2017 in Review: Cricadium’s Test team of the year

#3 Cheteshwar Pujara

Cheteshwar Pujara
Cheteshwar Pujara

At No.3, it had to be Cheteshwar Pujara. The Indian right-hander proved to be the batsman to rely on in any state of the game. Although Virat Kohli grabbed all attention with his flamboyant centuries, Pujara kept piling on the runs quietly and ended up being the leading run-getter for the side in the year.

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A total of 1140 runs in 18 innings at an average of 67.05 with 4 centuries make for an outstanding year for the modern day wall of Indian cricket. Even though India played mostly at home this year but Pujara is the one batsman India would bank upon heavily in the overseas tours coming up next year.

Pujara’s Batting Stats in 2017

Matches Innings Runs Highest Score Average 100s 50s
11 18 1140 202 67.05 4 5

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The year 2017 has come to end and it's been one heck of a year for Test cricket. The longest format of the game, which seemed to have lost its sheen in the past few years, got a rejuvenation with some wonderful contests across the globe. It started with a closely fought Border-Gavaskar series in India in which Australia began on a winning note but the hosts came back to win 2-1 and regained the trophy. Against all odds, West Indies won a Test match against Pakistan and then pulled off a historic win against England at Leeds. Bangladesh created history by winning their first ever Test against Australia and Zimbabwe almost stunned Sri Lanka in their own backyard. India defeated Sri Lanka both home and away and Sri Lanka surprised everyone by beating Pakistan 2-0 in the UAE and above all, Australia regained the Ashes by winning the first 3 Tests. We witnessed some outstanding performances throughout the year and we at Cricadium have come up with the best XI of Test cricket for the year. It features players who stood above the rest and forced the world to turn their eyes towards them.

Here's Cricadium's Test team of the year

#1 Dean Elgar

Dean Elgar
Dean Elgar
The South African opener has had a tremendous year as he scored 1097 runs from 20 innings of 11 Tests at an average of 70.43. He notched up 5 hundreds and 2 fifties and was the most consistent opening batsman throughout the year. He scored centuries against Sri Lanka, New Zealand, England and Bangladesh. It was a year where the openers didn't have a great time but Elgar was the standout performer at the top. For the first choice opener, we don't have to look beyond him. Prior to 2017, the left-hander was not a certain commodity in the Protean line-up but with his wonderful run, he has ensured his place at the top.

Elgar's Batting Stats in 2017

Matches Innings Runs Highest Score Average 100s 50s
11 20 1097 199 54.85 5 4

#2 David Warner

David Warner
David Warner
This is perhaps the toughest choice of picking the second opener in the side as there weren't too many who grabbed the attention throughout the year. Indian openers Shikhar Dhawan, Murali Vijay and KL Rahul scored a few runs but none of them played a lot of matches consistently. So, amongst the bunch of remaining openers around the world, someone who makes the strongest case to be picked is David Warner. Although he didn't have an altogether a great year as per his standards yet his 808 runs from 10 games with 3 centuries secured him a place in the Test team of the year.

Warner's Batting Stats in 2017

Matches Innings Runs Highest Score Average 100s 50s
10 19 808 123 44.88 3 3

#3 Cheteshwar Pujara

Cheteshwar Pujara
Cheteshwar Pujara
At No.3, it had to be Cheteshwar Pujara. The Indian right-hander proved to be the batsman to rely on in any state of the game. Although Virat Kohli grabbed all attention with his flamboyant centuries, Pujara kept piling on the runs quietly and ended up being the leading run-getter for the side in the year. A total of 1140 runs in 18 innings at an average of 67.05 with 4 centuries make for an outstanding year for the modern day wall of Indian cricket. Even though India played mostly at home this year but Pujara is the one batsman India would bank upon heavily in the overseas tours coming up next year.

Pujara's Batting Stats in 2017

Matches Innings Runs Highest Score Average 100s 50s
11 18 1140 202 67.05 4 5

#4 Steve Smith

Steve Smith
Steve Smith
Steve Smith, a batsman who stood well above the rest in the longest format of the game had a tremendous 2017. He scored runs in all the conditions that he encountered. Starting from the century he made on a square-turner in Pune against India that helped the Australians win the match. Then in the Ashes, where he accumulated runs at will and literally toyed with the English bowlers. The Aussie skipper played a pivotal role in Australia regaining the urn by winning the first 3 Test itself. He has a mighty average of 70.43 and 1127 runs in the bag and with him set to play one more Ashes Test this year, he has a great chance of ending up as the leading run-getter of 2017.

Smith's Batting Stats in 2017

Matches Innings Runs Highest Score Average 100s 50s
10 18 1127 239 70.43 5 2

#5 Virat Kohli

Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli
There is an ongoing debate about who is the best batsman in Test cricket currently and while a lot of experts rate Steve Smith above all, Virat Kohli, another competitor of his, has churned out an excellent record this year. The Indian skipper accumulated 1059 runs at a colossal average of 75.64. He started the year with a double hundred against Bangladesh but went off the radar a bit in the series against Australia. But he made a strong comeback and scored 4 more hundreds in the year that included 2 back to back double centuries against Sri Lanka. Additionally, his captaincy has been outstanding as India lost just 1 Test in 2017 and strengthened the position as the top-ranked Test side in the world.

Kohli's Batting Stats in 2017

Matches Innings Runs Highest Score Average 100s 50s
10 16 1059 243 75.64 5 1

#6 Mushfiqur Rahim

The wicketkeeper's slot in the XI is occupied by Bangladesh's Mushfiqur Rahim. His side had a tough year as they traveled to countries like New Zealand, India, Sri Lanka and South Africa. He began with a magnificent 159 in New Zealand and then 127 against India. He played some useful knocks in Sri Lanka as well and Bangladesh managed to win the first ever Test against Sri Lanka. Under his leadership, arrived the biggest moment in the country's cricketing history when Bangladesh defeated the mighty Australians for the first time in Test cricket and Rahim was massively responsible for that. Even though Australia managed to draw the series by winning the second Test, yet a 1-1 result was astonishing for Bangladesh.

Rahim's Batting Stats in 2017

Matches Innings Runs Highest Score Average 100s 50s
8 16 766 159 54.71 2 3

#7 Ben Stokes

Ben Stokes
Ben Stokes
Ben Stokes has been in the news for all the wrong reasons this year. He got arrested for being involved in a brawl on a street of Bristol and consequently, he missed out on a berth in the English Ashes squad. His absence has hurt England deeply who have lost the Ashes by going down in all the 3 Tests so far. But if we look at Stokes's record prior to the incident that got him in trouble, the all-rounder has produced some great numbers. With the bat, he amassed 527 runs with 2 centuries and picked up 16 wickets in 7 Tests. Despite playing a lesser number of Test matches that what he should have played, he has produced stats that are good enough for him to secure the all-rounder's slot in the best Test team of the year.

Stokes's Batting Stats in 2017

Matches Innings Runs Highest Score Average 100s 50s
7 12 527 112 43.91 2 4

Stokes's Bowling Stats in 2017

Matches Innings Wickets Best Bowling Average Strike Rate 5 Wickets
7 13 16 22/6 31.31 58.6 1

#8 Ravindra Jadeja

Ravindra Jadeja
Ravindra Jadeja
The left-arm spinner had a magnificent year with the bowl and for the spinner's slot in the best Test XI, he had a tough competition from his spin-partner Ravichandran Ashwin. Both had similar stats as far as the bowling is concerned. Where Ashwin bagged 56 wickets from 10 Tests, Jadeja accounted for 54 wickets in an equal number of games. But where Jadeja got the edge over Ashwin was his performances with the bat. He scored 328 runs at an average of 47 batting at No.8 and produced crucial knocks at critical stages of the matches. For a large part of the year, he was the No.1 ranked bowler in the world until James Anderson overtook him. He is currently ranked No.3 ahead of Ashwin who occupies the next slot.

Jadeja's Batting Stats in 2017

Matches Innings Runs Highest Score Average 100s 50s
10 14 328 70* 41 0 4

Jadeja's Bowling Stats in 2017

Matches Innings Wickets Best Bowling Average Strike Rate 5 Wickets
10 20 54 63/6 20.96 38.5 3

#9 Nathan Lyon

Nathan Lyon
Nathan Lyon
The spinners from non-Asian countries are usually judged on the basis of what they do while bowling in Asia. Nathan Lyon, for that matter, bowled so many overs in such conditions and came up with some astonishing numbers. In the 4 Tests he played in India, he bagged 19 wickets. When the Australians traveled to Bangladesh, he claimed a whopping 22 wickets in just 2 Tests and ended up being the Man of the Series. In the ongoing Ashes series, he has accounted for 14 wickets from 3 Tests and has played a key role in Australia regaining the Ashes and he is also the leading wicket-taker of the year so far.

Lyon's Bowling Stats in 2017

Matches Innings Wickets Best Bowling Average Strike Rate 5 Wickets
10 19 60 50/8 22.91 50.6 5

#10 Kagiso Rabada

Kagiso Rabada
Kagiso Rabada
The 22-year-old tall pacer had impressed everyone with his sheer pace and the ability to swing the ball. But 2017 has been his breakthrough year where he proved his worth in the longest format of the game as well. South Africa did not have the services of Dale Steyn this year but Rabada ensured that his side was not missing the veteran. A total of 54 wickets in 10 matches at a strike rate of 38.5 makes for a wonderful year for the fast bowler. He will be a key bowler at the start of the next year when South Africa host the number one side in the world - India for series across all formats.

Rabada's Bowling Stats in 2017

Matches Innings Wickets Best Bowling Average Strike Rate 5 Wickets
10 18 54 55/6 20.96 38.5 3

#11 James Anderson

James Anderson
James Anderson
While most fast bowlers are at the fag end of their careers at the age of 35, James Anderson continues to rise in the stature. This year, he has had a terrific run for the England team where he became the first bowler from the country to pick up 500 Test wickets. He bagged a total of 54 wickets at an amazing average of 16.86. He played instrumental roles in the victories over South Africa and West Indies at home. Even though England haven't had a great time in the Ashes yet the No.1 ranked bowler has been the leading wicket-taker for his side with 12 wickets from 3 Tests.

Anderson's Bowling Stats in 2017

Matches Innings Wickets Best Bowling Average Strike Rate 5 Wickets
10 19 51 42/7 16.86 43.1 4
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