The premier competition of the game’s shortest format does not come around very often.
The seventh edition of the ICC T20 World Cup started in the UAE on 17th October 2021. Initially, the ICC planned Australia as the tournament’s venue, but they changed it to UAE and Oman for COVID-related reasons.
The exciting tournament had enormous surprises for the audience. To everyone’s astonishment, Pakistan made history with their maiden win against India in the competition. England, the pre-tournament favourites, lost to their famous World Cup final opponents New Zealand in the semi-final and Australia dominated the latter stages of the tournament.
To celebrate the end of the fantastic tournament, here are Park Life Sport’s five top performers of the competition.
The leg spinner has been Australia’s go to man for the majority of the competition. Adding new variations and some subtle changes to his pace, Zampa has been almost unplayable when on song. The slow and sticky UAE wickets definitely gave him an advantage over the batsman, but no spinner outside the subcontinent was anywhere near as prolific as Zampa.
2-21 vs South Africa— ESPNcricinfo (@ESPNcricinfo) November 12, 2021
2-12 vs Sri Lanka
1-37 vs England
5-19 vs Bangladesh
1-20 vs West Indies
1-22 vs Pakistan
Adam Zampa has conceded more than 22 runs just once in the #T20WorldCup so far 🤯
One particular delivery that stood out was his quick leg break on the slow Sharjah pitches. With 13 wickets in six games, Zampa was the highest wicket taking spinner of the tournament of all the non associate sides.
Jos Buttler entered the 2021 T20 World Cup with huge expectations to deliver and exceeded all of those. With a crucial responsibility to open the batting for England, Buttler made the most of it and achieved something remarkable.
The flamboyant batsman scored the most runs for England with 269 runs in six matches. Buttler’s 67-ball-101 against Sri Lanka remains the highest individual score and sole century of the tournament.
England’s leading run-scorer of the tournament also hit the competition’s most sixes (13) at the end of the semis. Despite England’s disappointing defeat in the semi-final, Buttler just seems to be getting better and better.
Pakistan entered the 2021 T20 World Cup heavily dependent on their captain and best batsman, Babar Azam. Despite being under enormous captaincy pressure and expectations to deliver with the bat, Babar fulfilled his duties well.
The Lahore-born captain displayed his meticulousness by leading the team to the semi-finals without losing any matches in the group stages. Under the astute leadership of Babar, Pakistan obtained a maiden T20 World Cup win against India and cleared a long-standing blemish.
The right-hander reiterated that he is one of the best batsman in world cricket by scoring the tournament’s most runs. A staggering 303 runs in six matches at an average of 60.60 makes the right-hander a class apart from his competitors.
Apart from being the tournament’s leading run-scorer, Azam also has the most half-centuries (4) and boundaries (28) at the end of the semis.
The South Africa batter provided the right impetus at the number four spot for his side. Of special importance were his two fifties, a 26-ball 51 against West Indies, and a 25-ball 52 against England, which helped his team to a pair of wins.
South Africa fell agonisingly short of qualifying for the semi-finals, but having a complete and adaptable number 4 is one of the mots vital aspects of modern day T20 cricket and Markram’s form this tournament is a hugely positive sign for the Proteas ahead of next year’s competition.
The Australia opener walked into the tournament with a lack form, and walked away as the Player of the Tournament. He turned the tide with a 56-ball 89 against West Indies, which helped Australia secure a spot in the semi-finals. His 30-ball 49 helped set a base in the semis, and a 38-ball 53 helped Australia win the World Cup final against New Zealand.
With a lot of speculation over his batting position and a future IPL contract, Warner called everything out of the tournament ‘white noise’ and batted like a man on a mission the moment he stepped out on the pitch.
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