Pakistan’s Shan Masood and Babar Azam have made it to the Wisden’s Test Team of the Year 2020.
The team comprises players with the best performance during the time period of December 19, 2019 to December 11, 2020.
“A total of 23 Tests were played during the period and we have added all the top performers from the time frame in the selector,” wrote Wisden.
Shan scored 419 runs at an average of 46.55 in the six matches he played during the period. “Three tons in three consecutive innings earn Shan Masood his place in this team, even if he tailed off somewhat alarmingly against England,” said Wisden.
The left-handed batsman scored his highest, 156, against England at Old Trafford in August this year. “England began exceptionally before lunch on day one, and Shan rode it out. Then, even as the home bowlers erred, he couldn’t quite cash in,” read the Wisden statement.
“But on day two, as Pakistan slid to 176-5, he came into his own, slowly opening his shoulders as his batting partners dwindled. Having struggled against England previously – his 156 was more than he managed in four previous Tests against them combined – Shan’s should have been a match-winning knock, but Chris Woakes and Jos Buttler had other ideas.”
Pakistani skipper scored 600 runs at an average of 100 in the six games he played in the past year. He made three centuries and his highest score was 143.
“All told, that’s not a bad average. Babar Azam made sure the return of Test cricket was a joyous, triumphant one, and it was fitting that he, a player who had already inspired such hope in the country, should provide even more,” wrote Wisdon. “That he’ll be disappointed with his exploits in England, despite averaging just under 50, shows how high his standards now are.”
Here is Wisden’s Test Team of the Year 2020:
1. Dom Sibley
2. Shan Masood
3. Kane Williamson (C)
4. Marnus Labuschagne
5. Babar Azam
6. Ben Stokes
7. Quinton de Kock (WK)
8. Kyle Jamieson
9. Stuart Broad
10. Tim Southee
11. Nathan Lyon