Harsha Bhogle reveals his Test XI of 2021; picks One West Indian player

The year 2021 saw a lot of cricket through the Test and T20 models. Test cricket stood out among all the formats played throughout the year, with many teams focusing on the T20 format due to the T20 World Cup 2021.

Cricket commentator Harsha Bhogle has picked his Test team of 2021, featuring players who shined in their respective roles this year. Bhogle has gone with a maximum of three stars from India, followed by two from Pakistan, and one each from England, Australia, Sri Lanka, West Indies and New Zealand.

Speaking on Cricbuzz, To start with he has gone with Rohit Sharma and Dimuth Karunaratne as openers. Rohit was excellent throughout the year in the longest form of the sport also scoring his first away century in England. On the other hand, Sri Lanka’s Test skipper Karunaratne has been one of the few consistent performers for his team.

“When I saw him (Dimuth Karunaratne) first, I thought there is something about Karunraratne. And he was the most frustrating players to watch up and down the order. Finally, he hot runs behind him, but I’ve gone with two players. I thought Rohit Sharma was a standout opening batsman this year, always good in home conditions, but in England this year, he was in a different league,” said Bhogle

Rohit, who started opening the innings in 2019, has finished the year with 906 runs in 11 matches. The right-handed batsman hit 2 centuries and 4 half-centuries in the year. Karunaratne averaged 69.38 for his 902 runs in only 7 matches.

Marnus Labuschagne, who has been in the form of his life of late, is next on Bhogle’s list. He has 525* runs in 5 matches so far. He can add to his tally before the end of the year. Labuschagne has a solid average of 75.00 this year.

Joe Root and Fawad Alam are next on Bhogle’s list. Root, the only batsman with over 1000 runs in the year, has scored 1680* runs so far. His tally includes 6 centuries.

Rishabh Pant, the 4th highest run-scorer in 2021, has been named the wicketkeeper-batsman. He has 706* runs in 12 matches this year.

Bhogle picked proper all-rounders in the form of Jason Holder and Ravichandran Ashwin. Holder bagged 22 wickets in eight matches and scored 362 runs with two fifties. Ashwin, on the other hand, rocked the bowling charts by claiming the highest 52 wickets this year in just 8 matches and made 337 runs, including one century and a fifty.

“I looked for seam bowling all-rounders, and I couldn’t look further than Jason Holder. He didn’t concede runs, and I think he is a proper batsman coming in at number seven. Number eight is my spinner, and there was one spinner who was better than everybody else. In fact, in many ways, he was probably the all-rounder of the year. I’ve gone with Ravichandran Ashwin at number eight,” asserted Bhogle.

Jason Holder and R Ashwin are two all-rounders in the squad. Holder, who lost Test captaincy earlier in the year, scored 362 runs and dismissed 22 batsmen in 8 Tests. Ashin, the only bowler to scalp over 50 wickets in 2021, has 52* wickets in his account. He also scored 337* runs at 28.08.

Shaheen Afridi, Anrich Nortje and Kyle Jamieson are three pacers in Bhogle’s Test team of 2021. Afridi has 47 scalps while Nortje dismissed 25 batsmen in 5 Tests. Jamieson, who played 5 Tests in 2021, scalped 27 wickets.

Here’s Harsha Bhogle’s Test XI of 2021: Rohit Sharma, Dimuth Karunaratne, Marnus Labuschagne, Joe Root, Fawad Alam, Rishabh Pant (WK), Jason Holder, Ravi Ashwin, Shaheen Afridi, Anrich Nortje, Kyle Jamieson


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