Pat Cummins cops massive snub in ICC's Test team of the year
A debate has erupted over the ICC Test team of the year, with Ben Stokes named captain over Aussie star Pat Cummins.
Pat Cummins has been overlooked as captain in the ICC men's Test team of the year in favour of England's Ben Stokes, with three other Aussies accompanying him in the side. Stokes earned the nod as captain after his appointment as captain contributed to England's dramatic Test revival in 2022.
Alongside Cummins, Nathan Lyon, Usman Khawaja and Marnus Labuschagne also earned a spot on the premier team of the year. Australia boasted the most selections in the side, with only England (three) having more than one player selected.
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England completed a stunning turnaround after Joe Root stepped down as captain. With Stokes elevated to captain and new coach Brendon McCullum in charge, England won nine of their 10 Tests in 2022.
It was a remarkable turnaround given the seemingly dire state of England cricket in the months prior, where they had been victorious in just one of their previous 17 Tests with Root as captain. In addition to Stokes, batsman Johnny Bairstow and fast bowler Jimmy Anderson also made the cut.
It was an impressive feat from Anderson, who maintained his reputation as one of the most fearsome quicks in world cricket at the age of 40. He took an impressive 36 wickets in 2022 on an average of 19.40, while Kraigg Brathwaite (West Indies), Babar Azam (Pakistan), Rishabh Pant (India) and Kagiso Rabada (South Africa) made up the rest of the squad.
Opening bat Khawaja's selection is no surprise given his prolific run scoring since returning to the Test arena while Labuschagne was also rewarded for his dominance at No.3. Bowlers Cummins and Lyon have been mainstays of the attack, ensuring Australia's elevation to the top of the ICC Test standings after series wins over England, Pakistan, the West Indies and South Africa.
There was also plenty of joy for Australia's women's cricketers, with Alyssa Healy and Beth Mooney selected in the women's ODI team of the year. Mooney was also selected in the T20 team of the year alongside Ashleigh Gardner and Tahlia McGrath.
None of Australia's male players earned selection in the T20 team. Australia's dominance of women's T20 saw them win gold at the Commonwealth Games with an undefeated run through the tournament.
Pat Cummins is a good choice for the captain
— Kishore Are (@Kishore65308082) January 24, 2023
Four of their stars feature in this Test XI, including top ranked batter and bowler in the MRF Tyres ICC Men’s Test Rankings, Marnus Labuschagne and Pat Cummins.
— Gurbaksh Singh Chahal (@gchahal) January 24, 2023
Stokes as captain over Cummins is embarrassing
— 'Chappa (@LaChappa123) January 25, 2023
Cummins has been superb - but with a superb set of players. Stokes took a failing team and completely turned them around.
— Oliver Webber (@Violino1567) January 24, 2023
Pat Cummins defends role in Cricket Australia sponsorship furore
It was an tricky summer for Cummins, who was criticised after urging Cricket Australia to reconsider a lucrative sponsorship deal with energy provider Alinta prior to the Test series against the West Indies. In October, CA and Alinta announced that the partnership they formed in 2018 will come to an end in 2023.
The announcement came after Cummins, who is a member of the Cricket for Climate group, decided not to appear in Alinta’s most recent TV commercials and spoke out about companies who aren't doing their bit for the environment. The Test captain has since defended himself against criticism of his stance, declaring he is not out to 'please everybody' with his words.
At the time, Cummins said he hadn't put any pressure on Cricket Australia and had no regrets about speaking out. "It has always been a balance," he said. "We have seen certain players make decisions based on religions, or certain foods they eat, where they won't partner with specific partners.
"Every organisation has a responsibility to do what's right for the sport and what they think is right for the organisation, and I hope society when it moves forward. It is a balance when you make decisions about who you are going to welcome into the cricket family."
In an interview with News Corp on Tuesday, Cummins rubbished suggestions he had cost CA the $40 million deal. “It was complete rubbish,” he said. “The nature of the position I am in you do get dragged into different things. It was one of those moments you have to live with people you don’t know having opinions about you.”
Cummins continues to cop backlash from fans over the drama, with many criticising Cricket Australia and the captain for being too 'woke'. “It doesn’t bother me at all,’’ he said of the criticism. “I am not doing things to please absolutely everyone. Steve Jobs said he would go and sell ice cream if he wanted to do that."
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