Best XI: Test Team of the Year

1. Rohit Sharma (India)

M: 11 | Inns: 21 | Executions: 906 | Ave: 47.68 | 100: 2 | 50: 4 | HS: 161

Having dominated cue ball cricket and home conditions for years, Rohit Sharma conquered his last frontier this year by proving that he can score great test runs outside of Asia. And a strong 2021 that saw him finish only behind Joe Root in most races could have been even better if the graceful right-hander had translated multiple solid starts into big hundreds. It reached 20 or more in 14 of its 19 full entries, but it logged two centuries. 161 out of 329 to establish a win at Chennai and a 127 patient at The Oval, his first hundred test away from home.

2. Dimuth Karunaratne (Sri Lanka) (c)

M: 7 | Inns: 13 | Executions: 902 | Ave: 69.38 | 100: 4 | 50: 3 | HS: 244

No starting batsman has scored more test runs in the past seven years than Karunaratne and the southpaw enjoyed another prolific year at the top of the order after taking over as captaincy. Having started 2021 with a 103-of-211 rearguard against South Africa in Johannesburg, the Sri Lankan skipper produced a four-hour hit in Antigua before a prolific campaign at home, highlighted by a 244 score against Bangladesh, as he led his team to series wins over the Tigers and Windies.

Marnus Labuschagne (Australia)

M: 5 | Inns: 9 | Executions: 526 | Ave: 65.75 | 100: 2 | 50: 4 | HS: 108

Labuschagne lives dangerously to collect tons of maiden’s ashes

It’s a measure of how good Marnus Labuschagne was this year that he earned a spot on this team despite Australia playing only five Tests in 2021. The right-hander passed 50 in six of his nine innings, highlighted by hundreds against India in Brisbane and England in Adelaide, as they rose to first place in the ICC test batting rankings. While Labuschagne’s scoring streak immediately after he returned to the Trials side two and a half years ago could have passed off as a mere purple patch, an average of 70 out of 16 Trials since his retirement cannot. He is indisputably one of the best hitters in the world and he seems to be improving.

4. Joe Root (England)

M: 15 | Inns: 29 | Executions: 1708 | Ave: 61.00 | 100: 6 | 50: 4 | HS: 228 | Weeks: 14 | Ave: 30.50 | BBI: 5-8

Brisbane: Root leads the fight but can’t break nonsense

For a moment, let’s forget about England’s annus horribilis and reflect on just one of the great years ever produced by a batsman in test cricket. Joe Root’s 2021 began with an extraordinary streak of 228, 186 and 218 in back-to-back testing across the subcontinent before enjoying another centuries-long run in back-to-back games against India mid-year. A hundred in Australia remains frustratingly out of reach, but Root is the leading scorer for runs after three Ash Trials, and he finished the year with the third-best tally of any batter in Trials history. And he did all of this with little to no support from his hitting partners.

5. Fawad Alam (Pakistan)

M: 9 | Inns: 13 | Executions: 571 | Ave: 57.10 | 100: 3 | 50: 2 | HS: 140

One of the great comeback stories continued in 2021 when Fawad Alam established himself as a constant source of racing over a decade after making his testing debut a century. After celebrating the end of his 11-year test exile with a hundred in New Zealand in late 2020, the unorthodox southpaw proved himself a man for all conditions by adding hundreds in Karachi, Harare and Kingston to end the year as one of only three men to score three or more centuries.

6. Rishabh Pant (India) (week)

M: 12 | Inns: 21 | Executions: 748 | Ave: 39.36 | 100: 1 | 50: 5 | HS: 101 | Ct: 30 | St: 6

Pant’s pressure-filled masterclass sinks Australians

A century and an average under 40 completely underestimates the impact of Rishabh Pant this year, especially in the first three months of 2021. The dynamic southpaw’s numbers would look considerably better if he could have turned 97 (in Sydney), 89th ( in Brisbane) and 91 (in Chennai) in the hundreds but, as always with a player as destructive as Pant, the numbers only tell half the story anyway. The way he dismantled Australia and England earlier in the year rightfully earned him comparisons to the great Adam Gilchrist, and while his tour of England was one he would rather forget, 2021 may one day be seen as the year a great big modern. on the world stage.

7. Ravichandran Ashwin (India)

M: 9 | Weeks: 54 | Ave: 16.64 | SR: 43.0 | BBI: 6-61 | BBM: 9-207 | 5W: 3 | 10W: 0 | Executions: 355 | Ave: 25,35 | 100: 1 | HS: 106

It’s a measure of how prolific Ravichandran Ashwin has become that another sensational year, when he took on more proving grounds than anyone else, would be tinged with some disappointment. Dominant as always at home (where he took 46 of his 54 wickets), the spinner missed India’s series sealing victory in Brisbane due to injury and was then surprisingly overlooked for his series in England as the Selectors preferred the extra hitting hit provided by Ravindra Jadeja. But another year of 50+ wickets is certainly worth celebrating, as is a fifth Test Hundred and the crucial cameo he made with the bat in the famous India draw at SCG.

8. Kyle Jamieson (New Zealand)

M: 5 | Weeks: 27 | Ave: 17.51 ​​| SR: 41.8 | BBI: 6-48 | BBM: 11-117 | 5W: 3 | 10W: 1

Just when you thought New Zealand rhythm bowling stocks couldn’t look any better, Kyle Jamieson shows up. Having burst onto the scene in 2020, the prominent right-arm impressed again this year despite playing just five Trials, culminating in a seven-wicket tour in the World Trials Championship final against India. He then took six wickets against India in Kanpur, proving that it can prosper on the subcontinent as well, and it looks like it will be a constant source of kiwifruit land for many years to come.

9. Axar Patel (India)

M: 5 | Weeks: 36 | Ave: 11.86 | SR: 33.6 | BBI: 6-38 | BBM: 11-70 | 5W: 5 | 10W: 1

Bowling on favorable terms is one thing, but exploiting them to maximum effect, in your first year of trial cricket no less, is another. The fact that Axar Patel was not selected for the opener of India’s series against England in February was made all the more puzzling by the carnage that followed when the left arm bagged 27 wickets in just three tests in one of the debut series. most memorable ever. A combination of pinpoint precision and clever variations – most of his lands against England come from non-spinning balls – made him a constant threat and is another destructive spin option for India to turn to for future campaigns.

10. Hasan Ali (Pakistan)

M: 8 | Weeks: 41 | Ave: 16.07 | SR: 31.0 | BBI: 5-27 | BBM: 10-94 | 5W: 5 | 10W: 1

The third closing spot was the most contested on this side, but Hasan Ali of Pakistan is ahead of Jasprit Bumrah of India and England couple Jimmy Anderson and Ollie Robinson after a triumphant return to the proving ground in 2021. While 14 of his 41 wickets came against a struggling Zimbabwean side, the right arm’s numbers are hard to argue with and his 10-wicket run in a famous win over South Africa at Rawalpindi, his first test campaign in two years, will live long. time in memory. His strike rate of 31.0, meaning he took a wicket roughly every five overs, is the best of any test pitcher in 2021.

11. Shaheen Shah Afridi (Pakistan)

M: 9 | Weeks: 47 | Ave: 17.06 | SR: 37.3 | BBI: 6-51 | BBM: 10-94 | 5W: 3 | 10W: 1

Shaheen Shah Afridi, one of the most exciting talents in the cricket world, delivered his enormous potential in 2021 to end the year as the second-biggest wicket winner in test cricket. With breakneck pace, beautiful form and action to die for, the left arm led Pakistan’s attack in five test campaigns (four of them on the road), the highest being its 18 wickets in two tests against the Indies. Westerners in Jamaica. . At just 21, Afridi went wicketless just twice in 17 innings this year, adding impressive consistency to his undoubted power.

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