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How a World Test XI could line up in 2020

  • Last played in 2005, here is how a World Test XI could line up in 2020
  • It's 15 years since a World Test XI last took to the field
Ben Winfield
Modified 18 Mar 2020, 16:58 IST

Virat Kohli and Joe Root are considered two of the world
Virat Kohli and Joe Root are considered two of the world's finest batsmen

It has 15 years since an ICC World Test XI last took to the field, when they played a one-off Test match against Australia who then had one of the all-time great Test sides.Back then it was an Australian side that featured the likes of Ricky Ponting, Shane Warne, and Glenn McGrath, while the World XI included Brian Lara, Jacques Kallis, and Muttiah Muralitharan.

On the pitch, it was a one-sided affair. Matthew Hayden top scored in both innings for Australia, included a century in the first innings, while Stuart MacGill took nine wickets in the match as the Australians ran out victorious by 210 runs.

It was initially planned that a World XI side would play the top Test match side in the world every four years, but that never materialised. However, what if there were to be a World XI in 2020? This is how an XI of the world’s best Test match players would line up in 2020.

Dean Elgar | South Africa

Dean Elgar has become one of Test cricket
Dean Elgar has become one of Test cricket's most consistent opening batsmen

Dean Elgar is one of the few old fashioned openers still playing the game. He is one of those players who will look to protect his wicket at all costs, and is happy to wait for the opportunity to score runs to present themselves, and not go looking for them. He is one of just a couple of players in this team who don’t play any white ball cricket at international level, and he has certainly benefitted from that.

Also see – IPL schedule

Elgar has a good record in Test cricket, having scored 3,888 runs at an average of a little under 40, as well as scoring 12 centuries.

Dimuth Karunaratne | Sri Lanka

There does seem to be a lack of quality openers in Test cricket at the moment. For England, no one has really stepped up to replace Alastair Cook since his retirement, although Dominic Sibley has certainly shown promise. For India, the partnership of Mayank Agarwal and Rohit Sharma has potential, although both need to prove themselves in tougher conditions overseas. David Warner would certainly have made this side a couple of years ago, but having scored just 95 runs in five Ashes Tests, his powers are certainly waning.

One man who is a solid and consistent opener is Dimuth Karunaratne, who has become an important player for Sri Lanka in Test matches. He, like Elgar, is a rather old fashioned Test match batsman, although he does play a little more white ball cricket. He has scored 4,524 Test match runs at an average of just over 36, with nine hundreds.


Note: All statistics are as of March 18, 2020

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Published 18 Mar 2020, 10:55 IST
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