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The all-time Australia Test XI, according to the ICC rankings

by Wisden Staff 5 minute read

The Australia cricket team have thrown up a number of legends in Test cricket in the past. We’ve picked an all-time Australia Test XI, based purely on the ICC rankings.

We have followed a few rules for our XI. The five highest-ranked batsmen, the highest-ranked all-rounder along with four highest-ranked bowlers have been picked. We, however, ensure that there are two specialist openers in the side.

Matthew Hayden

All-time batting ranking: 12, All-time batting rating: 935
103 Tests, 8,625 runs @ 50.73

A crucial member of the mighty Australian side at the start of the 21st century, Matthew Hayden batted with a strike-rate of over 60 and was dominant from the outset. He has a high score of 380 in the format, once scored nine successive fifties, and ended his career with 10 Player of the Match awards.

Colin McDonald

All-time batting ranking: 38, All-time batting rating: 891
47 Tests, 3,107 runs @ 39.32

Probably the most surprising name on the list, pipping the likes of Langer, Slater and Taylor to a spot in the XI. The opener struggled in Asia and England but had an excellent record at home: scoring 1,573 runs in Australia in 18 matches, a tally that included three hundreds.

Ricky Ponting

All-time batting ranking: 4, All time batting rating: 942
168 Tests, 13,378 runs @ 51.85

Undoubtedly a crucial player in one of the best Test teams the game has ever seen, Ricky Ponting ended his career as the second-highest run-scorer in the format, behind only Sachin Tendulkar. He captained the side in 77 matches, scoring 6,542 runs at an average of 51.51 while doing so.

Don Bradman

All-time batting ranking: 1, All-time batting rating: 961
52 tests, 6,996 runs @ 99.94

The greatest batsman in the history of the game, Bradman is the only batsman who has an all-time rating above 950. Though he played only in England and Australia, the fact that he scored 29 hundreds and 13 fifties in 80 innings is evidence of the talent that he possessed.

Steve Smith

All-time batting ranking: 2, All-time batting rating: 947
77 Tests, 7,540 runs @ 61.80

Smith is just one of the two current players in the list and has already been touted as one of the best players to have graced the game. The former skipper is the fastest to 7,000 Test runs, getting to the landmark in just 126 innings. His average is the best among batters who have scored at least 7,000 runs in Test cricket.

Keith Miller

All-time all-round ranking: 4, All-time all-round rating: 572
55 Tests, 2,958 runs @ 36.97
55 Tests, 170 wickets @ 22.97

One of the three all-rounders with a rating in excess of 550, Miller was one of the most consistent cricketers of his era. Blessed with the skill of turning around a match with either bat or ball, Miller was a lethal new-ball bowler, and was also more than handy with the bat in the middle order, scoring seven hundreds and 13 fifties with a high score of 147.

Adam Gilchrist

All-time batting ranking: 56, All-time batting rating: 874
96 Tests, 5,570 runs @ 47.60

The wicketkeeper is often credited for reinventing the role of a keeper in a Test side. His aggressive approach was much-needed lower down the order, which further made a great Australia team even greater. He batted with a strike-rate of over 80 in the format, which indicates how dangerous he could have been on his day.

Pat Cummins

All-time bowling ranking: 5, All-time bowling rating: 914
34 Tests, 164 wickets @ 21.59

The other active player in the side, Pat Cummins has played only 34 games thus far but has already been called the best bowler of the era. His machine-like consistency along with his pace makes him one of the best in the world.

Shane Warne

All-time bowling ranking: 18, All-time bowling rating: 905
145 Tests, 708 wickets @ 25.41

The second-highest wicket-taker in the format, Shane Warne also has the record of picking up as many as 96 wickets in a calendar year, which is the highest that any bowler has picked in a year. With 37 five-fors in his career, Warne, who got most of his wickets on pitches that did not offer a huge amount of assistance, is undoubtedly one of Australia’s finest Test cricketers.

Alan Davidson

All-time bowling ranking: 16, All-time bowling rating: 908
44 Tests, 186 wickets @ 20.53

The left-arm quick has the best bowling average among bowlers who have played at least 35 Test matches. He picked most of his wickets against England: 84 @ 23.76, and had impressive numbers in Asia as well, picking up 44 scalps @ 17.86 with two five-fors in 10 matches.

Glenn McGrath

All-time bowling ranking: 6, All-time bowling rating: 914
124 Tests, 563 wickets @ 21.64

The quick is the second-highest wicket-taker in Tests among fast bowlers. The Australian was known for his off-stump line and immaculate length as well as his appetite for the big occasion. He has 157 wickets in Ashes contests at an average of just over 20, and is one of the finest players from Down Under.

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