Test cricket in 2017 was full of brutal battles between the bat and the ball with some of the greats of the modern era of the game, going at one another. Some players had a great year with the bat and the ball in the longest format, entertaining the followers of the traditional form of the game during the year.
Many players had a superlative year individually, which in turn helped their teams in performing better. We have chosen 5 such Most Valuable Players (MVP) from Test cricket in 2017.
STEVE SMITH (AUS)
1305 runs in 11 Tests at an average of 76.76 with 6 hundreds and best of 239
Steve Smith gained immortality in the annals of Test cricket with his fourth consecutive year of scoring more than 1000 runs in Tests. He joined Matthew Hayden as only the second batsman to achieve the feat.
Smith has been effective not only in Australia, but he scored runs in Bangladesh and India as well. He was particularly irritating for the Indian bowlers, as he was extremely hard to dislodge during the four Tests in Feb-Mar this year. England also found him hard to get out as he scored his third century in the ongoing Ashes series, smashing 604 runs at an average of 151 with one Test still to go.
VIRAT KOHLI (IND)
1059 runs in 10 Tests at an average of 75.64 with 5 centuries and best of 243
Virat Kohli scored 1059 runs in 10 Tests with 5 centuries, including back to back double hundreds against Sri Lanka recently, including his highest Test score of 243. He has had a brilliant year as both the batsman and captain. He was the second batsman this year to average over 70 this year. Kohli will be the premier batsman that South Africa will target in the three-Test series next year.
SHAKIB AL HASAN (BAN)
665 runs and 29 wickets in 7 Tests with best of 217 and Best bowling in match of 10/153
Shakib Al Hasan ended 2017 as the top-ranked Test all-rounder with 437 rating points. He played a crucial role in Bangladesh’s historic Test win over Australia, as he picked up 10/153 to demolish a strong Australian batting lineup.
Shakib also became the highest individual scorer for Bangladesh in Test cricket, as he smashed 217 against New Zealand. Shakib became the fourth bowler to take a five-for against all the other nine Test playing nations.
KAGISO RABADA (SA)
57 wickets in 11 Tests with Best bowling in match of 10/63
With 105 wickets in 23 Tests, Kagiso Rabada has established himself as a strike bowler for the Proteas. He bowled South Africa to a win against Bangladesh by taking a match haul of 10/63. He never gave anyone the feeling that South Africa was missing Dale Steyn for most of the year. 22-year-old Kagiso Rabada has already taken 7 five wicket hauls and 3 ten wicket hauls in his 23 Test career.
Rabada will be the key bowler that Indian batsmen will target when the two nations battle it out in the three-Test series.
JAMES ANDERSON (ENG)
55 wickets in 11 Tests with best bowling in match of 9/73
James Anderson has become the 5th most wicket taker in Test matches recently, going past the tally of 519 wickets of West Indian great Courtney Walsh. Anderson has carried on his good form for England, in this Ashes series as well, but their inability to stop Steve Smith from scoring runs has led to England losing the Ashes series 3-0 with two matches to go.
Anderson took 55 wickets in 11 Tests so far in the year. His best bowling performance this year in a Test of 9/73 came against the West Indies at Lord’s, where he also picked his career-best bowling figures in an innings of 7/42.