As per the cricket calendar, the year 2023 was eventful. All the cricket-playing nations played cricket across all formats. That year we witnessed a new World Test Championship winner. The Australian squad had their best year. They won the World Test Championship and World Cup. After a successful year, ICC has released the ICC Men’s Test Team of the Year 2023. Australians are ruling the list.
The ICC Men’s Test Team of the Year 2023:
Test cricket is one of the oldest formats of cricket. This form of cricket is the purest. In the year 2023, cricket fans experienced some thrilling Test matches. That year, India and Australia met in the final stage of the World Test Championship. Australia defeated India and won the prestigious trophy. The other teams also showcased their talent.
ICC Men’s Test Team of the Year 2023 contains Usman Khawaja, Dimuth Karunaratne, Kane Williamson, Joe Root, Travis Head, Ravindra Jadeja, Alex Carey (WK), Pat Cummins (C), Ravichandran Ashwin, Mitchell Starc, Stuart Broad.
Heroes of Test Cricket:
Pat Cummins is leading the team as the captain. Undoubtedly, 2023 was one of the best years of his career. Cummins achieved captaincy milestones, securing victory in the World Test Championship and retaining the Ashes. His bowling prowess was evident, topping pacers’ wicket charts with 42 in 11 matches, including a four-wicket haul in the New Year Test. Despite challenges in India, Cummins bounced back in the final. The Ashes saw him shine with a six-for in Leeds. Ending the year on a high, he took five wickets in each innings in the Boxing Day Test against Pakistan. With a stellar performance throughout, Cummins showcased leadership and bowling excellence in a memorable year for Australian cricket.
Alex Carey is the wicketkeeper of the team. Alex Carey dominated as the top wicket-keeper in 2023 with an outstanding 54 dismissals (44 catches, 10 stumpings) in 12 matches. Despite a challenging start with the bat, Carey showcased his resilience in the crucial World Test Championship Final against India. He provided crucial momentum, scoring 44 off 68 in the first innings and an unbeaten 66 in the second, playing a pivotal role in steering the game away from India. Carey’s exceptional performance made him a standout performer behind the stumps and with the bat.
Usman Khawaja is the opener of the team. In 2023, Usman Khawaja stood out as the lone batter to breach 1000 Test runs, amassing 1210 in 13 matches with an average of 52.60. His remarkable tally included six centuries and six fifties. Khawaja commenced the year with a stellar unbeaten 195 against South Africa in Sydney and excelled as the top run-scorer (333 runs) in the Border-Gavaskar series in India. Despite a rough patch in the WTC23 Final, he made a strong comeback in the Ashes, contributing a century and ending the year impressively with five scores of 40+ in six innings.
The next name is Dimuth Karunaratne. Karunaratne showcased leadership in the New Zealand series, notching three fifties in four innings, accumulating 207 runs – the highest for a Sri Lankan on the tour. He continued his impressive form against Ireland, securing centuries in both matches as Sri Lanka achieved a commanding 2-0 whitewash. However, his challenges against Pakistan emphasized his pivotal role as Sri Lanka suffered a 2-0 defeat at home. Despite setbacks, Karunaratne’s contributions and captaincy remain central to the team’s dynamics.
The next player on the list is Kane Williamson. Williamson orchestrated New Zealand’s remarkable triumph against England in Wellington, turning the game around with his 132 after being asked to follow on. His stellar form persisted as the 33-year-old led the Kiwis to victory with an unbeaten 121 against Sri Lanka in a thrilling last-ball finish. The momentum continued with a consecutive century, a double hundred, in the second Test, sealing a comprehensive 2-0 whitewash for New Zealand. Williamson’s exceptional batting played a pivotal role in these victories, solidifying his impact as a key figure in New Zealand’s success.
Joe Root is one of the biggest strengths of the England team. Root kicked off the year impressively, notching three 50+ scores against New Zealand, highlighted by 153* and 95 in the thrilling Wellington match. Adding a fifty against Ireland, Root emerged as a standout for England in the Ashes. Despite starting the series with an unbeaten 118 in Birmingham’s thrilling game (which England lost), he contributed crucially with half-centuries in the remaining Tests, aiding England in securing draws and leveling the series. Root’s consistent and impactful batting marked him as a bright spot for England in a challenging Ashes campaign.
Travis Head was the superstar of the year 2023. His innings in the World Cup final have become unforgettable. But he also showcased his talent in the Test format. In Tests, Head delivered an outstanding performance, ranking third in run tally with 919 runs in 12 matches. The year commenced with a half-century against South Africa at home, but it was in the Border-Gavaskar series in India that he truly shone, earning praise for his adept handling of challenging conditions. Head’s standout moment occurred in the World Test Championship Final at The Oval, where his counter-attacking 163 in the first innings rescued Australia from a tough situation and had a significant impact in overpowering India. Head’s remarkable contributions marked him as a key player in the Test format.
Ravindra Jadeja is the first Indian player on the list. Jadeja had an exceptional start to the year, shining against Australia in Nagpur with a five-wicket haul and a half-century. The momentum continued in the next game, where he secured a remarkable 10-wicket match haul, playing a crucial role in India retaining the trophy. With five more wickets in the series, he carried this form into the World Test Championship Final against Australia, contributing with four wickets and a valuable 48 with the bat, despite India facing defeat. Jadeja carried the same form into the new World Test Championship, taking seven wickets and scoring a fifty against West Indies in the away series.
The second Indian player on the list is Ravichandran Ashwin. Ashwin emerged as India’s top wicket-taker in the Border-Gavaskar series, claiming 25 wickets in four matches. His standout performance included a five-for in the second innings of the first Test, along with valuable contributions with the bat, earning him the Player of the Series accolade. However, on his comeback, he made a significant impact on the Test team, taking 12 wickets (5/60 and 7/71) in the first game against West Indies, and contributing with both bat and ball in the following match with a fifty and three wickets.
Australia’s star bowler Mitchell Starc is next name on the list. Mitchell Starc impressively claimed 38 wickets in nine matches in 2023. While he had a quieter stint in the Border-Gavaskar series with just two wickets in two games, Starc played a crucial role in the WTC23 Final against India, contributing both with the bat and ball. His consistent impact continued in the Ashes, where he secured a five-for in Leeds and a four-wicket haul in each innings at the Oval, leading the series with a total of 25 wickets and earning the Player of the Series award. Starc concluded the year on a high note with nine wickets in two Tests against Pakistan.
The last name on the list is Stuart Broad. Broad started 2023 strong, securing four-wicket hauls in each match against New Zealand and ending as England’s joint-highest wicket-taker (10) with James Anderson. Following a five-for against Ireland, he continued to exhibit his skills against Australia, finishing as England’s leading wicket-taker with 22 wickets. The conclusion of Broad’s career was a fairytale, playing a crucial role in England’s thrilling series draw against Australia.