Thursday Jan 20, 2022
The International Cricket Council (ICC) Thursday announced the Men's Test Team of the Year and included three Pakistani players — Hasan Ali, Shaheen Shah Afridi, and Fawad Alam — in the squad.
The ICC Team of the Year recognises 11 outstanding individuals who have impressed one and all — be it with the bat, the ball or their all-round exploits in a calendar year.
New Zealand's Kane Williamson has been picked as the captain of the 11-man team, while three Indian players have also been included in the team.
Kane Williamson (c), Kyle Jamieson (New Zealand) Dimuth Karunaratne (Sri Lanka), Rohit Sharma, Rishabh Pant (wk), Ravichandran Ashwin (India), Marnus Labuschagne (Australia), Joe Root (England) Fawad Alam, Hasan Ali, and Shaheen Afridi (Pakistan)
At the age of 36, Fawad Alam has finally established himself as a cornerstone of the Pakistan batting lineup in Test cricket after years of playing domestic cricket.
He was at his sturdy best in 2021, scoring 571 runs in 9 matches at an average of 57.10 with three centuries. His tons came in tough situations against South Africa, Zimbabwe and West Indies.
Hasan Ali always delivered with the ball for Pakistan in 2021, be it as a strike bowler or when it came to holding one end up.
It was by far his best year in the longest format. Ali scalped up 41 wickets in 9 matches at a sensational average of 16.07.
He also picked up one five-wicket haul and registered best bowling figures in a match of 10/114.
Forming a formidable duo with Shaheen Afridi, Pakistan will hope he carries on his form in 2022 with some tough assignments awaiting them.
It was a year to remember for Shaheen Afridi, especially in the longest form of the game. Extracting brilliant movement with the new ball and reversing it with the old, Afridi picked up 47 wickets in 9 matches at an average of 17.06, including three five-wicket hauls.
Still only 21, Shaheen will likely lead the Pakistan pace bowling unit for years to come and with already rapid improvements in his bowling, he will undoubtedly prove to be a fearsome prospect.
The ICC also announced ODI Team of the Year and T20I Team of the Year and to lead both the teams, the cricket body picked Pakistan's Babar Azam.
Fakhar Zaman was included in the ODI Team of the Year; wicket keeper-batter Mohammad Rizwan and Shaheen were picked in the T20I Team of the Year, while no Indian cricket team player was able to make the cut for both the teams.