Indian big guns fizzle, fail to make ICC's dream 11 as Pakistan's Babar Azam named captain - GulfToday

Indian big guns fizzle, fail to make ICC's dream 11 as Pakistan's Babar Azam named captain


Mohammad Rizwan prays as Babar Azam and Virat Kohli look on after winning the T20 match against India in Dubai File / AFP

After their dismal show, no Indian cricketer was on Monday named in the official 2021 ICC Men's T20 World Cup team of the tournament with Pakistan skipper Babar Azam leading the star-studded side.

The Virat Kohli-led India started the T20 World Cup in UAE with the favourites tag but they were knocked out of the tournament after the ordinary performance in the Super 12 phase.

India's much-trumpeted batters, as well as bowlers, flopped in back-to-back crucial matches against Pakistan and New Zealand. The Indian cricketers had great outings in the last three clashes against Afghanistan, Scotland, and Namibia but it wasn't enough to help them feature in the ICC's team of the tournament.

Pakistan’s wicketkeeper Mohammad Rizwan missed out despite finishing as the third-highest runs maker in the T20 World Cup and scoring at an average of 70.25 runs per innings.

The closest any other Pakistan cricketer came to making to eleven was Shaheen Afridi, who was named the 12th man.

"After 45 matches and countless incredible performances, the Most Valuable Team of the Tournament has been selected," said the ICC in a statement, a day after Australia clinched the title by beating New Zealand in the final.

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Players from six teams — Australia, runners-up New Zealand, semi-finalists Pakistan and England as well as Sri Lanka and South Africa — have been named in the T20 World Cup Most Valuable Team of the Tournament. However, No Indian team player was included in the team.

The selection panel comprised commentators Ian Bishop, Natalie Germanos and Shane Watson along with a couple of journalists.

"As with any team selection there will be varying opinions, and robust discussion on the final composition of the squad," Bishop said. "The panel respects that, and we encourage the strong debate that will ensue.

"This team was incredibly difficult to select over such a highly competitive tournament." He underlined that the selections were based predominantly on the Super 12 onward to the final.

"As a panel we felt that the combination of runs plus strike rate plus match impact for batsmen, to be decisive factors. We endeavoured to select players as close to their initial team position where possible. This intention was not always a reality, as some compromises had to be made."

Bishop revealed that the top three in the order were so outstanding that "we could not leave any of them out.

'For Babar, numbers speak for themselves'

Justifying selection of Babar Azam to lead the T20 team of the tournament, the ICC said Azam's numbers spoke for themselves: 303 runs, an average of 60.60, four half-centuries in six matches.

"Babar Azam’s T20 World Cup performance was remarkable. The fact that it was the Pakistan skipper’s first ever T20 World Cup appearance makes his numbers even more astonishing, and he is comfortably the highest run-scorer at a debut World Cup in the history of the competition, beating Pakistan batting consultant Matthew Hayden’s previous record."

It said Babar also drew level with another record held joining by Hayden and Virat Kohli, with his four fifties at a single World Cup equalling the all-time best.

Opening batter David Warner, leg-spinner Adam Zampa and seamer Josh Hazlewood all make the cut after helping steer Australia to its first-ever ICC Men's T20 World Cup title.

Warner had a power-packed set of performances and scored a total of 289 runs — the second most of the tournament — at a healthy average of 48.16, playing a major role in Australia winning their maiden ICC Men's T20 World Cup crown.

On the other hand, Zampa picked 13 victims from seven matches — including a memorable five-wicket haul against Bangladesh in the Super 12s while his teammate Hazlewood followed in his footsteps with a total haul of 11 wickets as the skillful right-armer proved a crucial weapon in guiding Justin Langer's team to its maiden tournament title.

The team of the ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2021 (in batting order) is:

Babar Azam (Captain, Pakistan) - 303 runs at 60.60

David Warner (Australia) - 289 runs at 48.16

Jos Buttler (wk) (England) - 269 runs at 89.66, five dismissals

Charith Asalanka (Sri Lanka) - 231 runs at 46.20

Aiden Markram (South Africa) - 162 runs at 54.00

Moeen Ali (England) - 92 runs at a strike rate of 131.42, seven wickets at 11

Wanindu Hasaranga (Sri Lanka) - 16 wickets at 9.75

Adam Zampa (Australia) - 13 wickets at 12.07

Josh Hazlewood (Australia) - 11 wickets at 15.90

Trent Boult (New Zealand) - 13 wickets at 13.30

Anrich Nortje (South Africa) - nine wickets at 11.55

12th: Shaheen Afridi (Pakistan) - seven wickets at 24.14

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