Best XI: Cricket.com.au’s Test Team of the Year

1. Rohit Sharma (India)

M: 11 | Inn: 21 | Runs: 906 | Average: 47.68 | 100: 2 | 50s: 4 | HS: 161

After dominating white ball cricket and his home affairs for years, Rohit Sharma conquered his last limit this year by showing he can score big test runs outside of Asia. And a strong 2021, where he only finished after Joe Root in most races, could have been even better if the classic right-handed player had converted several strong starts to big hundreds. He reached 20 or more in 14 of his 19 completed innings, but posted two centuries 161 a total of 329 to create a victory in Chennai and a patient 127 at The Oval, his virgin Test hundred away from home.

Dimuth Karunaratne (Sri Lanka) (c)

M: 7 | Inn: 13 | Runs: 902 | Average: 69.38 | 100: 4 | 50s: 3 | HS: 244

No opening day has scored more test runs in the last seven years than Karunaratne, and the left-handed player enjoyed another productive year at the top of the ranks after taking over the lead. After starting 2021 with a backline 103 out of 211 against South Africa in Johannesburg, the Sri Lankan skipper produced a match-saving four-hour shot in Antigua before a productive campaign at home, highlighted with a score of 244 against Bangladesh as he led his side to series wins over the Tigers and Windies.

Marnus Labuschagne (Australia)

M: 5 | Inn: 9 | Runs: 526 | Average: 65.75 | 100: 2 | 50s: 4 | HS: 108

Labuschagne lives dangerously to compile the tone of the Virgin Ashes

It is a measure of how good Marnus Labuschagne was this year that he wins a place in this side despite Australia only playing 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 he rose to the top of the ICC Testbatting rankings. While Labuschagne’s run of scores immediately after returning to the test side two and a half years ago could have been released as just a purple patch, an average of 70 from 16 tests since his recall may not. He is undisputedly one of the best percussionists in the world and only seems to get better.

Joe Root (England)

M: 15 | Inn: 29 | Running: 1708 | Ave: 61.00 | 100: 6 | 50s: 4 | HS: 228 | Wkts: 14 | Ave: 30.50 | BBI: 5-8

Brisbane: Root leads backlash, but can not crack ton

Let us for a moment forget England’s annus horribilis and reflect only on one of the great years ever produced by a dough in test cricket. Joe Roots 2021 began with an extraordinary streak of 228, 186 and 218 in consecutive tests on the subcontinent before enjoying another run of centuries in back-to-back-to-back matches against India mid-year. Hundreds in Australia remain frustratingly out of reach, but Root is the leading race scorer after three Ashes tests, and he ended the year with the third-best record of any dough in test history. And he did all this with little or no support from his batting teammates.

Fawad Alam (Pakistan)

M: 9 | Inn: 13 | Runs: 571 | Average: 57.10 | 100: 3 | 50s: 2 | HS: 140

One of the great comeback stories continued in 2021, when Fawad Alam established himself as a consistent source of running more than a decade after making a century on his test debut. After celebrating the end of his 11-year test exile with a hundred in New Zealand in late 2020, the unorthodox left-hander showed that he is a man of all conditions by adding hundreds in Karachi, Harare and Kingston to end the year as one of the only ones. three men to score three or more centuries.

6. Rishabh Pant (India) (week)

M: 12 | Inn: 21 | Runs: 748 | Average: 39.36 | 100: 1 | 50s: 5 | HS: 101 | Ct: 30 | St: 6

Pants pressured masterclass lowers Australians

A century and an average under 40 completely undersells the effect of Rishabh Pant this year, especially in the first three months of 2021. The figures for the dynamic left-handed player would look significantly better if he had been able to achieve a score of 97 (in Sydney), 89no (in Brisbane) and 91 (in Chennai) in the hundreds, but as always with a player as destructive as Pant, the numbers still tell only half the story. The way he dismantled Australia and England at the beginning of the year gave him legitimate comparisons to the great Adam Gilchrist, and although his tour of England was one he would rather forget, 2021 can one day be considered the year in which a modern greatness really arrived. on the world stage.

Ravichandran Ashwin (India)

M: 9 | Wkts: 54 | Ave: 16.64 | SR: 43.0 | BBI: 6-61 | BBM: 9-207 | 5W: 3 | 10W: 0 | Runs: 355 | Ave: 25.35 | 100: 1 | HS: 106

It is a measure of how productive Ravichandran Ashwin has become that another sensational year in which he took more test wickets than anyone else would be marked by some disappointment. Dominating as always at home (where he took 46 of his 54 wickets), the off-spinner missed India’s series sealing victory in Brisbane due to injury and was then surprisingly overlooked for their series in England as voters preferred the extra batting- punch provided by Ravindra Jadeja. But another year of 50-plus wickets is certainly worth celebrating, as is a fifth Test century and the crucial cameo he made with the bat in India’s famous draw at SCG.

Kyle Jamieson (New Zealand)

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

Just when you thought New Zealand’s pace-bowling stocks could not look better, Kyle Jamieson arrives. After jumping onto the scene in 2020, the towering right-armer impressed again this year despite playing only five tests, culminating in a match-winning seven-wicket haul in the World Test Championship final against India. He then took six wickets against India in Kanpur, which showed that he too can thrive on the subcontinent and he looks set to become a constant source of wickets for the Kiwis for many years to come.

Axar Patel (India)

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

Bowling under favorable conditions is one thing, but utilizing them to maximum effect – in your first year of test cricket, no less – is a whole other thing. The fact that Axar Patel was not selected for India’s series opener against England in February was made even more astonishing by the carnage that followed, as the left-armer got 27 wickets in just three tests in one of the more memorable debut series in history. A combination of precision and clever variations (the majority of his wickets against England came from balls that did not spin) made him a constant threat, and he is yet another destructive spin opportunity for India to call on for future campaigns.

Hasan Ali (Pakistan)

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

The third sailor place was the most controversial in this side, but Pakistan’s Hasan Ali comes ahead of India’s Jasprit Bumrah and English pair Jimmy Anderson and Ollie Robinson after a triumphant return to the Test arena in 2021. While 14 of his 41 wickets came. against a fighting Zimbabwean side, the right-winger’s numbers are hard to argue with, and his 10-wickets move in a famous victory over South Africa at Rawalpindi – his first test campaign in two years – will live long in the memory. His strike rate of 31.0, meaning he took a wicket around every fifth overs, is the best of any test bowler in 2021.

Shaheen Shah Afridi (Pakistan)

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

One of the most exciting talents in world cricket, Shaheen Shah Afridi delivered his enormous potential in 2021 to end the year as the second highest wicket-taker in test cricket. With breathtaking pace, beautiful form and an act to die for, the left-winger led the attack in Pakistan in five Test campaigns (four of them away), culminating in his 18 wickets in two Tests against the West Indies in Jamaica. Still only 21, Afridi only went wicketless twice in 17 innings this year, which added impressive consistency to his undoubted strength.

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