Cricket Australia has recognised the contributions made by Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni during the first decade of the century and honoured the ace Indian duo as the captains of its Test and ODI XIs of the decade respectively.
The 31-year-old Team India skipper expectedly figures in both the Test and ODI XIs for the 2010s picked by the Cricket Australia official website team cricket.com.au.
The duo has also been the sport’s biggest ambassadors of the decade and the highest paid brand icons ever for cricket. Kohli currently is cricket’s lone representations in the Forbes’ list of Top 100 global celebrities.
“India began the decade worshipping Sachin Tendulkar and ended it with Kohli having assumed the mantle as the cricket-mad country’s demigod, and it is little wonder; through the 2010s, the India skipper topped the Test centuries tally with 27, seven of which were doubles. Be it via his wonderfully-timed cover drives or his wristy whips through mid-wicket, Kohli has dominated spin and pace of all kinds in all conditions,” cricket.com.au columnist Adam Burnett has stated while placing Kohli as the No. 5 batsman and the captain of the Test team.
“He (Kohli) has multiple hundreds against all the Test nations he has faced, while like (Kane) Williamson, he and his country have gone to new heights since he became captain in 2014; he averages 63.80 in charge and his win percentage of 62.26 is the best of any India skipper. The once self-described brat has also evolved into one of the game’s most respected figures, recently speaking out about mental health and ushering in a new standard of fitness within his country’s cricket ranks.
It is not a surprise that Kohli finds himself in both the Test and ODI teams.
CA’s Test XI of the decade has Englishman Alistair Cook in the No. 1 position with David Warner (Australia) as his fellow opener. The batting order down the line includes Williamson (NZ), Steve Smith (Aus), Kohli, AB de Villiers (SA), Ben Stokes (Eng), Dale Steyn (SA), Stuart Broad (Eng), Nathan Lyon (Aus) and Jimmy Anderson (Eng). There is no player from other major Test-playing nations – Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Bangladesh and West Indies.
India’s Ravichandran Ashwin has a mention for a spinner’s position, but he is voted out in favour of Lyon.
Dhoni is named the skipper of CA’s “White Ball Wizards” of the decade, with Rohit Sharma top of the order as an opener with Hashim Amla and Kohli at the No. 3 position. Dhoni comes in at No. 7 as the wicketkeeper-batsman and the captain of the team.
“The input of MS Dhoni with the bat did tail off during the latter part of the decade, but he was a dominant force in a golden period for India’s one-day side. Having assured his greatness by guiding his nation to World Cup glory on home soil in 2011, the right-hander became India’s ultimate finisher with the bat. Dhoni’s average of more than 50 is undoubtedly boosted by the fact 49 of his innings were unbeaten. But on the 28 occasions he has been not out in a run chase this decade, India have lost only three times. And his work behind the stumps has rarely let him or his bowlers down,” narrates columnist Martin Smith.
The other members in the ODI XI include AB de Villiers (SA) at No. 4, veteran Bangladesh all-rounder Shakib al-Hassan at No. 5, followed by Jose Butler (Eng), Dhoni, Rashid Khan (Afghanistan), Mitchell Stark (Aus), Trent Bould (NZ) and Lasith Malinga (SL).