As anticipated, Ben Stokes is leading the newly introduced ICC Test Team of the Year 2022. Bazball has certainly taken the Test arena by storm, and it was inevitable that the English players make it to TOTY.
The 2022 Test team features four Australians, three English players, and one player each from Pakistan, India, South Africa, and the West Indies.
The team is as follows:
- Usman Khawaja (Australia)
- Kraigg Brathwaite (West Indies)
- Marnus Labuschagne (Australia)
- Babar Azam (Pakistan)
- Jonny Bairstow (England)
- Ben Stokes (England, captain)
- Rishabh Pant (India, wicketkeeper)
- Pat Cummins (Australia)
- Kagiso Rabada (South Africa)
- Nathan Lyon (Australia)
- James Anderson (England)
ICC Men’s Test Team of the Year 2022 Breakdown
1. Usman Khawaja
Opening the batting for the team is Australia’s, Usman Khawaja. He had a memorable comeback to Test cricket scoring twin centuries against England. Later on, he was Australia’s go-to batsman on the Pakistan tour averaging 165.33 and making 496 runs.
He finished the year with 1080 runs under his belt with a substantial average of 67.50.
2. Kraigg Brathwaite
Brathwaite was a mainstay in the West Indies team, scoring 687 runs at an average of 62.48. He was solid in defense and in command while attacking. The knock of 160 that he played against England was his hallmark of 2022.
His contributions from the top meant West Indies defeated England in their Test series. Brathwaite also had a good time on the recent Australian tour.
3. Marnus Labuschagne
Marnus has been instrumental in Australia’s success in the Test arena and has established himself as one of the best batsmen in the world.
He was in sublime form against the West Indies making 502 runs across 4 innings. Besides, he hit a century earlier in Sri Lanka making 104 in the 2nd Test.
In total, he made 957 runs at an average of 56.29.
4. Babar Azam
Babar Azam is known for his elegant stroke play and ability to score runs in all conditions. The same was the case last year.
Babar was unstoppable in Test cricket in 2022 as he made 1184 runs at a magnificent average of 69.94. He made four centuries but his 196 against Australia in the second Test will be remembered for a very long time.
5. Jonny Bairstow
The chief destructor in the Bazball lineup. Bairstow had the best year of his career in 2022. Not only did he make runs, but he obliterated opponent bowlers and batted the opposition out of the game.
His remarkable turnaround read his scores to be 136, 162, 71*, 106, and 114* in successive innings. In a few of his innings, Bairstow went into T20 mode, similarly like his 44-ball 71* against New Zealand on the final day of the 3rd Test.
Overall, he made 1061 runs at 66.31.
6. Ben Stokes
Mr. Bazball himself. Ben Stokes has been captaining England in a way like he wants to conquer the world. The aggression, determination, and passion in his leadership have given his side a never give up attitude.
England recently whitewashed Pakistan in Pakistan with some of the most extraordinary batting and bowling displays one would ever see. They played with more than 5 runs per over throughout the series, and to be honest, defeated Pakistan psychologically.
Stokes, in particular, made 870 runs in 2022 at an average of 36.25 in 2022. Moreover, he picked up 26 wickets with 10 of those coming in the South Africa series at an average of only 15.75.
7. Rishabh Pant
Pant enjoys playing Test cricket and his record shows it as well. In 2022 alone, he hit 21 sixes in 12 innings making 680 runs at 61.81.
He has always been prolific with the bat and continued his form from 2021 to 2022. Unfortunately, he met with a car accident and is still in the recovery process. We are hopeful that it won’t be long before we see him in whites again.
8. Pat Cummins
The team’s fast bowling attack is led by Australia’s Pat Cummins. He has been enjoying the No. 1 Test bowler ranking for quite some time now and is determined to stay there for times to come.
In 2022, Pat Cummins was the pick of the bowlers from Australia, taking 36 wickets at a low average of 21.83. He was the main protagonist for Australia in the final Test against Pakistan where he picked up 8 wickets as the Aussies completed a historic Test series win on Asian soil.
9. Kagiso Rabada
Rabada evidently has only gotten better with time. Last year, he was the leading wicket-taker in Test cricket with 47 scalps in 9 games at an average of just 22.25.
He is known for being effective in every condition and undoubtedly proved his worth in New Zealand, England, and Australia.
10. Nathan Lyon
Nathon Lyon is the only specialist spinner in the ICC Test Team of the Year for 2022. Lyon tied with Rabada as the leading wicket-taker though he played two more matches.
Lyon bowled more than 500 overs throughout the year and played an important role in Australia’s series win in Pakistan.
His 47 wickets came at an average of 29.06.
11. James Anderson
Last but not least, England’s James Anderson completes the team’s bowling attack. The king of swing is still going strong at 40. Across nine Test matches in 2022, Anderson got 36 wickets at an average of 19.8.
Often regarded as the best fast bowler in English conditions, Anderson equally proved his mettle away from home in Pakistan as well. As a result, he had the best average and economy for a pacer in the series picking up 8 wickets at 18.50 and an economy rate of 2.20.
To sum up, ICC Test Team of the Year is a dream team. People would pay to watch these men play together as a unit without a doubt. The batting line-up is solid and the bowling attack is one of the strongest in the world.
As we move toward the Test matches this year, there won’t be many surprises if we see a few of these players back in TOTY for 2023.