ICC World Test Championship: Best Combined XI Of The Final

Updated - 27 Nov 2023, 04:23 PM

ICC World Test Championship: Best Combined XI Of The Final
ICC World Test Championship: Best Combined XI Of The Final

On Wednesday evening, at The Ageas Bowl in Southampton, Kane Williamson’s New Zealand were the inaugural ICC World Test Championship winners having defeated Virat Kohli’s India by 8 wickets in a rain-truncated game that went into the rare Reserve Day.

ICC’s bid to make Test matches more contextual with this maiden ICC WTC cycle stretched for a two-year period, seems to have had its success, despite the criticism of the modified ranking system due to the incompleted series because of the pandemic.

Nonetheless, both India and New Zealand put on a spectacle in the final in the little less than 4 days of cricket played. Here we look at the best XI of the ICC WTC Final between the two strong outfits.

ICC WTC 2019-21: Best Combined XI Of The Final:

Rohit Sharma

Rohit Sharma, Test Debut
Rohit Sharma (Image Credit: Twitter)

Opening in Test cricket outside India was always questioning Rohit Sharma‘s Test career. However, he has fared decently so far, in the two Tests in Australia and now in the ICC WTC Final in England.

But, once again, his issues of not converting his starts came to the fore in the mega-finale. Sharma was impressive in the first innings when he scored 34 runs after being put in to bat in largely bowling-friendly conditions against the Kiwi pacers. He added 30 runs in the second essay, but both times, failed to convert his knocks into big ones.

Devon Conway

Devon Conway
Devon Conway. (Credits: Twitter)

Devon Conway has had a thunderous start to his Test career: a double hundred on debut at Lord’s and an 80 in Birmingham against England, and now followed it up with a 54-run crucial knock in a low-scoring game in the first innings of the inaugural ICC WTC Final versus England. 

Although the 29-year-old got his time in the sun late, he has enough time to create some more records. In just the third Test of his career, Conway is a world champion.

Kane Williamson (C)

Kane Williamson
Kane Williamson bats in the ICC WTC Final. (Photo: Twitter)

Kane Williamson was perhaps the best batsman in the game. In both the innings, he soaked in the pressure applied from the Indian bowlers like only a few could have had.

In the first innings, Williamson held the line-up together Indian bowlers made inroads. He fell a run short of his fifty but had taken his side into the lead. In the second innings, as R Ashwin threatened an improbable comeback from India, Williamson didn’t go for the counter-attack, instead, he waited patiently for the bowlers to get tired, and then scored a few quick runs towards the end to raise his half-century.

Virat Kohli

Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli. (Credits: Twitter)

In India’s first outing, Virat Kohli steadied the innings after the fall of three quick wickets. Kohli respected the bowlers and their good balls, which were a lot in the game, as he hit just a solitary boundary across his two innings – the dense and slow outfield also has a part in it.

He scored 44 runs in the first essay and 13 in the second; he fell to the lanky Kyle Jamieson in both innings.

Ajinkya Rahane

India national team
Ajinkya Rahane [Photo: Twitter]
Ajinkya Rahane could have and should have done better than he did in the ICC WTC Final. This despite him being India’s leading run-scorer in the first innings. A half-hearted pull shot brought his downfall to Neil Wagner’s visible short ball ploy on Day 2, while a stifle down the leg side did on Day 6. Rahane looked in good touch in both his outings but fell for 49 in the first and 15 in the second.

Rishabh Pant (wk)

Rishabh Pant
Rishabh Pant (Image Credit: Twitter)

With wicket falling regularly and the pressure of setting up a target, Rishabh Pant had to bat in the upper gear in India’s second innings. He was the highest scorer in India’s second innings on Day 6 with 41 runs but got out one shot too many against Trent Boult. His first-innings dismissal, edging a widish delivery looking for a boundary, is something to work on more for the youngster.

Ravichandran Ashwin

Ravi Ashwin
Ravichandran Ashwin. (Credits: Twitter)

Ravichandran Ashwin vindicated Virat Kohli’s decision to pick spinners despite the conditions heavily favoring pacers. He broke the New Zealand opening stand in both innings.

Ashwin picked 4 wickets in the game and gave a glimmer of hope to the Indian fans by taking the only two wickets to fall in New Zealand’s second innings. The right-hander also made crucial 22 runs off 27 balls in the first innings. A crafty off-spinner, Ashwin made most of the little help on offer from the pitch.

Kyle Jamieson

Kyle Jamieson
Kyle Jamieson (Image Credit: Twitter)

At the moment Kyle Jamieson could do no wrong with the red ball in his hand. He now has 5 five-wicket hauls in 8 Test matches and averages an astonishing 14.17 with the ball. The lanky seamer took 7 wickets in the game – 5 in the first innings and 2 in the second – and got the better of India and his RCB captain Virat Kohli in both innings. Jamieson also added vital 21 runs off 16 balls in New Zealand’s first innings.

Tim Southee

Tim Southee
Tim Southee. Image Credits: Twitter

Tim Southee has been phenomenal in this ongoing second phase of his career. While the batting has been at historical levels of difficulties in Test cricket, Southee has been making the most of his experience and form.

In the ICC WTC Final against the Asian giants, and their world-renowned batters, Southee picked up 5 wickets overall, 4 of which were in the second innings on Days 5 and 6 when batting had become slightly easier. Apart from that, he struck 30 highly key runs for the Kiwis which pushed their lead ahead.

Mohammed Shami

Mohammed Shami
Mohammed Shami. [Image-Twitter]
Mohammed Shami was perhaps India’s best and most threatening player in the ICC WTC Final. Shami lit up the fire in the team with his staggering 4-wicket haul after Ishant and Jasprit Bumrah were handled carefully by the Kiwi batters in their first couple of spells.

Shami broke through New Zealand’s middle and lower-middle order in the first innings. He went at a little less than three runs per over in his 26 first innings overs, and was significant in halting the opposition under 250.

Trent Boult

Trent Boult
Trent Boult [Image-Ggetty]
Trent Boult went under the radar a bit in the ICC WTC Final with most of the spotlight on Jamieson and Southee, although he played an imperative part in New Zealand’s victory. Apart from his opening spell in India’s first innings, the left-arm speedster was on the money for the rest of the game.

He nipped out 5 Indian batters – 2 in the first innings and 3 in the second – including the likes of Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, and Rishabh Pant.

Also Read: We Want A New Captain: Indian Fans On Twitter Lash Out At Virat Kohli The Captain, Demand Rohit Sharma To Lead


ICC World Test Championship (WTC) India National Cricket Team Kane Williamson Kyle Jamieson Mohammed Shami Rishabh Pant Tim Southee Virat Kohli