The T20 World Cup concluded on Sunday, with England beating Pakistan by five wickets in Melbourne to win their second T20 World title. It was a very good tournament with several big upsets, and in the end, the most deserving team lifted the trophy.
On this note, we will get on with the job of picking the team for the tournament. Let’s get on with it.
Jos Buttler (England) (C & WK)
Though the soft-spoken and laconic Buttler has been hailed as the “quiet leader,” his playing style on the field is anything but quiet He has been his usual destructive self with the bat in most of England’s matches and finished the World Cup with 225 runs.
Along with Alex Hales, the 32-year-old Buttler did the demolition job perfectly in their thumping win against India in the semifinal. He continued to time the ball and found the gaps well in the final, and his 26 runs in the power-play proved crucial.
Buttler also used the abundant bowling resources available to him judiciously and hence, gets picked up as the team leader.
Alex Hales (England)
The 33-year-old Hales was out of the England team for a while but succeeded in making a grand comeback in the World Cup. His partnership with Buttler was successful in most of their matches, as Hales finished with 212 runs in the tournament.
Hales successfully played his shots down the ground and used the sweep shot to great effect against India at the Adelaide Oval with smaller square boundaries. His shortcomings against the ball swinging in toward him were exposed in the final, but overall, Hales had a memorable tournament.
Virat Kohli (India)
The 34-year-old Kohli was in sublime touch throughout the tournament and finished as the highest run-scorer with 296 (check the top ten run-scorer in the tournament). His epic match-winning knock of 82 against Pakistan was what legends are made of, and he continued making runs whenever given an opportunity.
However, at times, his innings were a bit sedate by T20 standards as he had to play the sheet anchor’s role after the opening partnership was broken early in most of India’s matches. Still, Kohli makes this side without any hint of doubt.
Suryakumar Yadav (India)
If any Indian batter succeeded in overshadowing the brilliant Kohli in the tournament, it was the 32-year-old Yadav. His knock of 68 against South Africa on a fast and bouncy track in Perth was incredibly good.
Yadav also played a whirlwind knock of 61 against Zimbabwe, and his strike rate remained above 170-180 – occasionally even touching 200- throughout the tournament. He played lofted shots over extra-cover and long-off and swept the opposition pacers for over boundaries over fine leg. Yadav walks into this side as the most destructive middle-order batter in this format.
Ben Stokes (England)
Performing in big matches comes easy to Stokes, as he again demonstrated in the final and the do-or-die battle with Sri Lanka in the Super 12 stage. Stokes curbed his natural attacking instincts on both occasions to win the matches for England.
With 110 runs and six wickets in the tournament, the 31-year-old Stokes should play as the no. 5 in this team. He also has the knack of picking up important wickets with the ball and hence, will provide his skipper with lucrative options with both bat and ball.
Shadab Khan (Pakistan)
Shadab was arguably the best-performing all-rounder in the World Cup and one of Pakistan’s better players. He does not usually turn the ball much, but his ability to bowl a tight line and pick up wickets proved to be an asset for Pakistan.
Shadab also played breezy knocks with the bat at times and finished the tournament with 98 runs and 11 wickets. He is still only 24 and hence, has a long cricketing career ahead of him. However, his exploits in the tournament have been enough to guarantee him a place on this team.
Sikandar Raza (Zimbabwe)
It is not usual for a player from a side that failed to make the last four to feature in any such team. However, Raza’s all-round performance has made him stand out in this World Cup – only player in the tournament to feature in both top ten run-maker and wicket-taker list.
Raza is no spring chicken at 36, but his exploits on the field often defied his age. He bowls with a lot of variety and can deliver off-breaks, leg-breaks, knuckle balls, and seam-up ones.
His stump-to-stump line fetched him several wickets, and he also played a few useful knocks for Zimbabwe. In the end, he finished with 219 runs and 10 wickets and deserved a place in this team.
Sam Curran (England)
The player of the tournament had an unforgettable time with the ball, including great returns of 5/10 against Afghanistan and 3/12 against Pakistan in the final. The 24-year-old Curran picked up 13 wickets in the tournament and finished with an economy rate below 7.
Curran utilized his slower deliveries to great effect in the tournament and ended up bowling wonderful wide-yorkers at times. He rarely allowed the opposition batters to play drives off him. Curran is an able batter, too, and is yet another all-rounder to feature in this team.
Adil Rashid (England)
The 34-year-old Rashid picked up only four wickets in the tournament, including two in the final, but his great control ensured that his economy rate remained incredibly low, and hence, he has to find a place in this team.
Rashid kept flighting the ball slower to entice the batters to go for big shots on big Australian grounds and dismissed them. He removed the dangerous Suryakumar Yadav in the semifinal and then accounted for Mohammad Haris in the final. It has been a great payback for the selectors who kept faith in him for the World Cup.
Haris Rauf (Pakistan)
The 29-year-old Rauf is one of the premier bowlers in this format of the game, and he again demonstrated his abilities in the World Cup. Barring one match, Rauf almost always managed to stay economical and kept bowling his deliveries just back of good length with express pace to trouble the batters on fast and bouncy Australian pitches.
Rauf took eight wickets in the tournament and had almost won the match for Pakistan with his wonderful first spell in the final by taking a couple of wickets. With the ability to bowl at around 150 kmph, Rauf will add controlled aggression to this team.
Shaheen Shah Afridi (Pakistan)
It was a pity that Afridi could finish his quota of four overs in the final owing to an injury, but he remained one of the best pacers in the tournament regardless. He did not bowl well in Pakistan’sPakistan’s opening match against India and tried to bowl too full to generate the swing he is so famous for.
However, he shortened his bowling length in the subsequent matches and bowled round-the-wicket at times to make things difficult for the batters. The 22-year-old Afridi reaffirmed his status as one of the best pacers in the game with 11 wickets in the tournament.
I like to watch, analyze and write about various sports and have been writing for different websites for the last five years. I reside in Kolkata, India