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Test MVP returns as England face Sri Lanka
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The PCA Most Valuable Player Rankings for Test cricket returns with England back in red-ball action tomorrow in Galle as they prepare for the three Test series against Sri Lanka.
James Anderson took home the summer MVP crown after some superb performances saw the pace bowler surpass Glenn McGrath as the leading wicket-taker for seam bowlers in Test cricket.
Anderson’s skill and consistency always puts him in contention for the Test MVP award, however, with turning pitches a given in Sri Lanka and plenty of new faces in the side, Anderson could have some firm competition if he wants to retain his title.
Joe Denly was crowned PCA MVP for domestic cricket in 2018 after his remarkable performances across all three formats.
If he gets the nod in Galle tomorrow, the Kent all-rounder will be hoping the combination of his leg spin and runs will give him an opportunity to produce similar results that saw him win the domestic accolade.
Also coming off the back of a fine domestic season is Surrey captain and opener Rory Burns who is set to make his England debut.
Burns finished as the highest placed batsman in the County Championship MVP standings after racking up 1349 runs at an average of 65 as well as leading his side to the Division 1 title.
With England legend and stalwart, Alastair Cook retiring this could be Burns’ chance to lay down a marker.
The MVP formula was designed by the players to identify the match-winners and key influencers of matches throughout the domestic and international season.
An innovation which provides a more rigorous analysis of player performances than traditional batting and bowling averages.
Test captain Joe Root made his way to the crease once during the rain affected warm-up matches and recorded an unbeaten century before retiring. Perhaps a good omen for the Yorkshireman who looks back to his best with the bat.
Adil Rashid has bowled admirably so far on tour and is top of the PCA MVP Overall Rankings after impressing in the five-match ODI series and the one-off IT20 match.
Rashid was recalled to the Test side last summer and with spin likely to be a key factor this time around, the Yorkshireman could have a series to remember.
Likewise, spin-bowling partner Moeen Ali, who looked back to his best when he returned to the side against India, will be fundamental in his side’s potential success.
Wicket-keeper batsman Jos Buttler won the Overall MVP for the summer after proving a formidable asset in all three formats and if he performs anywhere near the standard he set over the summer he will be a firm contender once again.
A disrupted summer was perhaps the main reason behind Ben Stokes not featuring higher in the MVP charts so with the all-rounder ready and firing could this be his tour to set the MVP Rankings alight?
To keep up to date with the PCA MVP Rankings click here.