South Africans dominate ICC Test team
Australian captain Michael Clarke was on Thursday selected skipper of an International Cricket Council Test team of the year dominated by South Africans.
South African fast bowler Dale Steyn figures in the team for the fifth year in a row, with team-mates Hashim Amla, Jacques Kallis and Vernon Philander also making the grade.
A fifth South African, AB de Villiers, was named 12th man.
The team, picked by a five-member panel and taking into account performances in a 12-month period that ended on August 6, was announced by the world governing body in Colombo.
Amla, Kallis and Sri Lankan Kumar Sangakkara were picked for the third successive year, while the England duo of Alastair Cook and Stuart Broad appear for the second year in a row.
Former West Indies skipper Clive Lloyd, who chaired the panel, said it was a tough job picking the side.
“The team has a strong batting line-up, while the bowlers are a tough combination of pace and spin who could dismiss any line-up on any surface,” Lloyd said in an ICC statement.
“The selectors did utilise a vast amount of statistics from the period under observation, but we also took into account all other factors like the opposition, pitch conditions, match situation etc.
“But when you have only 12 places to fill from a big group of world-class players, there will always be a few who will miss out.”
ICC chief executive David Richardson, who announced the line-up, added: “Those selected can be justifiably proud of their achievements and are well deserving of the recognition they receive as great cricketers of their era.
“The quality of Test cricket played over the course of the year has been exceptional and I did not envy the selectors in their task of selecting the best.
“Congratulations to those who have made it. They make a formidable team.”