Here is a look at the five most valuable all-round performances witnessed during the ICC World Test Championship 2023.
Jadeja storm wreaks havoc on Sri Lanka
Ravindra Jadeja proved yet again why he sits on the throne of No.1 Test all-rounder in the MRF Tyres ICC Players Rankings. In the first Test of the series against Sri Lanka, Jadeja scored a clinical 175* and recorded figures of 5/41 & 4/46. The landmark performance meant Jadeja became only the sixth player to score 150 or more and take a five-for in the same men’s Test.
If Jadeja would have picked up another wicket, he would have become the first player to score 150 plus and take a ten-for. The venue in Mohali also proved to be a happy hunting ground for the all-rounder as he bagged his third consecutive Player of the Match award playing there.
Jadeja’s epic all-round display meant India registered a comprehensive win by an innings and 222 runs.
Matt Henry’s annihilation versus South Africa
Henry stepped up in Trent Boult’s absence in the first Test against South Africa in Christchurch. After opting to bowl first, Henry made full use of the conditions, exploiting swing and bounce.
The quick made early inroads with Dean Elgar’s wicket in only his fourth delivery, then, he stifled the Proteas batter with the ball nipping away in the off-stump channel to complete his first five-wicket haul in Tests to end with career-best figures of 7/23.
The carnage continued with the bat. Henry walked in to bat at No.11 and struck an unbeaten 58* off 68 balls. In the second innings, Henry claimed another couple of wickets, helping New Zealand win by an innings and 276 runs.
Shardul Thakur’s fiery assault against England
In the 4th Test against England at Oval, Thakur arrived all guns blazing, playing a counter-attacking knock of 57 off 36 balls studded with 7 fours and 3 sixes. This innings broke Sir Ian Botham’s record of scoring the fastest Test fifty in England as Thakur achieved this feat in 31 balls, one ball less than Botham. Thakur went on to score another fifty in the second innings, becoming only the third Indian batter to do so while batting at number eight.
To complete his all-round performance, the pace-bowler snared the important wickets of Ollie Pope who looked threatening batting on 81, in-form Joe Root for 36 runs and half-centurion Rory Burns. Thakur’s contributions helped India break the deadlock and take a 2-1 lead in the series.
Memorable Maharaj magic
Maharaj delivered one of the jaw-dropping performances in the recently concluded Test series against Bangladesh, claiming a seven-wicket haul in consecutive Test matches. Particularly in the second Test, Maharaj demonstrated his capabilities with both bat and ball. Batting at number eight, the left-arm all-rounder scored 84 runs off just 95 balls – an innings laced with 9 fours and 3 sixes – followed by 2/57 in the first innings with the ball.
Chasing a target of 413 runs, Bangladesh faced Maharaj’s wraith from the first over as South Africa deployed spin from either end. Maharaj finished the second innings with the figures of 7/40 to help bowl out the visitors for 80 and seal and 332-run victory.
Captain Mominul shines in historic Test win over New Zealand
Skipper Mominul Haque helped his side achieve a momentous victory in Bangladesh’s cricketing history, defeating the reigning ICC World Test Champions New Zealand in their own backyard for the very first time. Mominul starred with the bat in the first innings, scoring a disciplined 88 off 244 balls. He also picked crucial wickets of Devon Conway who was cruising along on 122 and dangerous Henry Nicholls striking on 75 off 127 balls. It was only fitting that Mominul was in the middle when the winning runs were scored, chasing a target of 40 runs.
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