Australian players dominate ICC Men's Test XI of 2023, 2 Indian cricketers included

Australia v India - ICC World Test Championship Final 2023: Day Five
Australia national cricket team. (Credits: Getty)

The International Cricket Council (ICC) recently announced the Test team of the year, with world champions Australia dominating the line-up. Pat Cummins, who had a year to remember, has been named captain, with four of his fellow countrymen also part of it. A couple of Indians have also found spots in the line-up.

With red-ball cricket at the international level carrying extra relevance due to the ICC World Test Championship (WTC), every team brought their A-game and no teams rested their star players. Thus, some of the best batting and bowling performances apart from cliffhangers will be part of folklore.

ICC's Test team of 2023

Top-order: Usman Khawaja, Dimuth Karunaratne, and Kane Williamson

Usman Khawaja. (Image Credits: Getty)
Usman Khawaja. (Image Credits: Getty)

Usman Khawaja continued his purple patch that started with his comeback in the Sydney Test of the 2021-22 Ashes series. The left-hander made it to the ICC Test team of the year for the second consecutive time running, finishing 2023 as the highest run-getter. He mustered 1210 runs in 13 matches at 52.60, including three centuries with a best of 195*.

Dimuth Karunaratne has been rock solid for Sri Lanka in the past few years. The southpaw stood out amid an ordinary year for the Lankans in Test cricket. He accumulated 608 runs in six matches at 60.80, including two centuries, headlined by a best of 179.

Former New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson has been chosen to bat at No.3 in the ICC's line-up, having amassed 695 runs in seven Tests in 2023. One of Williamson's best innings of the year was when he struck 132 in Wellington against England after Ben Stokes enforced the follow-on. The Kiwis eventually won the game and the series.

Middle order: Joe Root, Travis Head, Ravindra Jadeja, and Alex Carey (wk)

Ravindra Jadeja (Image Credits: Getty)
Ravindra Jadeja (Image Credits: Getty)

England's Joe Root ended 2023 as the fifth-highest run-getter in Tests in 2023, hitting 787 runs in eight Tests at an average of 65.58. The Yorkshire batter notably began the 2023 Ashes series with aplomb, striking 118 at the Edgbaston. He finished the series as the third-highest run-getter, amassing 412 runs in nine innings at 51.50.

Travis Head crowned his unforgettable 2023 with a match-winning hundred in the first innings of the World Test Championship (WTC) final, earning the Player of the Match award. Head was also brilliant as an opener, replacing David Warner since the second innings of the Delhi Test in early 2023. The South Australian finished the year with 919 runs in 12 matches, averaging 41.77.

Ravindra Jadeja is one of the most underrated middle-order performers in Tests and averaged 35.12 in seven matches. The Saurashtra all-rounder's left-arm spin yielded 33 scalps at 19.39 and most notably, pummelled Australia in the home series, snaring 22 scalps in four Tests at 18.86.

Australia's Alex Carey has been brilliant behind the stumps since making his Test debut in the most recent home Ashes series. While his performance took a hit after facing backlash for the contentious stumping during the Lord's Test, Carey still finished with 461 runs in 13 matches. The southpaw's unbeaten 66 during the second innings of the ICC WTC final was critical in setting India a mammoth target.

Bowlers: Pat Cummins (c), Ravichandran Ashwin, Mitchell Starc, Stuart Broad

Pat Cummins. (Image Credits: Getty)
Pat Cummins. (Image Credits: Getty)

Pat Cummins has been the easy choice for captain in this ICC XI, mainly due to captaining Australia to the WTC final victory. However, Cummins' legacy could've reached new heights had he tasted series wins as captain in India and England. The 30-year-old was lethal with the ball, finishing with 42 scalps in 11 matches with three five-wicket hauls.

India's Ravichandran Ashwin played in only seven Tests in 2023 but picked up 41 wickets at 17.02 apiece. While he was one of the chief architects of the series win against Australia at home earlier in the year, the veteran did equally well overseas, albeit without much reward.

Mitchell Starc proved to be Australia's X-factor, especially during the 2023 Ashes series, giving the tourists timely breakthroughs. Although he went for a few too many runs in 2023, evidenced by his economy rate of 4.44, the left-arm speedster gave Australia timely wickets. The 33-year-old ended 2023 with 38 scalps from nine Tests at a decent 29.63.

In what proved to be his final year in international cricket, Stuart Broad gave it all to deny Australia a historic series win on English soil. The right-arm seamer finished 2023 with 38 wickets in eight Tests at 26.28. Broad also finished his Test career with a wicket and hammered a six off the final delivery he faced.

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Edited by Ankush Das