International Cricket

Exclusive: India vs Australia Current Combined All-star 11 in Tests

Virat Kohli to Captain, while Tim Paine to keep as we look at the current combined all-star 11 for India vs Australia in Tests.

India and Australia are currently at the pinnacle of the sport in Tests. They stand at number 1 and number 3 in the rankings, and have an excellent mix of batsmen, all-rounders and bowlers in the squad. It’s the mix of these players who have given both the teams some amazing memories via their performance. 

Now, imagine if we had to select an all-start XI using the best players available from each team? Wouldn’t it be amazing to have them play alongside each other? Well, that’s what we are going to find out in this amazing article looking at the performance of all the players. 

Please note, the team is prepared keeping current squad, overseas conditions in mind, and precedence is given to the performance in the last 3 years. Alright then, let’s look at the current combined all-star playing 11 for India vs Australia in Tests.    

Openers: David Warner & Cheteshwar Pujara

David Warner is default selection here. Not only has he been the best opener for Australia in the last three years, but he has also been the best opener across the teams. In Tests since Jan 2018, Warner has scored 1154 runs from 25 innings at a superb average of 50.2. This is after him missing out for a year due to ban. 

Now, partnering Warner is an option between regular opening choices, Rohit Sharma and Mayank Agarwal or make-shift opener and solid number 3 player, Cheteshwar Pujara. Stat-wise, both Rohit and Mayank have been good with an average of over 50, but selecting them would mean the dependable Pujara misses out.

Moreover, both, Mayank and Rohit have scored the majority of their runs on home pitches. Hence, Pujara, who was excellent the last time he played in Australia, and has over 1440 runs at an average of 39 gets selected as the second opener in the squad. 

Middle-order: Marnus Labuschagne, Steve Smith, Virat Kohli (C)

Ever since Marnus made his debut in October 2018, he has been a star performer for Australia- even so in the absence of Steve Smith. He has 1459 runs from 23 innings at an average of 63.3; the best among all India and Australian players. He has four 100s and eight 50s to go with, which is more than 50% of his innings. Also, who can forget his back-to-back centuries against Pakistan, which made a name for him. 

The current World number 1, Steve Smith walks into the team without any debate. Even after missing a year of Cricket, Smith is among leading run-scorers with over 1200 runs from 21 innings. He has a stunning average of 59.7, and his performance in Ashes is regarded as the best the world has ever seen. Smith had managed to score a fabulous 774 runs from 7 innings at a superb average of 110.6 in Ashes 2019. 

While Virat Kohli isn’t the ideal number 5, batting at number 5 in this squad should make no difference to the world rank number 2. Kohli has been the best batsman for Team India in Tests in recent times. He is the leading run-scorer between both the teams with 1972 runs from 39 innings at an average of 53.3, and has 7 hundreds and 7 fifties to his name.

Lower-order:  Ajinkya Rahane

The number 6 spot was a tough one to decide. One one hand we have a specialist batsman, Ajinkya Rahane, and on the other hand, we have Ravindra Jadeja as the all-rounder. While Jadeja hasn’t been a bad batsman, it is the requirement of a specialist batsman in the overseas condition that prompted for Rahane’s selection. Moreover, his numbers aren’t bad by any means. Rahane has scored a total of 1377 runs from 36 innings at an average of 40.5 with 2 hundreds and 10 fifties to his name.  

Wicket-keeper: Tim Paine

This could probably be a debatable selection as we have Rishabh Pant, Wriddhiman Saha, and Tim Paine competing or this spot. While Pant has been the best batsman amoung the three, Saha has been the best keeper among the three. However, Longevity is something that differentiates Paine.

Looking at the stats, that’s how the current standings are for the three in terms of batting, wicket-keeping, and Longevity. 

Batting: Pant > Paine > Saha
Wicket-keeping: Saha > Paine > Pant
Longevity: Paine > Pant > Saha

Analysing the three categories, it became very clear that Paine gets  marginal lead over the other two. Nevertheless, in terms of performance, Paine has 104 dismissals to his name from 45 matches, whereas Pant has 61 and Saha has 28. In terms of runs an average, Paine has 889 rus at an average of 30, Pant has 814 runs at an average of 39, and Saha has 82 runs at an average of 16.4.  

Spinner: Nathan Lyon

This should not even be a debate as both – perceptively as well as statistically, Lyon has performed exceedingly well as the spinner in the last three years. Lyon has taken the second-most wickets among both teams with a total of 104 wickets from 45 innings at an average of 31.6. During the period, Lyon has six 5-wicket hauls; the most among all the bowlers. 

Key Pacers: Pat Cummins & Mohammed Shami 

Easily the best bowler, not just among all the teams, but also across teams, Pat Cummins with a total of 107 wickets from 41 innings leads the show. His wickets/ innings ratio stands at 2.61; the best among all the bowlers, and his average stands at just 20; second-best to Ishant Sharma.

The under-rated Mohammed Shami, who has been India’s best bowler in the last three years is the second pacer in the list. Shami has been India’s leading wicket-taker in the last three years with a total of 85 wickets from 42 innings at an average of 23.5 and a strike rate of 44.2. He is easily the best second-innings bowler of the squad with 48 wickets coming in the second innings at an average of just 17. 

Final Pacer: Jasprit Bumrah

The final pacer selection could be controversial, but we have Ishant Sharma, Mitchell Starc, Jasprit Bumrah, and Josh Hazlewood competing for this spot. Of the four, Ishant Sharma’s performance stands out with more wickets, better average and strike rate. However, since Ishant is not present in the squad, his selection won’t be viable.

From the remaining three, the performance seems to be neck-and-neck, but Bumrah’s average and Strike rate are better than the other three, and there’s not much difference in the wickets column. Bumrah has a total of 68 wickets from 28 innings at an average of 20.3 and a strike rate of 45.3. He has five 5-wicket hauls to his name; the most among all the Indian bowlers. 

So, that completes the current combined all-star 11 for Team India and Australia in Tests. 

India vs Australia Current Combined All-star 11 in Tests: 

David Warner, Cheteshwar Pujara, Marnus Labuschagne, Steve Smith, Virat Kohli (C), Ajinkya Rahane, Tim Paine (WK), Nathan Lyon, Pat Cummins, Mohammed Shami, and Jasprit Bumrah

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