Best Test XI of 2022

Published - 20 Dec 2022, 05:15 PM | Updated - 20 Dec 2022, 06:02 PM

Sanju Samson, Rishabh Pant
Sanju Samson, Rishabh Pant. (Photo: Twitter)

Best Test XI of 2022. The likes of Australia’s Marnus Labuschagne, Steve Smith, Pakistan’s Babar Azam, England’s Joe Root, India’s Rishabh Pant, New Zealand’s Kane Williamson, Australia’s Travis Head, and Usman Khawaja, Sri Lanka’s Dimuth Karunaratne and India’s Rohit Sharma are in the ICC top 10 ranked batters.

Travis Head is not in best Test XI of 2022
Travis Head is not in the best Test XI of 2022 (Photo: Twitter)

On the bowling front, Australia’s pacer Pat Cummins, England’s pacer James Anderson, India’s spinner Ravichandran Ashwin, pacer Jasprit Bumrah, Pakistan’s pacer Shaheen Shah Afridi, England’s pacer Ollie Robinson, South Africa’s pacer Kagiso Rabada, the New Zealand pacer Kyle Jamieson, Australia’s pacer Mitchell Starc and New Zealand’s pacer Neil Wagner make the top 10 of ICC rankings for bowlers.

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James Andeson is not in best Test XI of 2022
James Andeson is not in the best Test XI of 2022 Image: Twitter

However, the likes of Steve Smith, Kane Williamson, Travis Head, Rohit Sharma, James Anderson, Ollie Robinson, Kagiso Rabada, Kyle Jamieson, Mitchell Starc, and Neil Wagner miss out on the best Test XI of 2022.

Ravindra Jadeja, the number 1 ranked Test all-rounder makes the cut of the best Test XI of 2022. Ravichandran Ashwin, Ben Stokes, and Shakib Al Hasan are the other all-rounders ranked among the top 5 in the ICC rankings.

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Best Test XI of 2022

Usman Khawaja (Australia)

Usman Khawaja
Usman Khawaja. Image credits- News.com.au

Usman Khawaja’s second coming has been an inspiring tale of redemption. Dropped midway through the 2019 Ashes, it almost seemed like a stop-start Test career had come to a close.

However, a dream return came about at 35: he began with twin Ashes centuries in Sydney and has continued to pile on big runs since. Scores of 97, 160, 44*, 91, and 104* in Pakistan saw him break into the rankings top 10.

The Australian opener had scored 1079 runs in 2022 in 10 Tests averaging an impressive 71.93 including 4 tons and 5 fifties-his most in a calendar year. He is in the best Test XI of 2022.

Dimuth Karunaratne (Sri Lanka)

Dimuth Karunaratne
Dimuth Karunaratne (Image Credit: Twitter)

Easily one of the best Test openers going around, Dimuth Karunaratne has been Sri Lanka’s batting lynchpin for a few years now, consistently putting up runs against all opposition. In the last five years, no Test opener has scored more runs (3,207) or hit more centuries (8) – he’s not far from becoming one of Sri Lanka’s top five run-getters of all time.

He has scored 569 runs in 8 Tests in 2022 averaging 40.64 after amassing 902 runs in 7 Tests in 2021 averaging 69.38. He is in the best Test XI of 2022.

Marnus Labuschagne (Australia)

Marnus Labuschagne
Marnus Labuschagne. Image: Twitter

Marnus Labuschagne’s debut came in 2018, but it wasn’t until the 2019 Ashes that he really left a mark. He’s only done better since. From the start of 2019, he’s scored the most runs and hit the most centuries by a Test No.3, firmly integrating himself into the Australia line-up.

A 90 in Rawalpindi in March, and a century in Galle last month assuaged any doubts over his ability to excel outside of home. The top-ranked ICC batter is in the best Test XI of 2022. In 2022, he amassed 943 runs in 10 Tests averaging 58.64. He scored 4 tons-his most in a calendar year. He had scored 204 and 104* -tons in both innings against West Indies in the 1st Test.

Joe Root (England)

Joe Root
Joe Root. Image: ICC

Joe Root comfortably leads the batting charts. He enjoyed a record year in 2021 – the third-best by anyone in Test history – and has added five more centuries this year. Only three England batters in Test history have a higher career-best rating than Joe Root.

Since his debut, no English batter has scored even half the runs as him. He is in the best Test XI of 2022 for amassing 1098 runs in 15 Tests in 2022 averaging 45.75. This came after he amassed 1708 runs in 2021 averaging 61 in the same number of Tests.

Babar Azam (Pakistan)

Babar Azam
Babar Azam (Image Credits: Twitter)

Currently, in the midst of a hot streak, Babar Azam has jumped up the Test rungs admirably, shedding all doubts around his ability to stand out as an all-format batter.

He’s scored more than 20 percent of his Test runs in 2022 alone (and that’s just half a year), and has collected seven fifty-plus scores in his last 10 innings, including a couple of match-defining hundreds. He is in the best Test XI of 2022 for amassing 1009 runs in 8 Tests in 2022 averaging 67.27- his best in a calendar year which includes 3 tons including his career best of 196.

Rishabh Pant (India)

Rishabh Pant
Rishabh Pant. (Photo: Twitter)

Yet to turn 25, Indian keeper Rishabh Pant has established his own brand of daring stroke-making that has been pivotal to India’s success over the last two seasons. The proud owner of a bagful of Test records, he’s already the highest-ranked India Test wicketkeeper by a distance and has centuries against Australia, England, and South Africa besides his steadily improving keeping skills.

Rishabh Pant is in the best Test XI of 2022 for having a great 2022 where he amassed 578 runs in only 6 Tests averaging 64.22. This includes 2 tons-146 against and in England and 100* against and in South Africa. He also amassed 748 runs in 2021.

Ravindra Jadeja (India)

Ravindra Jadeja
Ravindra Jadeja. Image: Cricket Australia

Unarguably one of India’s finest all-rounders of all time, Ravindra Jadeja has elevated his game massively across the last few years, building on his bowling success with a newfound appetite for run-making.

Among all Test all-rounders with at least 200 wickets, only Garry Sobers, Jacques Kallis, Shakib Al Hasan, and Imran Khan have a better Test batting average than him. Only Imran Khan has a better bowling average. Ravindra Jadeja, the no 1 ranked Test allrounder is in the best Test XI of 2022 for amassing 328 runs in only 3 Tests averaging 82 including a career-best of 175* against Sri Lanka and picking 10 scalps averaging 21.5 including a 5/41 against Sri Lanka.

Ravichandran Ashwin (India)

Ravichandran Ashwin
Ravichandran Ashwin. Image Credits: BCCI

The other half of India’s irrepressible spin pairing, Ravichandran Ashwin is India’s highest-ranked Test bowler in the all-time charts, having constructed a rich and lasting legacy over the last decade. Among India bowlers, only leg spinner Anil Kumble has taken more Test wickets, and among all Test spinners, his tally is only behind Sri Lanka’s spinner Muttiah Muralitharan, and late Australian spinner Shane Warne and India’s Anil Kumble.

Unsurprisingly, since his Test debut, no other bowler has taken more wickets. Ravichandran Ashwin, the no 2 ranked Test allrounder and no 3 ranked Test bowler, is in the best Test XI of 2022 for scoring 216 runs averaging 27, and picking 14 scalps averaging 29.79 in 5 Tests. He had taken 54 scalps in 9 Tests in 2021 averaging a mere 16.65.

Pat Cummins (Australia)

Pat Cummins
Pat Cummins (Image: Twitter)

The leader of Australia’s star-spangled pace attack, No. 1 ranked Test pacer Pat Cummins has steadily risen to the top of the pile, picking up wickets on almost every surface he’s played on. Comfortably on top of the bowling charts – he’s been No.1 for three years now – his peak career rating is level with Glenn McGrath as the best among all bowlers from Australia.

Pat Cummins is in the best Test XI of 2022 for taking as many as 35 scalps in only 9 Tests averaging 21.03 after taking 21 scalps in 4 Tests in 2021 averaging 18.76.

Shaheen Shah Afridi (Pakistan)

Shaheen Shah Afridi
Shaheen Shah Afridi Photo Credit: (Twitter)

The youngest name in this best Test XI of 2022, Shaheen Shah Afridi has grown to become Pakistan’s spearhead in a relatively short career so far. On the cusp of the 100-wicket mark (99 wickets in only 25 Tests), he’s been in the top 10 consistently since August 2021, using his height and angling left-arm pace to pick up the most wickets by a Pakistan bowler since his debut. Last year was especially prolific – he plucked 47 wickets in 9 Tests at 17.06.

Shaheen Shah Afridi is in the best Test XI of 2022 for picking 13 scalps in 4 Tests at 31.31.

Jasprit Bumrah (India)

Jasprit Bumrah
Jasprit Bumrah (Image Credits: Twitter)

India’s very own wicket-taking machine, Jasprit Bumrah has earned his place among India’s very greatest despite a relatively belated entry into Tests. Since his debut, no India seamer has taken more wickets.

This year, he’s plucked 22 wickets at 20.31, moving from tenth place at the start of the year to No.3, his best ranking in three years. Jasprit Bumrah, currently sidelined due to injury, has picked 22 scalps in 5 Tests in 2022 averaging 20.32, and is in the best Test XI of 2022. The current No. 4 ranked bowler had taken 30 scalps in 9 Tests averaging 26.53 in 2021.

Virat Kohli | Rohit Sharma | Rishabh Pant | KL Rahul | Suryakumar Yadav | Sanju Samson | Shreyas Iyer | Yuzvendra Chahal | Jasprit Bumrah