Nathan Lyon was instrumental in Australia qualifying for the WTC final

3 most crucial players in Australia's journey to WTC final

The highly anticipated ICC World Test Championship (WTC) final got underway between two of the heavyweights of the sport, India and Australia. The summit clash for all the marbles is being played at the Oval in London, starting today.

Australia have been inarguably the most dominant team in ICC events in the last decade. The team narrowly missed qualifying for the WTC final two years ago due to docked points for the slow over-rate in the Melbourne Test against India in the 2020/21 series.


However, the highly motivated Aussies set the record straight this time by finishing atop the points table and comfortably qualifying for the marquee clash.

During the 2021-23 cycle, the Australians recorded an impressive series win in Pakistan and a drawn series in Sri Lanka. The side also decimated opponents at home, winning eight of their 10 Tests in Australia, with the other two being stalemates.

Overall, Pat Cummins and Co. won 11 of their 19 Tests and suffered only three losses in the cycle. Their lone series defeat came at the hands of India in the subcontinent.


The team's emphatic dominance throughout the cycle saw several players put their hands up and deliver at critical times to help Australia qualify for the grand finale.

As we look ahead to the mouth-watering final, let us have a rewind on the three most crucial players in Australia's journey to the WTC final.


#1 Nathan Lyon

Lyon became the first Australian to take 100 wickets against India in Tests.

Australia's third leading wicket-taker in Test history was unquestionably their most valuable player in the WTC 2021-23 cycle.


The 35-year-old veteran was the leading wicket-taker during the WTC cycle, picking up 83 wickets in 19 Tests at an average of 26.97. Lyon's magnificent bowling included five five-wicket hauls and best bowling figures of 8/64 in Australia's famous victory against India at Indore.

The champion off-spinner was Australia's leading wicket-taker in four of their six series in the cycle, including all three subcontinent series' in Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and India.

Nathan Lyon is eighth all-time in the list of leading wicket-takers in Test cricket history, with a staggering 482 wickets in 119 games.

The New South Wales-born cricketer has a tremendous record against several of India's top batters, having dismissed Rohit Sharma ( 8 times), Cheteshwar Pujara ( 13 times), and Virat Kohli ( 7 times) in Tests.

Considering his form and excellent record against India, Lyon will be pivotal for Australia to cross the final hurdle and win their first WTC title.

#2 Usman Khawaja

Khawaja's Resurgence in Test Cricket powered Australia this WTC cycle.

Usman Khawaja was Australia's best batter in the WTC 2021-23 cycle, scoring 1,608 runs in 16 matches at an impressive average of 69.91. The elegant left-hander is second in the leading run-scorers chart for the cycle and boasted the best average among those with over 1,000 runs.

After going through a lean phase in Test cricket since 2019, Khawaja did not feature in Australia's playing XI for the first three Tests of the Ashes.

However, the southpaw grabbed his opportunity with both hands when he finally featured in the fourth Test, scoring twin centuries at the Syndey Cricket Ground.

The 36-year-old has not looked back since as he top-scored for Australia, with 496 runs in three Tests, in their famous 1-0 series victory in Pakistan. Khawaja was also adjudged the Player of the Series as the Aussies recorded their first series win in Asia since 2011.

The opening batter was also crucial in Australia's most recent series in India, as he led both teams in scoring with 333 runs at an average of 47.57.


Usman Khawaja's battle with India's new ball bowlers, Mohammed Shami and Mohammed Siraj, could go a long way in dictating the outcome of the final.

#3 Marnus Labuschagne

Labuschagne has been Australia's best Test batter since making his debut in 2018.

Marnus Labuschagne is the fourth-leading scorer in the 2021-23 WTC cycle, with 1509 runs in 19 matches at an average of 53.89.

The top-ranked Test batter was consistent throughout the cycle with five centuries, including a double ton against the West Indies. Labuschagne was the Player of the Series in Australia's 2-0 rout of the West Indies and finished as their second-leading scorer in three of the other five series.

The talented No.3 boasts an excellent record in England, averaging over 50 with four half-centuries in seven innings.

Since making his Test debut in 2018 against Pakistan, Labuschagne has been a model of consistency, averaging a stunning 57.52 in 37 matches.

Check out India Squad for World Cup 2023 & South Africa Squad for World Cup 2023. Follow Sportskeeda for latest News.

Edited by
Ankush Das
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