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Feature

Ben Stokes, Sikandar Raza, Suryakumar Yadav and Renuka Singh make it to our 2022 teams of the year

ESPNcricinfo's staff pick their Test, ODI, T20 and women's teams of the year

ESPNcricinfo Ltd

ESPNcricinfo Ltd

It has only been six months since Ben Stokes and Brendon McCullum took charge of England's Test side, but the turnaround in fortunes has been dramatic and that dominance is reflected in ESPNcricinfo's Test team of the year. Four England players feature in it, as do four players from Australia, the team currently leading the World Test Championship table.
Joe Root, Jonny Bairstow and Stokes, who form the XI's middle order, were among the top six run-scorers of the calendar year. Two others from that list of prolific batters, both Aussies, are also in our XI - Usman Khawaja opens the batting, while Marnus Labuschagne comes in at No. 3. Kraigg Brathwaite, West Indies' sole representative in the side, partners Khawaja up top.
The fast-bowling attack consists of England's James Anderson, who has appeared indefatigable in his 40th year, South Africa's Kagiso Rabada, and Pat Cummins of Australia. Our XI might be tested in subcontinental conditions given it has only one frontline slow bowler, Australia offspinner Nathan Lyon, although he will get support from Root, who bowled over 140 overs of spin in the year.
India may be second on the WTC points table, but our staff combined to pick only one player from the side in the Test XI - Rishabh Pant, who takes the gloves.
Babar Azam, who was prolific in 50-over cricket in 2022, making three hundreds and five fifties in nine innings for Pakistan, leads our ODI XI and bats at No. 3 below openers Travis Head and Shubman Gill. India's Shreyas Iyer, with over 700 runs at an average of 56, slots in at No. 4, followed by New Zealand keeper-batter Tom Latham and two offspinning allrounders, Zimbabwe's Sikandar Raza and Bangladesh's Mehidy Hasan Miraz. Both made unbeaten hundreds in home wins, Raza getting two in a series win over Bangladesh in Harare, and Miraz getting his while handing India a series defeat in Mirpur.
They will lend support to our canny bowling attack in which Adam Zampa brings the wristspin option, while Trent Boult offers left-arm variety to Alzarri Joseph and Mohammed Siraj's right-arm pace.
Our men's T20 XI contains several title winners from 2022 - Jos Buttler, Alex Hales and Sam Curran (Player of the Tournament) lifted the T20 World Cup for England; Hardik Pandya, David Miller and Rashid Khan won Gujarat Titans the IPL trophy in their maiden season; Haris Rauf was red-hot for Lahore Qalandars, who won their first PSL title this year; Wanindu Hasaranga chipped in with bat and ball, and was the Player of the Tournament when Sri Lanka won the T20 Asia Cup in Dubai in September; Hales was also part of the Trent Rockets side that won the men's Hundred.
Suryakumar Yadav didn't win any team trophies this year, but would you really keep a batter as inventive as him (who had a strike rate of 176 and over 1500 T20 runs) out of the side? He bats at No. 4, below Rilee Rossouw, who also struck above 170 and played for the PSL's losing finalists Multan Sultans.
Seamer Josh Little, who played for Manchester Originals, the losing finalists in the Hundred and took 2 for 16 in Ireland's victory over England in the T20 World Cup, rounds out our men's T20 XI.
Our women's XI this year is a combined white-ball side; performances and stats from ODIs, T20Is, the WBBL, the CPL and the Hundred were considered in compiling it.
Alyssa Healy, who made a world-record 170 in the 50-over World Cup final in April, would be the first pick in most XIs. Close second would be the other batter who dazzled in the final - if England had a realistic chance of overcoming Australia's 356, it was only because of how Nat Sciver, who made 1600 runs in 2022, fought back with an unbeaten 148.
Healy bats at No. 3 in our XI, below openers Smriti Mandhana and Beth Mooney; the latter was the leading run-scorer of this season's WBBL. At No. 4 is Laura Wolvaardt, who scored over 400 runs for WBBL winners Adelaide Strikers and topped the Hundred's run-scoring charts with 286 runs for Northern Superchargers.
There are plenty of bowling options in the XI: Sciver, who took 25 wickets at an economy of 5.6 from 42 white-ball matches in the year, can support fast bowlers Shabnim Ismail and Renuka Singh, while Amelia Kerr can chip in with legspin to go with the left-arm slows of Sophie Ecclestone, currently the No. 1-ranked bowler in ODIs and T20Is, and the offspin of allrounder Deepti Sharma.
The team is led by India captain Harmanpreet Kaur, who scored over 1600 runs in the year.