The year 2014 is all set to come to an end with a total of 41 matches played throughout the year and most of them provided results instead of ending in a draw. Out of 41 Test matches 32 produced results, while only 9 matches were drawn which ammounts to 22% of draws. There were some exceptional performances in the test matches this year which includes Misbah ul Haq’s fastest 100, David Warner’s fine run throughout the year and Mitchell Johnson sounding the opposition a warning with some deadly bowling.

Some players were exceptional throughout the year and some players made a mark in Test cricket this year. Here is the list of Sportzwiki Test XI of the year which compiles all the names of players who remained consistent throughout the year.

The Sportzwiki Test XI of the year consist of five frontline batsmen, a wicket-keeper an All-Rounder batting at 6 and bowl some overs of medium pace which will backed by the 3-1 pace-spin combination.

New Zealand skipper Brendon McCullum has just edged out his Sri Lankan counterpart Angelo Mathews as the captain of the side.

Openers:

It will surprising for the fans to see Brendon McCullum and David Warner opening the innings in the Sportzwiki Test XI of the year. But in reality, both the players have performed exceedingly well in the longer format of the games in the past one year. Warner has been a revelation in the format as he has become one of the regulars in the Australian playing XI. The Pocket-Dynamo has amassed over 1096 runs in the 16 innings he played this year at an average of 68. He has scored 6 centuries and three fifties this year. He has also scored these runs quickly with a strike-rate of 82. Warner maintained his consistency throughout the year as he scored runs in Australia, South Africa and at the UAE.

On the other hand, New Zealand skipper Brendan McCullum came off age and has scored heavily in the longer formats this year. He has become the first New Zealand batsman to cross 1000 Test runs in a calendar year. He has scored a triple century, two double centuries and a 195 against Sri Lanka at Christchurch on Boxing Day. Even though he batted at number 5 at the beggining of the year, he did a fantastic job as an opener when he opened the innings against Pakistan at UAE. He has scored a total of 1164 runs in 16 innings at an average of 73 throughout the year.  The way he captained New Zealand also makes him the captain of the Sportzwiki Test XI of the year.

Middle Order Batsmen:

The three men middle order has a combined total of 3837 runs from a 57 innings at an average of over 80. Sri Lanka’s ever consistent Kumar Sangakkara finds his favourite number 3 spot after ending the year as the leading run scorer in the format.

The former Sri Lankan skipper has scored 1493 runs in 22 innings at an average of just over 71 in 2014, Even though he has played majority of the matches at home, scoring almost 1500 runs in a calendar year is special and he has to be credited for this feat. Pakistan’s Younis Khan finds himself a place at number 4 as he has plundered 1213 runs in the calendar year with an average of 71 in 20 innings.

Joining them in the middle order is the newly appointed Australian Test skipper Steven Smith has been included in the Test XI for the sensational year he had with the bat. Smith has a total of 1146 runs from 17 ininngs with a strike-rate of 82. With the inclusion of Steve Smith, the line-up looks more solid and stable.

All-Rounder:

Following these reliable batsmen, Sri Lankan skipper Angelo Mathews takes his place in the team as an All-Rounder in Test XI of the year. Mathews has been a consistent scoring tons of runs for his country. He ended the year as the second highest run scorer as he accumulated 1317 runs from 22 innings at an astonishing average of 87.80. He was the backbone of Lankan line-up throughout the year and backed the good work done by Sangakkara at the top. He picked up 15 wickets in the year at an average of 36. He will be a good back-up for the bowlers and can bowl few overs in-between when the other bowlers are given a rest.

Wicket-Keeper of the Sportzwiki Test XI of the year:

Wicket-Keeper is an area which didn’t have any competitions as Pakistan’s Sarfraz Ahmed looked way better than the rest of the keepers this year and earns a spot in the 2014 Test team of the year. He was not only good behind the stumps, but also was instrumental with the bat when his side needed some quick runs down the order. 743 runs from 16 innings at an average of 68 is not a poor record for wicket-keepers in Tests.

Fast Bowlers:

The pace bowling of the Test XI cannot get better than the trio of Australia’s Mitchell Johnson, South Africa’s Dale Steyn and England’s James Anderson. The trio has 126 wickets from 48 innings with a combined average of just below 20.

Mitchell Johnson won the Test player of the year award for his heroics in the Ashes and the series against South Africa. He exhibited an extra-ordinary display of pace bowling which had a combination of sheer pace, accuracy along with aggression. Johnson ended the year as the second highest wicket taker with 47 wickets at an average of 23.

Dale Steyn too was impressive this year as he matched Mitchell Johnson in all aspects which helped him get 39 wickets at an average of 19. On the other hand, James Anderson was all about some disciplined bowling which had swing along with inch-perfect line and length. He was the third highest wicket-taker this year with 40 wickets from 16 innings at an average of 22.

Spinner:

Rangana Herath was the only spinner in the Sportzwiki Test XI of the year. He was a direct entrant in the XI as the Lankan ended the year with 60 wickets from 20 innings. Even though he took most of the wickets on spinning tracks of Sri Lanka, picking up 60 wickets in a calendar year needs some special skill and Herath has got this in abundacne.

Notable absentees from the Sportzwiki Test XI of the year are South African duo AB de Villiers and Hashim Amla, Sri Lanka’s Mahela Jayawardene and Kiwi trio of Kane Williamson, Tim Southee and Trent Boult. But just to bring stability in the side and to honour the players who played exceedingly well throughout the year, these players fail to make it to the Sportzwiki Test XI of the year. Kane Williamson has been named as the 12th man in the squad.

 

Sportzwiki Test XI of the year:

S. No

Player

Country

Stats in 2014

1

David Warner

Australia

1136 runs in 18 innings at an average of 63.11

2

Brendon McCullum (c)

New Zealand

1164 runs in 16 innings at an average of 72.75

3

Kumar Sangakkara

Sri Lanka

1493 runs in 22 innings at an average of 71.09

4

Younis Khan

Pakistan

1213 runs in 20 innings at an average of 71.35

5

Steven Smith

Australia

1146 runs in 17 innings at an average of 81.85

6

Angelo Mathews

Sri Lanka

1317 runs in 21 innings at an average of 87.80

11 wickets in 15 innings at an average of 36.27

7

Sarfraz Ahmed (WK)

Pakistan

693 runs in 15 innings at an average of 46.20

8

Mitchell Johnson

Australia

47 wickets in 18 innings at an average of 23.27

9

Dale Steyn

South Africa

39 wickets in 15 innings at an average of 19.56

10

Rangana Herath

Sri Lanka

60 wickets in 20 innings at an average of 27.45

11

James Anderson

England

40 wickets in 16 innings at an average of 22.15

 

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