Veteran cricket commentator Harsha Bhogle has revealed his Test team of 2022, picking players who shined in their respective roles last year. While speaking on Cricbuzz, Bhogle went with a maximum of four stars from England, two from Australia and South Africa, and one each from India, Pakistan and the West Indies.
Starting with the openers, Bhogle picked Australia’s Usman Khawaja and West Indies skipper Kraigg Brathwaite. Both Khawaja and Brathwaite performed exceptionally well for their respective sides. While Khawaja made 1080 runs from 11 matches at an average of 67.50, including four hundreds and five half-centuries, Brathwaite scored 687 runs in 7 games at 62.45 with the help of 2 centuries and 5 fifties.
For the middle order, Bhogle picked former England skipper Joe Root, Pakistan captain Babar Azam and the English attacking batting duo of Jonny Bairstow and Ben Stokes. All four batters finished 2022 on the top-10 leading run-getters list. While Babar and Root captured the first two spots with 1184 and 1098 runs, respectively, Bairstow was the fourth-highest run-getter (1061), and Stokes finished in the seventh position with 870 runs.
The only Indian picked by Bhogle was Rishabh Pant, who was also given the wicketkeeping duties. Notably, Pant was also the leading run-scorer for India in 2022, amassing 680 runs from seven Tests at an average of 61.81, including a couple of hundreds and four half-centuries.
Amongst the bowlers, Bhogle went with the South African pair of Kagiso Rabada and Marco Jansen, along with England’s James Anderson, to form a lethal pace attack. Aussie tweaker Nathan Lyon was the lone spinner in the side.
Rabada was the highest wicket-taker of 2022, taking 47 scalps in just nine matches. He shared the wickets tally with Lyon, who played 11 games last year. Similarly, Jansen and Anderson were the fifth and sixth leading wicket-taker of 2022. While Jansen picked up 36 scalps from eight matches, Anderson also picked up the same number of scalps with one Test more than the Proteas left-armer.
Harsha Bhogle’s Test Team of 2022:
Usman Khawaja, Kraigg Brathwaite, Joe Root, Babar Azam, Jonny Bairstow, Ben Stokes, Rishabh Pant (wk), Marco Jansen, Kagiso Rabada, Nathan Lyon, James Anderson.