Test cricket in this decade has been through its ups and downs. The oldest format of the game has managed to retain the façade of its beauty, but its popularity is still falling.
Though the five-day game has certainly seen change with the arrival of T20 cricket, a major cause for the existential threat of the format has been a failure to expand--only 12 nations played Test cricket in this decade. ICC's recent attempt to popularise Tests has been the World Test Championship, but that tournament too has only nine nations participating.
As Test cricket enters another decade, we look at the records from the decade that's about to end (2010-2019), while hoping that a better future awaits the game in the next ten years.
As many as 12 teams were involved in Test matches this decade, with England playing 125 matches--the most among all teams. They also won the most matches, 57.
Among teams that played 50 or more matches, West Indies lost the most number of matches (43 of 83 played) while Bangladesh won the least (10 of 56 matches played).
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India has the highest win percentage of 52.33%, winning 56 of the 107 matches they played. England and Sri Lanka (23 each) drew the most number of matches.
Highest and lowest totals
The Indian cricket team registered the highest team total this decade--759/7 declared when they faced England at Chennai in December 2016. Karun Nair scored a triple century in that innings and KL Rahul ended on 199 as the Indian batsmen outplayed the English bowlers. India won the match by an innings and 75 runs.
At the other end, Ireland holds the record for the lowest total registered this decade. They were bowled out for just 38 by England at the Lord's in July 2019. Chris Woakes delivered a magical spell of 6-17 in 7.4 overs while Stuart Broad took four. Of course, the English bowlers had to be this good after they were themselves bowled out for 85 in the first innings of the match.
Biggest and smallest margins of victory
The New Zealand cricket team had the biggest margin of victory this decade, against Zimbabwe at Napier in 2012. Batting first, New Zealand scored 495/7 (declared). Ross Taylor and BJ Watling scored centuries, respectively. In reply, Zimbabwe managed scores of 51 and 143 runs in their two innings as New Zealand won by a mammoth margin of an innings and 301 runs. Chris Martin of New Zealand starred with the ball, picking eight wickets.
The Black Caps also hold the record for the smallest margin of victory this decade, when they defeated Pakistan by 4 runs in November 2018 at Abu Dhabi. Chasing a total of 176 runs, Pakistan were bundled out for 171 runs as Test debutant Ajaz Patel picked up 7 wickets.
Alastair Cook, with 8818 runs, has the most Test runs this decade. The former England captain, who retired in September 2018, scored at an average of 46.41 and at a strike-rate of 46.93. He played 111 of the 125 matches played by England this decade, registering a highest score of 294 with 11 not-outs. He has scored 23 centuries and 37 half-centuries in his career.
The next player on the list is also an Englishman, Joe Root. He scored 7282 runs from 88 matches, at a phenomenal average of 48.54, including 17 centuries and 45 half-centuries. His highest score this decade was 254.
With 427 wickets from 105 matches, James Anderson got the most wickets this decade in Test cricket. At an economy rate of 2.65 and a strike rate of 54.7, Anderson ends this decade with 20 fifers and two ten-wicket hauls in Tests. His best bowling figures in an innings is 8/15 and his best in a Test is 11/71.
The next on the list is also an Englishman. Stuart Broad, with 398 wickets from 110 matches, bowled at an economy of 2.92 and a strike-rate of 56.9 to get 14 fifers and two ten-wicket hauls.
The Indian bowler with the most number of wickets this decade is Ravichandran Ashwin, with 362 wickets from 70 matches.
Indian captain Virat Kohli has the most number of Test hundreds this decade, with 27 centuries added to his tally. The current world No 1 Test batsman recorded seven centuries against Australia, followed by five against England and Sri Lanka. 14 of the 27 were scored overseas.
The second name on the list is Steve Smith. Despite serving a one-year suspension from international cricket, he scored 26 centuries--including 11 against England, followed by 7 against India. The Australian batsman has scored 13 hundreds each at home and away.
Most five-wicket hauls in an innings
Legendary Sri Lankan spin bowler Rangana Herath took 30 fifers, the most this decade, before retiring from the sport in November 2018. He took 363 wickets in 73 matches--his best bowling figures in an innings was 9/127 against Pakistan.
Off-spinner Ravi Ashwin is second in the list, with 27 fifers from 70 matches.
*Updated till November 2019; All stats from ESPNCricinfo.com