ICC Men's Test Team of the Year 2022 announced, Ben Stokes named captain

Wicketkeeper-batter Rishabh Pant is the only Indian player in the XI.

Ben Stokes and Anderson
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Ben Stokes and Anderson. (Photo Source: Matthew Lewis/Getty Images)
Vaishnavi Iyer
VAISHNAVI IYER

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The International Cricket Council (ICC), on Tuesday, January 24, announced their Men’s Test Team of the Year and named England’s red-ball skipper Ben Stokes as their team’s leader. Only one Indian player made it to ICC’s best XI as Rishabh Pant was included in the team as the wicketkeeper-batter. The XI is dominated by Australian players as ICC named four cricketers in their best combination.

Australian power-hitter Marnus Labuschagne and India’s Rishabh Pant are the only two players who were also a part of the ICC Men’s Test Team of 2021. While there were a total of three Indian players last year, it has reduced to one this time. England’s Test cricket witnessed a massive upsurge ever since Ben Stokes took over the leadership role, and thus the all-rounder has been named the captain by ICC.

Australia’s Usman Khawaja and West Indies skipper Kraigg Brathwaite made it to the XI as the team’s opening batters. Khawaja made a brilliant comeback to the format in 2022, and put up consistent performances for his side. Brathwaite was the team’s standout player when they defeated England in 2022. He finished the year scoring 687 runs from 14 innings at a great average of 62.45.

One of the finest top-order batters in the current era, Marnus Labuschagne finished with 957 runs in 2022 at an average of 56.29. The 28-year-old also notched up three centuries and a double century in the 19 innings that he played. Though Pakistan have been struggling to make it big in Test cricket, skipper Babar Azam has been one of the most consistent players in their camp. He finished the year with four centuries to his name and amassed 1184 runs at an average of 69.94.

Despite the injury, England’s Jonny Bairstow enjoyed some memorable outings in 2022. Before being ruled out of the team due to a broken leg, Bairstow notched up six centuries in the format in the 10 matches that he played, and showcased some of his finest Test performances. Thanks to his 269 runs partnership with Joe Root, where he scored 114* against India, England completed their highest-ever successful fourth-innings chase, scoring 378/3 at a rate of nearly five runs per over.

Ben Stokes managed to impress both with the bat as well as the ball. Test cricket in England saw a major transformation under his leadership, and thus he has been rightfully picked as the captain by ICC. Rishabh Pant emerged as a fine Test cricketer and amassed 680 runs in 12 innings while maintaining an average of 61.81. He was equally good while donning the gloves too.

Australia’s Pat Cummins, South Africa’s Kagiso Rabada, Australian spinner Nathan Lyon and England’s pace spearhead James Anderson complete ICC’s Test XI of the Year. While Cummins stole the show while playing against Pakistan in Lahore last year, Rabada enjoyed a sensational year with the ball, scalping 47 wickets from mere nine games.

Giving a tough competition to every other bowler in the current era, Nathan Lyon finished the year 2022 with 47 wickets to his name from 11 matches and put up equally powerful performances in both home and away games. Anderson needs no introduction. He has defied all odds over the years, and has proved time and again that age is just a number. The 40-year-old is the oldest player in the ICC XI, yet the most effective one.