Australia’s 2-0 victory over New Zealand and England’s 4-1 defeat to India has – almost – brought to an end a sizeable block of Test cricket.

Bangladesh and Sri Lanka will face off at the turn of the month, but after that, with the IPL and the T20 World Cup taking place, it will be a long wait until the next fixtures in the longest format.

Since the 2023 World Cup, 10 of the 12 Test teams have been in action, with results including the shortest Test ever played, between India and South Africa and two historic victories, for West Indies over Australia at the Gabba, and for Ireland over Afghanistan, their first win in men’s Test cricket.

All of which makes this the perfect time to take stock and consider what a world Test XI might look like right now. To do this, we can use the ICC’s rankings. Picking out the two highest ranked openers, a No.3, two middle-order players, a wicketkeeper, and all-rounder and the top four bowlers gives a rounded XI, albeit one dominated by India, who provide five of the XI. Four other nations are represented once each and New Zealand provide two entrants.

The current world Test XI according to the ICC rankings – the selections

Rohit Sharma – India

ICC batting ranking: No.6
Rating: 751

Rohit may have been outshone by Yashasvi Jaiswal against England, but it’s the India captain who occupies the loftier spot in the ICC rankings. The elegant right-hander demonstrated his enduring class with twin centuries in the series, and has become one of the most dependable openers in the world since his promotion to the top of the order.

Dimuth Karunaratne – Sri Lanka

ICC batting ranking: No.7
Rating: 750

The former Sri Lanka captain has long been a rock against the new ball and has taken his game to new heights in recent years. Since the start of 2021, Karunaratne averages 57.57 in Test cricket.

Kane Williamson – New Zealand

ICC batting ranking: No.1
Rating: 859

With 77 runs in four innings, Williamson had an unusually lean series against Australia. Before that, he had been unstoppable, with seven hundreds in 12 innings, including three in four against South Africa. Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, he wasn’t dismissed once between 50 and 100, with 11 hundreds, four of which were doubles, in that time.

Joe Root – England

ICC batting ranking: No.2
Rating: 824

Like Williamson, Root had an under-par most recent series, and like Williamson, that hasn’t done much to dull his shine or dent his ranking. Root returned to form with an excellent century at Ranchi, resuming a near constant glut of runs across the past few years, both with and without the captaincy.

Daryl Mitchell – New Zealand

ICC batting ranking: No.3
Rating: 768

Mitchell is tied with Pakistan’s Babar Azam at No.3, but given he fills in more regularly at No.5, he gets the nod. It took the Black Cap time to make his mark, but he has established himself recently as one of the best all-format batters in the world, and averages over 50 in Test cricket.

Rishabh Pant – India

ICC batting ranking: No.15
Rating: 692

It’s a marker of just how good Pant is that, despite not playing a Test since 2022 as he recovers from a horrific car crash, he’s still the highest ranked wicketkeeper in the world. Before his injury, his rating stood at 797 points, and he had recently broken into the top five for the first time. With a comeback set for the Indian Premier League, it shouldn’t be long until Pant is crashing the white and red ball to all parts again.

Ravindra Jadeja – India

ICC all-rounder ranking: No.1
Rating: 444

Jadeja is over 100 points above the next all-rounder in the ICC’s list – India teammate R Ashwin – and after scoring a century and taking seven wickets at Rajkot, he reached a new high of 469 points. Good enough with bat and ball to slot in at No.6 and be the lone spinner overseas, Jadeja’s record compares against any all-rounder in the game’s history.

R Ashwin – India

ICC bowling ranking: No.1
Rating: 890

India’s legendary off-spinner reached the dual milestones of 500 Test wickets and 100 Test caps, with the former coming before the latter – taking wickets at a rate of more than five per Test is extraordinary. Ashwin may be 37 years old, but he’s far from done yet.

Kagiso Rabada – South Africa

ICC bowling ranking: No.4
Rating: 834

For Rabada, the key metric is strike rate. He has taken a wicket every 39.1 balls bowled in Test cricket. Of bowlers with 200 Test wickets or more, no one else is within even half an over of that figure. An average of 22.05, sixth best in the 200-wicket club, isn’t half-bad either.

Josh Hazlewood – Australia

ICC bowling ranking: No.2
Rating: 847

Each of Australia’s trio of prime pace bowlers has taken turns leading the charge, and currently Hazlewood is at the head. This season he has reached a new level, with 35 wickets at 15.31 since the end of the 2023 Ashes.

Jasprit Bumrah – India

ICC bowling ranking: No.2
Rating: 847

Bumrah was scintillating against England, with a devastating reverse-swinging spell hauling India back into the series at Visakhapatnam. He might be the only player in the world to be in a world XI in all three formats.

The current world Test XI according to the ICC rankings – the lineup

1. Rohit Sharma
2. Dimuth Karunaratne
3. Kane Williamson
4. Joe Root
5. Daryl Mitchell
6. Rishabh Pant (wk)
7. Ravindra Jadeja
8. R Ashwin
9. Kagiso Rabada
10. Josh Hazlewood
11. Jasprit Bumrah