The T20 World Cup’s been and gone, and there were plenty of standout performers. Narrowing them down to 11 is an unenviable task, but one I’ll have a crack at anyway.
The selection process tried to account for impact, instead of solely basing selection off numbers. Mitch Marsh reaped the rewards of this, having struck an instrumental unbeaten 77 in the final.
And off the back of their triumph, four Australians in total earnt selection in the team. Pakistan had two representees, while a player from each of England, Namibia, Sri Lanka, and New Zealand also made the cut.
At the top of the order, David Warner and Mohammad Rizwan got the nod. Warner was a no-brainer having been awarded Player of the Series, while Rizwan finished third in the tournament run-scoring with 281 runs at an average of 71.25. The courage he displayed in the semi-final, striking 67 off the back of 36 hours in the ICU for a severe chest infection, sealed his selection.
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The middle order gets interesting, with a further two opening batsman batting at three and five. Finding the balance between rewarding the best performers and accommodating for each position is a challenge, but it was impossible to leave any of Warner, Rizwan, Babar Azam, and Jos Buttler out of the side.
Azam comes in at number three and captains the side, having lead the tournament with 303 runs – the third-most of any player in T20 World Cup history.
As touched on earlier, Mitch Marsh features at number four following his heroics in the final. It capped off what was a stunning tournament for the all-rounder, concluding with an average of 61.66 with bat in hand.
Jos Buttler takes the gloves at number five, sliding down the order as a result of his versatility, with plenty of experience occupying number five and six for England. His 101 not out against Sri Lanka was tournament highlight, and he finished with a staggering average of 89.66 (a tournament best).
Having already flooded the top-order with opening batsman, selecting a number three at six could be likened to playing on-ballers on the wing in the AFL All-Australian team. Hence the selection of David Wiese, a specialist middle-order bat from Namibia who finished sixth in the runs with 227 at an average of 45.40.
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Selecting the bowlers proved to be a far simpler task.
Wanindu Hasaranga and Adam Zampa were the standout spinners, leading the way with 16 and 13 wickets respectively.
Also on 13 wickets, Trent Boult was another clear choice. Josh Hazlewood was the next best quick with 11 wickets, while Anrich Nortje narrowly pipped countryman Dwaine Pretorious for the final spot in the team, the pair having tied on nine wickets.
The third-best spinner for the tournament, Shakib Al Hasan gets the nod as twelfth man, providing an all-round option with 11 wickets and 131 runs.
David Warner (AUS)
Mohammad Rizwan (PAK)
Babar Azam (PAK)
Mitchell Marsh (AUS)
Jos Buttler (ENG)
David Wiese (NAM)
Wanindu Hasaranga (SL)
Adam Zampa (AUS)
Josh Hazlewood (AUS)
Trent Boult (NZL)
Anrich Nortje (RSA)
12th Shakib Al Hasan (BAN)
Stiff to miss:
Charith Asalanka, Kane Williamson, KL Rahul, Aiden Markram, Moeen Ali, Dwaine Pretorious, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Mujeeb Ur Rahman