England Test team of the decade

Alastair Cook and James Anderson

Alastair Cook and James Anderson were picked by more than 99% of BBC Sport readers

The players have been picked, the votes have been counted – and England’s Test team of the decade can finally be revealed.

We asked BBC Sport readers to select a side based on performances from 1 January 2010 to 21 December 2019.

More than 200,000 of you did so. And here are the results…

1. Alastair Cook (picked by 99% of readers)

8,818 runs at 46.41; 23 centuries

The first name on the teamsheet. A shoo-in. Nailed on to open. Given Cook’s status as England’s greatest batsman of all time, the only question is: just who are the 1% who did not pick him?

2. Andrew Strauss (94%)

1,670 runs at 32.74; three centuries

Strauss may not have been at his best towards the end of his career, but there is little doubt over his inclusion in the side. Rory Burns, one of England’s incumbent openers, was the next most popular choice with a mere 6%.

3. Ian Bell (61%)

4,436 runs at 44.80; 13 centuries

Bell’s statistics were good enough to convince almost two-thirds of readers to plump for him. His most popular position was three, which at least means a certain player doesn’t have to bat there…

4. Joe Root (95%)

7,282 runs at 48.54; 17 centuries

Another guaranteed pick. England’s current captain’s place was never in doubt, however much his form has fluctuated this year. For those who are interested, 28% of readers wanted Root in his unfavoured position of three, 55% at four and 12% at five.

5. Kevin Pietersen (84%)

3,382 runs at 43.92; seven centuries

Game-changer. Match-winner. England great. A player who divided opinion like no other in recent memory. You suspect more readers would have picked Pietersen had he not upset so many people with his antics.

6. Ben Stokes (98%)

3,738 runs at 35.94; eight centuries; 137 wickets at 33.45

A World Cup winner, Ashes hero and Sports Personality of the Year, Stokes needs to update his CV again. A place in BBC Sport’s Test team of the decade surely trumps all the other honours…?

7. Jonny Bairstow (50%)

4,020 runs at 35.26; 6 centuries; 194 dismissals

This was a close call. Bairstow gets the nod as wicketkeeper ahead of Matt Prior despite averaging four runs fewer in the 2010s. Jos Buttler, for what it is worth, was selected by 18% of readers.

8. Chris Woakes (45%)

1,145 runs @ 27.26; 1 century; 92 wickets @ 30.96

He might not be guaranteed a place in the current England side, but Woakes fills the number eight spot in the team of the decade. Honourable mentions got to Moeen Ali (32%) and Steven Finn (28%) as the fourth member of the bowling attack.

9. Graeme Swann (84%)

193 wickets @ 30.14

There is no doubt that BBC Sport readers want a spinner in their side – and that man is Swann. England’s most successful offie in history adds balance to the bowling attack and can do the impressions in the dressing room.

10. Stuart Broad (99%)

398 wickets @ 27.75

No debate here either. England’s second most successful bowler in history is inked on to the team sheet. He started the decade in the team and ends it as James Anderson’s enduring new-ball partner.

11. James Anderson (99%)

427 wickets @ 24.10

England fans this decade have certainly been spoilt. Anderson is another player worthy of a place in the best team of all side, let alone the decade. What a bowling attack. What a team.

If you missed the chance to pick your team, don’t worry – you can still do so below. Your selection will not affect the results.

Choose your best Test XI from 2010-2019

*Players must have scored at least 750 runs or taken 40 wickets or more.

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