Apart from some of the most exciting Test matches, 2021 has also been a tremendous year for some batters across the different teams. England skipper Joe Root is the highest run-getter this year, while Sri Lanka captain Dimuth Karunaratne has the best average among players who have scored more than 500 runs.
Speaking about the top batters of 2021, former India opener Aakash Chopra has picked his top five batters of 2021 on his YouTube channel. Chopra went with two Indians, and one each from Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and England. Starting with the fifth position, Chopra named Pakistan batting sensation Fawad Alam.
Alam played 9 matches this year, scoring 571 runs at an average of 57 with the help of three hundreds and two half-centuries. While picking Alam, Chopra said: “Fawad Alam is there in the five names I have picked. He had faded into oblivion, but he has not stopped once he has made a comeback. He is grabbing every opportunity with both hands.”
After Alam, the cricketer-turned-commentator picked Sri Lankan batter Lahiru Thirimanne, who had a memorable year, especially with his notable overseas performances. Thirimanne played seven matches and scored 659 runs at an average close to 51 with two tons and four fifties.
“Another name which is there in my mind is Lahiru Thirimanne. He has played against South Africa in South Africa, against England in England, against West Indies in West Indies and against Bangladesh at home,” said Chopra.
Following Thirimanne, Chopra went with two Indians in the form of Rishabh Pant and Rohit Sharma to fulfil the third and second place, respectively. Both Pant and Rohit had produced terrific shows in 2021.
Pant’s heroics in the Border-Gavaskar Trophy and Rohit’s excellent display in England helped them earn goodwill among the cricket fraternity. This year, Rohit is the second-highest run-getter (906 in 11 matches), while Pant is at the fourth position with 706 runs in 11 games.
“The third name in the list is Rishabh Pant. It is unbelievable that he is the fastest visiting wicketkeeper to reach 500 runs in Australia in Tests. The fourth name on my list is Rohit Sharma. He has been absolutely sensational. This is Rohit Sharma’s watershed year as a Test cricketer,” added Chopra.
For the number one position, Chopra picked England captain Joe Root. The 44-year-old heaped praises on the Englishman for his double centuries in both Sri Lanka and India and opined he was the best batter of 2021.
“The fifth name is Joe Root. The double century at Chennai in the first Test and a double century in Sri Lanka, back-to-back centuries against India in England. He has been a player par excellence. In my opinion, Joe Root has to be the best Test batter of 2021,” Chopra added further.