Australia and India are in the midst of an enthralling battle that has already captured the imagination of two proud cricket nations, but not one player from either side commands selection in The Sun-Herald's team of 2011.
That's because there is a new superpower in the game, England - a team which dethroned India as the world's No.1 Test nation this winter (having already dispatched Australia) and are intent on extending their era of world domination.
Six Englishmen (seven if you include Tim Bresnan, who will carry the drinks) make the team. It was a stretch to leave out the world's best spinner, Graeme Swann, but Pakistan's off-spinner, Saeed Ajmal, had to be rewarded for a superior year. The biggest call of all was to leave out the leading runscorer for the year, Rahul Dravid, who made 1145 runs and peeled off five centuries.
But the selection panel (of one) is in the mood for rejuvenation, and the oldest batsman in the world made way for a No.3 in his prime, Ian Bell, and further down the order welcomed one of the game's rising stars, Darren Bravo.
1. Alastair Cook (c)
Cook doesn't captain his country in Tests, but England's ODI leader will follow Andrew Strauss into the job eventually. Cook did not take his foot off the gas after steamrolling Australia in the Ashes, peaking with an epic 294 in England's innings defeat of India at Edgbaston. His powers of concentration are the best in the world.
2. Kumar Sangakkara
Though he doesn't open for Sri Lanka, Sangakkara has been bumped up a place on the strength of a 1000-run year and a glut of Englishmen in the middle order. Sangakkara finished the year with a century in Sri Lanka's win over South Africa.
3. Ian Bell
Rahul Dravid's absence might be controversial, but Bell's presence isn't. He is rewarded for a year in which he churned out almost 1000 runs at an average of well over 100 - the best mean of 2011. He got them at a good clip, too, quicker than anyone in the order except Kevin Pietersen and Matt Prior. Once taunted by Shane Warne, Bell is now one of the world's most accomplished batsmen.
4. Kevin Pietersen
Though not as prolific as in his breakthrough years, from 2006 to 2008, Pietersen provides an X-factor. He averaged 73 in 2011 and, like Bell, he got on with it, with a strike rate of 64.
5. Darren Bravo
Bravo is the bolter. He has modelled his game on Brian Lara, and it shows. After 12 Tests, Bravo had made as the same number of career runs as his hero, at the same average. He made back-to-back hundreds in India.
6. Younis Khan
The resurgent senior batsman helped Pakistan to six wins out of 10 Tests in 2011, and made an unbeaten double-hundred against Bangladesh. He earns the last specialist batting spot on the strength of his excellent average of 85 for the year and a good overseas record.
7. Matt Prior (wk)
Indian captain Mahendra Dhoni had more dismissals but endured a horrid year with the bat. Prior's rapid scoring gives him the knack for game-changing innings.
8. Stuart Broad
Played out of his skin against India with bat and ball, and is an automatic selection as the third seamer who is good for lots of runs in the lower order. He also claimed a hat-trick on the way to 33 wickets for the year.
9. Dale Steyn
South Africa only played five Tests for the year but Steyn's status as the best fast bowler in the world is beyond doubt. His duel with Michael Clarke in Cape Town was exceptional and he provides the template for fast, outswing bowling.
10. James Anderson
It's a luxury to have two right-arm pacemen swinging the ball at extreme pace and, like Steyn, Anderson is at the peak of his powers.
11. Saeed Ajmal
It's impossible to ignore 50 wickets at 23, no matter the conditions or the opposition.
12th man - Tim Bresnan
A meat 'n' potatoes all-rounder who produced some excellent performances this year.