Alastair Cook, who led England to a 3-2 Ashes victory during the summer, was named the Test captain of the year. South Africa's AB de Villiers was selected as the ODI captain, having scored the format's fastest fifty and hundred during the qualification period from September 18, 2014 to September 13 2015. The teams were chosen by a specially appointed selection panel, chaired by the ICC's cricket committee chairman Anil Kumble.
Smith was one of three Australia players to make the Test team, along with opener David Warner and fast bowler Josh Hazlewood. Pakistan were the other team to have three representatives in the Test side, with Yasir Shah, the leading wicket-taker in the qualification period, Younis Khan and wicketkeeper Sarfraz Ahmed all rewarded for their consistent performances. Stuart Broad, who was the most successful bowler in the Ashes with 21 wickets, was included in the Test XI for the fifth time since 2009. So was his countryman Joe Root.
Kane Williamson found a place in the Test team, but was surprisingly left out of the ODI side, despite being the leading run-scorer in the concerned period. The other major surprises in the Test side were the omissions of Azhar Ali, who had four hundreds and five fifties from 10 matches, and R Ashwin, who could only find a place in the squad as the 12th man.
Mustafizur Rahman became the first Bangladesh cricketer to be included in the ICC's ODI team of the year, thanks to a barnstorming 11 wickets in his first two matches. He along with Boult, Mohammed Shami and Mitchell Starc, the Player of the Tournament during the 2015 World Cup, made up the ODI team's pace attack, while Imran Tahir was selected as the sole spinner. Kumar Sangakkara, who recently retired from international cricket, was picked as the ODI team's wicketkeeper, marking the fourth time he made the side.
"I would like to congratulate all the players for their selection in the Test and ODI teams of the year," Kumble said. "It is an achievement for each of them to be proud of and a recognition for their good performances in the qualifying period.
"Testament to the quality of cricket played is the calibre of players to have missed out on selection. While selecting these squads, the selectors considered various combinations and took into account several factors in overall performances. Congratulations to all of the players on their selections."
Test team of the year: David Warner, Alastair Cook (captain), Kane Williamson, Younis Khan, Steven Smith, Joe Root, Sarfraz Ahmed (wk), Stuart Broad, Trent Boult, Yasir Shah, Josh Hazlewood, R Ashwin (12th man)
ODI team of the year: Tillakaratne Dilshan, Hashim Amla, Kumar Sangakkara (wk), AB de Villiers (capt), Steven Smith, Ross Taylor, Trent Boult, Mohammed Shami, Mitchell Starc, Mustafizur Rahman, Imran Tahir, Joe Root (12th man)