Over the years the game of cricket has undergone several changes; from a traditional gentleman’s game, it has transformed into a competitive cut-throat competition. In its earliest form, cricket was played as a five-day test match. In the 1960s, one-day international (ODI) matches were introduced where each team was allowed to play 50 overs. Night cricket is another evolution of cricket and so are the colored jerseys instead of the crisp white shirts. The year 2003 marked the advent of a much more concise but highly competitive format of cricket known as Twenty-Twenty or T-Twenty. This limited over format has introduced new rules and new techniques in bowling and batting. The many formats of cricket have led to the need for new players who must have the ability to adjust to any format of cricket. In this article, cricketing squads of all cricketing nations have been introduced with a brief description of the impressive cricketers of the modern era who have made their mark.

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Team Pakistan

Captain: Babar Azam Wicket Keeper: Mohammed Rizwan (also Vice-Captain)

Batsman: Azhar Ali, Shan Masood, Imam ul Haq, Sharjeel Khan, Harris Sohail, Asad Shafique, Asif Ali, Fawad Alam

Bowlers: Shaheen Shah Afridi, Hasan Ali, Shahnawaz Dhanani, Wahab Riaz, Naseem Shah, Mohammad Amir, Usman Khan Shiwari, Yasir Shah

All Rounders: Shadab Khan, Imad Wasim, Mohammad Hafeez, Shoaib Malik

Pakistan cricket team is a good mix of young and experienced players. Babar Azam, the young right-handed opening batsman is also the captain of the Pakistan cricket team in all formats. Babar is one of the most impressive cricketers of the modern era and has several records and awards to his credit. His latest award is ICC Men’s ODI Cricketer of the Year for 2021. 

Peshawar-born Mohammed Rizwan is a right-handed opening batsman and wicketkeeper of the Pakistan team. He made his international debut in 2015 against Bangladesh. He has made his mark as a hard-hitting batsman and an agile keeper behind the wickets. Rizwan has won several local and international awards including ICC Men’s T20 Cricketer of the Year 2021. He was also one of the Wisden Cricketers of the Year 2021. Shaheen Shah Afridi is the bowler to watch out for as this left-handed left-arm fast bowler is a nightmare for batsmen. Shaheen made his international debut in 2018 and has contributed to Pakistan’s success with his deadly bowling. Shaheen was named the ICC Cricketer of the Year 2021 for his haul of 78 wickets in 36 international matches.

Team: India

Captain: Test Match: Vacant; previous Virat Kohli ODI and T20: Rohit Sharma

Wicket Keeper: Ishan Kishan

Batsman: Lokesh Rahul, Prasidh Krishna, Mayank Agarwal, Virat Kohli, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Shikhar Dhawan, Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant,

Bowlers: Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Siraj, Ravi Bishnoi, Avesh Khan

All-rounders: Shreyas Iyer, Washington Sundar, Deepak Chahar, Deepak Hooda, Shardul Thakur, Shahrukh Khan

Captain Rohit Sharma is a top-order batsman who made his debut in international cricket in 2013 against West Indies. A hard hitter of the ball, Sharma is an impressive cricketer of the modern era and has scored the highest number of runs in a one-day international match (264 runs against Sri Lanka). Sharma is also the only batsman to score three double centuries in ODI. He also holds the record of scoring five centuries in a single world cup event. Apart from national awards, he was also honored with the Player of the Year Award 2019 by ICC. Yuzvendra Chahal is one of the finest leg break bowlers in India. His performance has been outstanding whether in league matches or international matches. He is the only Indian bowler to have taken 5 wickets in a T20 match (6/25 against England 2017). Chahal’s performance in the 2019 World cup was outstanding; his 6 wickets for 42 runs against Australia was the highlight of his bowling. Chahal holds the record for the best bowling spell for a spinner in the history of T20.

Team: Australia

Captain: Pat Cummins (Test Match) Captain: Aaron Finch (limited-overs)

Wicket Keeper: Alex Carey

Batsmen: Steve Smith, Travis Head, Marcus Harris, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, David Warner

Bowlers: Scott Boland, Josh Hazelwood, Michael Neser, Jhye Richardson, Mitchell Starc, Mitchell Swepson, Nathan Lyon, Ashton Agar

All-rounders: Cameron Green, Mitchelle Marsh

The Australian cricket team is no doubt the uncrowned king of cricket. It has the highest winning rate and holds most records including winning the World Cup consecutively for three years. The captain of the current Australian Test squad is right arm fast bowler Pat Cummins who is regarded as the top-ranked Test bowler in the world since 2019. After his sensational debut in 2011 against South Africa with 10 wickets to his credit, Cummins was forced to take a long break due to injuries. He then made his comeback with a haul of 23 wickets against England in the Ashes series in 2017. Cummins has taken fifer six times in test cricket with his career-best being 6/23 and once in ODI (5/70). He has also taken 10 wickets in one innings against Sri Lanka making him one of the most impressive cricketers of the modern era. He was also honored by ICC with the Man of the Year title in 2019. Aaron Finch is a prolific opening batsman and the captain of the Australian team in the limited-over format. Finch is an aggressive yet stylish batsman and holds the highest individual score record (172 runs) in T20. Cameron Green is an emerging Australian all-rounder all set to make his mark in the international cricket arena. Excellent with both bat and ball, he will surely be an asset for the Australian team.

Team: England

Captain: Joe Root (Test Captain) Captain: Eoin Morgan (ODI and T20)

Wicketkeeper: Sam Billings

Batsmen: Harry Brook, Tom Banton, Jason Roy, James Vince, Philip Salt, Haseeb Hameed, Zack Crawley

Bowler: David Payne, George Garton, Chris Jordon, Saqib Mahmood, Tymal Mills, Adil Rashid, Reece Topley

All-rounder: Moeen Ali, Liam Livingstone, Liam Dawson, Ben Stokes

Joe Root is the current test captain of the English team; the right-handed batsman made his international debut in 2012 against India. The root is considered to be one of the best batsmen and impressive cricketers of the modern era England has produced. His valuable contribution with the bat was instrumental in England’s win in the 2019 World Cup. He currently occupies the second spot (No. 2 Batsman) in the ICC Player Rankings. As a captain, Root also holds an interesting record as out of the 61 matches he has most wins (27) and most losses (24) as well. Eoin Morgan is a left-handed batsman and the captain of the English team in the limited-overs format. He has several records to his credit such as the highest number of sixes in an ODI match (17 sixes against Afghanistan), the fastest fifty for England in an ODI, and the captain who led England to its sole victory in the 2019 World Cup. His highest score in ODI is 148 runs against Afghanistan. Ben Stokes is a dynamic English all-rounder and is outstanding both with the bat and the ball. He has rescued England from tight spots with his batting and bowling. His career-best inning is his double century against South Africa which is the fastest double century for England and the second-fastest in the world.

Team: New Zealand

Captain: Ken Williamson

Wicketkeeper: Tom Blundell

Batsmen: Finley Allen, Todd Astle, Mark Chapman, Devon Conway, Ross Taylor, Glenn Philips, Martin Guptail, Hamish Rutherford, Will Young, Mark Chapman

Bowlers: Tim Southee, Ajaz Patel, Trent Boult, Neil Wagner, Ben Sears, Hamish Bennet,

All-rounders: Mitchell Stantner, Collin de Grandhomme, Kyle Jamieson, James Neesham, Daryl Mitchell, Rachin Ravindra

Kane Williamson is the captain of the New Zealand team in all formats. With 24 centuries in test matches and 13 centuries in ODIs, Kane Williamson is an iconic and one of the best batsmen in New Zealand. Williamson took over the captaincy in 2016 and the 38 matches played under his captaincy, New Zealand has won 22 and lost 8 matches. He also holds the record of being the youngest player to score centuries against all cricket-playing nations.

Hailed as one of the finest and most impressive players of the modern era, Tim Southee is a deadly right-hand fast-medium bowler. Southee is known for his outswingers and is equally effective with both old and new balls. He had a dream debut in 2008 against England and made his mark with a five-wicket haul and 77 runs of 40 balls. He is the third bowler to get 100 wickets in all formats of cricket. His T20 career-best performance was 5/18 against Pakistan which also included a hat-trick and 7/33 against England in the 2015 World Cup event.

As an all-rounder, James Neesham has rescued New Zealand several times with both bat and ball. He scored 137 runs playing at the number 8 position in his debut match against India in 2014. This is the highest score for a debutant at this low batting order. He again scored a century batting at number 8 against West Indies in his second test. Neesham has proven to be a useful bowler as well in the limited-overs match and is an economical bowler. His career-best for ODIs is 5/27 against Bangladesh; he also took five wickets against Afghanistan in the 2019 World Cup match.

Team: West Indies

Captain: Kraigg Brathwaite (Test) Kieron Pollard (ODI and T20)

Wicketkeeper: Joshua Da Silva/ Nicholas Pooran

Batsmen: Nkrumah Bonner, Jermaine Blackwood, Shai Hope, Evin Levis, Nicholas Pooran, Lendle Simmons

Bowlers: Kemar Roach, Jayden Seales, Hayden Walsh, Obed McCoy

All-rounders: Jason Holder, Alzarri Joseph, Akeal Hossein,

Kraigg Brathwaite, the test captain of the West Indies team is a right-handed batsman with nine centuries in test matches and 22 half-centuries to his credit. He is also a right-arm off-break bowler with 6/29 being his best bowling performance in a test match against Sri Lanka in 2015. Brathwaite is the only batsman to remain unbeaten in both innings in a test match; he made this record against Pakistan in 2016. Brathwaite is the 37th captain of the West Indies team and is accustomed to the pressures of captaincy as he substituted as a captain on several occasions.  

Kieron Pollard is an all-rounder and the captain of the West Indies team in the limited-overs format. His aggressive batting style suits the limited-overs format and he can also take wickets when needed. Pollard is the first cricketer to have played in 500 T20 matches. He also holds the record of being the third player to hit six consecutive sixes in an over. He has scored three centuries and 13 half-centuries in the 122 ODI matches he has played with his average being 26.27 runs. Pollard is one of the impressive cricketers of the modern era and a sought-after player in league matches because of his impressive hitting.

Team: South Africa

Captain: Dean Elgar (Test Matches) Temba Bavuma (Limited Overs)

Wicketkeeper: Quinton De Kock

Batsmen: Keegan Petersen, David Miller, Rassie van der Dussen, Janneman Malan, Reeza Hendricks

Bowlers: Beuran Hendricks, Kagiso Rabada, Lungisani Ngidi, Keshav Maharaj

All-rounder: Wiann Mulder, Aiden Markram

Dean Elgar is a left-handed opening batsman and test captain of the South African team; he is also a left-arm bowler. Elgar made his debut in 2012 against Australia and has made thirteen centuries so far with his highest score being 199 against Bangladesh. He is also a reliable and economical bowler with his career-best being 4 wickets against India.

Temba Bavuma is the only black player to be permanently appointed as a captain in the limited-overs format. He made his debut in 2014 against West Indies and is a specialist batsman who is considered difficult to dislodge. In the 2015/2016 series against England, Bavuma became the first black South African cricketer to score a century with 102 not out. In 2016, he added another feather to his cap by scoring his maiden ODI century against Ireland.

One of the impressive cricketers of the modern era is Kagiso Rabada the right-handed fast bowler of South Africa. He made his T20 debut in 2014 and test and ODI debut in 2015 and within a span of years has bagged distinctions such as ten, five-wicket hauls and four ten-wicket hauls in test matches and one fifer in ODIs. Rabada had a dream debut as he took six wickets (including a hat-trick) for just 16 runs against Bangladesh.

Team: Sri Lanka

Captain: Dimuth Karunaratne (Test Matches) Dasun Shanaka (Limited Overs)

Wicketkeeper: Minod Bhanuka

Batsmen: Ashen Bandara, Danushka Gunathilaka, Dhananjaya de Silva, Ramesh Mendis, Oshada Fernando

Bowlers: Dushmantha Chameera, Vishwa Fernando, Chamika Karunaratne, Akila Dananjaya, Praveen Jayawickrama

All-rounders: Charith Asalanka, Wanindu Hasaranga,

Dimuth Karunaratne is a left-handed opening batsman and the test captain of Sri Lanka. Dimuth is a consistent scorer and has 13 centuries from 73 matches to his credit as well as two centuries in ODI. Dimuth’s highest score is 244 runs against Bangladesh. Dimuth’s fine performance earned him a nomination for ICC’s Test Cricketer of the Year 2021 award.

Dasun Shanaka is an all-rounder and the captain of the limited-overs format of Sri Lanka. He made his T20 debut in 2015 and his test and ODI debut in 2016. His performance in a limited-overs match is better than his test performance and includes a century and three fifty runs in ODI and two fifty run innings in T20. Shanaka took five wickets in his debut ODI match against Ireland becoming the third Sri Lankan player to take a fifer on debut.

Praveen Jayawickrama is an emerging Sri Lankan bowler all set to make his mark in international cricket. His debut in 2021 against Bangladesh was quite spectacular as he took five wickets in each innings making him the first Sri Lankan bowler to take 10 wickets in his very first match.

Team: Bangladesh

Captain: Mominul Haque (Test) Tamim Iqbal (ODI) Mahmudullah (T20)

Wicketkeeper: Litton Das

Batsmen: Najmul Hossain Shanto, Mushfiqur Rahim, Mohammad Naim, Soumya Sarkar, Shadman Islam

Bowlers: Taskin Ahmed, Taijul Islam, Mustafizur Rehman, Ibadat Hussain

All-rounders: Mehidy Hasan Miraz, Afif Hossain, Mahedi Hasan, Shakib Al Hasan

Mominul Haque is a right-handed batsman and the test captain of the Bangladesh cricket team. He made his ODI and T20 debut in 2012 whereas his first appearance in a test match was in 2013 against Sri Lanka. In 47 test matches he has played so far, Mominul has made eleven centuries and has scored 50 runs, 14 times making his batting average 41.01; the highest among Bangladesh players. His highest total so far is 181 runs against Bangladesh. Monimul is the only Bangladesh player to have scored ten centuries or more in test matches as well as scoring eleven consecutive 50 runs in test matches. He is also the only Bangladesh player to have scored centuries in both innings.

Tamim Iqbal is a right-hand batsman and current ODI captain of Bangladesh. A hard hitter of the ball, and with the highest number of runs in ODI for a Bangladesh player, Tamim is one of the most impressive cricketers of the modern era. He is also the third-youngest player to reach 1000 test runs in test history.

Mahmudullah is an all-rounder and the present T20 captain of Bangladesh. He has the honor of being the most successful T20 captain with 12 wins under his captaincy. He is also the first Bangladeshi player to score consecutive centuries in a World Cup event. He is also the first Bangladeshi cricketer to play in 100 T20 matches.

Team: Zimbabwe

Captain: Craig Ervine (Test, ODI, and T20)

Wicketkeeper: Regis Chakabva

Batsmen: Brendan Taylor, Sean Williams, Ryan Burl, Wessley Madhevere

Bowlers: Blessing Muzarabani, Donald Tiripano, Victor Nyauchi, Richard Ngarava, Luke Jongwe, Wellington Masakadza

All-rounders: Tendai Chatara, Sikandar Raza,

Craig Ervine is a left-handed middle-order batsman who made his ODI debut in 2010 against India and Test debut in 2011. Ervine is the captain of the Zimbabwe team in all three formats. He has scored three centuries in test matches and three centuries in ODI. In his 18 tests, Ervine has scored more than 1000 runs with a batting average of 35.53 runs.

Pakistani-born Sikandar Raza is an all-rounder who joined the Zimbabwe team in 2013; his first match was against his country of origin Pakistan. Raza was only 17 years old when he scored fifty runs against Bangladesh in a T20 match thus becoming the youngest player to do so. He has been equally impressive with the ball as well and has two five-wicket hauls to his credit.

Regis Chakabva is the wicketkeeper of Zimbabwe; in 14 tests he has 25 catches and three stumps out to his credit. He is also handy with the bat and has scored a century and fifty runs four times in 14 tests.

Team: Afghanistan

Captain: Hashmatullah Shahidi (Test, ODI) Mohammed Nabi (T20)

Wicketkeeper: Mohammed Shahzad

Batsmen: Ibrahim Zadran, Rahmat Shah, Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Najibullah Zardan

Bowlers: Rashid Khan, Sayed Shirzad, Qais Ahmed, Mujeeb ur Rahman, Naveen ul Haq

All-rounder: Fazl Niazi, Gulbadin Naib

Hashmatullah Shahidi is a left-handed batsman and also the captain of the Afghan national team in Test and ODI formats. He made his ODI debut in 2013 and test debut in 2018. He is the only Afghan player so far to have scored a double century in a test match.

Mohammed Nabi is an all-rounder and captain of the T20 format. He has played a big role in shaping the Afghan team and getting it Day International status.

Rashid Khan is one of the impressive cricketers of the modern era; having made his debut in the limited-overs format in 2015 and has become a record-setter for Afghanistan. In his second T20, he took five wickets conceding just three runs becoming the first Afghan bowler to do so. He is also the first bowler in the world to take five wickets in a T20 in two consecutive overs. In his second ODI against West Indies, Khan took seven wickets for 18 runs helping his team to win against strong opponents.

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