R Ashwin, Wanindu Hasaranga, Liam Livingstone and Lizelle Lee make it to our teams of the year

ESPNcricinfo's staff picked their Test, ODI, T20 and women's teams of the year. Do they resemble yours?

Matt Roller
Matt Roller
Graphic: ESPNcricinfo's teams of 2021 header

ESPNcricinfo Ltd

New Zealand may have finished the year as world champions in Tests and runners up at the T20 World Cup, but only two players from that team feature in ESPNcricinfo's XIs of the year. Kyle Jamieson, the only one to hold his place from our Test team of 2020, boosts the Test bowling pack, while Glenn Phillips shores up the T20 middle order.
Rohit Sharma, who made contrasting hundreds against England at Chepauk and The Oval, was the heaviest-scoring opener of the year. His opening partner in our Test XI, Dimuth Karunaratne, was only four runs behind, having made hundreds against South Africa, Bangladesh (twice) and West Indies.
At Nos. 3 and 4 are Marnus Labuschagne, the new world leader in the ICC's Test rankings, and Joe Root, the man he knocked off the top on that table. Root, also the captain of our Test XI, hit six Test hundreds in 2021 and broke Michael Vaughan's record for most runs in a calendar year by an Englishman. Fawad Alam, who continued his fine run for Pakistan since his overdue Test recall with three hundreds, comes in next.
Rishabh Pant's heroics in Australia and in India's home series against England earn him the gloves.
R Ashwin couldn't get a game for India in England but still finishes 2021 as the year's leading wicket-taker. He is our lone spinner, with Hasan Ali, Shaheen Shah Afridi and Ollie Robinson forming the pace quartet alongside Jamieson.
Paul Stirling was the leading ODI run scorer in 2021 after starting the year with three hundreds in five innings in Abu Dhabi. He opens the batting with Fakhar Zaman, whose Pakistan captain Babar Azam also takes the reins of our team from No. 3.
Rassie van der Dussen slots in at No. 4, having shown off his versatility and his boundary-hitting ability against the quicks. Bangladesh stalwarts Shakib Al Hasan and Mushfiqur Rahim complete the middle order.
Next up is Sri Lanka leggie Wanindu Hasaranga, who did not reach the same heights he did in T20 cricket in the 50-over version of the game, but still made three punchy fifties with the bat and bowled with control. The top two wicket-takers of the year, Sri Lanka quick Dushmantha Chameera, extracting good bounce and regularly hitting speeds of 90mph or more, and Ireland offspinner Simi Singh, bowling at 3.67 runs and over, also make it to the ODI team.
Completing the attack are seamers Mustafizur Rahman, who was formidable at home in Bangladesh, and Josh Little, who confirmed his status as Ireland's most promising young quick for a generation.
Pakistan's record-breaking opening pair, Babar and Mohammad Rizwan, were the obvious choices as captain and wicketkeeper of our men's T20 side respectively, while Moeen Ali's all-round exploits for Birmingham Phoenix, Chennai Super Kings and England were enough for him to edge out Mitchell Marsh in a tight battle for the No. 3 spot.
Glenn Maxwell had a lean T20 World Cup but was so dominant against spin in the IPL, transcending difficult conditions in the UAE, that he makes our side at No. 4, while Phillips and Liam Livingstone also got plenty of votes, having ended 2021 as the year's leading T20 six-hitters.
Hasaranga was the leading wicket-taker at the World Cup. His googly proved near-impossible to pick, and he conceded a fraction over a run a ball across year. After his superb displays for Australia in their title-winning campaign, Adam Zampa is hard done by to miss out but he is unfortunate that he plays in the same era as Rashid Khan, whose unerring brilliance is often taken for granted: Rashid was the year's leading wicket-taker by a significant margin and gets in as our second spinner.
Afridi and Mustafizur both make the cut after impressing with the new ball and at the death respectively, and Royal Challengers Bangalore seamer Harshal Patel, the IPL's leading wicket-taker, edges Josh Hazlewood, Anrich Nortje, Tabraiz Shamsi and Avesh Khan to the final bowling spot.
Our women's XI this year is a combined white-ball side; performances and stats from ODIs, T20Is, the WBBL and the Hundred were considered.
Australia played fewer games than usual in 2021 but Beth Mooney's superb form for Perth Scorchers in their WBBL-winning season made her a popular choice at the top of the order alongside England's Tammy Beaumont, who started the year with three consecutive ODI half-centuries against New Zealand and ended it with 102 against the same opposition.
Lizelle Lee, the leading ODI run scorer for the year, slots in at No. 3, pushing Smriti Mandhana, who supplemented her India form with strong seasons in the Hundred and the WBBL, down to No. 4.
England captain Heather Knight had a prolific year and takes her place in the middle order, where she is joined by allrounders Marizanne Kapp - Player of the Match in both the Hundred and WBBL final - and Hayley Matthews, who seemed to be back near her best, particularly with the ball, after a quiet few years.
Amanda-Jade Wellington did not make an appearance for Australia but was the standout legspinner in both the Hundred and the WBBL, reaching the final in both competitions. She forms the spin attack along with left-armer Sophie Ecclestone and offspinner Anisa Mohammed, the leading ODI wicket-taker of the year.
The speed in our women's XI comes via Shabnim Ismail, who bowled with characteristic pace and aggression for South Africa and Oval Invincibles. She shares the seam-bowling workload with compatriot Kapp after Darcie Brown, Tash Farrant and Kate Cross were edged out by Ecclestone.

Matt Roller is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets at @mroller98