There are so many great Test players out there at the moment, including some great bowlers and batsmen. Here’s who I think is the current best Test XI.
1. David Warner
Someone who started out as a T20 specialist, Warner has transformed into one of, if not the, world’s best Test opener. Combining power with class, Warner came off his suspension and poor Ashes in 2019 with superb performances against New Zealand and Pakistan, hitting 786 runs and averaging 131 across eight innings, with nearly half of those runs coming from his 335* against Pakistan. He also currently averages 48.94 in Tests, which is right up there with the best. The question is, though: can he improve away from Australia and prove why he’s the best Test opener?
2. Quinton de Kock (wicketkeeper)
Despite not opening in Test matches, De Kock is still a handy batsman who can open the batting when needed. A quick finisher who has beautiful timing and technique and is extremely classy behind the stumps, De Kock has averaged approximately 51.2 these last two summers, which is better than his 39.12 average, and has taken 48 catches in 17 innings. He’s even vice-captain now at the tender age of 27. The big question is: can he continue to improve?
3. Kane Williamson
A part of the group of great Test batsmen this era, Williamson is a man who can never be stopped, home or away. Blessed with superb technique as well as splendid timing, he’s averaged 50.99 so far in his career while also averaging approximately 49.5 over the last two summers. He might’ve averaged only approximately 34.8 last summer, but he is still a classy batsman and a great captain.
4. Virat Kohli (captain)
A superstar batsman and another member of the best batsmen of this era, Kohli is one of India’s greatest batsmen to ever grace the turf. With unbelievable timing and great technique along with iron wrists, Kohli has averaged 53.62 in his Test career so far, including approximately 47.5 these last two summers. He’s also led India to 11 victories these last two summers along with only three losses (all overseas) and only one series loss. Can he continue his meteoric rise and get that number one Test batsman spot yet again?
5. Steve Smith
Dubbed the next Don Bradman by so many, Steven Smith continues to shine and improve his game. Starting out as a leg spin all-rounder back in 2010, he’s transformed into an unbelievable batsman – the No.1 batsman currently – who has beautiful technique, super timing and unbelievable wrists. He’s averaging 62.84 in Tests – despite an average of only approximately 36.3 last summer – including an average of 71.75 in Ashes Test matches, even averaging 110.57 in the last Ashes. But can he improve on last summer’s performance and state that he is this era’s Bradman?
6. Marnus Labuschagne
A meteoric rise to the top this last year, some are even comparing Labuschange to his partner in crime, Steve Smith. Only just beating Babar Azam and Joe Root here, he’s improved a lot, especially more recently, and currently has an average of 63.43 in 23 innings and a high score of 215. He averaged 112 last summer along with an average of 50.4 in the 2019 Ashes. He’s a decent bowler too, taking 12 wickets in 14 Tests at an average of 38.66. The only way is up for the 26-year-old.
7. Ben Stokes
He doesn’t normally bat this far down, but Stokes is still pretty versatile as well as a handy all-rounder. A beautiful timer of the ball who has lots of power, he’s averaged 42.6 these last two summers with the bat along with a bowling average of 30.86 and 35 wickets – he currently has 147 Test wickets at an average of 32.68. The one-time bad boy turned vice-captain who will most likely captain England against the West Indies, will Stokes continue to grow both on and off the field?
8. Jason Holder
The Windies captain is a very courageous leader. Holder is a handy opening bowler as well as a solid lower-order batsman. The No. 1 all-rounder in Test cricket, he’s averaged 46.11 with the bat in nine innings (he averages 32.72 in Tests) and has a bowling average of 16.72 (he averages 26.37 in Tests) along with 25 wickets (he currently has 106 wickets). The big question for the 28-year-old is whether he can continue to improve and develop his game.
9. Pat Cummins
Plagued with injury early on in what looked like a bright future for the Sydney boy, Cummins has shone ever since he got his opportunity to team up with Mitch Starc and Josh Hazlewood. An elite bowler (the No.1 bowler) with raw pace as well as a solid batting ability, he’s really broken through these last two summers, taking 77 wickets at an average of 20.12 for a total of 143 wickets (average of 21.82). He’s up there as Australia’s best fast bowler since Glenn McGrath. Can he improve himself even more?
10. Neil Wagner
A man who’s got speed and bounce, Wagner, like a fine wine, continues to improve at the age of 34. He’s taken 206 Test wickets at an average of 26.6 and has especially improved over the last two summers, taking 57 wickets and averaging 22.26, including 17 against the Australians here in Australia. A weapon for New Zealand, his big question is whether he can keep this effort up for much longer.
11. Jasprit Bumrah
Just beating fellow young speedster Kagiso Rabada, Bumrah has established himself as India’s No. 1 pace bowler. Another one gifted with raw speed and bounce of his short sprint, he’s currently averaging 20.33 in Test matches along with 68 wickets in only 28 innings. Over the last two summers he’s taken 40 wickets at an average of 16.83, including 6-33 at the MCG and 6-27 at Sabina Park. Can he be just that bit more consistent and continue to grow into one of the world’s best Test bowlers?