Test Cricket

India vs NZ: Combined Best Playing 11 for World Test Championship Final

Virat Kohli to lead as we look the combined best playing 11 for India vs NZ ICC World Test Championship final. 

Approximately 1 Year and 10 months since the start of the historic ICC World Test Championship, we are just a match away from the conclusion of the first-ever World Test Championship, which is a World Cup equivalent. Out of the 9 teams that battled in the tournament, we finally have our two finalists, i.e India and New Zealand. 

What a moment this is for these countries, who would be playing the final at Southampton. Amidst the pandemic, and adapting to different playing conditions, these two finally topped the points table beating arch-rivals England and Australia. Supposedly, this is also the first time both these teams would be playing together at a neutral venue. 

So, while know these teams did well together as a team, which were the key players who impressed the most from both the teams during the conduct of the ICC World Test Championship? So, in this article, we would form a team of combined best playing 11 based on their performance in the tournament, and that would form the best of India vs NZ in the World Test Championship final. 

Stats Wizard Methodology:

Batting: As always, we have analyzed the batting performances basis the batting rating calculated from the overall aspect of the game such as runs scored, consistency, the number of match-winning & good knocks, and the relative percentage of Team runs. 

Bowling: We have analyzed the bowling performances basis the bowling rating calculated from the overall aspect of the game such as wickets taken, consistency, the number of match-winning and good spells, and the relative percentage of Team wickets. 

Overall, the players selected basis the performance rating, and only players who have performed well in their respective positions are selected. The selected team is chosen by keeping in mind 2 openers, 3-4 middle-order players, 1 wicket-keeper, at least 1 spinner, and 3-4 pacers. 

Alright then, let’s find out the India vs NZ combined best playing 11 for the ICC World Test Championship final. 

Openers: Rohit Sharma & Tom Latham 

India fielded as many as five openers in their journey in the World Test Championship. This includes the likes of Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Mayank Agarwal, Shubman Gill, and Prithvi Shaw. But barring Rohit Sharma, overall, and Mayank Agarwal at home, the performance from the other three was below par. 

For New Zealand, the list boils down to four openers, Tom Latham, Tom Blundell, Jeet Raval, and Will Young. But the one that impressed the most is Tom Latham. Ranking wise, Rohit Sharma tops the chart followed by Tom Latham, Mayank Agarwal, and then rest. 

Overall, Rohit managed to score 1030 runs; the most by an opener from 17 innings at a brilliant average of 64.5. Rohit played a lot of valuable knocks on the WTC including the best of 164 vs England on a difficult Chennai wicket. Latham meanwhile scored 680 runs from 18 innings at a decent average of 40. While Rohit gets a rating of 8.6, Latham gets a rating of 5.3. 

Middle-order: Kane Williamson, Virat Kohli & Ajinkya Rahane 

Talking about the middle-order for both the teams, the competition was between Kane Williamson, Ross Taylor, and Henry Nichols of New Zealand vs Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, and Ajinkya Rahane. We had to select only 3 of these 6, and the ones that performed the best include Kane Williamson, Virat Kohli, and Ajinkya Rahane. 

Kane Williamson was probably the overall best performer among both the teams in the World Test Championship. He managed to score a total of 817 runs from 14 innings at a good average of 58.4. However, his twin double centuries kind of skewed his average a bit overall. Meanwhile, Williamson’s consistency stood at just 29%, and he gets a rating of 7.7 for his performance. 

Virat Kohli didn’t have a great outing in the World Test Championship, but was still better than Nichols and Pujara. Kohli managed to score a total of 877 runs from 22 innings at a below-par average of 43.9. Overall, the stats look decent, and only if Kohli could have improved his consistency of 29%, it would have looked good overall. Nevertheless, Virat Kohli gets a rating of 5.1 

Ajinkya Rahane is currently the leading run-scorer for Team India in the World Test Championship with 1095 runs from 28 innings; the most innings played among both teams. Even after a lot of visible failures in Australia, Rahane’s consistency stood at 42%. Overall, Ajinkya Rahane gets a rating of 5.9. 

Meanwhile, Pujara has had a poor tournament so far. In the 28 innings Pujara has played, he could only manage 818 runs at a poor average of 29 and consistency of 42%. For Nichols, the stats look decent with 585 runs from 15 innings at an average of 42 and consistency of 28%. 

Wicket-keeper: Rishabh Pant

The wicket-keeper sees no other option than the match-winner Rishabh Pant, who would also undoubtedly represent the team of the tournament for the World Test Championship. Pant’s stunning returns in Australia along with a fantastic improvement in the wicket-keeping just changed the whole equation.

Overall, Pant managed a good 662 runs from 18 innings at a good average of 41.4. He played a lot of match-winning knocks down the order including the best of all, 89* at Gabba. To add to his performance are his 40 dismissals as the wicket-keeper. Pant also accounted for 5 stumpings; the most by any wicket-keeper in WTC.  

Spinner: Ravichandran Ashwin

Coming the selection of the spinner all-rounder, the competition was between Team India’s Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin. While Jadeja was a brilliant batting all-rounder, Ashwin was a brilliant bowling all-rounder. But what differentiated Ashwin from Jadeja was the effectiveness of Ash, the bowler as compared to Jadeja, the batsman. 

The stats looked quite impressive for Ashwin, who managed to take 67 wickets from just 24 innings at a brilliant average of 20.1 and consistency of 81.8%. He was decent in the batting department having played a few good cameos including an outstanding century on a difficult pitch of Chennai. Overall, Ashwin has a rating of perfect 10 for his bowling. 

Pacers: Kyle Jamieson, Tim Southee, Ishant Sharma & Jasprit Bumrah 

Coming to pacers, three pacers select for themselves, and those are Kyle Jamieson, Tim Southee, and Ishant Sharma. All three carry a performance rating of above 9. Stats wise, Jamieson took a stunning 36 wickets from 12 innings at an average of 13.3 and consistency of 92%. He played all his matches at home, but impressed in 11 of the 12 innings he played. He gets a perfect rating of 10 for his performance. 

Southee is currently the leading wicket-taker for New Zealand with 51 wickets from 20 innings. He carries a brilliant average of 20.7 with consistency stands good at 79%. Overall, Southee gets a rating of 9.7. Ishant has been Team India’s best pacer in World Test Championship so far. He has taken 36 wickets from 20 innings at a good average of 17.4. Ishant’s consistency stands at 62%, and he gets a rating of 9.1. 

Coming to the final pacer, it was a tough fight between Jasprit Bumrah and Neil Wagner. To be honest, one could select any of the two since overall stats are almost the same. But Bumrah’s marginally betters Wagner when it comes to performance in multi-countries. While Wagner played only in Australia and New Zealand, Bumrah played well additionally in West Indies and India.

Overall, Jasprit Bumrah has taken a total of 34 wickets from 17 innings at a good average of 22.4, consistency of 69.2, and carries a rating of 9. Bumrah’s best performance came against West Indies where he had two stunning spells. The best of all was 5/7 in the fourth innings of the first Test.  

India vs NZ Combined Best Playing 11 for ICC World Test Championship Final:

Rohit Sharma, Tom Latham, Kane Williamson, Virat Kohli (C), Ajinkya Rahane, Rishabh Pant (WK), Ravichandran Ashwin, Kyle Jamieson, Tim Southee & Jasprit Bumrah. 

So, that completes the combined best playing 11 for India and New Zealand ahead of the World Test Championship. Special mention to Neil Wagner, Ravindra Jadeja, and Mohammed Shami; all three were really good. The likes of Pujara, Nicholls, Watling, Taylor were decent, and could have performed better.

Thanks for reading! What’s your combined best playing 11 for India vs NZ World Test Championship final? Please email your comments to business@cricalytics.com

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