Australia could only handle one player on the ICC test team of the year, despite reclaiming the top spot in the team rankings with best test bowler Pat Cummins, a curious omission.
It’s the first time Australia has held the No. 1 test team mantle since May 2020, but it wasn’t enough to see them dominate the team of the year.
Marnus Labuschagne is the only Australian player to make the team after rising to the top-ranked batsman in the world with a 935 rating.
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Steve Smith and Man of the Ashes Series Travis Head are fourth and fifth respectively, but they couldn’t find a spot in the ICC Team’s top six batsmen.
There was also no place for Cummins, despite the Australian skipper reclaiming the mantle of the world’s best long-format bowler.
Mitchell Starc was also missing, despite finishing the Ashes series as the fifth-ranked all-rounder, two ahead of England’s Ben Stokes who is now seventh.
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England skipper Joe Root earned the number 4 role in the team of the year after his brilliant 2021, with Labuschagne as number 3.
Sri Lanka’s Dimuth Karunaratne and India’s Rohit Sharma open the pack, while compatriots Rishabh Pant and Ravichandran Ashwin also teamed up.
Pakistan had also elected three representatives with Fawad Alam, Hasan Ali and Shaheen Afridi.
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New Zealand had two representatives in paceman Kyle Jamieson and batsman Kane Williamson, who also heads the squad.
The absence of Australian players likely has more to do with their light Testing schedule in 2021, in which they played just five Tests due to Covid.
However, it is still a curious decision that the best Test bowler in the world was left out in Cummins.
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ICC TEST TEAM OF THE YEAR 2021
Dimuth Karunaratne SL
Rohit Sharma IND
Marnus Labuschagne AUS
Joe Root NL
Kane Williamson New Zealand
Fawad Alam PAK
Rishabh Pants IND
Ravichandran Ashwin IND
Kyle Jamieson New Zealand
Hasan Ali PAK
Shaheen Afridi PAK