While New Zealand may have only recently been crowned as the inaugural ICC World Test Championship, fans are already gearing up for the next two-year WTC cycle.
In fact, this will commence with the Pataudi Trophy (which is contested between England and India) on August 4th, before reaching a potentially thrilling conclusion in June 2023.
This is likely to spawn a number of betting markets through sites such as https://www.cricketonlinebetting.in/, but who are the players to watch during the upcoming WTC cycle? Here’s our top three!
1. Kyle Jamieson (New Zealand)
The 6 foot-8 pace bowler Kyle Jamieson starred when NZ beat India to claim the inaugural Test Championship last month, claiming a five-wicket haul and the crucial, last-day scalp of opposing skipper Virat Kohli in a comprehensive eight-wicket win.
Incredibly, this was the 26-year old Jamieson’s fifth five-wicket haul in just eight tests, with the towering strike bowler boasting an incredible test record that would be the envy of most professionals.
More specifically, he’s taken 46 wickets in his eight matches to date, at an impressive strike rate of 37.40. He’s also shipped 652 runs from 1724 balls, creating an overall average of just 14.17 and an economy rate of 2.26.
Perhaps most impressive is Jamieson’s relentless consistency, as he combines pace and extra bounce with an ability to bowl a metronomical line and test even the best batsman’s patience outside the off stump. This was borne out by the bowler’s dismissal of the durable top-order batsman Cheteshwar Pujara in the recent WTC final, who edged a superb seaming delivery outside the off-stump after a period of sustained pressure.
Still relatively young and equipped with all the tools to succeed at test match level, we’d argue that Jamieson remains one of the key bowlers to watch during the second cycle of WTC matches.
2. Josh Philippe (Australia)
While wicket-keeper batsman Josh Philippe has yet to make his test debut for the Aussies (he’s only appeared in five international T20 games to date), he’s widely considered to be one of the hottest prospects emerging through the Australian ranks.
Philippe has certainly produced some outstanding numbers in List A, First Class and T20 domestic cricket, plundering a combined total of 2,232 runs across all formats.
The destructive Philippe (who has earned some flattering comparisons with the great Adam Gilchrist) also started for Royal Challengers Bangalore in the recent IPL, and at 23 years old he has the potential to become a key performer for the Baggy Greens for years to come.
While ODI recognition is the next goal for Philippe, he’ll also have his eye on the role of test match wicket keeper for the Aussies, especially with current incumbent and skipper Tim Paine inching towards the end of his career.
The question that remains is whether Philippe can force his way into the test side during the next ICC World Test Championship, but we wouldn’t bet against him making his mark within this admittedly short timeframe.
3. Rishabh Pant (India)
The exciting wicket keeper batsman Pant has already made his mark in the Indian test side, powering the team to some impressive performances during the inaugural ICC World Test Championship.
In fact, Pant has become particularly renowned for his attacking and care-free cameos, with his deceptive power and innovative shot making ability having been honed in the IPL and various T20 appearances.
Overall, Pant has already struck more than 1,500 runs in all formats for the Indian national side, while he has made the test match wicket keeper role his own.
Despite his attacking, risk-taking style and penchant for scoring quickly (his test match strike rate is a handy 69.80), Pant averages 43.84 in the longest format of the game. These figures combine to make genuinely impressive reading, while they’re indicative of a player who can score freely and consistently against the world’s best bowling attacks.
We can only assume that the mature 23-year old will get even better in the next two years and beyond, as India look to banish the demons of their recent final defeat against NZ and reestablish themselves as the number one test team in the world