singh hung his boots in 2019 in a controversial retirement. India won two ICC World Cups, and Yuvi played a major role in the triumph and was even named Man of the Series in the 2011 World Cup. The left-handed all-rounder from Punjab proved that he was not only a lion on the field but was also a cricket great one off the field. 
Yuvraj’s career has seen a lot of blow-downs and the biggest was the Cancer that affected him when he was on the peak of his form. But nothing can tame the lion, and Yuvraj came back stronger and even scored his personal best of 150 in ODI cricket in 2017 against England. Yuvraj wore the blue like no other and his presence on the field spoke for itself. 
No one can ever forget the six sixes that he blasted off in an over against England in 2007 T20 World Cup. After cancer, Yuvraj lost some years from professional cricket and wasn’t the same but he made a brilliant comeback and made his presence felt again. Yuvraj was amongst the young cricketers played by Sourav Ganguly and was one of the most exceptional fielders Indian cricket had ever seen. 

Jacques Kallis

Jacques Kallis was one of the finest fast-bowling all-rounders in the world and the Protean made scoring look quite easy. Kallis was exceptional with the bat and the ball and turned out to be one of the regular bowlers in the team, continuing with his batting prowess. Just like Ab de Villiers, Kallis was amongst the greats of South African cricket but was unable to win a World Cup for his country. 
The South African legend has been an able match-winner for the South African side and his stats prove so. In 166 tests he played, Kallis scored 13,289 runs at an average of 55, alongside he claimed 292 dismissals. Jacques scored 11,579 runs in 328 matches at an average of 44, taking 273 wickets along with the runs. He was an all-round cricketer and displayed exceptional fielding on the ground. 

Kumar Sangakkara

The left-handed Sri Lankan batsman and wicket-keeper was a true gentleman of the game. An exceptional captain, Kumar led his team to the finals of the 2011 World Cup which they lost to India. Kumar Sangakkara is considered to be the best left-handed batsmen ever to grace cricket with his presence. The Sri Lankan legend was consistent with his batting and wicket-keeping skills and dominated the bowlers with his impeccable understanding of the game. 
Sangakkara made it to the ICC team of the year 7 times in his playing career and 4 times in the ODI team of the year. The southpaw managed to score 14,324 runs in 404 ODIs he played for his country at an average of 42 and in the 134 tests, Sangakkara scored 12,400 runs at an average of 57.

Daniel Vettori

The Kiwi spinning sensation had the world in praise of him during his professional career as a left-arm spinner and captain of the New Zealand team. Daniel Vettori was not only an exceptional bowler and a captain, but he had his way with the bat whenever the team needed him to perform. His traditional specs and bowling style was followed by fans from all around the world and during his tenure, he earned nothing but respect for himself and his team. 
His career statistics completely agree to all the accolades and compliments he has earned from cricketers around the globe. New Zealand even retired the 11 no. jersey to pay their respect to the man who had given so much to cricket and the team. In 295 ODI matches he played, Vettori grabbed 305 wickets, his career-best being 5/7. The 113 test matches also saw an exceptional figure with 362 dismissals, career-best being 7/87. 

Brett Lee

Brett Lee used to be one of the household names when it came to fast bowling, and the Australian pacer had an image as a fearful bowler. Many batsmen have stated a few times as Brett Lee the most dangerous bowler to face. The fast bowler was a part of the golden age in Australian Cricket and was even a part of the World Cup-winning team. The right arm swinger had the pace along with a bowling action that was quite technical and unique. 
Brett Lee in his career played 221 ODI matches and grabbed 380 wickets, and in this process broke some of the bowling records. His test career was strong but short as he played just 76 matches and took 310 dismissals. After his retirement, Brett Lee is now regarded as a fast-bowling expert and one of the finest bowlers of Australia.

Mitchell Johnson

Mitchell Johnson may have had a controversial career, but his bowling prowess has been exceptional. His wicket-taking ability and agility make him one of the finest left-arm Australian pacers. The duo of Brett Lee and Mitchell Johnson was the most effective bowling pair and the world feared these two. His stats in Test Cricket are phenomenal and he has been an effective bowler in ODI cricket. 
The Aussie bowler has been one of the most underrated bowlers and has been the most effective in the Ashes cricket. He has 239 wickets to his name in ODIs and 313 wickets in Test Cricket. One of the Cricket Greats and most effective bowlers on the field, Mitchell would not only scare the batsman with his bowling ability but his verbal nuances would win him the wicket most of the time. 

Zaheer Khan

He is an absolute legend, he is one of the finest bowlers in the world, he was India’s best pacer till date, he is none other than the left-handed swinger, Zaheer Khan. When everyone in the country believed that pace was not an option, the selectors found an absolute gem of a bowler in the Mumbai born – Zaheer Khan. A bowler who had the ability to swing the ball both ways with an unbeatable pace, Zaheer Khan has proven his ability as a match-winning bowler. 
The Mumbaikar played 200 ODIs for India and claimed 282 dismissals and 311 wickets in his Test career. A coach and a legend to the upcoming bowlers, Zaheer Khan found wickets for India when no one else could. His ability to destroy a long-standing partnership has been essential for the team. There was a time when Zaheer Khan ruled the bowling world with his exceptional reverse swing ball and was India’s reply to the world in the form of a fast bowler.  

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