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World Test Championship

Wisden’s World Test Championship XI: The players unlucky to miss out

by Wisden Staff 3 minute read

Following Sri Lanka’s 1-0 series win over Bangladesh, Wisden’s Rohit Sankar picked out a team based on performances in the league stage of the World Test Championship.

Here are a few names who were unfortunate to miss out on a place in the XI:

Tim Southee

10 WTC Tests, 51 wickets @ 20.66

Somewhat overshadowed by new kid on the block Kyle Jamieson, Southee has been key in New Zealand’s journey to the World Test Championship final – Pat Cummins and Stuart Broad are the only quicks with more wickets in the competition. Beyond his usual excellence at home, Southee was integral in helping New Zealand to an innings victory away to Sri Lanka with match figures of 6-78.

Josh Hazlewood

11 WTC Tests, 48 wickets @ 20.54

Hazlewood’s finest WTC performances have had a sense of unfortunate timing. At Headingley he took nine wickets but it was Ben Stokes who stole the match and headlines. At Adelaide, he took 5-8 to bowl India all out for 36, but it was the visitors who would go on to take the series in stunning fashion. Still, such individual brilliance should not go unignored.

Joe Root

20 WTC Tests, 1,675 runs @ 47.42

The second-highest run-scorer in the WTC league stage, Root provided a reminder of his talents at the start of 2021: back-to-back hundreds against Sri Lanka delivered a series win, while a double-century against India led England to a memorable victory at Chennai.

Babar Azam

10 WTC Tests, 932 runs @ 66.57

Incredibly unlucky not to feature in the XI. Babar barely put a foot wrong in the WTC, with four of his five Test tons so far delivered in the new competition. The return of Test cricket to Pakistan brought the best out of him – he racked up scores of 102*, 60, 100* and 143 in his first four Test innings on home soil.

Mohammad Rizwan

12 WTC Tests, 741 runs @ 46.31 | 32 dismissals

Pipped by Rishabh Pant to the wicketkeeper’s slot, Rizwan has enjoyed a stellar rise across forms since Pakistan’s tour Down Under at the end of 2019. The diminutive keeper-batsman found form with the bat in Australia, England and New Zealand during the WTC and hit his maiden Test century at home against South Africa in Rawalpindi earlier this year.

Ravindra Jadeja

10 WTC Tests, 469 runs @ 58.62 | 28 wickets @ 28.67

One of the game’s premier all-rounders, the numbers above show Jadeja’s immense value to the Indian set-up. He averaged 71 with the bat at home while his contributions in both departments were vital in helping India beat Australia 2-1 away from home.

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