Cricket News: T20 World Cup 2021 Team of the Tournament | Putting together the best XI of the T20 World Cup 2021 in the UAE
Australia, who were outsiders in the eyes of many, won their first ever men’s T20 World Cup title thanks to magnificent performances in the crunch matches against Pakistan and New Zealand.
Throughout the tournament, we saw a number of magnificent performances in crunch stages. This is certainly bound to happen a tournament filled with world class players, which makes choosing a team of the tournament a very difficult task.
After much deliberation and thinking, here is CricBlog’s team of the tournament, with some reasoning for the each player’s selection.
CricBlog’s T20 World Cup 2021 team of the tournament
1. David Warner (Australia)
7 matches, 289 runs, average: 48.16, strike rate: 146.70
What a terrific little redemption story. After being cast aside by Sunrisers Hyderabad, there was some doubt as to what impact David Warner would have on the T20 World Cup.
But, Warner proved all those doubts wrong with a magnificent finish to the campaign. He smashed 89* (56) in a must-win game vs West Indies, 49 (30) without even being out vs Pakistan and 53 (39) to help Australia seal the title. All in all, it was a magnificent campaign from Australia’s outstanding white-ball opener.
2. Jos Buttler (England) (wk)
6 matches, 269 runs, average: 89.66, strike rate: 151.12
Jos Buttler, Babar Azam or Mohammad Rizwan for the opening spot? Ultimately, Buttler’s strike rate of 151.12 trumps Babar’s 126.25 and Rizwan’s 127.72. Both Pakistani openers were outstanding in this World Cup, but Buttler’s ability to change gears so effectively was a feature of his campaign.
His superb 101* against Sri Lanka on a tough Sharjah pitch was the highlight after thumping eventual champions Australia to all parts the game before. As we need a keeper in this team, Buttler’s strike rate gets him in the team of the tournament.
3. Charith Asalanka (Sri Lanka)
6 matches, 231 runs, average: 46.20, strike rate: 147.13
Charith Asalanka was without a doubt one of the surprise packets of this World Cup. The Sri Lankan left-hander is a fine player in the 50-over format, but was yet to make a mark in T20 cricket consistently even at a domestic level.
But, this tournament truly announced the arrival of a very talented batsman for the Lions. He batted with superb intent throughout the tournament, evident in his strike rate of 147.13 which is brilliant for a batsman coming in at three. He looked good in all his matches, with his performances against Bangladesh and West Indies particularly impressive.
4. Moeen Ali (England)
6 matches, 92 runs, average: 46.00, strike rate: 131.42, 7 wickets, average: 11.00, economy rate: 5.50
Moeen Ali is enjoying some year in white-ball cricket. After playing a key role in Chennai Super Kings’ IPL triumph, Moeen then went on to have a fine campaign for England in the World Cup.
Moeen batting up the order is a different beast in T20 cricket. smashing 37 and 51* in his last two matches. However, it was with the ball that Moeen was most impressive, providing England with a number of valuable overs and wickets particularly in the powerplay.
5. Aiden Markram (South Africa)
5 matches, 162 runs, average: 54.00, strike rate: 145.94
What a player. And what a year he is having. South Africa have a gem in Aiden Markram, and he was one of their shining lights in this tournament.
His 24-ball 52* against England was particularly impressive, part of an overall strike rate of 145.94. Having a player like Markram come in at number four or five is a huge asset for any team given his ability to build momentum early in his innings.
6. Asif Ali (Pakistan)
5 matches, 57 runs, average: 57.00, strike rate 259.09
There are a few contenders for the number six role including Marcus Stoinis and David Wiese, but Asif Ali’s finishing was something else in this tournament. He led Pakistan to crucial wins vs New Zealand (27* off 12 balls) and Afghanistan (25* off 7 balls), hitting a total of seven sixes in the 19 deliveries he faced in those two matches.
In the end, Asif’s performances were crucial in helping Pakistan reach the Semi Finals.
7. Wanindu Hasaranga (Sri Lanka)
8 matches, 16 wickets, average: 9.75, economy rate: 5.20, 119 runs, average: 23.80, strike rate: 148.75
What an outstanding cricketer. Wanindu Hasaranga finished as the tournament’s leading wicket-taker, producing consistent performances right throughout the World Cup.
His 16 wickets included a hat-trick against South Africa to keep Sri Lanka’s hopes alive of Semi Final qualification before David Miller and Kagiso Rabada broke Sri Lankan hearts. In the end, the Lions fell short, but Hasaranga is a bright spot they can build their cricket around in the near future and beyond.
8. Adam Zampa (Australia)
7 matches, 11 wickets, average: 12.07, economy rate: 5.81
What a tournament. What a performance. Adam Zampa, who was Australia’s only specialist spinner, played a vital role in Australia’s triumph.
The leg-spinner conceded less than a run-a-ball and took the second-most wickets, only behind fellow leggie Wanindu Hasaranga. He came of age in this tournament, playing a vital role in the middle overs for Australia.
9. Anrich Nortje (South Africa)
5 matches, 9 wickets, average: 11.55, economy rate: 5.37
Anrich Nortje was a key part of South Africa’s excellent bowling effort in the Super 12s. He was terrific in all stages of the innings, resulting in a magnificent economy rate of just 5.37.
His pace was up, hurrying batsmen even on slower surfaces. Also, he was able to mix his pace and lengths effectively, which made him so difficult to get away.
10. Trent Boult (New Zealand)
7 matches, 13 wickets, average: 13.30, economy rate: 6.25
Yet another impressive performance from New Zealand’s impressive left-arm seamer. Boult conceded a little over a run-a-ball in the tournament (6.25), taking the equal second-most wickets in the process (13).
Boult was quite impressive at the death, keeping New Zealand in the game as opponents were often unable to get away freely. Also, he was the only New Zealand bowler to make an impact in the Final, taking impressive figures of 2/18 in a tough night for the Black Caps.
11. Josh Hazlewood (Australia)
7 matches, 11 wickets, average: 15.90, economy rate: 7.29
Australia shaped their XI in such a way to cater for Josh Hazlewood. Often seen as more of a red-ball bowler, Hazlewood has had a magnificent year in T20 cricket, including playing a key role in CSK’s IPL win.
A key factor in Australia’s success was their powerplay bowling. Hazlewood was central to this, and often held his own in the backend of the innings as well. His 11 wickets cost just 15.90 apiece, which included a magnificent spell of 3/16 in the Final.
With such a number of world class players competing in a tournament, quality players are bound to miss out on the team of the tournament. A special mention to Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan, who fall short simply because of their strike rates. We can slot them in down the order, but they are most effective as openers.
Also, a special mention to Shaheen Shah Afridi who was magnificent in the powerplay against India and Australia. David Wiese also had a great tournament for Namibia, as did Matthew Wade and Marcus Stoinis for Australia.