Test Playing XI of 2022: Ben Stokes leads the team, Rishabh Pant makes a cut as wicket-keeper.
It is that time of the year where we put together a select XI based on the impact each of the players created in their respective spots. We have had plenty of cricketing action this year and Test cricket may have gotten a fresh lease of life with the advent of the aggressive approach known as “Bazball” from England.
But the gruelling, testing and grinding nature of Test cricket still remained intact and the year 2022 has been given a lot of moments to cherish for the observers of the game.
We list down the Test Team of the year for the year 2022.
Test XI of 2022
Usman Khawaja, Kraigg Brathwaite, Joe Root, Babar Azam, Jonny Bairstow, Ben Stokes (C), Rishabh Pant (WK) Kagiso Rabada, Marco Jansen, Nathan Lyon, James Anderson, Pat Cummins (12th Man)
How the members of the Test XI fared in 2022
Usman Khawaja (Australia)
Usman Khawaja, the Australia opener, played a pivotal role in the team which is once again on the path of ascendency at the Test level. They won almost everything this year and Khawaja has played a key role in their campaign. The opener was making comeback after three long years in Test cricket and quickly created an impact, scoring twin centuries at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) against England at the beginning of the year, and followed it with two more centuries on the away tour of Pakistan which the Aussies eventually won.
Khawaja was the player of the series in Pakistan and his comeback to the Australian team has been sensational.
Kraigg Brathwaite (West Indies)
Kraigg Brathwaite, the West Indies captain, has led his team from the front as a batter but seldom got support from the rest of his teammates. They did win two Test series this year at home against England and Bangladesh, respectively, but West Indies’ overseas record still remains abysmal.
But personally for Brathwaite, he has been consistently amongst runs and his terrific century at the fast bouncy Perth wicket against a quality Aussie attack shows his immense talent as a batter.
Overall, it has been a productive year for the West Indies skipper.
Joe Root (England)
Joe Root, post the Covid-era has been batting on a different level in Test cricket and he continued the same in the year 2022 as well. After a tough Ashes 2021-22, Root bounced back in style with two centuries against West Indies, and followed it up with three more in the Bazball era against New Zealand and India (two of them in high profile successful run-chases).
Root extended his habit of making big daddy hundreds as he made 5 of them in 15 matches in 2022.
Babar Azam (Pakistan)
If any player has improved leaps and bounds as a Test player in 2022, it has to be the Pakistan skipper Babar Azam. Though the team has not won any home Tests this year, Babar Azam has been the pillar of strength for Pakistan in Test matches in 2022, and looks set to continue on that track.
Azam has made 1184 runs this year in Tests and is the leading run-getter in Tests. Though most of his runs came on the flat tracks of Pakistan, it is heartening to see him fulfilling his immense potential in Test cricket.
Jonny Bairstow (England)
Jonny Bairstow is the pioneer of Bazball theory and can be credited as the trailblazer for the cause of changing England’s fortunes in Test cricket. He has made 6 centuries this year and only a freak injury before the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2022 could stop his momentum in Test cricket.
Bairstow made twin centuries in the one-off Test against India not long after scoring two centuries against New Zealand. Despite missing the Pakistan tour, Bairstow has left a solid impression in the longest format of the game.
Ben Stokes (England) - Captain