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Test XI of 2022: ‘Bazball’ exponent Ben Stokes leads pace-heavy eleven

Test Playing XI of 2022: Ben Stokes leads the team, Rishabh Pant makes a cut as wicket-keeper.

Ben Stokes lead England to 3-0 series win in Pakistan | Walking Wicket (©Matthew Lewis/Getty Images)
Stokes lead England to 3-0 series win in Pakistan (©Matthew Lewis/Getty Images)

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)

Matches

Runs

Average

HS

100s/50s

11

1080

67.50

160

4/5

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)

Matches

Runs

Average

HS

100s/50s

7

687

62.45

160

2/5

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.

WTC 2021-23, ENG vs NZ, 1st Test, Day 4_ Joe Root's 115_ helps England win. Joe Root completes 10,000 runs in Test Cricket _ Walking Wicket (Images ©Getty)
Joe Root had a good year as a batsman in 2022 (Images ©Getty)

Joe Root (England)

Matches

Runs

Average

HS

100s/50s

15

1098

45.75

176

5/2

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)

Matches

Runs

Average

HS

100s/50s

9

1184

69.95

196

4/7

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)

Matches

Runs

Average

HS

100s/50s

10

1061

66.31

162

6/1

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.


WTC 2021-23, Eng vs NZ 2nd Test, Top Performances_ Ben Stokes' 75_ in 2nd innings takes England home against New Zealand _ Walking Wicket (©ICC_Getty Images)
Ben Stokes scored 870 runs in 2022 for England in Tests (Source: ©ICC/Getty Images)

Ben Stokes (England) - Captain

Matches

Runs

Average

HS

100s/50s

Wkts

B Ave

BF

15

870

36.25

120

2/4

26

31.19

4/33

Ben Stokes is an ideal candidate to be called as the captain of the year for the way he transformed England’s Test team along with head coach Brendon McCullum. In the 10 Tests he has led England, he has won 9 of them including an overseas series whitewash win over Pakistan, the first by any touring side to the sub-continental nation in the longest format.


Stokes’s contribution to the team across departments of the game can never be understated. The England captain made 870 runs to go along with 26 wickets he has taken from 15 Tests.



Rishabh Pant (India) - Wicketkeeper

Matches

Runs

Average

HS

100s/50s

Ca/St

7

680

61.82

146

2/4

23/6

Rishabh Pant is a dream player to have for any Test captain and the left-hander had another impactful year this year as a batter. Having started with a stunning century at Newlands against South Africa in the beginning of 2022, a game where rest of his teammates failed, Pant took the England team on at Edgbaston with a 111-ball 146.


Though India lost both the games, no other wicketkeeper batter had a better 2022 than Pant.



Kagiso Rabada (South Africa)

Matches

Wkts

B Ave

BF

5w/10w

Strike Rate

9

47

22.26

5/52

2/0

34.17

The pace spearhead of South Africa, Kagiso Rabada, is the leading wicket-taker in Tests in 2022. Though not having a great time in other formats, Rabada enjoyed success in red-ball cricket. Playing a key role in South Africa’s win over India, the pacer maintained his form throughout the year and helped the team win a game each in New Zealand and England.


Marco Jansen (South Africa)

Matches

Wkts

B Ave

BF

5w/10w

Strike Rate

8

36

19.03

5/35

1/0

35.81


Marco Jansen, who made his debut in the home series against India in late 2021, made a significant contribution for the Proteas in 2022. First, his 19 wickets in his debut series against India helped the team win it by a margin of 2-1, and was equally impressive on South Africa’s subsequent tours to New Zealand and England as well. In 2022, Jansen took 36 wickets at an average of just over 19 and is one of bright spots in what was otherwise a forgettable year for South Africa in Test match cricket.


The 22-year-old is not a pushover with the bat either and has made some crucial contributions to the side as a lower-order batter.



Nathan Lyon (Australia)

Matches

Wkts

B Ave

BF

5w/10w

Strike Rate

11

47

29.06

6/128

3/0

63.94

The veteran off-spinner keeps finding a way to be amongst the wickets even in the most unresponsive conditions. Though having a tough tour of Pakistan where pitches were really flat, Nathan Lyon found success on Australia’s tour of Sri Lanka and the home series against West Indies and South Africa.


James Anderson (England)

Matches

Wkts

B Ave

BF

5w/10w

Strike Rate

9

36

19.81

5/60

1/0

48.97

Like Nathan Lyon, James Anderson keeps getting better and better as he ages. The veteran pacer in his 40s continues to rule the roost when it comes to Test cricket. As usual, he did a wonderful job in the home Tests against New Zealand, India and South Africa; but it was stunning to see his ability to keep the Pakistan batters at bay on the batting paradise pitches of Rawalpindi and Multan.


The pacer took 36 wickets and has many more left in the tank.


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