Which team were the most dominant in cricket over the past decade?
Cricket is an odd sport, in that it is passionately followed in those countries where it is played regularly, but the rest of the world barely seems to acknowledge it.
It is a vestige of British colonialism, being played largely in Britain's former colonies, and while it is a sport regularly played in England, the country has rarely, if ever, been the strongest team in the sport. The likes of the West Indies, Australia, India, Pakistan and South Africa have all had spells where they could conceivably be called the best team in the world, with England often left fighting for scraps, and for their honour in the Ashes series against Australia. Nevertheless, the last decade or so has seen a lot of improvement from the Three Lions, culminating in their first-ever ODI World Cup win in 2019. However, they remain some way off the pace in Test cricket, whose inaugural Test Championship final will see India take on New Zealand, in England incidentally. You can go to the overview here for all the odds for that particular clash, while we will now look at which team, or teams, have been the most dominant in world cricket over the past decade.
If we look at the last 10 years, one thing is immediately certain - that it was not a time like the late 1990s or the early 2000s when Australia were virtually unbeatable. There have been a number of countries who have done well over this period, especially in the different formats, and we will try and make sense of this by looking at each format individually.
India have certainly been one of the most dominant sides in Test cricket during this period, staying on top of the world rankings for five years in a row (2017-2021), and winning 56 of their 107 matches, with just 29 losses. This period included memorable series wins in Australia, as well as a nearly unbeatable run at home, and with the team set to face England for five Tests in a couple of months, it will be fascinating to see if they can turn this dominance into a series win in England as well.
South Africa were another consistent side, winning 45 of their 90 matches, although they have struggled over the last couple of years as old stalwarts have retired.
The three World Cups in this decade have been won by India, Australia and England - the Big Three of world cricket, and it is these three teams that dominate the ODI performance charts during this period as well. India also won the 2013 Champions Trophy and finished as runners-up to Pakistan in the 2017 edition, and this shows how they have been extremely consistent, winning 157 of the 249 matches played, with 79 losses. South Africa are again well-placed here, with 114 wins from their 188 matches, but the Proteas continued to struggle at the tournaments.
This has definitely been the decade where T20 cricket has established itself as a truly entertaining third format, and the one most likely to get new fans involved in the sport. The West Indies won two of the four World Cups in this period, with Sri Lanka and England as the other winners. Oddly enough, during this period, the West Indies have won 43 and lost 53 of the 101 T20Is played, but have won two World Cups, while India have won 68 of their 106 matches but have not won a single tournament in the decade. This shows the fickle nature of this format, where Pakistan have been one of the best sides, but have also lost 50 of their 122 matches played.