Despite the outbreak of Covid-19, the year 2021 was very special for T20 International cricket, as the ICC T20 World Cup was held in a strict bio-bubble. If records were made for the number of matches during the year, then many new records of runs and wickets were seen. It is not that only the legends shine, the new talent also challenged, that’s why if we make the team of the year then big names like Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Chris Gayle and Guptill get the challenge. Let’s make Team of the Year:
Opener: The first name will be that of Mohammad Rizwan – If became the first batsman to score 1000 runs in T20 International during the year then also the first batsman to score 2000 runs in T20 cricket. Total record in T20 Internationals: 1326 runs in 29 matches at an average of 73.66, including the third highest run-scorer in T20 World Cup, at an average of 70.25 and scored 281 runs during this period. Babar Azam himself scored 939 runs in 29 matches at an average of 37.56, formed a formidable pair with Rizwan and made a record of 6 century partnership. Why make a ‘khichdi’ pair with these two?
Batsman: Australia’s Mitchell Marsh played some impressive innings, most notably contributing to Australia’s success in the T20 World Cup – a record 627 runs in 21 matches, the most for Australia. 77 off 50 balls in the World Cup final against New Zealand will always be remembered. Martin Guptill scored 627 runs in 18 matches, 2021 has been a very good year for him. He is one of those stalwarts who can save his honor. Jos Buttler has the hunger to win and has scored 269 runs in the World Cup at an average of 89.67, scoring 589 runs in 14 international matches at an average of 65.44 and a strike rate of 143.30. One name must be of Mahmudullah, 169 runs in 8 matches at an average of 28.17 in the World Cup and 496 runs in 26 matches at an average of 23.61. His biggest quality was scoring runs in need.
All-rounder: The first name will be that of Shakib Al Hasan, worthy of a place in any team and was instrumental in helping Bangladesh reach the Super 12 rounds. If scores of 20, 42 and 46 in the qualifying round then also 11 wickets in 6 matches in the tournament. He was the most successful player in the T20 series against Australia, with 114 runs and 7 wickets in 5 matches.
Bowler: Wanindu Hasranga’s name may surprise, but he remains one of the most striking talents. Sensational record during T20 World Cup – 16 wickets in 8 matches at 9.87 average, which is the record for most wickets in the tournament, including hat-trick. The run rate stopped in the middle overs, currently one of the best spinners in world cricket and number one in the ICC T20 rankings. Similarly, Tabrez Shamsi is in terrific form. A left-arm chinaman bowler, Tabrez has been South Africa’s biggest bet in T20 Internationals – the number two bowler in the ICC rankings, the second-highest number of wickets in 2021 and a record total – 36 wickets in 22 matches at an average of 13.36. Mustafizur Rahman has been the biggest bet in fast bowling and took wickets on special occasions, becoming the fifth-highest wicket-taker in T20 Internationals this year (28 wickets at 17.39 average). Hasan Ali did not shine much for Pakistan in the World Cup but was successful if we look at the whole year – played 18 matches and took 25 wickets at an average of 19.28.