Contact Us

Best Test XI of last 25 years

In the era when test cricket has reached day and night matches. Here a look at the best test XI from the last 25 years when the new test cricket is trying hard to reinvent itself.

Last updated: 16.07.2020
Best Test XI of last 25 years | Sports Social Blog

T-20 cricket has changed everything in the last one decade and test matches are not that interesting to watch as they were back before 2010. There is no doubt in that we have witnessed some of the greatest of this game in every era and that’s the beauty of this game of cricket.

Looking back at the 1970s period that invincible team of West Indies was toughest to beat even if we compare those greats with our modern day greats. But we have seen the transformation of teams from decade to decade some would say Australia team of Ricky Ponting was “unbeatable” and facts don’t deny that every era has one team which was at the top of the pinnacle of cloud nine.

As a cricket aficionado and born after 90s I haven't seen early greats of game. But watching cricketers in a test cricket was the real entertainment then watching up the modern T-20 games – to be honest. The real character of any cricketer is actually determined by his playing ability in the test matches. No matter how great he is in ODIs or T-20s. Recently, cricket boards has started the new format of cricket called “day and night” test matches if change is the law of nature I don’t know who have started this rule extinction of test cricket. I know many will disagree with my choice of selection for best test XI as there are so many greats in cricket. 

Here is my best Test XI:


Matthew Hayden:


Contenders – Alastair cook, Graeme Smith, Justin Langer



I don't know about others choice but looking at his career and kind of impact he has on the cricket was just Shell shocked.

Alastair and Graeme Smith may have more runs in his arsenal but this flamboyant tall left-handed cricketer on his day could change the course of a match or even take the game away from the opposition team.

The only batsman to have a record of more centuries than half-centuries on his name and that record is still unbeaten. He was the part of “golden generation” of Australian team where they have the streak of winning 16 consecutive test matches.

In his remarkable career of 103 matches where he scored 8625 runs at the swashbuckling average of 50.73 which is real tough to have in a long career.









H.S: 380


Virender Sehwag:


Contenders – Saeed Anwar, Gautam Gambhir, Hashim Amla, Andrew Strauss


No test XI is complete without this player. I think it is a disrespect to not pick him in any test eleven. When the role of the opener is to play moderately and give good start this Delhi dasher played in own clean hitting ability and changed the dynamics of the opening batsman.

Especially, in that era when pacers were more lethal and dangerous like Brett Lee, Dale Steyn, Wasim Akram and Allan Donald. Even the greats of the game believed and quoted he was that type of player who could single handily changed the direction of the match in just a few sessions.

One of the most gifted batsmen with hand-eye coordination and the ability to clear the boundary rose without moving down the pitch against the fast bowlers also.

 The only batsman to have two 300+ scores when test cricket was at his best. There can never be another Virender Sehwag even 50 or 100 years. We can have another left-hander but to be very honest having the right-left combination makes the team more dangerous over a right-hand combination.









H.S: 319



Rahul Dravid:


Contenders – Ricky Ponting, Virat Kohli, Steve Smith and Mohammad Yosuf


If there is a tag of Greatness in the cricketing World then this player clearly Justified it quite rightly. It’s not about always scoring runs sometimes it’s about the impact on the game. One of the greatest No.3 test batsman for team India when they were trying to save their existence in the cricketing world at the overseas tours.


This player completely turned the things for team India cricket – the way moves down the crease and batted their for long hours when the team needed him like the most and put the team back into the hunt was awe-inspiring. If there is a cricketer in Indian cricket history who deserve the ovation of overseas success for the team India then he would definitely be “Rahul Dravid”.


During 2002-06, Dravid was the most consistent batsman for team India while scoring 4697 runs in just 48 test for India with the mind-boggling average of 70.10


Known as The Wall for his unbelievable defense approach and sublime assurance to team India in the overseas tours. Having around, 164 tests with 13,288 runs with hard rock average of 52.88 while having 63 half-centuries and 38 centuries under his belt.


Out of his 5 double hundreds, 3 have come in the overseas conditions. While 602 runs on 2002, England tour and 619 run on 2003/04 Australia tour and who can forget his 270 against Pakistan the marathon innings which was filled selfless grit and determination.









H.S: 270


Kumar Sangakkara:


Contenders – Kevin Pieterson, Micheal Clarke, Micheal Hussey


If there will be the greatest test XI ever this genius will definitely have his name in that. One of the stylish left-handed batsman to ever grace the game. Even left-handed batsman tends to be more dangerous in cricket so I definitely go with this rare talent. Between Michael Hussey and Kumar Sangakara, sangakara is most clean stroke maker and is way ahead of Micheal Hussey so there is no way to look after him.


With more than 12,000 test runs in 134 test matches at an average of 57.14 and having 11 double hundreds just next Sir Don Bradman, 12 double hundreds that define how great Sangakkara was in his career. With undisputed king at the top of ICC test rankings from 2005 to 2015 not just with batting, he even holds the records behind the stumps too.


That 624 runs partnership with Mahela Jayawardene against the South Africa team and making it real hard to run for their money and 5th cricketer in the history of test cricket in terms of runs. Sangakara is widely considered as the most powerful batsman of awe-inspiring cover drives.









H.S: 319



Brian Lara (C):


Contenders – Sachin Tendulkar, Mahela Jayawardene, Younis Khan


Definitely, Brian Lara will take this spot doesn’t matter if God of Cricket is there as it’s always about the impact then about scoring runs – fans admired the Impact player has on the game then about scoring hundreds. If there is a tag of the painter with the bat  – this genius perfectly justified that.


Famous for the Prince of Trinidad and Tobago. Not a doubt in that the most flamboyant left-handed cricketer in the test cricket ever. The whole pitch was canvas and he was the painter of it – the way he moved his body like a paintbrush with qualities like shell shocked wrist movement and goodness high backlift against the pacers also – he was the talent of a rare breed and perfect entertainer.


The stats are more terrifying were smashed 8 consecutive centuries in the English season of country cricket, it was beginning of records and was in the same season he has smashed 501*. The era has begun – the year was 1994 when he broke the record of Gary sobers 365 by smashing 375 against England in Antigua.


Everyone was trying to go close but no one came close enough then walk in another most dominant left-handed opener Mathew Hayden broke that feat after 10 years by making him to the history books after scoring 380. Lara was in waiting for his turn and it was against England at the same venue Antigua when made him into the history books with a feat of 400* - still 2020 and record is unbroken.


With more than 11000 runs under his belt at a splendid average of 52.89 and that includes 48 half-centuries and 34 centuries defines a symbol of his batting instincts.









H.S: 400*



Jacques Kallis:


Contenders – Andrew Flintoff, AB de Villiers, Nathan Astle, Ross Taylor


When it comes to the all-rounder spot Jacques Kallis Stands above the rest. An all-rounder with more 12000 test runs defines the greatness of this player. If your number six batsman having more career runs then your openers it means this talent is rare and special.


Not just with batting but he was equally good with his bowling abilities and 292 test wickets under his belt. Having around, 166 test in which Kallis has amassed 13289 runs at the unbelievable average of 55.37 which included 45 centuries and 58 half-centuries.









H.S: 224



Adam Gilchrist (wk):


Contenders – Ms Dhoni, Mark Boucher, Moin Khan, Brendon McCullum


Between Dhoni and Gilchrist – Dhoni is a great finisher in ODI cricket. Back in the 2000s, when the role of wicket-keeper was to more good behind the stumps then hardly with his batting abilities. But this southpaw revolutionised the role of wicketkeeper especially when bowlers were lethal and stadiums were big.


Blend of aggressive and fiery cricket playing abilities and he was the part of the golden era of cricket under the captaincy of Ricky Ponting where he has completely set up a different level of wicketkeeper-batsman for the modern-day player who are looking to represent his country.


With the strike rate of 81.96 throughout his long career. Gilchrist has scored 5570 runs in 96 tests at an average of 47.61 which is quite unbelievable for wicket keeper batsman. Gilchrist has scored 17 centuries and 26 half-centuries with 100 sixes in his test career. Not just with batting he was exceptional behind the wickets also with 414 dismissals in his career.









H.S: 204*


Muttiah Muralitharan:


Contenders – Shane Warne, Anil Kumble, Saqlain Mushtaq, Saeed Ajmal


It will be complete disrespect to go after Murali in the choice. Test XI without this special talent is not possible. Between Shane Warne and Murali – its definitely be Murali over its impact on the game.


With more than Six wickets in every match – Clearly define how difficult he was in his 18 years long career and how records he has been holding it at the end of his career. Fastest bowler to reach at 400, 450,500,600 and 700 – just imagine if DRS rule was earlier the records could have been more terrifying with more 1500 wickets under his belt.


One of the strongest reason of Sri Lanka Success in the world cricket from early 90s to 2010 while in 2017 he was only played to be inducted in the ICC Hall of fame. When he has a drop of curtains he holds the No.1 position of ICC test ranking for 1711 days and it’s difficult to imagine if in the modern-day cricket someone will surpass his records.









Wasim Akram:


Contenders – Brett Lee, Glenn McGrath, Waqar Younis


Coming to the fast bowling part I would definitely recommend left-arm fast bowling destruction to ripped apart the batting lineups of greats. ‘King of Swing' Wasim Akram is definitely the most fearsome bowler in the history of cricket.


Oh, he was fast and furious. He bowled over and round the wicket, swung the ball both ways, a master of reverse swing and moreover, at times, he cut the ball prodigiously. His bouncers were fast and slow too and very aggressive when in full flow and very competitive as well. I never felt in control when facing Wasim because he was always very unpredictable,” Lara had said.


The words from the another great define the greatness the left arm pacer that he was the pacer of a different breed and one of the most destructive of his time.


Not just bowling part he was having the batting ability too score runs down the order. In 104 tests, he has picked 414 wickets at a mind-boggling average of 23.62 with many times 5 and 10 wickets haul.






H.S: 257*

Dale Steyn:


Contenders – Allan Donald, Shaun Pollack, Mitchell Johnson, Shoaib Akhtar


Blend of Whispering death and white lighting from the start of his career. Maybe the youngest in the list but he definitely deserve the place in this playing eleven. With the best strike rate ever in the test cricket history – means he has the something to be different in the league.


Predator looks and speed out of control he has dismantled batting line ups who have stood up in his way. With 439 wickets in just 93 tests at an average of 22.66 and Strike rate 41.95 not just in the overseas conditions but he was a nightmare too on the flat Asian tracks with 93 wickets in 20 tests  - which was best even with legends of early decades.







Courtney Walsh:


Contenders – Zaheer Khan, Curtly Ambrose, Steve Harmison


“I think we set the bar,” Walsh says. “History will tell you that our records were broken, but it’s good to be able to say that.”


The words are clear from the great bowler. Without a doubt to not have this legend in every playing eleven. One of the destructive bowling pair Courtney Walsh and Curtly Ambrose in the 90s and the early days of 2000s for west indies team.


Walsh was the fastest bowler in the history to reach 500 wickets Mark but his stamina and consistency makes him the complete different bowler among others and also the fastest in the west indies cricket history to reach 400 wickets stand.


We can have another bowler of medium line and length but to be honest having the pace attack in the team makes the team more invincible and with Courtney Walsh, this team looks very dangerous to beat in any conditions.








Chase Your Sport

Stay up-to-date on the latest sports news, stats, expert analysis and trends, including cricket, football, wrestling, tennis, basketball, Formula One and more. Find previews, schedules, results of upcoming events, and fantasy tips on Chase Your Sport.