Harsha Bhogle picks his Test XI of 2021, includes Ashwin, Pant and Rohit Sharma
Ashwin is the only spinner picked in the side.
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Despite a lot of uncertainties around due to COVID-19, 2021 year witnessed a lot of cricket across Test and T20 formats. Many teams focused on the T20 format due to the World Cup that was to be played while Test cricket continued to stand out among all formats with a lot of matches played throughout the year. It is that time of the year now where experts pick the best combined XI of the year and Harsha Bhogle has joined the bandwagon.
England and Australia are still involved in the Boxing Day Test in Melbourne currently while India and South Africa will also lock horns in Centurion later in the day. These two Tests will mark the end of cricketing action in 2021. However, Harsha Bhogle’s team of the year, picked on Cricbuzz, won’t change much it seems as he has selected his XI already.
To start with, he has gone with Rohit Sharma and Dimuth Karunaratne as openers. Rohit was excellent throughout the year in the longest form of the sport also scoring his first away century in England. On the other hand, Sri Lanka’s Test skipper Karunaratne has been one of the few consistent performers for his team.
Harsha packs his team with a star-studded middle-order
The renowned commentator then went on to pick Marnus Labuschagne, Joe Root and Fawad Alam in the middle-order. While Labuschagne has continued to impress and become the number 1 batter in ICC Test rankings, Root has led from the front for England smashing record runs already in a calendar year. Fawad Alam was exceptional for Pakistan after having finally got a consistent run. He amassed 571 runs in nine Tests at an average of 57.10.
Next up in Harsha Bhogle’s team was wicketkeeper-batter Rishabh Pant while Jason Holder grabbed the only all-rounder’s position thanks to their good show in 2021. Ravi Ashwin was the third and final Indian in the XI. The off-spinner has emerged as the top bowler despite missing four Tests in England this year.
Harsha went on to pick Shaheen Afridi, Anrich Nortje and Kyle Jamieson in the three-man pace attack supported by Holder as well. Shaheen was literally on fire throughout the year while Nortje troubled batters with his pace and swing. Jamieson was one of the main reasons why New Zealand defeated India in the World Test Championship Final at Lord’s.
Here’s Harsha Bhogle’s Test XI of 2021: Rohit Sharma, Dimuth Karunaratne, Marnus Labuschagne, Joe Root, Fawad Alam, Rishabh Pant (WK), Jason Holder, Ravi Ashwin, Shaheen Afridi, Anrich Nortje, Kyle Jamieson
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