Harsha Bhogle has picked Ravindra Jadeja and ignored Ravichandran Ashwin’s name for his Test team of the year. He chose four Indians and three Australian players in his Test XI for 2017 including the likes of Virat Kohli and Steve Smith as both players piled a lot of runs throughout the year.
After picking his ODI and T20I team of the year, popular cricket commentator Bhogle picked his 2017 Test Team for Cricbuzz and three Australians made the cut to the team while India had the maximum representatives with four. South Africa and England had two players each as well.
To open the innings, he picked South Africa’s Dean Elgar, who had 41 Test matches experience in which he scored 2621 runs at an average of 42.30 and David Warner from Australia. Warner played 11 matches this year in which he scored 911 runs at an average of 47.94.
Cheteshwar Pujara, who is not an active player for Team India in the shorter version of the game, got the third spot in Test XI. The Saurashtra batsman scored 1140 runs at an average of 67.05 in 11 matches including four centuries and five half-centuries.
There is always a debate over Kohli and Smith as who the better batsman in the current era is, but Bhogle picked both of them in the team to strengthen the middle order. While captaining their sides, both players have led from the front and while Smith scored 1192 runs in 11 games including five centuries and three fifties, Kohli scored 1059 runs in 10 matches at an average of 75.64 and during this year he scored five centuries as well.
For the all-important spot of No. 6, Bhogle picked English player Ben Stokes, who is arguably the best pace-bowling all-rounder in the world now. But currently, he was out from the England squad due to his drinking behaviour at the outside of a Bristol club. For the wicket-keeping services, Bhogle trusted on Wriddhiman Saha's skill who cemented his place in the Indian pace line-up after MS Dhoni's retirement.
Surprisingly, instead of Ravichandran Ashwin, Bhogle decided to go with Jadeja for the eighth spot. The Tamil Nadu player, who claimed 300 Test wickets in 55 matches, couldn't find a place at the No.9 position as well as Nathan Lyon was picked to partner Jadeja. The reason behind picking Lyon over Ashwin must be the Lyon's ability to take wickets in the pacer-friendly conditions and Ashwin is more effective only in the spin-friendly conditions of the sub-continental track.
To handle the pace attack, Bhogle picked the top two players in the ICC rankings as he included Kagiso Rabada and James Anderson on the list.
Harsh Bhogle's Test Team of the year: Dean Elgar (SA), David Warner (Aus), Cheteshwar Pujara (Ind), Steve Smith (Aus), Virat Kohli (Ind), Ben Stokes (Eng), Wriddhiman Saha (Ind), Ravindra Jadeja (Ind), Nathan Lyon (Aus), Kagiso Rabada (SA), James Anderson (Eng)