The World Test Championship (WTC) cycle 2019-2021 ended earlier this month with New Zealand lifting the coveted mace. Over the two and a half years, fans saw spectacular action from all the teams and praiseworthy performances that turned the course of the match.
Former Australian spinner Brad Hogg has picked his best XI based on the show put up by players during the WTC cycle.
For the opening slot, he chose India’s Rohit Sharma and Dimuth Karunaratne of Sri Lanka.
Interestingly, Australian star David Warner, who had scored a triple century during the WTC cycle, wasn’t given a chance since Karunaratne had proved his mettle by piling runs in the overseas Tests.
Hogg then selected New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson and Australia’s Steve Smith. He left out premier batters like Virat Kohli, Joe Root and Marnus Labuschagne.
Labuschagne’s exclusion came as a shock since he was the highest run-getter in the WTC cycle. Williamson was crowned as the captain of this side.
Hogg then nominated Pakistan premier batsman Babar Azam for the number five spot, whereas England all-rounder Ben Stoke was favoured over others for the number six position.
For the wicket-keeping position, Hogg took India’s Rishabh Pant. The 23-year-old had fared extremely well during the Border Gavaskar Trophy 2020/21 when he single-handedly won the Gabba Test for his side. The Roorkee-born scored a crucial 40 during the second innings of the WTC final.
Notably, Hogg, who was a spinner himself, only commissioned a solitary tweaker – Indian ace Ravichandran Ashwin. For the unversed, Ashwin ended as the highest wicket-taker during the WTC cycle.
The remaining three slots were taken by Kyle Jamieson, Stuart Broad and Mohammed Shami. Jamieson showed a lot of character during the finale and was also awarded the ‘Player of the Match’ as he bagged seven scalps. Broad has been the mainstay of the England team, whereas Shami stunned all with his swing and posed some difficult questions for the New Zealand batters during the summit clash.
Brad Hogg’s WTC Team of the Tournament:
Rohit Sharma, Dimuth Karunaratne, Kane Williamson (c), Steve Smith, Babar Azam, Ben Stokes, Rishabh Pant (wk), Kyle Jamieson, Ravichandran Ashwin, Stuart Broad, Mohammed Shami.