GALLE, SRI LANKA - JULY 08: Australian batsmen Marnus Labuschagne and Steven Smith run between wickets during day one of the Second Test in the series between Sri Lanka and Australia at Galle International Stadium on July 08, 2022 in Galle, Sri Lanka. (Photo by Buddhika Weerasinghe/Getty Images)

2022 is in the books, with the final Tests of the year being completed in the final days on the calendar, with Australia beating South Africa at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, and New Zealand drawing with Pakistan in fading light.

In a year which has seen the breakout of BazBall, Australia continuing to dominate, and more discussion about pitches and the long-term longevity of the game in the five-day format, there have been some outstanding performances.

Whether it's James Anderson still being among the wickets at 42 years of age, or the never-ending tradition of Australia's top order scoring runs, there has been plenty to come out of an enthralling year, with some enormous series and a World Test Championship final ahead in 2023.

Here is Zero Wicket's best Test XI of the year.

1. Usman Khawaja (Australia)
Usman Khawaja's career might be winding down, but that hasn't stopped him from scoring runs left, right and centre at the top of the order for Australia in 2022.

For a batsman who once struggled on the sub-continent, his form there against Pakistan and Sri Lanka was superb, and it has matched back in Australia against South Africa and the West Indies.

He ultimately finishes the year as the third-highest run-scorer in the five-day format with 1090 runs at 67.5.

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 06: Usman Khawaja of Australia celebrates his century during day two of the Fourth Test Match in the Ashes series between Australia and England at Sydney Cricket Ground on January 06, 2022 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

2. Kraigg Brathwaite (West Indies)
The West Indies may have had a horror finish to the 2022 calendar year with a 2-0 pasting at the hands of Australia, but their form prior to that had been better than it has been in Test cricket for many, many years.

Unsurprisingly, their form was sparked by opening batsman Kraigg Brathwaite, who just refuses to take failure for an answer, despite the ongoing plight of cricket in the Caribbean.

He finishes the year with less runs that some other openers - particularly Pakistan's Imam-ul-Haq who misses out on this side - but given the quality of opposition, variable conditions and challenges he faces, his 687 runs at 62.45 - a far superior average to ul-Haq - puts him in this side.

3. Marnus Labuschagne (Australia)
Marnus Labuschagne is simply non stop at the crease. He has created a name for himself on the back of some of his antics, but it's his run-scoring which does all the talking when push comes to shove.

He didn't quite crack the 1000-run barrier across the 11 Tests he played this calendar year, but finishing with 957, he went past 100 on four occasions to average 56.29.

Given some of the challenging conditions he has played in, those numbers - and his efforts coming in early after the loss of David Warner on plenty of occasions - have been important to Australia's charge to the top of the World Test Championship standings.

4. Babar Azam (Pakistan)
Babar Azam may not have been able to lead Pakistan to the success he would have liked, particularly when playing at home in Pakistan, but he has had a phenomenal year with the bat.

He tops all run-scorers coming out of the 2022 calendar year with 1184 runs at 69.64, going past 50 on 11 occasions, making four of them into centuries.

In just 17 innings, he has scored more runs than than the seven players behind him with less innings, and will again be critical to Pakistan's chances of winning games in 2023.

5. Steve Smith (Australia)
Like Labuschagne, Smith has been an absolute rock in the Australian batting line-up, with this spot coming down to a battle between he and another former national captain in Joe Root.

On on hand, Root has scored 1098 runs this year, which is the second-most of any player. But those runs have only come at 45.75 across his 15 Tests.

Smith finds himself with 876 runs, but has averaged 58.4 to do it, well above that of Root, and has made his way past 50 in 7 out of his 18 innings. Root has done the same with a better conversion rate for centuries, but has taken 27 innings to do so.

On that, Smith takes the spot.

6. Ben Stokes (England)
There is no better all-rounder on the world cricket scene currently than English star and skipper Ben Stokes.

And what a phenomenal year it has been for the aggressive skipper. He sits seventh for total runs with 870 at 36.25, but has scored them at a strike rate of a tick over 71.

When you consider he has also backed it up with the ball, taking 26 wickets at 31.19, and led his side to a new aggressive style of cricket under Brendon McCullum, it's exciting to think where England will go in series against New Zealand and Australia during 2023 in likely difficult conditions.

LEEDS, ENGLAND - AUGUST 25: Ben Stokes of England celebrates hitting the winning runs to win the 3rd Specsavers Ashes Test match between England and Australia at Headingley on August 25, 2019 in Leeds, England. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

7. Rishabh Pant (India, wk)
With the exception of Englishman Ollie Pope, Rishabh Pant has not only been the best batting wicket-keeper this year, but he has also bee the best wicket-keeper.

It's rare to have such a clear cut decision in the number seven spot in a best XI, but Pant has no match this year.

At 2.071 dismissals per innings, he has claimed 23 catches and 6 stumping in his 7 Tests, but has also come up with 680 runs at 61.81, putting him many miles ahead of those behind him.

Two centuries, a strike rate of 90 and excellent keeping mean he will be key again for India in 2023 as they prepare to face Australia in an enormous four-Test series on home soil.

8. Marco Jansen (South Africa)
Rarely has a bowler made such an impact as Jansen has in their first full year of Test cricket.

In just eight Tests, he has become one of only two bowlers with more than 25 wickets to take them at an average of under 20, with an average of 19.02 for his 36 wickets.

His height, bounce and pace make him a weapon, as the Australian batsmen have been fast finding out over the final weeks of the year.

9. Kagiso Rabada (South Africa)
While some of the batsmen picked themselves, Kagiso Rabada was the first player picked in this side for 2022.

In just 9 Tests, Rabada took 47 wickets at 22.25. It makes him the equal-top wicket-taker for the year, but the average makes him, statistically speaking, 2022s best bowler.

Always a danger at lightning pace, Rabada troubled batsmen all year and will need to continue to do so in 2023 as the Proteas attempt to rebound from what has been a horror series in Australia to date.

10. Nathan Lyon (Australia)
Cult hero status is what Lyon has in the eyes of Australian cricket fans, but it's not cult hero because he is a larrikin.

It's genuine hero because he continues to take wickets.

In a year that has moved Lyon into the top ten wicket-takers of all-time in Test cricket, he grabbed another 47 dismissals at 29.06, bowling 500 overs and keeping it tight thre whole way. He has no rival in the modern game either, with Mehidy Hasan out of Bangladesh being the only other spinner with more than 30 wickets for the year.

11. James Anderson (England)
Will James Anderson ever slow down?

The answer appears to be no. Despite being on the wrong side of 40, Anderson just continues to steam in and do the damage for England.

He claimed 36 wickets in 9 Tests across 2022, but wasonly one of two bowlers with more than 25 wickets (alongside Jansen) to do it at an average of under 20.

Another incredible year for the English warrior.