The inaugural edition of the World Test Championship (WTC) is set to come to an end with just one match remaining – the all-important one at that. The summit clash will see India and New Zealand going head-to-head for the coveted trophy – possibly the most important in Test match cricket history so far. Played at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton, the clash could turn out to be one for the ages.
The final marks the culmination of a two-year long tournament that took place through the form of bilateral series between the contesting nations. The format and qualification criterion underwent changes as well, but in the end, it was the strongest two sides that prevailed, beating out stiff competition from England and Australia who weren’t too far behind in the points table.
Ahead of the final, we take a look at the top 5 highest wicket takers in World Test Championship.
|Tim Southee||New Zealand||10||20||390.3||107||1054||51||20.66||2.69||45.9||3||0|
5. Tim Southee
New Zealand pacer Tim Southee was in scintillating form in the WTC as he was one of New Zealand’s vital cogs in their wheel. Despite playing just 10 matches, the fast bowler picked up a whopping 51 wickets at a terrific average of 20.66. Southee was also the chief architect of India’s only series loss in the WTC as he picked up the Man of the Series award in the series against the Virat Kohli-led side.
The Black Caps would want Southee to continue in similar fashion and take their side to WTC glory, come the final.
4. Nathan Lyon
Australian spinner Nathan Lyon was the symbol of relentlessness in the WTC as he bowled a huge total of 630 overs in the 14 matches that he played, picking up 56 wickets. The offie did his best to try to take the Aussies through to the all-important final but the crushing loss to India and a slow over-rate sanction meant that not even his best efforts could help his side.
Lyon is also on the agonizing figure of 399 Test wickets at present, having been unable to breach the 400 mark during India’s tour. He would want to get past the mark soon and lead his side to Ashes glory later this year.
3. Ravichandran Ashwin
Probably India’s most important bowler over the course of the last decade, Ravichandran Ashwin has delivered time and again with his clever bowling. The off-spinner picked up a grand total of 67 wickets from the 13 matches that he played. Even on2 the Australian pitches, Ashwin was miles ahead of the other spinners as he proved his class yet again.
Ashwin now looks like the favourite to end up with the most wickets in the WTC as he is just 3 wickets behind the top ranked bowler, Pat Cummins who won’t feature in the final.
2. Stuart Broad
England’s ever-reliable bowler Stuart Broad is second on the list with 69 wickets from 17 matches. The fast bowler along with James Anderson has served English cricket for the entirety of the past decade and been the most important reason for their successes in the longest format of the game.
In the WTC as well, Broad was at his vintage best as he kept picking up wickets at will. A similar performance in the Ashes would be exactly what the Englishmen would want.
1. Pat Cummins
The No. 1 ranked bowler in the ICC Test Rankings for a reason, Pat Cummins kept proving as to why he is one of the best that Australia have ever produced. The fast bowler picked up 70 wickets in 14 matches at an average of 21. The fact that he picked up these many wickets with a stellar bowling attack comprising of Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Nathan Lyon along with his is testament to what a fantastic bowler he is.
Unfortunately for Cummins, he wasn’t able to lead his side to the WTC final. But if he is anywhere near his best in the Ashes later this year, it would be advantage Australia.