England and Australia dominate ICC Test Team of the Year ahead of Ashes

England and Australia are well represented in the ICC Men’s Test Team of the Year ahead of this summer’s Ashes series.

Three England players and four Australia stars were picked by a specialist panel of media representatives that make up the ICC Voting Academy.

In 2022, Australia enjoyed another productive year in Test cricket, consolidating their place at the top of the ICC World Test Championship standings.

Four of their players feature in the Test XI, including top-ranked batter and bowler Marnus Labuschagne and Pat Cummins.

England also thrived in red-ball cricket after Ben Stokes and Brendon McCullum took over the side, with Stokes joined in the ICC’s team by James Anderson and Jonny Bairstow.

The voting panel opted for an opening partnership of Australia’s Usman Khawaja and West Indies’ Kraigg Brathwaite.

Khawaja’s Test recall could hardly have gone any better and the 36-year-old racked up 1,080 runs at an average of 67.50 in 2022.

ICC Men’s Test Team of the Year

1 Usman Khawaja (Aus)

2 Kraigg Brathwaite (WI)

3 Marnus Labuschagne (Aus)

4 Babar Azam (Pak)

5 Jonny Bairstow (Eng)

6 Ben Stokes (c) (Eng)

7 Rishabh Pant (wk) (Ind)

8 Pat Cummins (Aus)

9 Kagiso Rabada (SA)

10 Nathan Lyon (Aus)

11 James Anderson (Eng)

Brathwaite impressed despite West Indies’ struggles, scoring hundreds against England and Australia including a superb rearguard 110 in Perth.

Labuschagne, who made his international debut during the 2019 Ashes, scored more than 500 runs in four innings during the series against West Indies and finished 2022 with almost 1,000 runs.

Pakistan captain Babar Azam was selected at No. 4 having scored four centuries – against England, Australia, New Zealand and Sri Lanka – and seven half-centuries in the calendar year.

Bairstow enjoyed one of the great English summers, making four centuries and an unbeaten 71 in five successive innings against New Zealand and India. He also scored an Ashes ton at the start of the year and a hundred in the Caribbean, before being ruled out of the T20 World Cup and Pakistan series through injury.

Stokes’ batting and bowling stats are far from extraordinary but the Durham all-rounder was selected after turning a struggling England side into one of the most formidable teams in the world.

England had won just one of their last 17 Tests under Joe Root but looked revitalised under Stokes, beating New Zealand, South Africa and India at home and securing a historic whitewash in Pakistan.

More to follow…

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