The first-ever World Test Championship has been concluded and it was nothing short of world-class entertainment towards the end. Many teams fought until the end, but only India and New Zealand were the two sides that could make it. Over the two years, many players stood above the rest, but some failed to deliver to the expectations.
But what if the combined XI of the WTC final was to play with the XI of all the other countries?
Here’s the list of the best XI of the inaugural World Test Championship tournament:
1) Rohit Sharma
Probably the best player for India in the tournament. He packed in massive runs throughout these two years. Although a major portion of his runs came at home, he’s been nothing short of excellent. He even smashed a double hundred against South Africa and provided solid starts to India all along.
2) Dimuth Karunaratne
Although he’s not the most talked-about player in this regard, he’s been nothing short of exceptional. He proved to be the sole performer for Sri Lanka and scored runs in tough conditions consistently. He scored 999 runs with an average of 55 and manages to take the opening spot along with Rohit Sharma in this list.
3) Steve Smith
Undoubtedly the best test player in the world. He shows his class over and over again in the toughest of conditions against the toughest of bowlers. He single-handedly buried a side like England in the Ashes and picked up the pace while facing India in the later stages of the series. He piled up a mammoth 1341 runs with an average of 63 in this tournament.
4) Marnus Labuschagne
Marnus Labuschagne admires Steve Smith for a reason. His unusual behaviour while batting but solid technique sets him apart from his peers. He made it to the list ahead of players like Babar Azam and Virat Kohli for a reason. He scored 1675 runs with an average of over 72. He came in as a concussion substitute for Steve Smith in the Ashes and has never looked back since. He lit up the Ashes and now is a regular starter for Australia.
5) Kane Williamson (C)
The captain of this side, Kane Williamson grabs the No.5 spot with ease. He played a massive role in the WTC final and made New Zealand win a major ICC Trophy. There’s a glare about his batting which separates him from the rest. He scored close to 1000 runs with an average of over 55 and was the top scorer in the final.
6) Ben Stokes
Without a doubt, the best all-rounder in the game, he’s done things that normal people can’t do. The innings he played at Leeds against Australia was above genius. Throughout the World Test Championship, he’s been phenomenal. He took 34 wickets with an average of 26.2 and scored 1334 runs with an average of 46.
7) Rishabh Pant (WK)
Rishabh Pant takes up the wicket-keeping spot ahead of Jos Buttler and Quinton de Kock, that’s because he’s played some outrageous innings in the most difficult situations with a better average. His innings to make India win the series against Australia remains as one of the prime highlights of the tournament. He played with an attacking intent and his counter-attacking approach proved to be vital for Team India.
8) Pat Cummins
The best test bowler in the world, Pat Cummins takes up the No.8 spot. He’s been truly excellent in this tournament and has taken wickets consistently. He’s taken 70 wickets with an average of 21 and to be honest, it can’t get better than this. He gives 100% in each of his deliveries ad places the ball in tough areas as well. Whether it be the Ashes or the series against India, he was brilliant and kept taking wickets.
9) Ravichandran Ashwin
The only spinner to make the list, Ravi Ashwin has been the prime wicket-taker for India. He has been brilliant in the home games, especially against England in the 2nd test match of their tour to India. He was very good in the finals as well and did more than enough in the competition to make it to the list ahead of the likes of Nathan Lyon or Dom Bess.
10) Stuart Broad
The English veteran makes up for the No.10 spot. He’s taken 69 wickets with an average of 20 and has been immensely impressive with his ball placements. Players like David Warner had no answers for him as he kept dismissing David Warner over and over again. He’s been the top wicket-taker for England and was one of the major reasons why they were so close to getting a spot in the finals.
11) Tim Southee
Tim Southee has shown exceptional swing bowling in the tournament. His outswingers, along with the occasional straighter ones have disrupted the batsmen a lot. He took 57 wickets in the tournament and 6 wickets in the final and controlled the bowling attack with the likes of Kyle Jamieson, playing a huge role in the maiden championship win for the Kiwis.
This lineup is purely based on the performances in the WTC 2021-2023. It has the potential to take on the lineup of the rest of the countries easily and also, this line-up looks like a significantly formidable team.