Test Team of the Year 2023: A Look at the Best Performers in Red-Ball Cricket

As 2023 draws to a close, it’s time to reflect on the standout performers in Test cricket over the past year. The Test Team of the Year is a testament to the skill, dedication, and consistency displayed by these players in the longest format of the game. Let’s take a closer look at each player who has earned a spot in this prestigious lineup based on their outstanding performances in 2023.

Usman Khawaja:

  • Runs: 1210
  • Innings: 24
  • Average: 52.60
  • Centuries: 3, Fifties: 6
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Australia’s Usman Khawaja had a stellar year in red-ball cricket, amassing 1210 runs in 24 innings at an impressive average of 52.60. His consistency at the top of the order was key for Australia, with three centuries and six half-centuries to his name. Khawaja’s standout performances include a magnificent 195* against South Africa in Sydney, a brilliant 180 against India in Ahmedabad, and a classy 141 versus England in Birmingham.

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As 2023 draws to a close, it's time to reflect on the standout performers in Test cricket over the past year. The Test Team of the Year is a testament to the skill, dedication, and consistency displayed by these players in the longest format of the game. Let's take a closer look at each player who has earned a spot in this prestigious lineup based on their outstanding performances in 2023.

Usman Khawaja:

  • Runs: 1210
  • Innings: 24
  • Average: 52.60
  • Centuries: 3, Fifties: 6

Australia's Usman Khawaja had a stellar year in red-ball cricket, amassing 1210 runs in 24 innings at an impressive average of 52.60. His consistency at the top of the order was key for Australia, with three centuries and six half-centuries to his name. Khawaja's standout performances include a magnificent 195* against South Africa in Sydney, a brilliant 180 against India in Ahmedabad, and a classy 141 versus England in Birmingham.

Zak Crawley:

  • Runs: 606
  • Innings: 15
  • Average: 43.28
  • Centuries: 1, Fifties: 3

England's Zak Crawley may not have been as consistent as Khawaja, but his impact in crucial moments cannot be overlooked. In 15 innings, Crawley scored 606 runs at an average of 43.28, including one century and three fifties. His standout innings was a breathtaking 189 off 182 balls against Australia in Manchester, a display of his potential as a top-order batsman.

Joe Root:

  • Runs: 787
  • Innings: 14
  • Average: 65.58
  • Centuries: 2, Fifties: 5

Former England captain Joe Root had a prolific year with the bat, amassing 787 runs in 14 innings at an outstanding average of 65.58. Root's innings were characterized by grit and determination, with two centuries and five half-centuries to his credit. His unbeaten 153 and 95 in the Wellington Test against New Zealand showcased his ability to lead from the front even in challenging conditions.

Kane Williamson:

  • Runs: 695
  • Innings: 13
  • Average: 57.91
  • Centuries: 4

New Zealand's senior batsman and former captain, Kane Williamson, led from the front with the bat, scoring 695 runs in 13 innings at an average of 57.91. Williamson's calm and composed batting style was on display throughout the year, with four centuries to his name. His innings of 132 against England in Wellington and 121 not out against them in Christchurch were particularly memorable.

Travis Head:

  • Runs: 919
  • Innings: 23
  • Average: 41.77
  • Centuries: 1, Fifties: 5

Australia's Travis Head was a standout performer in both red and white-ball cricket in 2023. He scored 919 runs in 23 innings at an average of 41.77, including one century and five fifties. Head's century came in the World Test Championship (WTC) final, where he scored a crucial 163 off 174 balls to help Australia secure a memorable victory.

Jonny Bairstow (wicketkeeper):

  • Runs: 919
  • Innings: 23
  • Average: 41.77
  • Centuries: 1, Fifties: 5

England's Jonny Bairstow provided stability to the middle order and behind the stumps, scoring 332 runs in nine innings at an average of 40.25. His ability to adapt to different situations was evident in his innings, including a run-a-ball 78 in Birmingham and an unbeaten 99 off 81 in Manchester.

Ravindra Jadeja:

  • Wickets: 33
  • Innings: 14
  • Average: 19.39
  • Five-wicket hauls: 2

Batting:

  • Runs: 281
  • Innings: 9
  • Average: 35.12

India's Ravindra Jadeja was a force to be reckoned with both bat and ball in Test cricket in 2023. He claimed 33 wickets in 14 innings at an impressive average of 19.39, with two five-wicket hauls. With the bat, he contributed 281 runs in nine innings at an average of 35.12, showcasing his all-round abilities. Jadeja's standout performance was his 7/42 against Australia in Delhi, where he dismantled the opposition batting lineup.

Mitchell Starc:

  • Wickets: 34
  • Innings: 15
  • Average: 31.50

Australia's left-arm paceman, Mitchell Starc, was a potent force with the ball, picking up 34 wickets in 15 innings at an average of 31.50. Starc's ability to generate pace and swing troubled batsmen throughout the year. His standout performance was his 5/78 against England in Leeds, where he showcased his ability to pick up crucial wickets.

Pat Cummins (Captain):

  • Wickets: 37
  • Innings: 18
  • Average: 29.89
  • Five-wicket hauls: 2

Australia's pace spearhead, Pat Cummins, was instrumental in Australia's success in Test cricket in 2023, picking up 37 wickets in 18 innings at an average of 29.89. Cummins' ability to consistently trouble batsmen with his accuracy and variations was crucial for Australia. His standout performances include his 6/91 against England in Leeds and his 5/48 against Pakistan in Melbourne.

Stuart Broad:

  • Wickets: 38
  • Innings: 16
  • Average: 26.28
  • Five-wicket hauls: 1

England's veteran fast bowler, Stuart Broad, had a memorable year with the ball, claiming 38 wickets in 16 innings at an average of 26.28. Broad's experience and skill were on display throughout the year, with impactful performances in key matches. His standout performance was his 5/51 against Ireland at Lord's, where he showcased his ability to pick up wickets in helpful conditions.

Nathan Lyon:

  • Wickets: 47
  • Innings: 16
  • Average: 23.17

Australia's off-spinner, Nathan Lyon, narrowly missed out on a spot in the playing XI but was a key performer for Australia in 2023. Lyon claimed 47 wickets in 16 innings at an average of 23.17, showcasing his ability to pick up wickets consistently. Lyon's experience and guile were crucial for Australia in challenging conditions.

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