The ICC Test Championship is the premier competition for Test Cricket. The Championship had its fair share of ups and lows as it witnessed cricket go down to the deadly COVID-19. However, once cricket resumed it has been sailing smoothly till now.
The ICC Test Championship started on 1 August 2019 with the Ashes and is all set to have a winner with the final match scheduled from 18-22 of June at Rose Bowl, Southampton. Fans can expect a cracker of a match between NZ and India. To make constructive predictions, bet with crypto can help you for optimal results, knowing what features to look for is paramount to success.
The championship has given their fans many moments to cherish. There were some astonishing performances, while some disappointing ones.
We could see many big names flop while many young players introduced themselves to the cricket world with some irrepressible knocks.
As the World Test Championship is meeting its end, we have a look here at some of the best match-winning performances by some of the most exciting players in international cricket.
5. Joe Root, 218 vs India
Just before this series, Joe Root had scored heavily on the spin made pitches of Sri Lanka giving ample proof of the fact that he is one of the best players of spin in the world.
Joe Root, the man who was hailed as the best test player in the world 5 years down under, was subjected to heavy criticism for the inability to convert his starts to big scores.
The India tour was a much bigger challenge considering the Ashwin factor. But Joe Root had other ideas.
In the first match of the series after electing to bat first, Joe Root played one of the best innings of his life. On a pitch where spinners took 24 wickets, Root scored 218 runs of 377 balls powering England to a total of 577. The highlight of the Innings was his six to Ashwin which brought his double century and reflected his confidence.
He scored another quickfire 40 in the second innings and thus made life tough for the Indians. England went on to win the match and undoubtedly Joe Root was adjudged the Man Of the Match.
4. Steve Smith, 144 & 142 vs England
The only question unanswered in 2019 Ashes was: How to stop Steve Smith?
One thing that can define this match is that Australia were 122-8 at one point and from there went on to win the match by 251 runs. Courtesy: Steve “Inhumane” Smith.
Smith was returning to test cricket after a 1 year gap following the infamous sandpaper incident. Electing to bat first, the England bowlers were all over the Australian batsman.
On a day which was marred with poor umpiring and with audience booing Smith and Warner for the sandpaper incident, Smith survived a wrong umpiring call and scored 144 runs in the first innings. He was ably supported by the taileders.
In reply England posted 374, gaining a 90 run lead. Steve Smith then followed it with another century(142) and Australia, with centuries from Matthew Wade too, posted 487-7. The English batsman couldn’t make head or tail of the chase and succumbed to 146-10, handing Aussies a 251 run win.
The highlight of this innings was that Smith walked off to a standing ovation, from the very same crowd that booed it.
3. Shannon Gabriel, 4/62 & 5/75 vs England
It was a big day for World Cricket. Cricket was back after a long wait and we couldn’t have imagined such a brilliant test match.
On a pitch where the ball was swinging, West Indies reminded England of the famous Leeds test. Only this time, the heroes were different.
Windies defeated England by 4 wickets in a wonderful display of swing bowling, the prime architect of which was Shannon Gabriel.
The muscular fast bowler got the ball to swing and gave much trouble to the batsmen on his route to 4-62. In the second innings he was at his best, bowling with high speeds, getting the old ball reverse and picked up 5 wickets.
No doubt, he was the man of the match for this wonderful performance.
2. Rishabh Pant, 89* vs Australia
Before this series, Rishabh Pant was known as an audacious batsman with all the big shots but was always criticised for throwing his wicket away.
But test cricket has never had his back on Rishabh Pant and it’s this format where he has shown his true potential.
Going back to this hell of a test match where India breached Aussies’ Gabba fortress, it was Rishabh Pant who ensured India didn’t lose the plot till the winning run.
Set a target of 328, India witnessed several ups and downs to claim, maybe their best win in recent years. It all started with Shubhman Gill’s talent, went on with Pujara’s resilience and ended with an audacious boundary by Pant. Another notable performance was Siraj’s 5-wicket haul. Not to forget that Pant had scored 97 in the previous test too.
It was this win knock that instilled in Rishabh Pant the confidence with which he plays. This knock will indeed go down as one of the most memorable knocks in a run-chase.
1. Ben Stokes, 135* vs Australia
It is no doubt that the year 2019 belonged to Ben Stokes. The ace all-rounder was at his best in the World-Cup and carried the same form in Ashes 2019.
In England’s first innings they scored a meagre 67 replying to Australia’s 179. Even in the second innings after Australia set them a target of 359 runs,England found them in a position of bother at 286-9 with only Stokes hanging around.
What followed next was absolutely unheard of. Ben Stokes unleashed a carnage on Australia in scoring 135*, one of the greatest innings ever played. In a last wicket partnership of 76 runs, Jack Leach scored only a single run while Ben Stokes mauled the Australian bowlers.
This innings was a testimony of the way Ben Stokes dominated world cricket in 2019 en-route to winning the 2019 Cricketer Of the Year.
Honorable Mentions: Kyle Mayers, 210* against Bangladesh
Rohit Sharma, 161 against England
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