3 sides most capable of winning the inaugural Test Championship
Next year begins the final stand in the battle to save Test Cricket. The inaugural Test Championship will see Test playing nations play three home and three away series over a period of 2 years.
The 2 teams with the best record then go on to play in the final, the winner being declared Test Champions. Big cash incentives and less irregular playing schedules are being touted as the catalysts in what will hopefully revive Test Cricket in some countries where the purest form of the game is almost dead.
In this article, I will analyze the 3 teams who are in best position to win the inaugural Test Championship.
3- South Africa
Toughest upcoming series: Away to India, Home to Australia, Away to Pakistan.
Easiest upcoming series: Home to Sri Lanka, Away to West Indies, Home to England.
3 key players vital to South Africas Success:
Dean Elgar had a tough start to his Test Match career. Playing against Australia he scored a pair on debut on a bouncy WACA surface. Things have got better for Elgar since then. He now averages 42.59 in Test Cricket with 11 hundreds and 12 fifties.
What makes Elgar so important to the South African Test team has been his performance over the last 12 months. He scored over 1000 Test runs in the last calendar year. During this time, he scored 5 hundreds and 4 fifties and averaged 53.71.
Elgar scoring runs at the top of the order is crucial for South Africa. With the retirements of Ab De Villiers and Jacques Kallis over the last few years, South Africa will rely heavily on Elgar to be a leader with the bat if they want to win the Test Championship.
Pace, Swing, and attitude. All these qualities are needed to become a good fast bowler. Rabada possesses all of them, in huge amounts. Rabada burst onto the Test Match scene against India in 2015 and has provided wickets in every Test Match he has played since.
Rabada has taken 143 wickets from 30 Tests at an average of 21.43 runs per wicket. The recent retirement of Morne Morkel along with the unclear future of Dale Steyn in Test Cricket means there is a lot of responsibility on the shoulders of Rabada.
If South Africa is to take 20 wickets in a match, many them will need to come from the 23-year-old Johannesburg product.
A stalwart of South African cricket, Hashim Amla is as important as he has ever been to South Africa’s cause. The 117-test veteran has scored 8982 runs at an average of 48.03 in Test Cricket. These numbers include 28 hundreds and 39 fifties in the games longest format.
Despite an unorthodox technique, Amla has become one of the greats of modern era Test Cricket. Amla is capable of scoring runs in all types of conditions. This skill will be especially important on South Africa’s tour of India.
Like Elgar, a lot of responsibility rests on Amla’s shoulders since the retirement of Kallis and de Villiers. If Amla can continue to produce scores for South Africa they are more than capable of winning the test championship.