Cricket in 2018: CricTracker fans’ Test XI of the year
The fans have picked a few surprising names in this XI.
Updated - Jan 3, 2019 5:42 pm
With some riveting cricket action, the longest format of the game surely attracted a lot of attention in 2018. The fans were indulged in Test cricket and thoroughly enjoyed it. With the bowlers performing so well, there were results possible in most of the matches thus leaving the aficionadi with something to cheer.
Moreover, the fact that the visiting teams did well to change the set-trend in the whites. While England whitewashed Sri Lanka in their own den, Team India competed so hard to in South Africa and England and ended the year with a 2-1 lead in Australia and have a real chance of winning their first ever Test series down under.
As we have entered into 2019, Crictracker ran a poll on its website asking the enthusiasts to pick the best Test XI of 2018. There were several responses to the same and the fans voted for their favourite cricketers.
Note: We have picked this XI purely based on the votes from the fans.
Here’s the Fans’ Test XI of 2018:
Openers (Tom Latham, Alastair Cook)
New Zealand’s Tom Latham and former English cricketer Alastair Cook were chosen to open the innings. The former amassed 658 runs in just 7 games at an average of 60 and also recorded the highest score (264*) of the year. His partner Alastair Cook though didn’t have the best of times. He scored 516 runs in 10 Tests and struggled in a majority of the innings. However, the left-hander finished on a high with a century against India in his last Test.
Middle-Order (Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Jos Buttler, Henry Nicholls)
The number three batsman picked is India’s Cheteshwar Pujara. The right-hander had a memorable 2018 with centuries in Australia and England. He batted for long hours, got through the testing phases and scored 837 runs in 13 matches at an average of 38. Following him is the run-machine and his captain Virat Kohli. Virat was yet again the leading Test run-scorer with 1,322 runs in 13 games at an average of 55. He struck five centuries in 2018.
The next pick by the fans is the English wicket-keeper batsman Jos Buttler. Having made a comeback into Tests last year, he escalated up the ranks quickly to evolve into a crucial member in the England line-up. He was also promoted as the vice-captain of the side and went on to score 760 runs in 10 matches. Buttler finished the year as the fifth highest run-scorer.
Another Kiwi batsman, Henry Nicholls was picked in this XI to bat at number six. Nicholls added a lot of stability to the New Zealand line-up with his exploits down the order. He accumulated 658 runs in 7 games at an average of 73.
Wicket-keeper (Rishabh Pant)
India’s wicket-keeper Rishabh Pant was the next pick which sprung up as a small surprise. Pant did have his times of brilliance. He is definitely capable of much more and could have brought out more good performances. But, he rather threw his wicket away on quite a few occasions and the year should be a huge learning curve for him. Pant’s century in the fifth Test against England is one of the best you’ll ever see. He scored 537 runs in 8 games at an average of 38.
Bowlers (Nathan Lyon, Kagiso Rabada, Mohammad Abbas, Jasprit Bumrah)
Australia’s Nathan Lyon is the lone spinner who was picked in the XI. The 31-year-old gulped down 49 wickets in 10 Tests and bowled over 600 overs in the year. South Africa’s Kagiso Rabada, Pakistan’s Mohammad Abbas and India’s Jasprit Bumrah will form the pace attack. The troika was brilliant in their own respects and brought out some of the best performances for their respective teams.
Rabada was the highest Test wicket-taker in 2018. He gunned down 52 batsmen with his brilliant bowling in a total of 10 Test matches. Mohammad Abbas was another one of those highly impressive bowlers. The 28-year-old is one of the fastest to reach the landmark and got there bowling at an unbelievable average. In 2018, he picked 38 wickets in 7 games at an average close to 14.
Jasprit Bumrah was one of the best bowlers for India in the year. It never seemed as if it was his debut year as he bowled with great precision and was always bang on target. With 48 wickets in nine matches, he finished as the highest wicket-taker for his country and will round up this Test XI.
CricTracker’s Fans’ Test XI: Tom Latham, Alastair Cook, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Jos Buttler, Henry Nicholls, Rishabh Pant, Nathan Lyon, Kagiso Rabada, Mohammad Abbas, Jasprit Bumrah.