Best of Australia and Black Caps in Anzac XI | cricket.com.au

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Best of Australia and Black Caps in Anzac XI

To mark ANZAC Day, here is a Test XI that brings together the country's finest current cricketers

With a rich history as opponents on the cricket field and comrades on the battle field, Australia and New Zealand share a special relationship as neighbours across the Tasman Sea.

With today marking the 102nd anniversary of the Gallipoli landing, we've merged the best of the cricketing talent from the two proud nations to form an ANZAC XI, based on performances across the past 12 months.  

David Warner

Matches: 13 | Runs: 948 | Average: 37.92 | 100s: 2 | HS: 144

Warner creates history with first-session ton

The performance: For the second year straight Warner hit the fastest Test century ever seen at the SCG, this effort even more special than his 2016 showstopper given that it came before lunch on day one. The dynamic left-hander was just the fifth batsmen to achieve the feat in Test history, and the knock put Pakistan on the back foot from the outset of the Test. For good measure, Warner came out in the second innings and smashed the fastest half-century in Australian Test history, from 23 balls.

Tom Latham

Matches: 14 | Runs: 922 | Average: 40.08 | 100s: 3 | HS: 177

Latham snares remarkable one-handed catch

The performance: Latham doubled his career hundreds tally in the past 12 months, cashing in with a pair of tons against a weak Zimbabwe outfit before making a super 177 against Bangladesh in the new year. Under pressure after the Tigers posted a mammoth 8-595 declared, Latham led the Black Caps' response, producing a man-of-the-match performance that spanned almost eight hoursand ultimately paved the way for victory. Took a few handy catches, too - such as the one above!

Kane Williamson

Matches: 13 | Runs: 1,079 | Average: 59.94 | 100s: 4 | HS: 176

King Kane matches Crowe, puts Kiwis in front

The performance: Like his rival captain in Baggy Green, Williamson just keeps setting the bar higher. The Black Caps skipper used the past 12 months to add a few more records to his burgeoning collection: he's now the youngest player to have Test hundreds against every other nation; and he also equalled the late Martin Crowe's Kiwi record of 17 Test hundreds. The pick of the bunch was a sublime 176 against a high-quality Proteas attack in the drawn third Test in Hamilton. 

Steve Smith (c)

Matches: 13 | Runs: 1,399 | Average: 63.59 | 100s: 6 | HS: 178no

Skipper's Indian epic steers Australia to 451

The performance: Smith has been on another planet to most of his contemporaries in recent times and his numbers during this period bear that out; he became just the third player to be averaging 60 after 50 Tests and smashed another six hundreds in just 13 Tests. After a rare blip against South Africa in which he didn't post a century through the series, he hit two in two against Pakistan but saved his best for the subcontinent, continuing his love affair with India in hammering three hundreds in four Tests. Best of the lot was probably his epic 178no in the third Test in Ranchi. Flawless.  

Ross Taylor

Matches: 12 | Runs: 798 | Average: 61.38 | 100s: 3 | HS: 173no

The performance: Taylor took Zimbabwe to the absolute cleaners to the tune of 364 runs without once being dismissed - numbers that blow out his overall average considerably, particularly when you consider the lean run that followed. However, Taylor demonstrated his absolute class (and earned himself a spot in this team) with a fighting second-innings hundred against Pakistan in Hamilton, which not only proved he had lost none of his abilities - or sight - following an eye operation, but led to a superb Test win for the Black Caps.

Usman Khawaja

Matches: 8 | Runs: 636 | Average: 45.42 | 100s: 1 | HS: 145

Unbelievable Usman: Adelaide ton for the ages

The performance: Khawaja makes this team even though he was dropped from the Test side not once, but twice across the past 12 months. The first was following a poor string of returns in Sri Lanka. The second was a preemptive strike for fears he would struggle against India's spinners. In between, he passed fifty in all six home Tests, including a wonderful 145 against the Proteas in Adelaide - unquestionably his best performance in the past 12 months, and likely the finest of his career.

BJ Watling (wk)

Matches: 14 | Runs: 610 | Average: 40.66 | 100s: 1 | HS: 107 | Dismissals: 48 (47ct, 1st)

The performance: It's a measure of Watling's productivity with the bat that only six batsmen from the trans-Tasman countries score more than his 610 runs across the specified period, while the reliable keeper-batsman snared 48 dismissals to boot. The right-hander was another to dine out against Zimbabwe but we've picked his best performance as an even 50 against South Africa in Dunedin, which slowed a menacing pace attack and helped ensure a drawn outcome. 

Mitchell Starc

Matches: 11 | Wickets: 57 | Average: 24.80 | SR: 43.2 | BB: 6-50 | 5WI: 3

Watch all of Starc's 24 wickets v Sri Lanka

The performance: Starc had been widely hailed for his white-ball deeds in 2015 but there were still those who wondered if he'd quite hit his straps in Test cricket. That was until Australia's tour of Sri Lanka, when the left-armer opened the series with match figures of 11-94 in Galle and barely let up from there. He finished with 24 wickets - the most ever by an Australian paceman in a three-Test series - and an enhanced reputation as one of the world's most feared quicks. His absence through injury in the final two Tests in India was certainly felt.

Neil Wagner

Matches: 13 | Wickets: 56 | Average: 24.25 | SR: 51.1 | BB: 6-41 | 5WI: 2

Wagner pulls strings for Black Caps

The performance: Forget Boult and Southee, it's been Neil Wagner who has emerged as New Zealand's most reliable quick in the past 12 months with a series of consistent performances. Combining pace, energy and a nagging length, the left-armer proved a valuable addition to Kane Williamson's side, shining with a six-wicket haul against Zimbabwe but, more impressively, with a five-for against South Africa in the second Test in Centurion.

Josh Hazlewood

Matches: 13 | Wickets: 48 | Average: 24.85 | SR: 59.7 | BB: 6-67 | 5WI: 2

Starc, Hazlewood blow Test wide open

The performance: Hazlewood continued to prove a perfect foil to the more aggressive Starc (and later, Pat Cummins), wearing down opponents and consistently proving a solid wicket-taking option for Steve Smith as well. His finest performance was a haul of 6-67 against India in Bengaluru, when he ran through the home side on the fourth morning to put Australia in a position to win a match they ultimately lost.

Nathan Lyon

Matches: 13 | Wickets: 52 | Average: 35.36 | SR: 63.9 | BB: 8-50 | 5WI: 2

Lyon tears India apart with eight-wicket haul

The performance: Lyon was a much-maligned figure following Australia's whitewash defeat in Sri Lanka, shouldering a lot of the blame for the outcome. He was under pressure for his place through much of the Australian summer, despite a crucial contribution in the third Test against South Africa and the cult hero status he earned through the 'Niiiiiiiice Garry' phenomenon. But in India he claimed a remarkable 8-50 on day one of the second Test to again throw mud at his doubters.  

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