After 12 Round 1 matches, 30 Super 12 matches, two stunning semi-finals, and one grand finale, the 2021 ICC Men’s T20 World Cup came to an end with the underdogs for this year, Australia, winning the championship in Dubai. This edition of the T20 World Cup was filled with some exciting matches, and it wasn’t less than an entertaining blockbuster movie. There was a mixture of low as well as high scores, and almost every match was a nerve-racking game.
Many young players shone in the tournament and showcased their immense talent. We also saw experienced players who remained calm and performed brilliantly for their respective teams. We saw hat-tricks, a century, some quick-fire innings, and lethal spells in the tournament from some of the best in this format. As a result of all the great performances, we have selected the best XII players and made the team of the tournament, analyzing their performance in this year’s T20 World Cup.
Team of the tournament:
David Warner, Jos Buttler (WK), Babar Azam (C), Charith Asalanka, Aiden Markram, Wanindu Hasaranga, Adam Zampa, Adil Rashid, Josh Hazlewood, Trent Boult, Anrich Nortje, Mohammad Rizwan (12th man).
The top order
David Warner, the gun opener of the champions Australia, came into the tournament after a rough patch in the IPL. He was even benched in the latter part of the tournament by Sunrisers Hyderabad. No one would have guessed that Warner would be the ‘Player of the Tournament’ after his performances in the IPL. Warner finished the World Cup as the best batter for his team, scoring 289 runs at a remarkable average of 48.16 and a strike rate of 146.70. He was the backbone of the Australian batting unit, and also one of the main reasons for their victory, and is our top pick for the team of the tournament.
His opening partner is the wicket-keeper batter from England, Jos Buttler. In addition, he is the player with the gloves behind the stumps, this team’s keeper. Buttler is undoubtedly one of the best batters in this format and scored the only century of the tournament against Sri Lanka. Buttler was unstoppable with 269 runs from six matches. He scored at a whopping average of 89.66 and an astounding strike rate of 151.12. Buttler was one of the best openers in the tournament and provided England with quick-fire runs at the top of the order. Buttler is an easy pick for the opening spot of the team, and alongside Warner, they will be one fierce opening pair.
Babar Azam led the Pakistan squad brilliantly in this edition of the World Cup. Azam also was a stand-out batter in this World Cup and was in spectacular form throughout the tournament. The numbers speak for themselves, as he scored 303 runs at an average of 60.60. It also included four half-centuries in six games. Babar was consistent, and alongside Rizwan, they were the pillar of the Pakistani batting unit. He broke the record for the most runs in the debut World Cup, which proves why he is at the top of the Men’s ranking for batters. Azam is the captain of the team as he also led his country to the semi-finals after winning some spectacular matches against the top teams in the tournament.
Sri Lanka found a gem of a player in the form of Charith Asalanka at number three, who did wonders for his team in this edition of the World Cup. Even though Sri Lanka couldn’t qualify for the knockout stages, Asalanka was able to showcase his talent during Round 1 and the Super 12 stage. He scored 231 runs at an average of 46.20 and a spectacular strike rate of 147.13. Asalanka was the find of the tournament, and he surely made his mark in this year’s T20 World Cup.
The South African heavy-weight batter, Aiden Markram, makes his place in this team after some impressive performances in this year’s World Cup. Markram was the only consistent batter from South Africa, and his efforts almost sealed a semi-final spot for his team. Markram and his ability to hit some clean strikes stunned many bowlers in his group. He scored 162 runs at an impressive average of 54. Markram was pushed down the order by South Africa, and he adapted to the situation well and proved his all-round ability with the bat in hand.
The spin trio
At number six, we have the highest wicket-taker of the tournament, the Sri Lankan leggie, Wanindu Hasaranga. He is a valuable pick as he also is a good player with the bat, scoring 119 runs at an average of 23.80. Hasaranga is known for his mystery spin, and he spelled his mystery over the opponents. Hasaranga also picked up a hat-trick in the match against South Africa and picked up a record 16 wickets in the tournament at a superb strike rate of 11.2 and a breath-taking economy of 5.20. Hasaranga lifted the spirits of the Sri Lankan team, and the World number two in ICC rankings for bowlers did have an outstanding debut T20 World Cup.
Australia’s young leg-spin magician was Australia’s prime spinner and bowler in the tournament. He played a crucial role in Australia’s World Cup-winning campaign. He bowled brilliant lines and lengths and was almost unplayable. Zampa bowled at an unbelievable economy rate of 5.81. He was also able to pick up wickets, with 13 in the tournament. He kept his cool, and didn’t allow any batter to hit him for boundaries, and bowled brilliantly in the knockout games. Zampa was at his best, and he surely fits in the team of the tournament for this year’s World Cup.
The English leg-spin maestro, Adil Rashid, also makes his way in the team of the World Cup. Rashid was a tough pick, as his spin partner Moeen Ali also played well, with seven wickets in the tournament. But Rashid was a step ahead with nine wickets, and he also bowled at a miserly economy rate of 6.53. Rashid displayed his experience and skills in the tournament and was one of England’s best bowlers. He kept things tight in the middle-overs and built pressure on the opponents. Rashid also had a terrific opening performance against the West Indies, with four wickets, which set up the momentum in the English camp. Rashid’s experience is valuable, and thus he makes it to the team of the tournament.
The tall Australian pacer, Josh Hazlewood, was the star with the ball in hand in the Final. His efforts in his four overs – three wickets for just 16 runs, set the platform and won Australia their first ever T20 World Cup title. Hazlewood was consistent throughout the World Cup. He picked up 11 wickets at a strike rate of 13 and a decent economy rate of 7.29. Hazlewood bowled with great discipline and bowled a great line and length. Hazlewood is our top pick in this fast-bowling lineup.
The left-handed Kiwi pacer is our second fast-bowling pick. Boult, as usual, was spectacular for his country in an ICC tournament. He picked up 13 wickets at a strike rate of 12.7 and an unthinkable economy rate of 6.25. Boult picked up wickets in the powerplay and was also splendid in the death overs. Along with Tim Southee, they prevented the opposition from scoring big on them, which was one big reason for their success. Boult is a veteran in this format, and he yet again proved his caliber in the T20 World Cup.
The lethal South African pacer, Anrich Nortje, is our last pick in the team of the tournament. Nortje was fierce, lethal, and destructive in this year’s T20 World Cup. It was not uncommon for him to bowl fiery spells right at the beginning of the innings and during the death overs as well. Nortje was unplayable and consistently bowled with speeds over 145 kmph. He picked up nine wickets in five matches at an economy rate of just 5.37.
The 12th Man
The explosive batter and Pakistani wicket-keeper, Mohammad Rizwan, is our pick for the 12th man of the team of the tournament. Rizwan scored 281 runs at an average of 70.25. He was the third-highest run-getter of the tournament with a good strike rate of 127.72. Rizwan played some crucial knocks for his country, and he used to provide stability in the batting unit alongside his captain. The pocket-dynamo is a fearless batter, and he proved his mettle in this edition of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup.