ICC's Test XI of 2016


Recently ICC announced their test team of the year. Due to their cut off process some deserving names missed out. Here is a XI purely based on performances of 2016. The list includes matches played between 1st January 2016 and 26th December 2016.

Openers

Alistair Cook

The English Captain and opener had another great year in longest format of the game. In 2016, he played 17 test matches and amassed 1270 runs at an average of 42.33. With 7 fifties and 2 hundreds, he finished 3rd on runs tally this year. His presence at the top is always assuring and can dent down sharpest of the bowling attacks.

Azhar Ali

950 test runs at an average of 52.77 with 4 fifties and 2 hundreds. This is what Azhar Ali's figures looks like in test cricket this year. He scored a hundred in Edgbaston and a marathon 302 not out against West Indies in October. He played 112 balls for each dismissal this year which shows that he was successful in denting down the new ball most of the times.

Middle order

Joe Roots

One of the fab four of this generation, Joe Roots has 1477 runs at 49.23 in 17 matches this year. With 10 fifties and 3 hundreds he is leading the tally of run scorers in 2016. His three centuries came in Edgbaston, Rajkot and Johannesburg which shows his adaptability in any condition.

Virat Kohli (Captain)

Virat Kohli had a breakout year in test cricket in 2016. His 1215 runs in 12 games came at a bradmanesque average of 75.93. He scored 4 centuries, all of them were a score of over 150 and he passed 200 three times and became only 5th player to score three double centuries in a year in test cricket. As a captain he won 9 out of 12 tests he played this year and drew three of them which make him most successful captain this year.

Steve Smith

The Australian captain known for his moment in the crease and guts which he shows on the ground continues to enjoy great form with the bat in longest format of the game. Although he had a poor year as captain where he lost 5 test matches in a row, his bat was not silent at all. 5 fifties, 3 hundreds, 914 run at an average of 60.93. This is what he accumulated this year and might reach 1000 in the Boxing Day test which is yet to be played at the time this article is being written.

All Rounders & Wicket Keeper

Ben Stokes

England was looking for a like to like replacement for Andrew Filintoff since 2009 and probably they have found one. Ben Stokes's numbers this year as a batsman and bowler have been so great that he could make it to the team with either of his both departments (Batting or Bowling). In 12 games this year he has scored 904 runs which is more than some top players like Hashim Amla and David Warner. He smashed 258 runs of just 198 balls against South Africa this year in January. Overall he scored 2 hundreds and 3 fifties this year. His 33 wickets are more than what Tim Southee or Trent Boult took this year and his average of 25.81 is better than Stuart Broad.

Johnny Bairstow (Wicket Keeper)

Second on leading runs scorer's tally and most runs by a Wikcetkeeper this year in international cricket. His 1470 runs came at 58.80 with 3 centuries and 8 half centuries and he is only 7 runs behind Joe Roots in runs tally this year. His wicket keeping has improved significantly this year and this makes him our keeper of for this team.

Ravichandran Ashwin

The Indian off spinner has impressed everyone with his magic this year. With incredible stats with both bat and ball this year made him a player of great value which any team would love to have. 72 wickets at 23.90 with 8 fivers and 3 10fers shows what kind of year he had with the ball while 612 runs with 2 hundreds and 4 fifties shows that you can trust him if your team is struggling at 50-6.
Bowlers

Rangana Herath

The aging Sri Lankan left arm spinner grabbed 54 wickets at 17.53 this year. He clinched 5 fivers and 2 10fers this year with an astonishing strike rate of 40.8 which is second best for any bowler who has taken more than 20 wickets this year. His 266 runs at 20.46 prove that he can hang around there if the team is in need.

Mitchell Starc

The Aussie fast bowling spearhead missed a lot of cricket in 2016 and only managed 7 games this year but still ended up 4th on bowler's tally. His 45 wickets came at 21.51 with 3 fivers and a 10fer. What makes his record more impressive is that he took 24 of these 45 wickets in Sri Lanka where no other fast bowler managed to take even 10 wickets in three matches. His talent with the new ball is known to the world and he can hang around with the bat just like Rangana Herath.

Kagiso Rabada

Although many people might question that this spot should go to Stuart Broad, Kagiso Rabada gets this for his consistency. While Broad has 48 wickets in 14 games, Rabada has 42 in just 8 at 22.23. His efforts against Australia in recently concluded series was absolutely amazing. Rabada's strike rate of 35.3 is best among the bowlers who have taken 20 or more wickets this year. Although you don't expect runs from a number eleven but Rabada is very much capable of hanging around with a set batsman at the other end.


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