The #T20WorldCup has finally concluded, Australia are the reigning champions of the 2021 edition. The tournament was filled with collective team efforts and at times, there were brilliant individual performances that stood out from the rest.
Ongama Gcwabe picks his World Cup Team of the Tournament based on individual performances and best combinations.
Now that the World Cup is done and dusted we can have a bit of fun and pick and choose the stand out players at this World Cup that would make a great T20 side. I will not be looking at the stats too much, even though I’m a big numbers guy, I want to look past the numbers because there’s just a lot that numbers seem to miss when rating a cricket player.
Mitchell Marsh for example has been incredible for Australia, but his 2021 T20 World Cup numbers wouldn’t necessarily earn him a spot at the important number three position in the batting line-up. But because of when and how he found form at this World Cup and the impact of his innings, he makes it at number three for me.
Number three is done, lets look at the pair at the top of the order, I’m going with Jos Buttler and David Warner. It’s obvious, Buttler has had an incredible career at the top of the order opening the batting with Jason Roy, he is the only batter at this World Cup to score a century. Yes, I’m picking Warner to open with Buttler. The man is on his own level in terms of bouncing back in white-ball cricket.
Seeing him struggle for form in the IPL just before the World Cup on the same grounds that the World Cup was played, and then quietly going about his business, taking the scruffy, ugly knocks and finally finding his groove against Bangladesh in the fourth game of the World Cup and going on to score a half-century in the Final of the World Cup was just special to watch.
When under pressure, some players tighten up, sabotaging their chances of performing well in the process. But Warner is one that strives under pressure. In his first series back playing International Cricket, in the 2019 World Cup, he scored four centuries after the pressure of the sandpaper gate scandal he was involved in 2018.
David Warner and Jos Buttler are at the top of the order, Marsh comes in at three. Buttler takes the gloves too.
The captain of the team will be none other than Kane Williamson, the true definition of Captain Cool. It makes sense, he’s an anchor and a great leader on the field. I mean, three ICC finals in two years is a testament to the leadership qualities of the man. He slots in at four to bring in calm in the innings and for his leadership on the field.
Five, six and seven are always tricky for me to pick so I will jump straight to the bowlers. Anrich Nortje, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Josh Hazelwood and Adam Zampa make up my front-line bowlers. The pace of Nortje is hard to look past and his numbers speak for him, while Afridi has been deadly with the new ball picking up very important wickets in the powerplay. Afridi is good, but he was not an easy selection for me as there was also Trent Boult in the picture who has done incredibly well for New Zealand for such a long period of time. Adam Zampa has just been brilliant, he features in my team as a sole specialist spinner.
Back to the batters, I go for Aiden Markram at five for his brute force, then Asif Ali at six for his power and James Neesham at seven for his all-rounder services. Markram also brings in an option of spin for skipper Kane Williamson to utilize if needed.
My T20 World Cup Team of the Tournament
1. Jos Buttler (wk)
2. David Warner
3. Mitchell Marsh
4. Kane Williamson ©
6. Asif Ali
7. James Neesham
8. Adam Zampa
9. Josh Hazlewood
11. Shaheen Shah Afridi