The Indian Test team has been on a roll in the last couple of years. They are currently placed firmly at the top of the ICC World Test Championship Table and look almost unbeatable at home. Teams like England, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa have been thrashed in India in the recent past. And now it appears that only a World Test XI team can perhaps defeat them.
Here, we have tried to put together the best World Test XI of today side that can take India on in India.
World Test XI The Openers
There were a few other choices for this position – Dimuth Karunaratne, Azhar Ali and Dean Elgar. However, one feels that New Zealand’s Tom Latham is the most technically sound to do well on Indian tracks. He has a composed mindset and does well against both pace and spin. The Kiwi opener averages 40.20 in Asia and has 3 hundreds and 4 fifties to his name in these conditions. When New Zealand toured India in 2016, Latham struck 3 fifties in all the 3 Tests and was consistently solid.
Record in India: 194 runs in 3 Tests at an average of 32.33 with 3 fifties.
No.2. David Warner (Australia):
He is an opener with the X-Factor and can take the game away from India if he finds his rhythm. While his IPL record shouldn’t count in Tests, Warner’s experience of playing in India for such a long time and having great expertise of the conditions does give him an advantage as an opener here. He is an aggressive batsman and is one of the best Test openers of the current era. Warner has matured as an opener in recent times and that will help him dominate the Indian bowlers.
Record in India: 388 runs in 8 Tests at an average of 24.25 with 3 fifties.
Also read- David Warner’s 117 Minutes, 78 Balls
No.3. Kane Williamson (New Zealand): (Captain)
He will be a shoo-in in any World Test XI side and should certainly be the prime candidate for No. 3 position in the World Test XI team that takes on India in India. Perhaps the most technically adept Test batsman of this generation, Kane Williamson is the man you want to be at the vital Number3 spot. He can control the innings from one end and also nullify the spinners. Williamson has oodles of patience which makes him perfect for this role.
Kane Williamson is a natural leader and will also be the captain of this World Test XI side.
Record in India: 461 runs in 7 Tests at an average of 35.46 with 1 hundred and 3 fifties.
No.4. Steven Smith (Australia):
Do we even need to prove why this man needs to be in this World Test XI side? Steve Smith is unquestionably the best Test batsman of this generation and the only batman with an average of 60-plus at present. Smith, with his own unique technique, loves playing against India and smashed 3 hundreds on Australia’s tour to India in 2017. Smith is the only batsman capable enough to deny the strong Indian bowling attack wickets and frustrate them for long periods. He is the most vital part of this World Test XI side.
Record in India: 660 runs in 6 Tests at an average of 60 with 3 hundreds and 1 fifty.
Also read- Steve Smith’s redemption
No.5. Joe Root (England):
While he has not been having the best of forms of late, Joe Root is one of the best middle-order batsmen in Test cricket. He would be absolutely perfect to follow Williamson and Root in this World Test XI side. Root’s staunch footwork and great technique has made him very productive in India. He is one of those batsmen who can play out sessions and also keep accumulating runs.
Record in India: 584 runs in 6 Tests at an average of 53.09 with 1 hundred and 5 fifties.
No.6. Ben Stokes (England):
The England fast bowling all-rounder has been in the form of his life. Ben Stokes has been doing exceptionally well across formats and was one of the stars of this year’s Ashes series against Australia. Stokes is just the kind of impact all-rounder you need in this World Test XI. He can attack lower down the order if the team needs and also bowl some handy overs to give a break to main bowlers. Stokes also generates reverse swing which will be very useful against the Indian batsmen on their pitches.
Record in India: 345 runs in 5 Tests at an average of 38.33 with 1 hundred and 1 fifty; along with 8 wickets at 44.62
No.7. Mushfiqur Rahim (Bangladesh):
There were a few candidates considered for this spot – Quinton de Kock and BJ Watling being the two main ones. However, Bangladesh’s Mushfiqur Rahim fits the match perfectly as the wicket-keeper batsman for the World Test XI to take on India in India. Rahim absolutely thrives playing against India and is a true fighter of a batsman and wicket-keeper. In the recent India-Bangladesh Test series, Rahim was the only batsman who could leave a mark from his team and he already has a Test hundred against India in India. He is very good against the seamers and can really unsettle India’s spin bowlers. Moreover, Rahim’s keeping is first rate as well.
Record in India: 331 runs in 3 Tests at an average of 55.16 with 1 hundred and 2 fifties.
World Test XI– The Bowlers
No.8. Pat Cummins (Australia):
The Australian fast bowler has risen to become the world’s top Test bowler in the last couple of years. Pat Cummins simply walks in to this World Test XI side that will take India on in their own den. Cummins has pace, movement and enough varieties in his arsenal to shake the Indian top-order up. He will keep bowling tight channels and frustrate the Indian batsmen. He is also a very handy batsman lower down the order which makes him perfect for this position.
Record in India: 8 wickets in 2 Tests at an average of 30.25.
No.9. Jofra Archer (England):
While he is still very fresh in the Test format, but Jofra Archer has been clearly the next big fast bowling sensation in world cricket right now. He was lethal, fiery and unplayable at times in this year’s Ashes. Archer has the ability to completely ruffle the India batting unit with his vicious pace and also take crucial wickets along the way. Furthermore, he is also a decent bat. Jofra Archer will certainly be the X-Factor of this World Test XI’s bowling unit.
Record in India: Hasn’t played
No.10. Yasir Shah (Pakistan):
You need really good spinners to stop India in India and Pakistan’s Yasir Shah fits the bill. The leg-spinner is one of the best in the world at what he does and can be a genuine threat for the Indian batsmen with his varieties and googlies. Yasir can really come into play during the final two days when the pitch crumbles just a little.
Record in India: Hasn’t played
No.11. Nathan Lyon (Australia):
The experienced Australian off-spinner has toured India twice already and has left his impression. Lyon is the best off-spinner for all conditions in the world right now. He can toil for hours, bowl relentlessly in the same channel and extract good bounce from any surface. Indian batsmen have been found wanting against good off-spinners in the recent past and Lyon, with his skillful bag of varieties, will be more than a handful for them on pitches that favor him.
Record in India: 34 wickets in 7 Tests at an average of 30.58 with 3 five-wicket hauls.
So this was our World Test XI that we believe can beat India in India. Which players would you like to add to this eleven?