Making The Greatest Test XI of The 2000s is one of the most challenging tasks, as most of the legendary players played in this decade, and the hike of most cricketing nations was only in this decade.
We would not just select the team based on raw stats but would go with the mix of useful stats and the players’ impact.
The Stats mainly comprises the SENA/I Records of batsmen, Asian records for pacers, etc.
Also, a factor is the importance of the player’s contribution to the matches the team won.
The factors which every player of our team must fulfill are:
:-5000+ Runs (For Batsman)
:-200+ Wickets (For Bowler)
We Are Going Ahead with a combination of five specialist batsmen, one batting all-rounder, one specialist Wicket Keeper, three pacers, and a spinner. We have selected One More Spinner as our 12th man.
As we are discussing the team in detail, you may scroll down to the bottom if you are just interested in the final The Greatest Test XI of The 2000s.
5w-Five Wicket Hauls
10w-Ten Wicket Hauls
Openers For The Greatest Test XI of The 2000s:
A total of 7 openers scored 5000 + runs in the 2000s, including Graeme Smith, Mathew Hayden, Virender Sehwag, Marcus Trescothick, Andrew Strauss, Chris Gayle, and Justin Langer.
But The Best Of These Are Mathew Hayden And Graeme Smith, And They Are The Openers Of The Greatest Test XI of The 2000s
The South African player scored 6451 runs in the 79 matches at an average o 49.62 and has 18 tons to his name.
The opening is one of the most challenging tasks in South Africa, and having 40 plus average is considered good, but GC Smith has scored 2807 runs at an average of 43.18 in South Africa.
GC Smith mastered in away matches where he scored 3644 runs at an average of 56.06 as an opener, and he has performed well in Asia, too, with 2 tons at an average of 48.96.
“South Africa Wins Matches When Smith Performs” was a fact as Smith averaged a whooping of 65.20 in the Matches won by SA, scoring 14 out of his 18 tons.
The presence Of Smith would also be valuable as a Leader, and Smith is the only captain in the entire Test history to captain a side for 100+ matches, so he is also the captain of our side.
G.Smith stats in the 2000s:
In-139 R-6451 Av-49.62 100-18
G.Smith stats away from home in the 2000s:
In-70 R-3644 Av-56.06 100-11
G.Smith stats in IENA in the 2000s:
In-46 R-2267 Av-53.97 100-6
G.Smith stats in won matches in the 2000s:
In-63 R-3782 Av-65.20 100-14
Matthew Hayden was one of the members of the most prolific opening pair of the 2000s, his partner being Justin Langer.
Matthew Hayden scored 8634 runs[i.e., most by an opener in the 2000s ]
Haydos was a master whenever he played in Australia; this can be stated by the fact that he Averaged nearly 60 At his home, but somehow his average dipped to 45 when he opened the innings away from Australia.
Most of the Australian players found it difficult to score in India. Still, Hayden Averaged >51 in India, and against India (i.e., BG Trophy), he averaged an astonishing 59.21, but he was just mediocre in England And New Zealand with averages of 35 and 29, respectively.
Hayden scored 22 of his 29 Tons when Australia won the match; it depicts Australia’s performance when Haydos Performed.
Fact: Haydos has the record for hitting the most sixes(81) in the decade.
Hayden’s stats in the 2000s:
In-172 R-8364 Av-52.93 100-29
Hayden’s stats away from home in the 2000s:
In-79 R-3331 Av-45.63 100-9
Hayden’s stats in SENI in the 2000s:
In-58 R-2316 Av-42.88 100-5
Hayden’s stats in won matches in the 2000s:
In-119 R-5975 Av-55.84 100-22
Graphical Comparison Of The Batting Average Of Opening Batsmen In The 2000s In Test Cricket
Note: You can also read our article on
Best 8 Opening Batsmen of the Last Decade in Test Cricket (2010-2019)
Middle-Order Batsmen For The Greatest Test XI of The 2000s:
Thirteen players have had 5000+ runs in the decade as middle-order batsmen. They are Ricky Ponting, Rahul Dravid, Jacques Kallis, Mohammad Yousuf, Sachin Tendulkar, Kumara Sangakkara, Mahela Jayawardene, Brian Lara, Younis Khan, Ramnaresh Sarwan, VVS Laxman, Inzamam Ul Haq, and Shivnarine Chanderpaul.
Ricky Ponting, Rahul Dravid, Jacques Kallis, and Sachin Tendulkar are part of the middle order of The Greatest Test XI of The 2000s
The next man on our team is the Indian Wall, Mr. Rahul Dravid.
In total, he scored 8558 runs in 103 matches he played at an average of 55.
Most Indian batsmen found it difficult to score in England, but it was not the same for The Wall; as he averaged 56+ in England, Rahul was excellent in every country as he averaged above 56 in away conditions, three more than his home average.
In a total of 10 years, Dravid averaged 60+ 5 times. Moreover, Dravid was one of the most dependable batsmen of Captain Sourav Ganguly, as, under him, he averaged an astonishing 73.31 in 49 matches.
Dravid was involved in one of the most significant test partnerships of all time with VVS Laxman, i.e., 376 runs in 2001 against Australia at Kolkata.
India never lost a test match when R.D. scored a ton in the 2000s; his 11 came in won matches while the other 11 were in the draw.
Fact: Rahul Dravid Faced Most Deliveries In The Decade.
Dravid stats in the 2000s:
In- 179 R-8558 Av-54.85 100-22
Dravid stats away from home in the 2000s:
In-100 R-4875 Av-56. 03 100-11
Dravid stats in SENA in the 2000s:
In-52 R-2308 Av-50.17 100-4
Dravid’s stats in won matches in the 2000s:
In-63 R-3810 Av-74.70 100-11
The next player in our team is ”GOD OF CRICKET” Mr. Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar.
Sachin scored 7129 runs in the decade at an average of 53.20.
Like Dravid only, Sachin was incredible in away tests with an average near 54; nearly two runs per match better than his home average.
Sachin was famous for smashing Australia in Australia, averaging 66+ there with 3 tons.
A remarkable fact is that Sachin was excellent in the 4th test match of the series(mostly decider);i.e., he averaged 87.75 with 3 tons.
There is a common myth that Sachin used to play for his 100(s), and those 100(s) don’t benefit the team, but 12 of his tons in the 2000s were scored in won matches.
Sachin got an edge on Kumara Sangakarra and Mohammad Yousuf just because of his uniform numbers; they both have better overall records but failed miserably in some countries, whereas Sachin was equally good everywhere.
Tendulkar stats in the 2000s:
In-150 R-7129 Av-53.20 100-21
Tendulkar stats away from home in the 2000s:
In-79 R-3839 Av-54.07 100-11
Tendulkar stats in IENA in the 2000s:
In-48 R-2390 Av-54.31 100-6
Tendulkar stats in won matches in the 2000s:
In-56 R-3163 Av-67.29 100-12
The player to lead the invincible Aussies is the next in our team. Ricky Ponting is the highest scorer in the decade, with 9458 runs at a GOD-level average of 58.38.
From Australia to New Zealand and from Bangladesh to Zimbabwe, Punter scored everywhere against each nation; but the Only country where Punter failed, he failed miserably; was India. Here Ponting could manage just 306 runs in 8 matches with a meager average of 21.85.
Just Like Rahul Dravid, Ponting, too, managed an average of 60+ five times in the decade.
Punter, as a batsman, too, had a significant role in making the Aussies Invincible as he averaged 65.21 in won matches and also has 24 of his 32 tons in the same.
Fact: Along with the most runs, Punter also has the most fours(1102) and most 100(s)  in the decade.
Ponting stats in the 2000s:
In-184 R-9458 Av-58.32 100-32
Ponting stats away from home in the 2000s:
In-85 R-4125 Av-51.56 100-15
Ponting stats in IENA in the 2000s:
In-61 R-2548 Av-43.93 100-8
Ponting stats in won matches in the 2000s:
In-122 R-6703 Av-65.71 100-24
What would be your reply if someone asked you about the greatest batting all-rounder of all time?
I can’t think of third other than Sir Garfield Sobers or Jacques Kallis. The latter is part of our team and has scored 8630 runs (second-most in the decade) and has 27 tons to his name.
Kallis is good anywhere in the world, including India, except in England, where he averaged just 22.46. Having an away average of 53+ depicts the quality of this batsman. He could be a part of this XI solely on his batting record.
Kallis has 15 of his 27 tons in matches RSA won, with an average of near 70.
Coming to his bowling, he has 205 wickets to his name, a good bowling average of 32.00, and a total of 4 fifers, including a fifer in Bangladesh (Asia).
Fact: Kallis has the highest batting average (58.70) in the 2000s among players with 2000+ runs in the 2000s.
Kallis stats in the 2000s:
In-174 R-8630 Av-58.70 100-27
Kallis’s stats away from home in the 2000s:
In-88 R-3860 Av-53.61 100-11
Kallis stats in IENA in the 2000s:
In-48 R-1911 Av-45.50 100-4
Kallis’s stats in won matches in the 2000s:
In-75 R-4259 Av-69.67 100-11
Adam Gilchrist (WK-Batsman)
No one can think of a second name for a test wicketkeeper-batsman other than ADAM GILCHRIST.
Whenever an all-time test XI is selected, he would always be the first name.
Gilly scored 5130 runs in the 2000s decade, averaging 46+ with 16 tons. He has a good away average of 50+ too.
Like Punter, Gilly struggled in India too, as he averaged 25 only, but unlike Ponting, Gilly had a test series win in India as a captain in 2003-04. Gilly scored 13 of his 16 tons when Australia won the match.
Gilly played all of his 91 matches as a wicket-keeper and has 362 catches and 35 stumpings to his name
Gilchrist stats in the 2000s:
In-129 R-5130 Av-46.63 100-16
Gilchrist stats away from home in the 2000s:
In-62 R-2512 Av-50.24 100-10
Gilchrist stats in SENI in the 2000s:
In-45 R-1873 Av-48.02 100-7
Gilchrist stats in won matches in the 2000s:
In-89 R-3892 Av-54.05 100-13
Graphical Comparison Of The Batting Average Of Middle-Order Batsmen In The 2000s In Test Cricket
Fast Bowlers For The Greatest Test XI of The 2000s:
In this legendary era, 17 bowlers have clinched 200+ wickets, of which 11 were Pacers, and 6 were Spinners.
Pacers were Makhaya Ntini, Brett Lee, Glenn McGrath, Shaun Pollock, Mathew Haggard, Chaminda Vaas, Steve Harmison, Andrew Flintoff, Zaheer Khan, Jason Gillespie, and Jacques Kallis.
The three Pacers selected are Glenn McGrath, Shaun Pollock, and Jason Gillespie in The Greatest Test XI of The 2000s
If we talked about the most accurate fast bowlers, Shaun Pollock would be there in the top 5. This man had great success in ODI(s) [In the top five all-time ODI players for me], but his greatness in tests is quite underrated as he is the second-best fast Bowler in the 2000s.
Pollock clinched 250 wickets with a good average of under 25. He had great success all around the globe except in Australia, where he averaged 46+. His away average is near 28, which is quite good tho.
Asian pictures are considered graveyards for fast bowlers, but if someone has control over his bowling, he could perform there too. This is the case for Shaun Pollock, who has 50 wickets in Asia with a good bowling average of nearly 23 with 1 fifer.
Talking about Pollock and ignoring his batting is no less than a sin. However, his batting numbers are pretty good, with an average of 32.56, and he also has 2 100(s) to his name.
In the matches where RSA won, Pollock averaged nearly 40 with the bat and 20 with the ball. So, in conclusion, Shaun Pollock is an absolute gem as a player.
Pollock Bowling stats in the 2000s:
In-135 W-260 Av-24.76 S.R.-61.0 5w-6 10w-1
Pollock Bowling stats away from home in the 2000s:
In-35 W-122 Av-28.36 S.R.-68.1 5w-3
Pollock Bowling stats in Asia in the 2000s:
In-14 W-50 Av-23. 18 S.R.-58.2 5w-2
Pollock Bowling stats in won matches in the 2000s:
In-32 W-131 Av-20. 22 S.R.-52.8 5w-2 10w-1
Pollock Batting stats in the 2000s:-
In-100 R-2377 Av-32. 56 100-2
The next Bowler in The Greatest Test XI of The 2000s is Australian ‘Dizzy.’In total, Gillespie played 57 matches in the decade, in which he clinched 209 wickets at a good bowling average of 27 and has 5 fifers too.
His numbers in away matches are not much different, as he averages 29 with 3 fifers.
Gillespie was one of Asia’s most lethal bowlers, as he could manage an excellent bowling average of nearly 23 in the 13 matches he played here.
Mkhaya Ntini has way more wickets (highest wicket-taker as a pacer in the 2000s) than Dizzy in the decade but the factor which favors him is the consistency all around the glove. Due to this consistency, Gillespie Made it to our final 11 while Ntini could not.
His record in the won matches is great, with a bowling average of nearly 22.3, and also, all of his 5 fifers in the 2000s were in the won matches.
On some occasions, this bloke could handle the bat, too, as he scored 201* in the match against Bangladesh in 2005 while playing as a Nightwatchman. (Highest Score by a Nightwatchman in cricket history)
Gillispie Bowling stats in the 2000s:
In-113 W-209 Av-27.09 S.R.-57.4 5w-05
Gillispie Bowling stats away from home in the 2000s:
In-62 W-108 Av-29.18 S.R.-58.6 5w-3
Gillispie Bowling stats in Asia in the 2000s:
In-26 W-54 Av-22.96 S.R.-49.7 5w-1
Gillispie Bowling stats in won matches in the 2000s:
In-78 W-159 Av-22.28 S.R.-48.9 5w-5
If accuracy is the art, Pigeon is the artist. He was the most accurate fast Bowler, followed by Curtly Ambrose, Joel Garner, and Shaun Pollock. He is so freaking accurate that he can hit a coin on a pitch all day long.
In Total, Glenn McGrath has 297 wickets in the decade with a dream average of 20.53. He failed nowhere in the world, which is depicted by his away average of less than 20, approx 2 less than his home average.
For all the 7 years he played in the decade, he just tore away through the batsman with just his accurate line and length with no sheer pace.
His numbers in Asia are more than a fast bowler could have dreamt. In Asia, he had 45 wickets with an average of nearly 17.
Australia won 51 of the 66 matches he played, and here he averaged 18.06.
So undoubtedly, Pigeon is the best fast Bowler in the 2000s
McGrath Bowling stats in the 2000s:
In-131 W-297 Av-20. 53 S.R.-51.4 5w-14 10w-2
McGrath Bowling stats away from home in the 2000s:
In-58 W-141 Av-19.06 S.R.-47.2 5w-8
McGrath Bowling stats in Asia in the 2000s:
In-20 W-45 Av-17.08 S.R.-47.0
McGrath Bowling stats in won matches in the 2000s:
In-102 W-247 Av-18.06 S.R.-47.0 5w-12 10w-2
Graphical Comparison Of The Bowling Average Of Fast Bowlers In The 2000s In Test Cricket (At least 200 wickets)
Graphical Comparison Of The Bowling Strike Rate Of Fast Bowlers In The 2000s In Test Cricket (At least 200 wickets)
If you are interested in knowing about fast bowlers, then you should read our article on
Best 8 Fast-Bowlers of the Last Decade in Test Cricket (2010-2019)
Spin-Bowlers For The Greatest Test XI of The 2000s:
Six spinners in the 200+ list are Muttiah Muralitharan, Shane Warne, Anil Kumble, Harbhajan Singh, Danish Kaneria, and Daniel Vettori. As we have decided to have a spinner as our 12th man, Muttiah Muralitharan is the leading spinner, with Shane Warne as our 12th man.
Many spinners ruled the cricketing world in their respective ERA(s), but there is only one GOAT, and he is none other than MUTTIAH MURALITHARAN.
Shane Warne’s ball to Mike Gatting in the 1993 Ashes was termed the ball of the century, but deep inside, we all know that Murali delivered Hundreds of balls like that.
His numbers justify his talent too. He has 566 wickets in the decade, averaging 20.97.
49 fifers in a decade are insane, with Harbhajan Singh from India being second best at 23. Murali has 20 10 wicket hauls, too [Shane Warne at second with just 6].
He played 14 matches in SENA and has 77 with a good average of 25.8 and 6 fifers.
32 of his 49 fifers were in the match that Sri Lanka won, and in the won matches he averaged less than 16.
At last, all thanks to his Captain, ARJUNA RANATUNGA, for saving young Murali’s career when the whole world was against him and Umpire ROSS EMERSON stopped him from bowling thrice in a short period.
Muralitharan Bowling stats in the 2000s:
In-154 W-565 Av-20.97 S.R.-50.9 5w-49 10w-20
Muralitharan Bowling stats away from home in the 2000s:
In-61 W-201 Av-26.36 S.R.-56.6 5w-14 10w-6
Muralitharan Bowling stats in SENA in the 2000s:
In-23 W-77 Av-25.80 S.R.-58.4 5w-6 10w-4
Muralitharan Bowling stats in won matches in the 2000s:
In-78 W-333 Av-15.49 S.R.-40.6 5w-32 10w-16
Many Cricket experts and the game audience consider Shane Warne the Greatest spinner ever to play test cricket, with no change in opinion. Still, I can’t choose one between Warnie and Murali as a favorite.
Warnie played mostly in the Pace-friendly pitches, but Murali also performed well in these conditions, But Murali outplayed Warnie in the decade because of a high 208 wicket difference, and Murali’s stats are superior too.
In total, Warne clinched 357 matches in the decade with an average of 25 and 21 fifers. He played 35 of 65 matches outside the home country, has 199 wickets in those with a better average of 24 and has 15 away fifers too.
Warne played in Australia since Childhood, so we are not considering his Australian record. He has 138 wickets in SEN(South Africa, England, New Zealand) with a great average under 22 and 9 fifers.
Australia won 70% of the matches Warnie played in the decade, and in those matches, he has 17 fifers and a bowling average near 23 with 283 wickets.
The 2005 Ashes is considered one of the greatest test series ever. Still, many readers might not know that Warnie was the highest wicket-taker in that Ashes with 40 wickets, and taking 40 wickets in a 5-match series, that too in England by a spinner, is Just Insane.
Warne Bowling stats in the 2000s:
In-127 W-357 Av-25.17 S.R.-50.7 5w-21 10w-6
Warne Bowling stats away from home in the 2000s:
In-71 W-226 Av-22.65 S.R.-44.3 5w-17 10w-6
Warne Bowling stats in ENA in the 2000s:
In-22 W-138 Av-21.95 S.R.-43.4 5w-9 10w-3
Warne Bowling stats in won matches in the 2000s:
In-99 W-283 Av-23.37 S.R.-48.0 5w-17 10w-4
Graphical Comparison Of The Bowling Average Of Spin Bowlers In The 2000s In Test Cricket (At least 200 wickets)
Graphical Comparison Of The Bowling Strike Rate Of Spin Bowlers In The 2000s In Test Cricket (At least 200 wickets)
So The Greatest Test XI of The 2000s [2000-2009] is as follows…
- Graeme Smith(C)
- Mathew Hayden
- Rahul Dravid
- Sachin Tendulkar
- Ricky Ponting
- Jacques Kallis
- Adam Gilchrist (WK)
- Shaun Pollock
- Jason Gillespie
- Muttiah Muralitharan
- Glenn McGrath
Shane Warne (12th Man)