ICC Awards 2019: Virat Kohli named captain in ICC Test team of the year ruled by Australians
India skipper Virat Kohl was named captain of ICC Test team of the year 2019 announced during the ICC awards 2019 on Wednesday. As many as 5 Australians - the most - were included in the in ICC’s Test team of the year. The only other Indian in the Test team of the year apart from Kohli is opener Mayank Agarwal.
With 754 runs in 11 innings, Agarwal was India’s highest run-scorer in Tests in 2019. The Karnataka opener, who made his debut in the last Test of 2018 in Australia, played 7 Tests in 2019, scoring 754 runs at an average of 68.54 that included a highest score of 243 against South Africa.
New Zealand wicket-keeper batsman Tom Latham, who scored 601 runs in 8 Tests at an average of over 50 was selected as Agarwal’s opening partner.
Kohli, who was chosen as the No.4, scored 621 runs in 11 innings at an average of 68. Kohli notched up his highest score in Test cricket - 258 - this year against South Africa.
The team, however, was ruled by Australians, who not only played the joint most number of Tests along with England in 2019 but also enjoyed the most success.
The highest-scorer of 2019, Australia’s Marnus Labuschagne, was an automatic choice for as the No.3 batsman of the side. In his breakthrough year in Test cricket, Labuschagne scored 1104 runs in 17 innings at an average of 64.94.
Former Australia captain Steve Smith was rewarded with the No.5 spot for making a stunning return to Test cricket in 2019 after a 1-year ban due to ball-tampering. Smith scored 965 runs in 11 innings in 2019.
The other three Australians in the Test team of the year was all-rounder Pat Cummins, fast bowler Mitchell Starc and off-spinner Nathan Lyon.
With 59 wickets in 23 innings at a staggering average of 20.13, Cummins was the highest wicket-taker of 2019 by some distant. The second position belonged to his teammate Nathan Lyon, who picked up 45 wickets in 23 innings. Starc was not far behind with 42 wickets in 16 innings.
The only Englishman in the team of the year was all-rounder Ben Stokes, who had a fabulous year with both bat and ball.
New Zealand’s BJ Watling was picked as the specialist wicket-keeper of ICC Test team of the year 2019. The other Kiwi in the side was left-arm fast bowler Neil Wagner, who was rewarded for picking up 43 wickets in only 11 innings.
There was, however, no place for India’s Mohammed Shami, who had best average - 16.66 - among all bowlers in 2019 with minimum 30 wickets was not included in the side.
ICC Test Team of the Year (in batting order): Mayank Agarwal, Tom Latham, Marnus Labuschagne, Virat Kohli (captain), Steve Smith, Ben Stokes, BJ Watling (wicketkeeper), Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Neil Wagner, Nathan Lyon.