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2000s in Review

Wisden’s ODI team of the 2000s: The middle-order conundrum

by Wisden Staff 3 minute read

In a WhatsApp debate occasionally verging on the heated, the Wisden trio of Yas Rana, Taha Hashim, and Ben Gardner thrashed out Wisden’s ODI team of the 2000s for the 2000s in Review series.

While Ricky Ponting inked himself in at three without question, there was plenty of back and forth over the identities of the Nos.4 and 5 in the order. It was England’s Kevin Pietersen and Australia’s Andrew Symonds who won out, but India’s Yuvraj Singh and Symonds’ teammate Michael Hussey could just as easily have made the cut:

Yuvraj Singh

245 matches, 7,249 runs @ 37.36, SR: 89.04, 12 100s, HS: 139
78 wickets @ 40.64, ER: 5.13, BBI: 4-6

BG: He averaged five fewer than KP but a strike rate of 94 [at No.4] is exceptional.

YR: Yes, he was my second choice No. 4.

Michael Hussey

126 matches, 3,623 runs @ 54.07, SR: 87.15, 2 100s, HS: 109*

BG: An average of 54 in the decade, and he could fulfil a variety of roles. He didn’t have a great World Cup though…

TH: As much as I love Hussey, we do have to give credit to solid World Cup campaigns.

Mohammad Yousuf also earned a mention.

Mohammad Yousuf

246 matches, 8,494 runs @ 42.25, SR: 75.44, 13 100s, HS: 141*

BG: It’s interesting the extent to which we look at strike rate now. I wonder the extent to which Mo Yousuf would be in the frame had we picked this team in 2010

YR: It’s a good point but a strike rate of 75 gets your team to 225

TH: Definitely a middle-order candidate, but his strike rate counts against him.

The strike rate counted against a number of otherwise worthy candidates, with Jacques Kallis perhaps the most notable name not to come up at all. Not even 7,859 runs and 192 wickets could overcome a strike rate of 73.28.

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