A panel of Wisden.com writers look back at the year gone by and pick the best men’s Test match innings of 2022.
2022 was largely a year for batting in Test cricket, with Brendon McCullum leading England in a new era that completely reinvented batting in the longest form, while Rishabh Pant continued to bring joy to the game and Abdullah Shafique showed the value of a classic fourth-innings vigil.
In a year of extraordinary chases and days of individual brilliance, here are the standout performances with the bat from the last 12 months.
2022 in Review: Wisden’s men’s Test innings of 2022
No.5: Jonny Bairstow 106 (140) v India, Edgbaston, Birmingham, July 1-5
“A thundering pull off Siraj landed into the stands. Thakur was flicked for four, then he EASportsCricket2007d over wide long-on for six. Bairstow overturned an lbw decision, and then it rained again. When play resumed, Bairstow flicked the first ball past mid-wicket for four. A rested Bumrah returned, Jadeja came on, but in vain – there was no stopping Bairstow.
“The hundred, off 119 balls, was his slowest of the summer – but the last 83 of that had taken 34 balls. By the time Shami got him, Bairstow had taken England to 175 runs of India. His 106 came out of a total of 284: none of his teammates went past 36.” – Abhishek Mukherjee
No.4: Rishabh Pant 100* (139) v South Africa, Cape Town, January 11-14
“That is what Pant is all about. For a moment, he makes you forget your allegiance as you just sit back and watch a kid in love with the game play in a manner few others do. Unafraid to fail, he symbolises ‘New India’, of which Kohli had proudly declared himself a member in 2020. ‘Forever ready to take on challenges’ was its mantra, and on that day, Kohli would have proudly watched as his young teammate pushed through into the club.” – Sarah Waris
No.3: Abdullah Shafique 160* (408) v Sri Lanka, Galle, July 16-20
“The winning hit was a cover-drive for four, fittingly, by Shafique off Jayasuriya. It was his second boundary he hit in the final 68 overs of the Test match. Pakistan’s immovable object did not dominate the Sri Lankan spinners: he outlasted them.” – Abhishek Mukherjee
No.2: Jonny Bairstow 162 (157) v New Zealand, Headingley, Leeds, June 23-27
“The loudest roar of all is saved for the hundred, Bairstow’s lid removal accompanied not by a trademark roar but a wide, beaming smile. There’s no point to make or detractor to prove wrong. Instead, the glory is pure. A crowning moment in his crowning summer in front of his home crowd.” – Ben Gardner
No.1: Jonny Bairstow 136 (92) v New Zealand Trent Bridge, Nottingham, June 10-14
“It was the first of five England hundreds in 2022 struck at a quicker than a run a ball. Stokes and McCullum rightly receive plaudits for having the vision for what this set of players is capable of, but if this England team were a new band that had taken the world by storm, Jonny Bairstow is the frontman, turning the writing of McCullum and Stokes into reality. And in a year of hits, his performance at Trent Bridge was the truest smash.” – Yas Rana
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