LONDON (AFP) - England's new status as the top team in Test cricket was reflected on Friday when five of their players were named in the International Cricket Council (ICC) Test Team of the Year.
Batsmen Alastair Cook and Jonathan Trott were joined by all-rounder Stuart Broad, fast bowler James Anderson and spinner Graeme Swann, in a side picked by a selection panel chaired by West Indies batting great Clive Lloyd.
South African paceman Dale Steyn was selected for the fourth year in a row, while Indian batting master Sachin Tendulkar made his third successive appearance in the line-up.
The selection of this year's Test team was a difficult one with so many worthy candidates available to fill just 12 places," said Lloyd.
"The team has a formidable line-up that bats well down the order and has bowlers with the ability and form to dismiss any opposition twice on any surface."
Cook, Trott, Hashim Amla of South Africa and reigning award-holder Tendulkar have also been shortlisted for the ICC Cricketer of the Year award, which will be presented at a ceremony in London in September.
The England pair also made the shortlist for the ICC Test Player of the Year award, alongside team-mate Anderson and South Africa's Jacques Kallis.