The ICC has announced their Test Team of the Year for 2022, and there are many familiar faces within the XI, including all-time leading England Test wicket-taker James Anderson and number-one ranked Test batsman Marnus Labuschagne.
Here is a look at the XI and some of its highlights in 2022.
Usman Khawaja (Australia)
Batsman Usman Khawaja made a return to the Australia Test team for the home Ashes series against England and he reminded the world of his talent, scoring a century in both of his innings of the Fourth Test.
Khawaja followed that on with a strong year with the bat for the Baggy Greens, scoring a total of 1,080 runs at an average of 67.50. He has also started 2023 well with a strong performance against the Cricket South Africa team.
Kraigg Brathwaite (West Indies)
West Indies had an excellent home series win over England in early 2022 and their captain Kraigg Brathwaite played a big role in that success. He hit 160 in an inning in the Second Test of that series, as you can read in the Reuters report.
Later in the campaign, the opening batsman scored a century against Australia, capping off a great year.
Marnus Labuschagne (Australia)
Labuschagne strengthened his position as the number one player in the ICC Test rankings with 957 runs in 2022.
He had an excellent series against the West Indies during his country’s summer. The Australian has now scored 10 centuries in 33 Test matches. It is going to be fascinating to see how he fares in the Ashes in 2023 where his Cricket Australia team could face Jofra Archer.
Babar Azam (Pakistan)
Pakistan captain Babar Azam is a regular in the ICC teams of the year in all formats of the game.
Last year, he scored 1,184 runs in total. He also hit four centuries, with each coming against different opponents. Azam showed his class against Australia and England, two of the highest-ranked teams in the ICC Test rankings.
Jonny Bairstow (England)
It was a huge year for Jonny Bairstow in England’s middle order of their Test team. Bairstow is usually known for his skills in white-ball cricket, however, he showed he is also strong in the red-ball arena, with five centuries going his way.
The pick of his innings was a 136 from 92 balls to help seal a series win over New Zealand, as documented in the BBC Test match report.
Ben Stokes (England)
England captain Ben Stokes has led his country to a run of nine wins from their last 11 Test matches. His team now plays in the style he has enjoyed throughout his career. Stokes scored 870 runs and picked up 32 wickets in Test cricket in 2022.
His leadership skills cannot be quantified, but it is clear England’s revival is largely down to their brilliant captain. Stokes opted to retire from ODI cricket for the ECB team in 2022 in order to concentrate on the Test game.
Rishabh Pant (India)
India’s wicket-keeper Rishabh Pant averaged 61.81 in 2022, with 680 runs coming from his 12 innings at the crease in Test cricket. Pant has cemented his place behind the wicket in the India team, and he has a big future ahead.
Pat Cummins (Australia)
Australia captain Pat Cummins has steered his country to the top of the ICC Test rankings. His leadership skills have shone through in 2022, while with the ball, he has consistently picked up wickets, with 36 going his way in the matches he played during the year.
Kagiso Rabada (South Africa)
South Africa’s Kagiso Rabada has had a great year in all three formats of the game. He particularly enjoyed the conditions in England during his side’s Test series back in the summer. The South African is currently playing in the inaugural SA20 league for the MI Cape Town.
As of January 24, Cape Town and Rabada are +400 in the Betway betting to win the T20 competition.
Nathan Lyon (Australia)
With 47 wickets in Test cricket in 2022, it was another fantastic year for Australian spinner Nathan Lyon. He enjoyed himself in all conditions through the winter and summer months, but most of his success came in Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
James Anderson (England)
England’s greatest-ever Test bowler James Anderson is 40 years old now, but he remains one of the elite seamers in the five-day game. With 36 wickets from nine matches, it is no surprise he made this list again.
As well as taking wickets, Anderson’s economy was an impressive 2.42, which says a lot about the line and lengths he bowled.
The highlights of the Test calendar in 2023 include the final of the World Test Championship and the Ashes series between England and Australia.