Top 5 Test matches of the year 2022
Ever since the introduction of the World Test Championship in 2022, Test Cricket has gotten more popular and interesting. The games go on till the final day, matches are more result oriented and the games are more entertaining than ever as fans get to witness a heat-stopping match every month. With that being said, here are the
Top 5 Test matches of 2022
5) England vs Australia, 4th Test
After 3 one-sided games which were won by Australia, fans were relieved to witness at least one nail-biter in the Ashes. Australia batted first and scored and declared at 416-8 Usman Khawaja shined with the bat, scoring 137 in 260 balls, smashing 13 boundaries in the process. Stuart Broad contributed with the ball, having figures of 29-5-101-5.
Johnny Bairstow was the lone warrior in England's timid test batting line-up, bailing the team out with an unbeaten 113 in 158 deliveries. Scott Boland was the pick of the bowlers, taking 4 wickets in 9 overs, while just giving 24 runs.
Batting in the second innings, Usman Khawaja and Cameron Green helped Australia to reach 265-6. Pat Cummins declared and hoped to get England all out before day 5 to lead the series 4-0. Zak Crawley, Ben Stokes, and Johnny Bairstow held the England batting lineup to avoid another embarrassing defeat. In the end, it was Jimmy Anderson and Stuart Broad, blocking all the deliveries to draw the test match.
4) West Indies vs England 3rd Test
The series being leveled at 0-0, England and West Indies were looking to clinch the series by winning the third and last test match. The last time England toured the West Indies, they lost the series 2-1 and they were making sure that history doesn't repeat itself.
England batted first and set a poor target of 204-10. The top order did not contribute, with only valuable contributions coming from the lower order, from the bats of Jack Leach and Saqib Mahmood. West Indies ended up scoring 297-10 and gave a lead of 87 to England. Joshua Da Silva was the pick of the batsmen scoring an unbeaten 100 in 257 deliveries.
England were completely rattled by the West Indian bowlers in the second innings. The Caribbean restricted the Englishmen to a below-par score of 120. Kyle Mayers was the pick of the bowlers, taking a brilliant 5 wicket haul, making it easy for the West Indian batsman to win the series with just 28 runs to chase
This was the last match before Brendon McCullum was appointed the coach for England's test team. England completely transformed their batting and became a force to reckon with under the 'Bazball' approach.
3) India vs England, 5th (rescheduled) Test
A series that was set to be completed in August 2021, was delayed and rescheduled in 2022. India were leading the series 2-1 and the 5th match was canceled due to cases of Covid-19 at the Indian team. The match was rescheduled for the following year but this was not the same England team that was getting manhandled by the Indian team. Under the leadership of Ben Stokes and Brendon McCullum, England completely changed their fortunes in test cricket and were looking like an unstoppable side
India batted first and scored a good first innings total of 416-10. Rishabh Pant and Ravindra Jadeja were the picks of the batsmen, scoring centuries each while Jasprit Bumrah made history, smashing the most runs in an over in a test match, smashing 35 runs off Stuart Broad. Indian bowlers did well to contain England and restrict them to 245-10, as Johnny Bairstow saved England once again with a splendid century.
India did not do exceptionally well in the second innings, but they did set a mammoth total of 378 for England to chase. The world had never seen this much carnage yet as Johnny Bairstow and Joe Root took India to the cleaners, smashing the Indian bowlers with ease, and tying a series 2-2. This was a huge change in the England batting line-up and is a far different side from 2021.
2) England vs New Zealand, 2nd Test
This was the first test that showed signs of what England cricket would be under the leadership of Ben Stokes and Brendon McCullum. This was the first sign of 'Bazball' and the fans were in for a treat. Batting first, New Zealand scored a mammoth first innings total of 553-10. Daryl Mitchell and Tom Blundell were the picks of the batsmen, scoring centuries each.
In reply, England scored 539-10 with contributions coming from Alex Lees, Ollie Pope, Joe Root, Ben Stokes, and Ben Foakes. This was a far cry from the 2021 England side, as their batting looked stable and they were not dependent on just one batsman for runs.
In the third innings, England bowled out New Zealand for 284 runs, giving a target of 299 for England to chase. What followed was one of the greatest 4th innings chases in test history as Johnny Bairstow switched to T20 Mode and smashed a century for the ages. The 33-year-old smashed 132 in just 96 deliveries, smashing the New Zealand bowlers all over the ground. England chased the target in 50 overs and this was a bold statement to all the teams in the world.
1) Pakistan vs England, 1st Test
Multiple records were broken in this Test match as the pitch was an absolute road. It had everything for the batsman, but no assistance for the bowlers. As fans expected it would be a boring run-fest that would all change after a questionable declaration by Ben Stokes. The England captain declared on 264-7 and set a target of 338 for Pakistan to chase, with 7 sessions remaining. Ben Stokes made it clear that England were not interested in a draw, they were interested only in a victory.
A brave decision by Ben Stokes, yielded results for England as they beat Pakistan by 74 runs. One of the best test victories in English Cricket, England have taken their white ball approach to red ball cricket. With an action-packed schedule in 2023, it will be interesting to see how England carries this approach in the next year.
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