After two long years of high-quality Test cricket played all over the globe, the dust has finally settled on the inaugural season of the World Test Championship (WTC). Kyle Jamieson’s heroic performance in the Final against India at Southampton has brought New Zealand their first ICC trophy in 21 years.
The journey to the final was a long and exciting one with plenty of top-class cricketers going head-to-head to get their respective teams to the Final. We’ve gone through the numbers of these players and have come up with the best XI. Here it goes.
ROHIT SHARMA (India)
Opening the batting for the WTC XI would be India’s, Rohit Sharma. The Hitman finished as the sixth-highest run-getter in the WTC by adding 1094 to his tally at a stellar average of 60.77. He was the highest scorer amongst all the openers and by far the best one of the lot in these two years.
DIMUTH KARUNARATNE (Sri Lanka)
Sri Lanka might have had a difficult couple of years in international cricket but one man who has been holding fort for the Lankan Lions has been Dimuth Karunaratne. He finished agonisingly close to the 1000-run mark at a top average of 55.50. In just 10 matches, the Sri Lankan opener smashed four centuries and hence, becomes our second opener in the XI.
MARNUS LABUSCHAGNE (Australia)
Australia’s Marnus Labuschagne finished as the highest-scorer of this WTC with 1675 runs. In these two years, Marnus has cemented his place as one of the top batters in Test cricket and therefore, is an obvious choice at number three in this World XI.
KANE WILLIAMSON (New Zealand) (C)
We saw the real class of Kane Williamson in the WTC Final against India where he led his side to the coveted mace. Williamson was remarkable throughout the Championship and scored 918 runs at an average of 61.20 with the highest score of 251 against Pakistan. He will be the captain of this side as we could think of no other leader than Williamson to take over this mantle.
STEVEN SMITH (Australia)
These two years were the comeback of Steve Smith to international cricket and the Australian batter didn’t disappoint. He had an Ashes series to remember and helped his team retain it on English soil for the first time since 2001. Smith finished the WTC with 1341 runs at a top average of 63.85.
BEN STOKES (England)
The moment which everyone would remember for years to come from this WTC would be Ben Stokes’ heroics from the Headingley Test. Stokes is by far the most accomplished all-rounder in the current era and England’s best player. He was the fourth-highest scoring player in the WTC with 1334 runs and picked up 34 wickets as well.
RISHABH PANT (India) (WK)
Rishabh Pant’s form was one of the key reasons why India reached the WTC final. His moment of magic at the Gabba Test against Australia would go down in the history of Indian cricket. His audacity to scoop James Anderson for a six would be one of the moments to savour. He may not have finished as the highest-scoring keeper in the WTC but the impact his 707 runs left on some of the matches makes him an automatic pick.
KYLE JAMIESON (New Zealand)
The man of the moment from the WTC Final was Kyle Jamieson. He was New Zealand’s x-factor leading up to this game and the lanky pacer didn’t fail to deliver. Jamieson was the difference between the two teams and has had a remarkable start to his Test career. In just seven matches, Jamieson has picked up five five-wicket hauls and has the best average amongst the bowlers.
RAVICHANDRAN ASHWIN (India)
R Ashwin showed his class yet again in the final of the WTC. In unfavourable conditions, he made life awfully difficult for the Kiwi batters. Ashwin finished as the leading wicket-taker of the Championship with 71 wickets in his kitty and proved once again that he is the best spinner in world cricket currently.
PAT CUMMINS (Australia)
Pat Cummins is the pundits favourite and is often hailed as the most complete bowler in Test cricket currently. His figures would back that up. He finished just one wicket away from Ashwin’s tally of 71 wickets and has had a couple of years to savour in Test cricket.
TIM SOUTHEE (New Zealand)
Much like the other Kiwi blokes, Tim Southee also doesn’t get the credit he deserves but in this WTC campaign he has shown that he is right up there with the very best in the world. Southee was New Zealand’s highest wicket-taker in the Championship with 56 wickets at a stupendous average of 20.82.
Read: What Makes James Anderson So Consistent?
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