We have New Zealand, England, Australia, West Indies, Afghanistan and Pakistan in action in the longest format of the game this week. Each of Hamilton, Lucknow and Adelaide will host a Test match and it presents the Moneyball fantasy managers a golden opportunity to get extra sterling in their kitty. We present our preferred player choices for the week as you seek to fill your purses.


Country: Australia

Match/Series: Australia vs Pakistan, 2nd Test

Wait, Mayank Agarwal can't just walk away with the tag for most runs in 2019 in Test cricket with Steven Smith fit and firing.  Even when he made just four runs at Brisbane, Smith maintained his distance from Mayank as 2019's top run-scorer with 778 runs in 8 innings. The Australian middle-order batsman further has Tests coming up against New Zealand in December. He has played 8 Test innings in 2019 and averages a Bradman-esque 97.25. Surely, a pink ball hundred is in the offering from modern cricket's greatest Test batsman. 


Country: Afghanistan

Match/Series: West Indies vs Afghanistan, only Test

Rashid Khan has taken 6/49, 5/55 and 5/82 in his last three innings in Test cricket. After going for 154 runs in 34.5 overs on his Test debut innings against India, Rashid's Test career has taken a solid u-turn. At Lucknow, he will look to build on that against a West Indies side that hasn't had to face much ire from him in the shorter formats this series. A big one is in the offing from Rashid and it could come in the lone Test match starting on November 27.


Country: Australia

Match/Series: Australia v Pakistan, 2nd Test

If Josh Hazlewood and Mitchell Starc came to the party in Australia's win over Pakistan at Brisbane, it was Pat Cummins yet again who appeared the most threatening of the Australian pace bowlers, racking up a good pace in his short bursts. 

The fast bowler has 48 wickets in 9 Tests this year at an average of 18.91 and a strike rate of 41.7. He came into the series with his last three bowling figures at home being 4/39, 6/23 and 1/32. But at Brisbane, Cummins flew under the radar as Starc took centre stage. Armed with the pink ball, Cummins could just roll Pakistan over as he is in some fine rhythm.


Country: New Zealand

Match/Series: New Zealand vs England, 2nd Test

2018 and 2019 have been amongst the best years in terms of bowling strike rates in Test cricket's history. Even with batsmen scoring double tons, the fast bowlers have hogged headlines and openers have struggled. But Tom Latham, since 2018, has been the standout opener in Test cricket. He has 1060 runs in 12 Tests at an average of 62.35 with four centuries. He went missing at Mount Maunganui, but expect him to roar back to form at Hamilton, a venue where he made 161 the last time he batted.


Country: Pakistan

Match/Series: Australia vs Pakistan, 2nd Test

A batting average of 36.22 in Test cricket might seem like a below-par figure for Pakistan's limited-overs giant, but Babar Azam is on a path to redemption and showed extraordinary class in his second Test century at Brisbane in the second innings. The middle-order batsman's overall numbers are down to a poor start to his Test career where he averaged in the 20s after 10 Tests. 

Since 2018, though, Azam has 865 runs in 11 Tests at an average of 50.88 with two centuries and seven half-centuries. Now, that's more like the Babar we know in ODIs. Can he rock in the pink ball Test too? In fact, his Test debut came in a pink ball game and he made 69 in his opening knock against West Indies in Dubai.

Feature image courtesy: AFP / Saeed Khan