Wisden Names Jasprit Bumrah, Hitman as the Top Five Cricketers in 2022

    Jasprit Bumrah and Indian Captain Rohit Sharma has found place in the prestigious Wisden annual “Five Cricketers of the Year” in the 2022 edition. England fast bowler Ollie Robinson, South African women’s player Dane van Niekerk and New Zealand opener Devon Conway are the others to have made the list of best cricketers.

    Joe Root, the former English team captain has been named Leading Cricketer in the World, South Africa’s Lizelle Lee the Leading Woman Cricketer in the World and Pakistan’s Mohammad Rizwan the Leading T20 Cricketer.

    Wisden, the world’s oldest and foremost chronicler of cricket, selects five cricketers every year as part of a legendary practice since 1889. Emphasis is on the previous English summer and no one can be chosen more than once.

    Virat Kohli was the last Indian to feature on the list, in 2019. Sharma and Jasprit Bumrah topped India’s averages as the tourists wrested a 2-1 lead in a five-match series last summer that is set to conclude in July this year after a Covid outbreak led to the cancellation of the last Test in Manchester.

    Rohit Sharma scored 368 runs in four Tests at an average of 52.57, capping an exceptional tour with a second-innings 127 at The Oval, his maiden Test hundred away from home. One of India’s finest white-ball players ever, Sharma wasn’t a Test regular till India’s home season in 2019 when he scored 529 runs in three Tests against South Africa to be Man of the Series.

    Jasprit Bumrah, Hitman Rohit in the Wisden Hall of Fame – Five Cricketers of the Year

    Given permanent opener status ahead of the England tour, Sharma lived up to steep expectations, curbing his natural style for pulls and drives to respect the conditions and give himself enough time before going on the offensive.

    His hundred at The Oval came at a crucial juncture of the Test when India were trailing England’s first innings by 99 runs. Sharma raised a first-wicket stand of 83 with KL Rahul, India’s only other centurion on that tour, but it was with Cheteshwar Pujara (61) that he really took on the England attack, scoring a gritty hundred that helped India set a 367-run target in the end.

    India took a decisive 2-1 lead after dismissing England for 210. “Rohit Sharma was at the heart of his side’s 2-1 lead over England, and played starring roles with the bat at Lord’s, where he made an elegant 83 in treacherous conditions, and at The Oval, where his superb 127 helped India overcome a first-innings deficit of 99,” said Wisden editor Lawrence Booth.

    Jasprit Bumrah played an equally significant role in that victory, removing Ollie Pope and Jonny Bairstow in consecutive overs to reduce England to 146/5. In India’s first win of the series during the second Test at Lord’s, Bumrah went wicketless in the first innings but came good with the bat in the second, scoring a 64-ball 34 in an 89-run stand with Mohammed Shami for the ninth wicket, allowing India to declare at 298/8 and set England a target of 272. With the ball, Bumrah dismissed opener Rory Burns and England captain Joe Root – eventually the highest scorer from both sides that series – to pave the way for a famous win.

    “Had rain not washed out the last day of the first Test at Trent Bridge, his nine wickets there might have led to an Indian win, too. In all, he managed 18 wickets at 20 apiece in the four Tests, and scored some unexpected – and crucial – tail-end runs,” said Booth.

    Root, who resigned the England captaincy last week after leading in 64 Tests, was named Leading Cricketer of the Year after a stupendous run with the bat that saw him score 1,708 runs at 61 in 15 Tests in 2021. As captain though, Root has endured possibly England’s toughest phase in the last 10 years as they slumped to series losses in India, England and recently, in the Caribbean.

    England have now won just one of their last 17 Tests. “His 1,708 runs have been beaten only by Mohammad Yousuf in 2006 and Viv Richards in 1976, and included six hundreds,” said Booth. “And he scored his runs in his fifth year as England captain, at which point many of his predecessors had already called it a day.”

    Lee was named Leading Woman Cricketer after scoring 632 runs in 11 ODIs, at a higher average (90) than any other player. Rizwan scored a world-record 2,036 T20 runs at an average of 56.


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