Steyn has made the squad for five years in a row
Given their dismal performance and record in Test cricket over the past year, it comes as no surprise that none of the Indian squad members have made the cut for the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) Test Team of the Year.
The team was picked upon the performances of all international players during the period from 4 August 2011 to 6 August 2012.
Players from six different countries have made the team this year, while South African speed demon Dale Steyn has earned a place in the side for the fifth consecutive year.
For South Africa’s Jacques Kallis and Hashim Amla, it is their third year in a row to be included in the squad, while for England’s Alastair Cook and Stuart Broad, it is their second.
Australia’s Michael Clarke was named as the captain of the side for his excellent record and experience.
ICC chief executive David Richardson said: “Those selected can be justifiably proud of their achievements and well deserving of the recognition they receive as great cricketers of their era. The quality of the Test cricket played over the course of the year has been exceptional and I did not envy the selectors in their task of selecting the best. Congratulations to those who have made it. They make a formidable team.”
The team was picked by a panel, which was chaired by West Indian legendary batsman Clive Lloyd.
“It is always tough to decide on the Test team with so many worthy candidates to consider based on performances between 4 August 2011 and 6 August 2012. The team once again has a strong batting line-up, while the bowlers are a tough combination of pace and spin who could dismiss any line-up on any surface,” Lloyd said.
Lloyd noted that choosing the team had not been easy since many cricketers had been in top form over the past year.
“The process of selection was a difficult one, with a lengthy debate between the panel on all the top performances during the voting period and various combinations were considered. The selectors did utilise a vast amount of statistics from the period under observation, but we also 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 added.
Lloyd was joined on the panel by Sri Lanka batting great Marvan Attapatu, former England women’s captain Clare Connor, former West Indies captain and all-rounder Carl Hooper and Australia World Cup winner Tom Moody.
The ICC Test team is just one of two teams selected by the panel, with the ODI team set to be announced a day before the ICC awards, which will take place on September 15 in Colombo.
Below is the ICC Test Team of the Year:
Alastair Cook (England)
Hashim Amla (South Africa)
Kumar Sangakkara (SL)
Jacques Kallis (South Africa)
Michael Clarke (Aus, captain)
Shivnarine Chanderpaul (WI)
Matt Prior (England – wicketkeeper)
Stuart Broad (England)
Saeed Ajmal (Pak)
Vernon Philander (South Africa)
Dale Steyn (South Africa)
12th Man – AB de Villiers (South Africa)