Wisden, known as the bible of cricket , is a cricket reference book published annually in the United Kingdom. After the abrupt end of the England v India Test series with the unfortunate cancellation of the 5th test, Wisden has chosen their best combined India- England XI for this test series.
For the openers, they have gone for the prolific Indian pair of Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul. Rohit was the second-best batsman of the series after Root. He scored 368 runs at 52 and looked good in every test. Rahul too emulated his partner, by playing stellar knocks,piling on 315 runs with 39 average. No English openers have come close to the Indian duo.
In the middle order, Wisden has chosen Pujara, Root and Kohli. With no one else really doing outstanding at the number 3 spot, Pujara even with an average series by his standards gets into the number 3 spot with 227 runs at 32 average . 2 of his knocks helped the team to win tests at Lords and Oval.
Root was the automatic choice at number four with a staggering 564 runs at 94 average in a bowler dominated series. He has smashed 3 100s in the series.
At number 5 Virat Kohli manages to come in as there was no other candidate even remotely consistent. Kohli had a subdued series with 218 runs at 31 average but no other batter managed better figures at that spot.
For the keeper’s slot, though Pant kept outstandingly his poor batting for much of the series (146 runs at 20 average) has gone against him. Even Buttler was below par and thus Bairstow with somewhat better batting figures of 186 runs at 26 average & decent keeping at the Oval gets into the XI.
At 7 & 8 spots, the two best all-rounders in the series simply walked in and the spinning all-rounder Jadeja had no chance. Shardul Thakur with 117 runs at 39 average and 7 wickets at 22 average were outstanding as was Chris Woakes with 68 runs at 34 average and 7 wickets at 19 average in his only test of the series. Thus both march into the XI.
With hardly any role for the spinners in this series, the remaining 3 bowling spots have gone to fast bowlers. Thus Ollie Robinson with 21 wickets at 21 average , Anderson with 15 wickets at 24 average and Bumrah with 18 wickets at 21 average easily completes the XI which looks as under :
1. Rohit Sharma. 2. KL Rahul. 3. Cheteshwar Pujara. 4. Joe Root. 5. Virat Kohli. 6. Jonny Bairstow (WK). 7. Shardul Thakur. 8. Chris Woakes. 9. Jasprit Bumrah. 10. Ollie Robinson. 11. James Anderson.