World Test Championship final will be held in Southampton in June between India and New Zealand. ICC started this new event to promote Test cricket and past two years, this tournament has been a winner. We found some outstanding match-winners and teams took this format seriously. From the Ashes series in 2019 to the recently concluded Sri Lanka-Bangladesh Test series, we got five terrific batsmen who scored top runs in this edition of the World Test Championship. In this segment, we pick the top 5 leading run-scorers of the World Test Championship. Australia and England dominated this list with just one Indian player made into the top five. Surprisingly, we didn’t see any player from the WTC finalists, New Zealand.
Marnus Labuschagne (Australia)
Marnus Labuschagne’s real story started with the WTC when he was included as the concussion of Steve Smith in the Ashes series. Since then, Australia found a match-winner in its Test side. He was the first player to cross 1000 runs in WTC and will finish this season as leading run-scorer. The Australian star has aggregated 1675 runs from just 23 innings at an average of 72.82 with scoring 5 hundred and 9 fifties. He has the most hundreds and most fifties in this tournament. He also scored the most number of fours in WTC 2019-21. His best score came against New Zealand in 2020 with a fabulous knock of 215 at SCG. His 185 against Pakistan was at Brisbane was also delightful to watch.
Joe Root (England)
The England Test skipper had great form in World Test Championship and his best form came in the last phase of the edition. He scored half of the WTC runs in the Indian subcontinent when England toured Sri Lanka and India in 2021. Root scored two double hundred in 2021 and currently, leading run-getter of this year. Root has amassed 1660 runs from 37 innings at an average of 47.42 with 3 hundred and 8 half-centuries. His best knock was recorded against Sri Lanka at Galle when he single-handily took England on the driver’s seat with cracking 228. His 218 in Chennai against India was like a cherry on this celebration. Root's 186 in Galle was also a treat to watch when the track was favouring the spin and the entire batting unit of England was struggling.
Steve Smith (Australia)
The Test specialist Steve Smith made his Test comeback in style after serving a one-year ban and his first assignment was Ashes. Smith just showcased his best version in 2019 and ended up as the leading run-scorer of the series with 774 runs. Smith scored 1341 runs in World Test Championship at an average of 63.85 with 4 centuries and 7 half-centuries. It means, his half of the runs came in Ashes 2019. He could have finished on top but he failed with the bat in the India series. His best knock came against England in Manchester when he scored an amazing 211. It was one of the finest innings of his career. His 142 at Birmingham was also a good knock which helped Australia to take lead in the series.
Ben Stokes (England)
Ben Stokes made news for England and he become a superstar in the span of few months. No one can forget his masterclass knock at Headingley when he won the match for England from a tough situation. Stokes had a great season for England in World Test Championship and he aggregated 1334 runs at an average of 46 with scoring four hundred and six half-centuries. His best knock was record against Australia at Leeds when England lost their 9 wickets and they needed more than 100 runs. He scored unbeaten 135 with 11 fours and 8 sixes to script a great comeback of Ashes history. Stokes has the most sixes in WTC with 31 sixes. Rohit Sharma can surpass him who has 27 sixes now and India still have one game to play. Stokes also scored a fine hundred against West Indies in 2020 to help England to equal the series after losing the first match.
Ajinkya Rahane (India)
Rahane had a story of ups and downs in the World Test Championship but he is the hidden hero of the Indian side who helped them to crack another ICC final. Rahane led India to win a historic series win in Australia. He is the only Indian in the list and was the first Indian to score 1000 runs in WTC. Rahane has scored 1095 runs at an average of 43.80 with three centuries and 6 half-centuries. His good form started with the West Indies tour and the best innings came against Australia at MCG with a fine hundred as the captain. India were one-down in the series and needed a comeback after Adelaide’s horror story.
Special mention: Rohit Sharma (India) – 1030 runs, 64.37 avg, 4 100s & 2 50s