Wisden has termed Pakistani wicketkeeper-batsman Mohammad Rizwan as the man for all situations, while including him in it’s Current World Test XI.
A select Wisden panel has picked a world Test XI, based on both current form and their overall record. It was up to the panel to decide on the balance of the side, as well as the batting order.
The panelists included managing editor of Wisden.com Ben Gardner, Wisden.com features writer Taha Hashim, and Wisden India editor Aadya Sharma.
Wisden’s current world Test XI includes Rohit Sharma (India), Marnus Labuschagne (Australia), Joe Root (England), Steve Smith (Australia), Kane Williamson (New Zealand) (c), Mohammad Rizwan (Pakistan) (wk), Ravindra Jadeja (India), Ravichandran Ashwin (India), Pat Cummins (Australia), James Anderson (England) and Jasprit Bumrah (India).
Rohit Sharma (43 matches, 3,047 runs @ 46.87, 8 100s): Rohit’s got the record and he’s got the technique. It would be interesting to know whether he would have got in before his bumper series in England, though. At that point he’d looked promising in Australia and had all the home runs, but would we have felt then that he was nailed on? I don’t know. He has been doing well at home, but to do well in Australia and then in England seals the deal for me.
Marnus Labuschagne (18 matches, 1,885 runs @ 60.80, 5 100s): He averages more than 70 at number three, beyond the already incredible average of 60, and I had to get him in somewhere.
Joe Root (101 matches, 9,278 runs @ 50.15, 23 100s): He’s had a phenomenal year so he’s in form and he’s also got the career record to tell us that this isn’t just a one-off.
Steve Smith (77 matches, 7,540 runs @ 61.80, 27 100s): Smith just has to get in this team.
Kane Williamson (85 matches, 7,230 runs @ 53.95, 24 100s) (c): He has the record and the big thing he’s added to the CV this year, he’s captained the side that won the World Test Championship. With The Big Four, it felt justified to leave Kohli out because it’s been two years since his last century, but with the other three, I couldn’t look past them.
Mohammad Rizwan (17 matches, 914 runs @ 41.54, 1 100) (wk): You can just rely on him in any situation. He’ll score whatever type of runs you need and he’s very good technically. This was partly based on his white-ball form but the manner in which he’s scored his white-ball runs suggests that he is a man for all situations. The one thing that works against Rizwan is the fact that he’s only played 17 Tests, but he does average 42 across those matches which is pretty good.
It’s Rizwan for me. Rishabh Pant was obviously a great batsman but the only thing that comes with him is that doubt over his consistency. Rizwan has great technique and could do really well across conditions, across attacks.
Ravindra Jadeja (56 matches, 227 wickets @ 24.96): His evolution as a cricketer in the last two or three years, particularly as a lower-order batsman who can bring the team up when the chips are down – he’s done really well.
Ravichandran Ashwin (79 matches, 413 wickets @ 24.56): He’s done so well recently and it seems like he continues to get better. There was always this question mark over his overseas record. But the way he bowled in Australia showed he’s the complete bowler now. It was a pity we didn’t see that in England.
Pat Cummins (34 matches, 164 wickets @ 21.59): He’s almost like Glenn McGrath but a bit quicker. He doesn’t depend on seam movement or swing, he just recognises that if you’re quick enough and honing in on that top-of-off area, you can contribute wherever.
James Anderson (166 matches, 632 wickets @ 26.62): He continues to be one of the best bowlers in the world and his numbers over the last one-and-a-half years speak for themselves.
Jasprit Bumrah (24 matches, 101 wickets @ 22.79): Bumrah doesn’t go for many runs and he can change the game in an instant by taking the pitch completely out of the equation.