Decade Review 2009

Edgbaston and all that

England's Ashes glory, a Warne-Tendulkar battle, the advent of Twenty20: Cricinfo columnists and senior editors pick their favourite bits of the decade

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Mike Kasprowicz is distraught at gloving a Stephen Harmison delivery, and losing the match by just two runs, England v Australia, Edgbaston, August 7, 2005
The moment that changed England's decade © Getty Images
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Christian Ryan, Former editor, Wisden Australia
Australia v England, first Test, Brisbane, 2002
"Footwork! Footwork! Footwork!" the coaches like to bark, when the more precious but less easily taught thing to have is a clear head. A clear head can help a batsman upturn convention - conventions like the one that tells him to be extra vigilant in the second innings if he made nought in the first. Adam Gilchrist, on a pair, and five innings on since his last Test fifty, as dry a stretch as he'd ever known, allowed himself one delivery to look at Ashley Giles before leaning down the pitch, his feet moving only as much as they had to, and hitting the ball clean over the sightscreen.

Sambit Bal, Editor, Cricinfo
Mumbai Indians v Rajasthan Royals, IPL, Durban, 2009
Admittedly this is an eccentric choice. I didn't even watch the whole match. I was out for dinner with a friend and the restaurant had the game on the big screen. Rajasthan had been restricted to 145, and though Mumbai had slipped to 76 for 5, Sachin Tendulkar had taken 18 runs off the 15th over, bowled by Ravindra Jadeja. My friend was getting late and we were about to leave when a familiar figure walked up to bowling end. Shane Warne had only one over left, and there was no way I was going to leave. In four balls, the match was settled. The first one went for three wides. Tendulkar and Abhishek Nayar pinched singles of the next two. Tendulkar looked to sweep the fourth, but overbalanced himself by going too far across, and the ball, flatter and quicker, caught him on the pad for a straightforward leg-before. Theirs has been one of most compelling duels of their times, and for the most part Tendulkar has got the better of Warne. It didn't matter who won this one. Just the charge I felt for those couple of minutes was enough. That I could find such pleasure even in a two-minute contest was reassuring.

Andrew Miller, UK editor, Cricinfo
England v Australia, second Test, Edgbaston, 2005
The 2005 Ashes was a blessing that came with a built-in curse - the energy that England expended in that extraordinary summer effectively drained them of inspiration for the remaining five years of the decade. Was it worth it? Emphatically yes, because without that beacon of brilliance the 2000s would, in all probability, have fizzled away with a whimper. Another Ashes defeat would have been England's ninth in as many series since 1989, and as Brett Lee and Michael Kasprowicz inched Australia towards a 2-0 lead on that fateful final day at Edgbaston, that is exactly what was lying in wait. But up popped Steve Harmison with the timeliest lifter of his career, down stooped Geraint Jones with the snaffle that silenced his critics, and up went Billy Bowden's crooked finger. In that instant, the nation was hooked, and the rest passed directly into folklore.

Jayaditya Gupta, Executive editor, Cricinfo
England v India, Natwest Series final, Lord's, 2002
It was drama out on the field, it was history (though we didn't know it then) off it. Out there, a young and vibrant Indian side overhauled England's 325 to record the second-highest total ever chased down in ODIs at the time. In the process, Yuvraj Singh and Mohammad Kaif laid down the template for India's domination, in the broader sense, of limited-overs cricket (and vice versa): youth, fitness, confidence and strong telegenic appeal. From there to the IPL was but a hoick away. The celebrations off the field - Ganguly's wild shirt-twirling and serial screaming of f-words at the most hallowed of cricket grounds - signified something else: that India had arrived and would stay and play on their own terms. From there to Modi was but an arm-twist away.

Peter English, Australasia editor, Cricinfo
Australia v England, fifth Test, Sydney, 2007
There aren't many days in a cricket watcher's career when you are joyful, depressed, reflective and fearful all in the same morning. The last day at the SCG in 2006-07 was like going to a funeral, except that it was also a big party. Shane Warne, Glenn McGrath and Justin Langer were waving goodbye with a 5-0 Ashes whitewash, while Damien Martyn, who had sneaked into retirement after the second game, was also at the ground. The last time Australia lost three greats at once, in 1983-84, the team went into a deep, depressive and destructive spiral. What would happen this time? The fall wasn't as bad, but less than three years later Australia's ranking was No. 4. Warne and McGrath were in no danger of being replaced, and Simon Katich was the closest the side had to Langer. On that last day McGrath finished off England's second innings with three wickets, Warne was rushed in for three overs and Langer was not out on 20 when the game finished. Then the tears and cheers continued in the stands and lounge rooms across the country as supporters remembered not what happened in those couple of hours, but what the players did so well over the previous decade. Even Steve Waugh's exit in 2003-04 wasn't that emotional.

Ian Chappell, Commentator and columnist
India v Sri Lanka, third Test, Mumbai
Virender Sehwag coming so close to scoring 300 in a Test match day against Sri Lanka. I wish I had been there to see it.

Gideon Haigh, Australian cricket historian and writer
Andrew Flintoff's first over of the second innings at Edgbaston in 2005: seven deliveries - there was a no-ball - in which absolutely anything could have happened, but which no force on Earth could have withstood. If ever wickets were by popular demand, this was it: first Justin Langer, bowled by a ball off bat, pad and body; then Ricky Ponting, snicking one he did well to touch. An extraordinary moment: never did Ponting, the decade's best batsman, make a crowd happier.

Shane Warne and Sachin Tendulkar chat, Lord's, June 20, 2005
Warne v Tendulkar: even over a two-minute contest, they did not fail to thrill © AFP

S Rajesh, Stats editor, Cricinfo
England v India, third Test, Headingley, 2002
When India won the toss and chose to bat under overcast skies and in seaming conditions in Headingley, one feared the worst for a batting line-up that had regularly crumbled in similar conditions in the past. But this Indian team, under Sourav Ganguly, was beginning to show a new resolve and steel when playing outside India, and this match was ample proof. Rahul Dravid and Sanjay Bangar patiently saw off the toughest periods, while Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly ruthlessly exploited that foundation and a wearying England attack. After scoring what was then India's highest overseas total, the bowlers took over with a clinical performance: there was no individual five-for, and yet England were bowled out twice for a match total of 582. It was as close to a perfect performance as one could have hoped for. India won several more matches overseas during the decade - more than in all previous decades put together - as fans got used to it and expectations went up, but that display remains special for the sheer unexpectedness and perfection.

Martin Williamson, Executive editor, Cricinfo
Surrey v Middlesex, Twenty20 Cup, 2003
My moment of the decade came on what was supposed to be a sleepy evening in June 2003, when Twenty20 took to the stage. A largely cynical media predicted, at best, a lukewarm response, and in the Cricinfo office we were toying with the idea of not sending anyone to the opening games. In the end Andrew Miller, in those days keen and unattached, volunteered to head down to The Oval. On my way home I called him and when he answered it was against the backdrop of cheering and yelling. Instead of the few thousand we had expected, the ground was two-thirds full and the crowd was lapping it up. A few days later I went to sleepy Imber Court near Esher and found another sell-out crowd basking in the evening sunshine. It was clear the format was not going to be another flash in the pan.

Harsha Bhogle, Commentator and writer
Royal Challengers Bangalore v Kolkata Knight Riders, Bangalore, 2008
The first game and the opening ceremony of the first IPL. We realised we were in the midst of something that would define our times

Dileep Premachandran, Associate editor, Cricinfo
India v England, first Test, Chennai, 2008-09
Who could have scripted it better? Three weeks after the terror attacks in his home city, Sachin Tendulkar came to the crease in Chennai with India chasing the sort of total that was once deemed impossible on a fifth-day pitch. Virender Sehwag had stunned England with the audacity of his initial assault, but there were still miles to go as Tendulkar marked his guard and settled into his stance. A little more than five hours later, he paddled a delivery from Graeme Swann to fine leg, a stroke that clinched victory and also took him to three figures. This, remember, was the man who allegedly went missing when India needed him most.

Telford Vice, writer
The Ashes, 2005
Call it weird for a South African to say so, but England finally winning back the Ashes is the light that beams out of the murk of a decade in which the volume of cricket played reached meaningless proportions. Previously, so many Australian teams had dealt with so many England sides as effortlessly as they might have wiped beer froth off their top lip. Then came the shining moment when the invincible were proven vincible. Out here in the colonies, some of us had grandfathers who expounded lengthily on the Battle of Britain. Try as they might to inculcate in succeeding generations the emotion that floods the soul when the anticipation of dread is turned into triumph, we never quite caught their drift. Cricket and war should never be equated, but after the 2005 Ashes we have a better idea of what the old codgers were on about.

Note: this is not intended to be a list of the greatest moments of the decade. It is a subjective list of the favourite cricket moments of the writers in question


Comments: 49 
Posted by Fahad on (December 24, 2009, 14:43 GMT)

6 out of 11 are Indian moments yet no one picked Kolkata 2001.. That is strange

Posted by sports_freakz on (December 24, 2009, 14:39 GMT)

One more....for a few months England had been running their mouths about how McGrath was washed up and England would look to dominate him....Brisbane 2007 arrived....and in about 2 sessions of play England were shot out for ~ 150 with the great man taking 6 wickets. Tendulkar, Lara, Inzamam, Dravid, Kallis, Strauss, Kirsten etc were all reduced to poking and prodding by the greatest bowler of the decade.

Posted by sports_freakz on (December 24, 2009, 14:23 GMT)

One of the best moments of the decade...WC Final 2003...Ponting on strike...his supposed tormentor harbhajan comes on. crucial passage of play....this is as big a stage as it 4 balls he had hit a 4 and 2 sixes. The second one nearly left the ground....I wish he had mimicked the cola ads playing at that time and asked harbhajan to go fetch the ball. In one over he had established that when the stage was big...there was no bigger player than Ponting.

Posted by Robin on (December 24, 2009, 13:59 GMT)

where did the champions trophy 2004 final go and where did Joburg 2006 go?Not to forget KOLKATA 2001(the test match of the century)

Posted by hemant on (December 24, 2009, 13:46 GMT)

hmmmm...i guess comments are not being added....i wrote 12 hours ago...writing again..... every good site seems to forget that kolkata test.... as warunanc mentined malinga's 4 in 4 also missing... and so are yuvraj's 6 in 6, gibbssy's too...australia undeafeated in both world cups, ind vs pak t20 final, misbah scoop and tendulkar copied it against aus after scoring 175, tendulkar's 20 years, west indies and sa chasing 400 plus in 4th many omissions..hmmm....

Posted by Dindial on (December 24, 2009, 13:37 GMT)

Shiv Chanderpaul vs Sri Lanka. 10 needed of last 2 deliveries, then 6 of the last, guess what. He did it"

Posted by Faraz on (December 24, 2009, 13:36 GMT)

wat abt that famous match between Aus and SA at Jo'burg in 200 seeing a record chase by SA..........????

Posted by Sulav on (December 24, 2009, 13:08 GMT)

What about Newzealand beating Australia 3-0? Yes, the Aussies weren't 100% but nor were the kiwis, they never are.

Posted by sreekanth on (December 24, 2009, 11:07 GMT)

Amazing no mention about Kolkata 2001? From a pure cricketing point of view, 2001 Kolkata test between India and Australia was the biggest and most amazing moment in the last decade.


Posted by Chandra on (December 24, 2009, 10:51 GMT)

Either England has become the most exciting team in the world or this web-site is full of British or British leaning editorial staff....

8 out of 11 instances mentioned had England playing a game......

Posted by Haris on (December 24, 2009, 10:48 GMT)

What about 438?? it was something to remember.

Posted by Ahsan on (December 24, 2009, 10:44 GMT)

We've had two worldcups, and some amazing test series between the best teams in the decade, and some of you guys picked your moments from the IPL?? I am all for the short and fun format to give the crowd fast results and all, but I am certain you could have found better bits from test matches. It is after all the purest form of cricket. so disappointing to see some real cricket pundits perceiving t20 to be more memorable than test cricket.

Posted by Omar on (December 24, 2009, 10:34 GMT)

A bit of Indian overkill (IPL? Seriously?) but going to have to agree with Gideon Haigh. In a decade that was dominated by batsmen, that one over was reminded us everything that was great about fast bowling. Better than seeing sixes and fours hit all over the park, this was a truly titanic over in which the fast bowler triumphed, and what a bowler, against extraordinary batsmen. Shivers down my spine every time I watch it; test cricket at its best.

Posted by Satyam on (December 24, 2009, 9:49 GMT)

yuvi six of six? kolkata 01? india pakistan t20 finale? RSA beating oz after scoring 430 odd?

Posted by Mahesh on (December 24, 2009, 9:28 GMT)

Hope this is not the only article and we will see full series. I mean come-on, Kolkata 2001, Aus Vs SA 434-438, Aus Vs India at Perth after Syndeny fisco, India Vs Pak T20 final, Eng Vs WI 2004 Champions trophy final?????????? Gimme a break..

Posted by Mohammed on (December 24, 2009, 9:03 GMT)

What about the pakistan trio? Wasim, Waqar, and Imran khan? (world Cup)!!!

Posted by Joshua on (December 24, 2009, 8:56 GMT)

you've got to be kidding me, leaving out the greatest one dayer of all time, The 438 game, I mean COME ON, the world record being broken followed by it being broken again, by the greatest chase of all time, Gibbs and Ponting inning's. You can not leave that amazing day out of the greatest matches of the decade

Posted by Tarun on (December 24, 2009, 8:28 GMT)

Come on ypu guys call yourself, cricket writers ? Kolkatta 2001 - the passion, the fightback, the struggle & the moment of history. It was greatest game cricket world witnessed and yet none of you can recall it ? Shame on you fellas

Posted by Nick on (December 24, 2009, 8:28 GMT)

In this list, the majority of memorable moments are from test cricket. Rumours of its death are greatly exaggerated....

Posted by salman on (December 24, 2009, 8:28 GMT)

Flintoff's seven magical deliveries..seriously??? oh i cant see some 1 pulling off a stunning performane from Pakistan this decade..really??? what abt Lahore test match in 2002 vs NZ......Pakistan pile up 642 on a docile reply NZ shuttered for 72 .Shoaib 6/16...hw cum no body seen that ????what about Pakistan 39/ 6 on the first morning of karachi test match and still winning by 341 runs.. okay nw i cant find mendis 6/ 12 against india in asia cup final..wasnt that special?? wasnt that fascinating for the eyes.??? malinga's four?? no body mentioned what kamran akmal and abdul razaq did to rescue pakistan on the final day of mohali test in 2005 People dont get me wrong on this,i am a passionate follower of cricket .....i love watching sehwag, yuvraj, ponting sanga but i find it really hard to swallow that only indian cricketers gets the mentioning should have guts to speak the truth........ seriously hw cum watching local play more fascinating then intern players

Posted by Adeel on (December 24, 2009, 8:17 GMT)

only 3 (australia. india and england) countries play cricket?

Posted by salman on (December 24, 2009, 8:09 GMT)

i guess u ppl only watch that cricket which involves some indian in it...even as a Pakistani i literrlay enjoyed the Kolkata test, the edgbaston saga but mumbai vs bangalore, rajasthan vs....whteva......seriouly???? this thrilled u guyz in this decade.........????.i guess u were not watching when shoaib akhter demolished AUS in sharjah when he reduced them from 74/1 to 74/ 4 and then 89/7 ...or i guess u ppl had been watching lucknow vs ahmedabad n missed what mohammad asif did to the indian legends.........knocking the middle stumps of sehwag, tendulkar, laxman out of the ground .......u ppl talk of how gr8 sehwag or laxman or tendulkar are n there is no doubt about that but if some one can tame them y do u guyz turn ur faces aways????serioulsy ppl dont be so biased when sm 1 from Pakistan pullls off something special

Posted by bharadwaj on (December 24, 2009, 8:06 GMT)

what a pathetic listing. These people moan the dominance on T20, wax eloquently about Tests and when it comes to picking the most memorable moments from the decade, they quote some T20s.

Missing from the list are

1. WI chasing Australia's 414, which is remembered quite incorrectly for the confrontation between Sarwan and McGrath.

2. India's realisation of its potential and journey to the top of Test rankings via Eden Gardens.

3. Gilchrist's knock in the 2007 WC finals. Its an out of the world experience watching that knock, squash ball or not.

4. Greame Smith's double bonanza of double centuries in England which settled him as a young captain of a team which is struggling to find its identity post Hansie and WC 2003 exits.

Posted by Karthik on (December 24, 2009, 8:00 GMT)

How about Cricket's greatest game? (This was exactly Cricinfo's headline when RSA bt Aus making 438 at Jo'burg, Mar 2006) No write-up on that?

Posted by deb on (December 24, 2009, 7:57 GMT)

How could U guys not mention Kolkata 2001 ??? Even Andy Zaltzman mentions in his confectionery stall column : ..."This was one of my favorite matches of all time, even though I followed it only by periodically checking the scores on the internet, and had never seen VVS Laxman bat or Harbhajan Singh bowl. This had everything a cricket fan could want in a game - great bowling, great batting, great drama, a historic comeback,and an Australian defeat (for the sake of balance in the world game, of course). So much for cricnfo's best columnists picks !!!

Posted by ankur on (December 24, 2009, 7:21 GMT)

Yes very much....sometimes the world seems to ignore the subcontinental can u miss eden gardens 2001..Australia's run of 16 was put to an end...may be that could have prompted edgabaston 2005

Posted by deb on (December 24, 2009, 7:20 GMT)

Can Not Believe all of u guys have forgotten 2001 Ind-Aus Series and Kolkata in particular...That series & the 2005 Ashes remain the best test series's played in this decade...the best CRICKET...unbelievable that many of u guys have mentioned ODIs & IPL matches [Incredible !] and not thought about Laxman & Dravid batting all day on a forth day pitch against the best bowling line-up in last 25 years after a follow-on and down 0-1 in the series and against a team on a 16 test match winning streak !!! May be that does indicate that test cricket is passe...

Posted by Rakitha on (December 24, 2009, 7:20 GMT)

What about Jayawardene's 374 against South Africa?

Posted by Sachin on (December 24, 2009, 7:12 GMT)

oMg! There are way more amzing things in cricket. There were only about 3 justified choices which include SEHWAG'S near 300 in a day. The 5th test of Ashes 2007 and 2nd ashes test 2005.

Posted by Pranav on (December 24, 2009, 7:08 GMT)

Kolkata 2001? Kolkata 2001?! Kolkata 2001?!! This article is a complete sham without that one. How could all these veternas/professionals have forgotten that? Completely baffling. Sorry, but this is EXTREMELY unfathomable.

Posted by nicky on (December 24, 2009, 7:00 GMT)

How can they miss Kolkata 2001...

By far the greatest turn around

Posted by ashutosh on (December 24, 2009, 6:29 GMT)

If I were this piece's editor, I'd invent someone and put his favorite moment s Kolkata 2001 just because it deserves to be there....

Posted by Robin on (December 24, 2009, 6:28 GMT)

It is too much to post IPL matches in this column without kolkata 2001 or perth 2008

Posted by Jogesh on (December 24, 2009, 6:27 GMT)

yeah Kolkata 2001 changed the mindset of captain enforcing follow-on, even sachin tackin on shoiab is highlight of the decade... T20 wc final when Misbah played the shot

Posted by Mohan on (December 24, 2009, 6:25 GMT)

Maybe the panelists were told to avoid the Kolkata test, because it would be everyone's first choice? But I appreciate the effort to include all three formats, just so that it doesn't become obvious that Cricinfo is an adda for "Test cricket is the ultimate" guys.

Me? The decade isn't over yet. Who knows, it could be Karnataka's win over Punjab in Mysore which will be the best moment of the decade.

Posted by Ibrahim on (December 24, 2009, 6:24 GMT)

so how can nobody acknowledge Pakistan's T20 world cup victory ?!?!?!

Posted by Steve on (December 24, 2009, 6:23 GMT)

Even as an Australian, I have to agree with ashish and TMS - no one thought Kolkata 2001 was worthy of a mention - it hurt at the time (and still does) but it was far more worthy of mention than some of the others (eg. IPL match 1 - please!)

Posted by Balal on (December 24, 2009, 6:11 GMT)

He was lucky that there was no review system back then...otherwise he was a goner!

One thing which surprises me is that SA v. Aus. "The Greatest ODI Ever" did not made the list.

Posted by hemant on (December 24, 2009, 6:02 GMT)

i mean what it many well known websites missing that 2001 ind vs aus kolkata test match.....don't say you didn't find it because of calcutta and kolkata confusion.... i guess handful of good readers have selected a lot better moments..... as warunanc mentioned, malinga 4 in 4, and yuvraj's six sixes (gibbs too though), asutralia winning both the world cups in deacde undefeated.....lara reclaiming the world record with a 400 not out (no one has ever done it) test ind vs aus can also be there....ind vs pak t20 final....misbah scooping and sachin tendulkar copying it vs aus after making 175......

Posted by Vilas on (December 24, 2009, 5:56 GMT)

i mean what they said: how can some of these choices be better than kolkota 2001??

Posted by Farrukh on (December 24, 2009, 5:46 GMT)

Is this the best you could come up with? What about the Wasim, Waqar, Shoaib & Inzamam moments? Plenty of occasions in Australia, India, New Zealand, etc.

Posted by Narayanappa on (December 24, 2009, 5:36 GMT)

Very patronising choise by the Associate Editor Dileep Premachandran. This innings by Tendulkar ( no doubt, he has his role in Indian Cricketing history) does not touch the foot of Laxman's innings in 2001- it is the 3rd best innings in the entire cricket hsitory and a huge watershed in Indian cricket history- India became from a competent no-hopers to serious challengers who could design their own destiny( this inspite of their World cup win in 1983- which was a fantastic 'fluke'- remember they were chastised soon after by vengeful Australia and West Indies soon after). Laxman's innings defines preseent day Indian cricket- when all teams walked with enough trepidation- even the mighty Australians in the early part of the decade. Now, of course, Inida is a playing a different ball game. I hope, writers would cognise this event at future pretences of monikker the 'best'

Posted by Dishan on (December 24, 2009, 5:22 GMT)

ok these must be the columnists and senior editors favorite bits, but if u take the 50 magic moments so far, the last 16 are from this decade. Starting from Kolkota Match to 2009 ashes winning moments. Those are real moments of the decade. I wish there's a page for readers too!!!

Posted by Mark on (December 24, 2009, 5:09 GMT)

Hope this is just the first of a series. Or else it would seem that only India, England and Australia played this decade.

Posted by Uts on (December 24, 2009, 5:06 GMT)

Lara taking 28 runs off one Robin Peterson over; Kolkata 2001 and VVS Laxman playing the innings of the decade; Adelaide 2003; Adelaide 2006; Lord's nailbiter in 2000 and the first truly significant victory of the Hussain-Fletcher axis. Sri Lanka and Australia playing out one of the great test series of modern times in 2004. Memories, memories, memories! Despite all the controversies and the crude commercialisation of the sport it wasn't a half bad decade!

Posted by siddharth on (December 24, 2009, 4:48 GMT)

Nobody picked possibly the greatest Innings of all time? Really now? Kolkata 2001! 281 magical runs that brought the Australian juggernaut to a grinding halt. One of the defining moment's in Indian cricket and one of the greatest comebacks in all of sport. This is so dissapointing. Picking IPL over this is just crass.

Posted by Ashish on (December 24, 2009, 4:16 GMT)

Kolkata 2001? I mean, really?

Posted by Waruna on (December 24, 2009, 3:44 GMT)

what about Malinga's four in four ??

Posted by Ashwath on (December 24, 2009, 3:27 GMT)

I know its overkill But COME ON!!!!! Where were you for two days in 2001? KOLKOTA?!?!?! LAXMAN?!?!?! ring a bell anyone?

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