Australian Standout: Ricky Ponting for one amassed over 9000 runs in both forms of the game.
South African Standout: Graeme Smith has not just scored the runs but lead South Africa to a brief stay at the World No.1 rankings. Along with him, Jacques Kallis with his all-round displays was instrumental in getting the South African’s a ‘world beater’ status.
Indian Standout: Many to choose from in the Indian ranks from Yuvraj Singh to Sehwag to the turbinator (Bhajji). But, if it was one man who revolutionized Indian cricket it has to be the skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni. MSD with his batting and now powerful captaincy and personality has changed the face of Indian cricket and the way Indian cricket is looked at.
England Standout: Kevin Pietersen proved himself at the international stage with 4 hundreds in a series against RSA midway through the decade. His antics at the Oval test match won’t be forgotten either.
Sri Lankan Standout: Both Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara have been the batting mainstays of the Sri Lankan unit. Both in their tenures as captain have helped bring Sri Lankan cricket forward.
West Indian Standout: Not much to speak of as far as the West Indies cricket is concerned. But, if someone was said to make an impact it has to be Chris Gayle with his powerful stroke play and calm appearance.
New Zealand Standout: No prizes guessing who New Zealand’s man of the decade was. Daniel Vettori has single handedly kept New Zealand still in the race amongst other countries. The black caps who lack talent but remain a bunch of hard triers.
Pakistan Standout: Pakistan’s premier and most consistent batsman in this era especially after the retirement of Inzamam has been Mohd Yousuf. Yousuf has averaged a phenomenal 50+ average in the 5 day version of the game and is closing in on the elite club of 10000 runs in the ODI format.
These were few of the players that stood out and embossed their names on the world stage.
What about the next set of players?
A sneak peak at who they could be:
Peter Siddle: The tough Victorian aged 25 is one for the future certainly. Often compared to Merv Hughes Siddle had a very ordinary debut (test cricket) but since then has bagged 60 wickets in 17 matches at 31.53.
Mitchell Marsh: Younger brother to Shaun Marsh and currently Australian skipper at the U19 level, the southpaw must be kept a key eye on.
Wayne Parnell: Wayne Parnell came into the reckoning after his wonderful performance with the ball at the U19 WC. The young 20 year old left armer has already struck gold as far as the IPL is concerned.
Virat Kohli: India’s young sensation with the bat and perhaps future captain in the waiting. Kohli along with his batting brings a lot of exuberance and energy in the field too.
Eoin Morgan: Another of England’s foreign collection. The “English-Irishman” proved his credentials after a wonderful NatWest series and champions trophy.
Watch out for him!
Stuart Broad: Son of match referee Chris Broad the lanky pacer at the age of 23 has already seen a lot of ups and downs in his career. Right from being taken apart by Yuvraj to winning England the ashes at oval Broad has shown a lot of character and will to learn. A potential ‘Andrew Flintoff’ in the making Broad is handy with the willow too low down the order.
Angelo Mathews: The young all-rounder at the young age of 22 has displayed a mature head on his shoulders. He is also a dynamic fielder and a Lankan asset to boast off in the future!
Kemar Roach: Not the first from the Windies to bowl a 150km/hr+ and rest assured not the last. The young pacer shot to fame after smashing Ricky Ponting in the elbow with a vicious bouncer at the WACA thus forcing Ponting to retire hurt for the first time in his career. Not the first one who’s made his career after harming Ponting, ehh? (Referring to Ishant Sharma)
Kieron Pollard: A typical Caribbean when it comes to the enthusiasm or the flamboyance. Kieron pollard is one of the Windies most exciting prospects. His performance in the inaugural champions league T20 earned him a huge IPL Mumbai Indians contract. Perhaps that’s what he needs before capturing the world stage.
Martin Guptill: New Zealand seem to lack when it comes to talent. Martin Guptill the 21 year old opener is the only sign of talent. Many experts have said that the ease and grace with which Guptill plays is comparable to Sri Lankan batting star Mahela Jayawardene.
Mohammed Aamer: The young 17 year old left arm pacer rose to fame with his performance in the T20 WC in England. He has continued to impress in New Zealand and Australia with his lively pace and is already one to fear about for opposition batsmen.
Umar Akmal: Youngest of the Akmal brothers and by far the most promising of the lot (3). Umar Akmal hammered a century on his test debut perhaps fore-shadowing what is to come.
These are some of the potential stars of the coming decade; only time will tell if they convert their talent into something big and clearly define what is ‘GOOD’ and what is ‘GREAT’!!
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