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Saturday, July 20, 2024

Rewinding the 2021–2023 World Test Championship: A Look Back at Records and Memorable Moments in Test Cricket

<p>Nine Test-playing countries engaged in two thrilling years of thrilling cricket action during the ICC World Test Championship (WTC) 2021–2023 cycle. Only 12 games resulted in draws, meaning that the ICC’s decision to give context to the longest format with the World Test Championship proved to be a brilliant move. Up to 57 out of the 69 Tests yielded outcomes.</p>
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<p><strong>The Final Exam</strong></p>
<p>Australia defeated India in the WTC 2021–23 final, sometimes referred to as the Ultimate Test, to win the WTC Trophy.</p>
<p>Australia scored 469 runs in their first innings, helped by 163 from Travis Head and 121 from Steve Smith, and bowled out India for 296. Australia ended their second innings at 270/8 and bowled India out for 234 thanks to three wickets each from Scott Boland and Nathan Lyon. Australia won by 209 runs, their sixth title from the ICC.</p>
<p>With the win, Australia became the only side to own all of the main ICC trophies: the World Test Championship, two ODI Champions Trophies, one T20 World Cup, and five ODI World Cups (now six).</p>
<p><strong>WTC Points Table 2021–2023</strong></p>
<p>Australia had 152 points and a 66.67% points percentage at the completion of the championship cycle, leading the WTC points table. India came in second with 127 points and a 58.8% percentage; the two teams with the greatest percentage of victories advanced to the final.</p>
<p>The 2021–2023 World Tour cycle was completed in the following order: South Africa (55.56%), England (46.97%), Sri Lanka (44.44%), New Zealand (38.46%), Pakistan (38.10%), West Indies (34.62%), and Bangladesh (11.11%).</p>
<p><strong>The moment Bazball arrived</strong></p>
<p>The globe was enthralled by England’s aggressive performance that popularized the ‘Bazball’ brand of Test cricket. With 28 sixes from 32 innings throughout the two-year cycle, captain Ben Stokes led the charge with the “Bazball” tactic.</p>
<p>In only 101 overs at a run rate of 6.50 per over, England scored their highest team total of 657 runs against Pakistan during the Rawalpindi Test in December 2022. A record-breaking 1,768 runs were scored in this match, breaking the previous mark for the most runs scored in a five-day Test.</p>
<p>On the other hand, South Africa defeated Bangladesh in Durban in March 2022 for 53, the lowest score in the tournament cycle.</p>
<p><strong>top scorers of runs</strong></p>
<p>Joe Root of England finished first with 1,915 runs at an average of 53.19, with eight hundreds in 22 games. Usman Khawaja (1621 runs) and Marnus Labuschagne (1576) of Australia finished second and third, respectively.</p>
<p><strong>leading wicket-takers</strong></p>
<p>When it came to bowling, Australian off-spinner Nathan Lyon led the rankings with 83 wickets, ahead of South Africa’s Kagiso Rabada (67 wickets) and India’s Ravichandran Ashwin (61 wickets).</p>
<p>Additionally, bowlers in the competition claimed 85 five-wicket hauls every innings and ten ten-wicket hauls per match.</p>
<p><strong>Notable successes</strong></p>
<p>Among the noteworthy wins were New Zealand’s victory against South Africa in Christchurch in February 2022, which they won by an innings and 276 runs. The closest margin of victory came in the West Indies’ August 2021 one-wicket triumph against Pakistan at Kingston.</p>
<p><strong>Personal genius</strong></p>
<p>First-time winners While the 2021–2023 cycle had a lackluster showing from New Zealand, several notable individual performances were made by Kiwis. The highest score was a notable 252 from Tom Latham against Bangladesh, while the best partnership of 363 runs was achieved between Kane Williamson and Henry Nicholls against Sri Lanka. In the championship cycle, Ajaz Patel’s incredible 10-wicket haul for New Zealand against India in Mumbai established records for both the greatest innings and match totals.</p>
<p>India’s Ravindra Jadeja accomplished a singular achievement in the Test match against Sri Lanka in Mohali in March 2022 when he was the only player to make a century and take five wickets. In the same game, he took five wickets for 41 runs and amassed an undefeated 175 at the bat.</p>
<p>The fourth-highest run scorer was Babar Azam (1527), the captain of Pakistan who appeared in only 14 matches. In the second innings against Australia, he struck a career-high 196 runs, which enabled his side to win the Karachi Test.</p>
<p>The 2021–2023 ICC World Test Championship included several incredible events in cricket, and it finished with a thrilling match between Australia and India at The Oval in England.</p>

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