2017 is few days away from commencement and in the cricketing fraternity, some action packed tours and tournaments are up for the grabbing for the fans. 2016 has been one hell of an year and there has been drama and entertainment in every form, let it be the Test or the Limited overs format.
Hence, lets take a look at the players who make to the cricspirit.com’s Test team of the year.
Steve Smith has been in exceptional form this year, but missed out of the Test team of the year by a whisker. Though Australia have not had a memorable season, Smith’s individual performances should definitely make him proud. He piled up 924 runs(and counting) in the 11 Tests that he has played at an average of over 60.
Azhar Ali and Alastair Cook make it to the side as the openers. Both these gentlemen had a wonderful time with the bat in 2016. David Warner is one name that many might feel should be in, but he had a relatively poor Test campaign this year.
Azhar Ali is currently being rated as the best batsman in the Pakistani line up these days. The way he has been piling up runs even in the most difficult of circumstances helped Pakistan briefly take the top spot in ICC Tets rankings. He notched up 1,155 runs(and counting) in the 11 matches he played this year. He also registered a triple-ton this year, just adding to his glittering tally.
Alastair Cook and his troops had a disastrous finish to 2016, losing 4-0 to India. But not many can disregard how good their skipper has been with the bat. He went past 11,000 runs this year and amassed 1270 runs in the 17 Tests he played. He is the 3rd highest run scorer in Tests this year.
Joe Root, Virat Kohli, Moeen Ali and Jonny Bairstow will take up the number 3, number 4, number 5 and number 6 slots respectively.
Joe Root, the highest run scorer of the year 2016, is without a shadow of a doubt the first choice number 3. His aggressive and audacious approach ensures the team scores at a good rate and though his conversion rate from 50 to 100 is not that great, his consistency is something which gives him a place.
Virat Kohli will be the captain of this incredible side. His Indian side in 2016 remained undefeated and with 9 wins out of 12 Tests, he is the first choice to lead the side. He also amassed 1215 runs in 12 Tests, which includes three double hundreds against West Indies, New Zealand and England.
Moeen Ali in the middle order has been one of the stand out performers of the year for England. His composure has helped him get runs in every corner of the world. He and Virat Kohli are the only players in 2016 to score 4 Test hundreds.
Jonny Bairstow (Wicket Keeper) is in the form of his life currently and he will be performing the wicket-keeping duties for this side. His versatile nature with the bat makes him a priceless number 6 batsman. He ended 2016 with 1470 runs, the second highest run tally behind Root.
Ravichandran Ashwin, the ICC Cricketer of the year 2016, will be the all-rounder in the side. His batting ability provides the flexibility that every captain dreams of. He scored 612 runs with the bat at an average of 43.71. He is also the highest wicket taker in 2016. He picked up a whopping 72 wickets this year in 12 Tests.
Yasir Shah, Kagiso Rabada, Mitchell Starc and Neil Wagner will be the front line bowlers.
Mitchell Starc is a name that no one can dare to miss out. His consistency with the ball is simply outstanding, considering a fact that he had to face so many injuries the last two years. In 8 Tests, the fiery speedster had picked up 46 wickets(and counting), which indeed is spectacular.
Yasir Shah is currently competing with Ashwin for the “Best Spinner” title and undoubtedly, Pakistan’s success this year would have been impossible without his contributions. Yasir Shah picked up 44 wickets(and counting) in 10 Tests this year.
Kagiso Rabada has been in superlative form for South Africa this year and has played a vital role in helping South Africa beat Australia 2-1 in Australia. He picked up 43 wickets(and counting) in just 9 Tests this year. The youngster with his raw pace, has been petrifying even the best of batting line ups this year.
Neil Wagner in the side might come in as a surprise for many, but his stellar form this year is something that cannot be overlooked. He picked up 41 wickets in just 9 Tests this year and has been picking wickets on all types of tracks.