Babar Azam named captain of ICC Men’s T20I Team of 2021

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DUBAI: No Indian has been named in the ICC T20I Team of 2021 and Babar Azam of Pakistan has been named as the captain of the side.

The Pakistan skipper was at his classy best in the shortest format in 2021, leaving his best at the T20 World Cup where he ended the tournament as the leading run-scorer. Overall, Babar played 29 matches and aggregated 939 runs at an average of 37.56 with one century and nine half-centuries. His captaincy was also praised as he led his team to the semi-finals of the T20 World Cup in UAE and Oman.

Two Australian players have been included — Mitchell Marsh and Josh Hazlewood — while the side has three Pakistan players — Babar, Mohammad Rizwan, and Shaheen Shah Afridi.

The Pakistan wicketkeeper-batter ruled the roost in 2021 when it came to the shortest format of the game. Aggregating a staggering 1326 runs in only 29 matches, Rizwan struck at an average of 73.66 and a strike-rate of 134.89.

Apart from his exploits with the bat, he was as solid as ever behind the stumps, playing a key role in Pakistan’s run to the semis during the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021, where he ended up as the third-highest run-scorer.

It was a year for remember for Shaheen Afridi, especially in the shortest form of the game. Extracting brilliant movement with the new ball and reversing it with the old, Afridi picked up 23 wickets in 21 matches at an average of 26.04 and an economy of 7.86. Still only 21, Shaheen will likely lead the Pakistan pace bowling unit for years to come and with already rapid improvements in his bowling, he will undoubtedly prove to be a fearsome prospect.

ICC Men’s T20I Team of 2021: Jos Buttler, Mohammad Rizwan, Babar Azam, Aiden Markram, Mitchell Marsh, David Miller, Tabraiz Shamsi, Josh Hazlewood, Wanindu Hasaranga, Mustafizur Rahman, Shaheen Shah Afridi. (Agencies)

Mandhana named in ICC T20I women’s Team of the Year

Dubai: Star India opener Smriti Mandhana was on Wednesday named in the ICC T20 women’s Team of the Year for her superlative show in the format in 2021 but no Indian made the men’s side.

The stylish Southpaw, who is the Indian team’s vice-captain in the format, was the country’s highest scorer in the format in 2021 with 255 runs at an average of 31.87.

The 25-year-old scored two fifties in the nine matches she played and got her team off to rapid starts regularly, as evident up by her strike-rate of 131.44.

While Mandhana was the only Indian, several members of the English side feature in the team with Nat Scriver being named captain.

The experienced England all-rounder produced many impactful performances throughout the year. Batting in the middle-order, Sciver scored a total of 153 runs, including one fifty, and she also picked up 10 wickets at an excellent average of 20.20.

Accompanying Mandhana at the top is England’s Tammy Beaumont.

The 30-year-old’s reliable presence at the top of the order helped England off to steady starts regularly. She played nine matches and amassed 303 runs at an average of 33.66, including three fifties.

Danni Wyatt, wicketkeeper Amy Jones and spinner Sophie Ecclestone are the other English players in the side.

Gaby Lewis of Ireland, South African trio of Laura Wolvaardt, Shabnim Ismail and Marizanne Kapp and Zimbabwe’s Loryn Phiri make up the rest of the playing XI.

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