The Best Test XI Of 2022
South Africa and India produced a great Test series before both parted ways in contrary fashion- South Africa lost to England and Australia while India won over Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. It was a torrid return at home for Pakistan who lost to Australia and England at home.
There are more Tests to come in 2023 with the place in the World Test Championship final at stake.
In this article, we take a look at the best eleven in Tests from 2022 (note: stats are taken on 28th December with the AUSvsSA Boxing day Test ongoing included until today).
Here is the best Test XI of 2022:
Openers: Usman Khawaja, Abdullah Shafique
Khawaja is the top-scoring Test opener in 2022 with 1080 runs in 11 Tests. In the last Ashes, he got a chance due to an injury to Travis Head, and he slammed twin tons at the start of the year at the SCG. The left-hander averaged 67 this year with 4 centuries and 5 fifties. Khawaja has also entered the top 10 ICC Test batsmen rankings.
One of the most technically sound openers in the world, Pakistan’s Shafique averaged 53 this year, having scored 806 runs in 9 Tests with the help of 3 centuries and 2 fifties.
Middle-order: Marnus Labuschagne, Babar Azam, Steve Smith
The number 1 ranked ICC batter Labuschagne had another bumper year in Test cricket as he plundered 957 runs in 19 Test innings at an average of 56. The Australia number 3 notched up 4 Test centuries- the joint-second most this year.
Babar Azam is the leading Test run-scorer in 2022 and continued his dream form, even upping it in Tests this year. In 16 innings of 9 Tests, Babar amassed 1170 runs at a terrific average of 73. The Pakistani skipper notched up 4 centuries and 7 fifties this year. He is the second-ranked Test batsman behind Marnus.
Lower middle-order/wk and all-rounder: Jonny Bairstow (wk), Ben Stokes (c)
The English duo of Bairstow and Stokes walk into the XI. Bairstow had a dream year in Tests on successfully returning to the side in the last Ashes. Bairstow was a key part of England’s Bazball success at home. Overall, Bairstow hammered 6 Test centuries this year - the most - in 10 Tests, and was the main man in England’s 4 successful 4th innings run-chases at home - against India and 3 vs New Zealand. He averaged 66 and scored at a strike rate of 76 this year.
England Test captain Ben Stokes led his side tremendously this year, modifying English Test cricket forever. Although Stokes’ batting average was an ordinary 36 - still hitting 2 centuries and 4 fifties - his strike rate of 71 stood him apart. Stokes also took 26 wickets and kept an economy of 2.91
Bowlers: Marco Jansen, James Anderson, Prabath Jayasuriya, Kagiso Rabada
Kagiso Rabada is the leading Test wicket-taker this year with 47 Test scalps in 9 Tests at an average of 22. Rabada snapped two five-wicket hauls this year in Tests. His Protea pace-bowling partner Marco Jansen is having a great initiation in Test cricket- the young lanky left-arm seamer took 37 wickets in 8 Tests at a superb bowling average of 19.02 - the best bowling average among bowlers who have taken at least 25 Test wickets in 2022.
The old guard James Anderson continues to belie aging and conjure up magic, in both home and away conditions. Anderson snared 36 wickets in 9 Tests at just 19.8 apiece, the second-best average among bowlers with 25 wickets, and the best economy of 2.42.
Sri Lanka left-arm spinner Prabath Jayasuriya had a dream start to his Test career as he took 29 wickets in only 3 Tests - though all at home - at an average of 20. He astonishing bagged 4 five-wicket hauls in 6 Test innings.
12th man: Nathan Lyon (44 wickets in 11 Tests)