ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2021
Cricket.com.au's unofficial team of the T20 World Cup
The team at cricket.com.au has put together a combined Best XI from the T20 World Cup, featuring four players from the triumphant Australian side
15 November 2021, 11:50 AM AEST
1) Jos Buttler (England) (wk)
M: 6 | Runs: 269 | Ave: 89.66 | SR: 151.12 | 50s: 1 | 100s: 1 | HS: 101no
Butter stamped his authority as the world's premier white-ball batter with innings against Australia and Sri Lanka that lit up the tournament. A devastating knock of 71no off just 32 balls against the Aussies underlined his dominance and he was one of few players for the whole tournament to take down leg-spinner Adam Zampa. Buttler now has legitimate claims to being England's best ever short-form player and at the age of just 31, he could get even better.
2) David Warner (Australia)
M: 7 | Runs: 289 | Ave: 48.16 | SR: 146.70 | 50s: 3 | 100s: 0 | HS: 89no
It's exceedingly cruel to bump Mohammad Rizwan from this side, but Warner's late charge to be crowned player of the tournament certainly warrants inclusion. Perhaps Warner's biggest influence on this campaign was not merely his run-scoring ability (second-most runs in the tournament), but his brilliant strike-rate. His rekindled ability to shift through the gears was best typified in his innings of 49 off 30 balls against Pakistan in the semi-final; he absorbed the high-octane spell of Shaheen Afridi early and then targeted the spin of Imad Wasim in a match-changing innings. He then repeated the dose in the final to make it three crucial knocks in a row to finish the tournament.
3) Babar Azam (Pakistan) (c)
M: 6 | Runs: 303 | Ave: 60.60 | SR: 126.25 | 50s: 4 | 100s: 0 | HS: 70
The tournament's leading run-scorer, Babar's class was on show throughout with a highly consistent campaign to earn him a spot at No.3, just ahead of his countryman Rizwan. The Pakistani skipper notched four half-centuries in the UAE – more than any other player – and while disappointment would be his overriding emotion following their semi-final defeat to Australia, in time he will reflect on some career-defining memories he helped create. His role in his side's 10-wicket win over India, where he and Rizwan put on an unbeaten 152, will never be forgotten by Pakistan fans, and his leadership in guiding his team through an unbeaten group stage earns him the captaincy of our team of the tournament.
4) Mitch Marsh (Australia)
M: 6 | Runs: 185 | Ave: 61.66 | SR: 146.82 | 50s: 2 | 100s: 0 | HS: 77no
Marsh's inclusion comes with sincere apologies to Sri Lanka's Charith Asalanka, who also had a stellar campaign, but the Aussie allrounder could not be left out after his performance in the final. It has been a rollercoaster tournament for the right-hander; pegged as a player to watch by his teammates leading into the tournament, Marsh was dropped for the game against England having done nothing wrong in the previous match before making a significant statement on his return to the side. He finished the tournament with scores of 16no off five balls, 53 from 32, 28 from 22 and then a match-winning performance in the final, which will be remembered as one of the best ever by an Australian in white-ball cricket.
5) Aiden Markram (South Africa)
M: 5 | Runs: 162 | Ave: 54.00 | SR: 145.94 | 50s: 2 | 100s: 0 | HS: 52no
Markram's emergence as a finisher at the World Cup was particularly impressive, culminating in a knock of 52no off just 25 balls in a win over England. Prior to April this year, the 27-year-old had played just two T20 internationals, but he has now nailed down a position in the Proteas' middle order. He batted at four in this tournament but can easily slot in at No.5 given his impressive strike rate, while his solid technique and temperament means he could also rebuild an innings if needed.
6) Marcus Stoinis (Australia)
M: 7 | Runs: 80 | Ave: 80.00 | SR: 137.93 | 50s: 0 | 100s: 0 | HS: 40no
Rarely called on throughout the tournament, yet on the two occasions he was required to make a match-defining intervention, Stoinis saw Australia home in clinical fashion. Batting at No.6, ice-cool innings' against South Africa (24no off 16 balls) and Pakistan in the semi-final (40no off 31 balls) was just reward for the work he has undertaken under Ricky Ponting at the Delhi Capitals. Stoinis said recently that he wanted to establish himself as "the best finisher in the world", and his performances in the UAE edged him closer to that ambitious goal. This spot could easily have gone to his partner in crime, Matthew Wade or Pakistan's Asif Ali - who both had superior strike rates - but Stoinis just gets over the line given his impressive composure under immense pressure.
7) Moeen Ali (England)
M: 6 | Wkts: 7 | Ave: 11.00 | Econ: 5.50 | BB: 2-15
Runs: 92 | Ave: 46.00 | SR: 131.42 | 50s: 1 | 100s: 0 | HS: 51no
The premier allrounder at the tournament, Moeen rolled over his strong IPL form with Chennai into the World Cup. Perhaps most impressive was his economy rate of just 5.50 which, combined with two important innings of 37 (27) and 51no (37), saw him again provide a strong option for skipper Eoin Morgan in both disciplines. He also has the ability to float up and down the batting order, and adds a left-handed option in this side.
8) Wanindu Hasaranga (Sri Lanka)
M: 8 | Wkts: 16 | Ave: 9.75 | Econ: 5.20 | BB: 3-9
While Hasaranga's star had begun to rise prior to the World Cup, his performances over the past month have made the world sit up and notice. Most impressive was his control during difficult stages of an innings, which was best typified by the fact he completed his complement of four overs against each of Australia, England, South Africa and the West Indies and did not concede more than 22 runs in each of those four games.
9) Anrich Nortje (South Africa)
M: 5 | Wkts: 9 | Ave: 11.55 | Econ: 5.37 | BB: 3-8
Raw pace was the biggest commodity at this this year's IPL auction and when Anrich Nortje is in full flight it is not hard to see why. The Proteas quick finished with an impressive nine wickets in five games, but a quick delve into those dismissals underlined his worth. The scalps include Jos Buttler, Andre Russell, Aaron Finch and Steve Smith and his economy rate of just 5.37 was bettered by only one bowler (Hasaranga) in the top-20 wicket-takers of the tournament. And it's that superior economy rate that just gets him a spot in this side ahead of the outstanding Josh Hazlewood.
10) Adam Zampa (Australia)
M: 7 | Wkts: 13 | Ave: 12.07 | Econ: 5.81 | BB: 5-19
The equal-leading wicket-taker throughout the Super 12s and unlucky not the be named Player of the Tournament, Zampa again underlined his importance to Australia with a series of match-defining spells. Not only did the leg-spinner — who took the tournament's only five-wicket haul — strike at opportune times for skipper Aaron Finch, but he kept an economy rate of less than six runs an over. The leg-spinner has for years been one of the first picked in both of Australia's white ball XIs, and he was a big reason for the side's success throughout the tournament.
11) Trent Boult (New Zealand)
M: 7 | Wkts: 13 | Ave: 13.30 | Econ: 6.25 | BB: 3-17
An impressive showing in the final earns Boult the final pace spot over the exhilarating Shaheen Shah Afridi, and the Kiwi's class in a losing cause in the decider underlined just why he's so highly regarded. Swing and pace with the new ball, clever change-ups in the middle overs and pinpoint accuracy at the death, Boult is very nearly the complete bowler and his numbers from this tournament – he finished as the equal-leading wicket-taker in the Super 12 stage – underline why.
Honourable mentions: Charith Asalanka (Sri Lanka), Mohammad Rizwan (Pakistan), Shaheen Shah Afridi (Pakistan), Josh Hazlewood (Australia), Matthew Wade (Australia), Asif Ali (Pakistan)