Cricket Australia names best Test XI of the year, Dimuth Karunaratne to lead

Cricket Australia names best Test XI of the year, Dimuth Karunaratne to lead

Indian Test skipper Virat Kohli didn't find a place in the lineup.

Dimuth Karunaratne
Dimuth Karunaratne. (Photo Source: Getty Images)

Cricket Australia, on Friday, December 31, named their best Test XI for the year 2021. Rohit Sharma and Dimuth Karunaratne feature as the openers in the lineup. Rohit has emerged as an opener in Tests since 2019 and earlier this year, he also notched his maiden Test ton on overseas soil. Karunaratne, on the other hand, had an excellent time in the longest format in 2021.

Back in November, he also guided Sri Lanka to a 0-2 series win over the West Indies. In seven Tests in 2021, the southpaw notched 902 runs from seven matches at an average of 69.38 with a top score of 244. Marnus Labuschagne started weaving magic since August 2019 after being roped in as a concussion substitute of Steve Smith during the Ashes against England.

Joe Root has had a terrible time as a skipper, but he has been excellent as a batter. In fact, he is currently the leading run-scorer of the ongoing Ashes that England are trailing 0-3. Fawad Alam had to wait for 11 long years to make a comeback to Test cricket, but he has grabbed the opportunities with both hands.

Four Indians in Cricket Australia’s list

Rishabh Pant has performed exceptionally in Test cricket over the last 12 months. The knock he played The Gabba to help India retain the Border-Gavaskar Trophy remains of his best at the highest level. Ravi Ashwin and Axar Patel are the specialist spinners in the lineup.

Patel made his Test debut earlier this year against England and has already picked up 36 wickets with five five-wicket hauls. Ashwin, on the other hand, got 54 wickets from nine games and also surpassed Harbhajan Singh’s tally of wickets in Test cricket. Ashwin also got a century against the Brits at the Chepauk earlier this year.

Kyle Jamieson, Hasan Ali and Shaheen Shah Afridi are the specialist fast bowlers in the lineup. Ali and Jamieson are also lethal with the bat in hand, having the capability to clear the ropes at ease.

Here’s the XI

Rohit Sharma, Dimuth Karunaratne (c), Marnus Labuschagne, Joe Root, Fawad Alam, Rishabh Pant (wk), Ravi Ashwin, Kyle Jamieson, Axar Patel, Hasan Ali, Shaheen Shah Afridi