Cricket Australia’s Best Test XI of 2021: Cricket Australia (CA), a day before New Year 2022, announced its Best Test Team of the year 2021. The Australian cricket board named a formidable test team comprising of players from different cricket playing nations who have performed excellently in the year 2021.
CA picked Rohit Sharma to be the opener of the side along with Sri Lanka’s Dimuth Karunaratne, who is also the leader of the pack. Sharma had a breakthrough year as far as his test cricket is concerned. He scored 906 runs in 11 matches at a healthy average of 47.68 including two centuries and four fifties.
Karunaratne had a prolific year in terms of runs piled up by the left-hander. The Sri Lankan skipper has scored 902 runs in mere 7 test matches at an average of 69.38.
Australian batsman Marnus Labuschagne surged up to the number one in ICC’s test batsman ranking in 2021. Having played just five matches, Labuschagne aggregated 526 runs including two hundred, against India and England, and four half-centuries.
Cricket Australia, then, named English test skipper Joe Root, who, though, is having a tough time with the leadership of England test team, but a sensational run as the test batsman. Root amassed a mammoth 1708 runs in a calendar year in 15 matches he played. He smacked 6 tons and four half-centuries in 2021.
Pakistan’s Fawad Alam is named as number 5 of CA’s test team of the year. The Pakistani cricketer managed to score 571 runs at an average of 57.10 including three hundreds and two fifties.
Wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant is included at number six. The young southpaw not only helped India dethrone Australia’s fortress “Gaba,” but also helped India defeat Australia comprehensively in the Border Gavaskar Trophy 2020-21. The stumper batsman, though, possesses an average of 39.69, however, his contributions in the early three months of 2021 were truly unbelievable.
Pant scored 748 runs in 2021 in 12 test matches which include a hundred and five half-centuries. The gloveman also seized a number of stunners to dismiss the batsman and also showed his quick handwork. In the entire year, Pant took 30 catches and uprooted the wickets 6 times during stumping.
Rishabh Pant is followed by another Indian, Ravichandran Ashwin. The seasoned off-spinner took the most number of wickets in 2021 surpassing the likes of James Anderson and Jasprit Bumrah. The tweaker experienced another glorious year under his hat as he scalped 54 wickets in 9 test matches. His run included 3 five wickets haul. Moreover, the spinner also contributed with his bat scoring 355 runs at an average of 25.35.
New Zealand’s lanky all-rounder Kyle Jamieson also made it to the list of CA’s best Test XI of the year. Jamieson scalped 27 test wickets in five test matches at an average of 17.51. The pacer also helped New Zealand lift the inaugural ICC World Test Championship by defeating India in the final at Southampton.
Another Indian spinner, Axar Patel, had a fantastic year with the ball in hand. Patel exploited favourable conditions in India to a large extent. He grabbed as many as four-five wickets haul in just three test matches against England. Collectively in 2021, Axar Patel bagged 36 wickets in 5 matches with as many five wickets haul.
To choose the pace unit, Cricket Australia opted to go with the Pakistani pace duo of Hasan Ali and Shaheen Shah Afridi. While the place for the second pacer was heavily contested with the likes of Indian Jasprit Bumrah, and England’s James Anderson and Ollie Robinson, but the place for the third seamer was effortlessly taken by Shaheen Shah Afridi.
Hasan Ali featured in 8 matches throughout the year and grabbed 41 test wickets at an impressive average of 16.07. He had 5 five wickets haul and also had a game where is picked 10 wickets.
Meanwhile, Shaheen Shah Afridi, who is reckoned as one of the most exciting pace bowling talent, scalped 47 wickets in 9 test matches for Pakistan. He averaged 17.06 and picked up three-five wickets haul.
Down below is Cricket Australia’s (CA) Test team of the year.
Cricket Australia’s Best Test XI of 2021
Rohit Sharma, Dimuth Karunaratne (c), Marnus Labuschagne, Joe Root, Fawad Alam, Rishabh Pant (wk), Ravi Ashwin, Kyle Jamieson, Axar Patel, Hasan Ali, Shaheen Shah Afridi