The International Cricket Council (ICC) on Tuesday announced the Men’s Test Team of the Year 2023 with five Australian players and two Indian spinners featuring in the eleven. Australia’s World Test Championship-winning captain Pat Cummins was crowned as the skipper of the team while Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja found their way into the team. Usman Khawaja’s rich vein in form saw him feature in the ICC Men’s Test Team of the Year for a second consecutive year. He ended 2023 as the highest scorer in Tests, becoming the only batter to get past the 1000-run mark. The left-handed batter amassed 1210 runs in 13 matches at an average of 52.60, which included six centuries and six fifties. Sri Lanka’s Dimuth Karunaratne was named the other opening batsman despite having played only six matches in 2023.
During Sri Lanka’s away series against New Zealand, the experienced batter scored three fifties in four innings and amassed 207 runs. Overall, he scored 608 runs at an average of 60.8.
He also scored two tons against Ireland and played a crucial role in Sri Lanka’s dominant 2-0 series win.
New Zealand’s Kane Williamson, who had a slow start, went on to score 695 runs in red ball cricket.
Williamson was at his best during New Zealand’s win against England in Wellington with his 132. His scintillating knock inspired the Kiwis to a one-run win over the Three Lions. He continued to ride high on confidence and struck three centuries in a row. He converted a century into double hundred in the second Test against Sri Lanka.
England’s Joe Root featured in the ICC Men’s Test Team of the Year for the fourth time in his career and also remains in contention for the Men’s Test Player of the Year award.
Root kicked off the year on an impressive note with three 50-plus scores against New Zealand which also included 153* and 95.
He scored a fifty against Ireland in the one-off Test and began the Ashes series with 118* in Birmingham as England ended on the losing side.
After going through a barren run in the next two Tests, he returned to form and helped England finish the Ashes on level terms.
Australia’s match-winner Travis Head had a memorable outing in 2023 across all formats. The left-handed batter stood out exceptionally in the red-ball format scoring 919 in 12 matches.
Head’s moment of the year came in the WTC final as he shone against India by inspiring Australia with his heroic knock of 163 in the first innings.
India’s star all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja made his way to the team with his handy contributions from hand and the ball. The experienced all-rounder stood out in the Test series against Australia with a five-wicket haul and a half-century in Nagpur. He then went on to claim a 10-wicket haul in the next game.
Australia’s Alex Carey will take the role behind the stumps following his remarkable year with the gloves. With 54 dismissals, no wicketkeeper had more dismissals than Carey in 2023.
He had a forgetful start to the year with the bat but showed grit against India in the WTC final. Carey scored 44 off 68 in the first innings and 66* in the second which helped Australia take the game away.
Cummins had a dream year as everything he touched turned to gold. He led Australia to WTC glory and then to record-extending World Cup glory.
The Australian skipper led the wicket-takers charts for pacers with 42 wickets in 11 matches. He had his ups and downs throughout 2023 but capped off his exceptional year with a five-wicket haul in each innings in the Boxing Day Test against Pakistan.
India’s experienced spinner Ravichandran Ashwin was the leading wicket-taker for India in the Border-Gavaskar Trophy. He was awarded the Player of the Series, but even his stellar performance couldn’t clinch him a spot in India’s playing XI for the WTC final.
He made a comeback in the Test team with 12 wickets against West Indies.
Australia’s Mitchell Starc was named alongside his compatriot Cummins as the second pacer. The left-arm pacer secured an impressive 38 wickets in nine matches in 2023.
After failing to impress in the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, the left-arm pacer rose on the occasion by taking four wickets and also putting up a crucial 41 in the second innings during Australia’s WTC victory.
Starc dominated the Ashes as he led the charts in the series bagging 25 wickets in total and taking away the Player of the Series award.
England’s experienced pacer Stuart Broad, who announced retirement from international cricket, was lethal in the final year of his career.
He made headlines with a four-wicket haul in each match against New Zealand. He finished the series as the leading wicket-taker for England with 10 wickets.
He capped off his career by taking the final wicket during England’s closely fought contest in the final game of the Ashes against Australia.
ICC Men’s Test Team of the Year: Usman Khawaja, Dimuth Karunaratne, Kane Williamson, Joe Root, Travis Head, Ravindra Jadeja, Alex Carey, Pat Cummins, Ravichandran Ashwin, Mitchell Starc, Stuart Broad.
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