/T20 World Cup team of the tournament

T20 World Cup team of the tournament

After 45 games in 29 days, Australia emerged victorious at the Men’s T20 World Cup.

From global stars strutting their stuff in the final to a veteran all-rounder who helped keep the dreams of the minnows alive, BBC Sport picks the team of the tournament.

Spoiler: we’ve got a lot of openers and a long tail…

1. Babar Azam (Pakistan)

Runs: 303; Average: 60.60; Strike-rate: 126.25; Highest score: 70

The leading run-scorer at his first T20 World Cup, captain Babar – with the help Mohammad Rizwan – ensured Pakistan got off to an unforgettable start as their unbroken 152-run stand helped them thrash India by 10 wickets. A technically accomplished opener who makes batting look easier than it should, he made four half-centuries as Pakistan reached the semi-finals.

2. Mohammad Rizwan (Pakistan)

Runs: 281; Average: 70.25; Strike-rate: 127.72; Highest score: 79*

Rizwan went from strength to strength with the bat in this tournament, and his sharp wicketkeeping was a good foil for Pakistan’s pace attack. Despite being in intensive care for two nights with a severe chest infection, he still smashed Australia’s attack all around Dubai to the tune of 67 from 52 balls in the semi-final.

3. Jos Buttler (England)

Runs: 206; Average: 89.66; Strike-rate: 151.12; Highest score: 101*

Whether it was hammering 71 from only 32 balls against Australia or performing a rescue act against Sri Lanka with his first T20 international century, Buttler spearheaded the England batting in most games. No player hit more than his 13 sixes. He may have opened for England, but he is so good that he can bat anywhere. He slots in at three in our team.

4. David Warner (Australia)

Runs: 289; Average: 48.16; Strike-rate: 146.70; Highest score: 89*

Warner began the World Cup in scratchy form, to put it politely. He ended it as player of the tournament, underlining his status as Australia’s key batter. He showed his versatility too, smashing an unbeaten 89 from just 56 balls against West Indies, making a more measured 49 against a fine Pakistan attack in the semi-final and hitting 53 from 38 deliveries in the final against New Zealand. He might just need some persuading to bat at four in this side.

5. Mitchell Marsh (Australia)

Runs: 185; Average: 61.66; Strike rate: 146.82; Highest score: 77*; Wickets: 6 at 34.66

What a time to make your highest T20 international score. Dropped for Australia’s defeat by England, Marsh returned to become his country’s hero. He scored 53 in a crucial group-stage win over West Indies, 28 in the semi-final against Pakistan and a decisive unbeaten 77 not out from 50 balls to see Australia home – and pick up the match award – in the final.

6. David Wiese (Namibia)

Runs: 227; Average: 45.40; Strike rate: 127.52; Highest score: 66*; Wickets: 6 at 34.66

Former South Africa all-rounder Wiese was instrumental in helping Namibia qualify for the Super 12s on their first T20 World Cup appearance. Highlights included an unbeaten 66 in Namibia’s first game of the tournament to stun the Netherlands, and 43 not out against a full-strength Pakistan attack.

7. Wanindu Hasaranga (Sri Lanka)

Wickets: 16; Average: 9.75; Economy: 5.20; Best figures: 3-9

The leg-spinner was the leading wicket-taker in the tournament despite Sri Lanka failing to reach the knockout stages, thanks in no small part to a memorable hat-trick against South Africa. He was also more than handy with the bat, making a match-winning 71 against Ireland in the first round.

8. Josh Hazlewood (Australia)

Wickets: 11; Average: 15.90; Economy: 7.29; Best figures: 4-39

Hazlewood hardly bowled a bad ball all tournament. Perhaps unusually in T20 cricket, he was rewarded for maintaining a metronomic line and length. The highlight of his 11-wicket haul was his sensational 3-16 from four near-perfect overs in the final.

9. Shaheen Afridi (Pakistan)

Wickets: 7; Average: 24.14; Economy: 7.04; Best figures: 3-31

Other may have taken more wickets but Afridi’s opening spells will be one of the things this World Cup will be remembered for. In Pakistan’s win over India he sparked an electric atmosphere and removed Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul in of his first two overs. The 21-year-old left-armer produced similar in the semi-final, having Australia’s Aaron Finch lbw for a first-ball duck.

10. Adam Zampa (Australia)

Wickets: 13; Average: 12.07; Economy: 5.81; Best figures: 5-19

Leg-spinner Zampa claimed the best figures by an Australia bowler at a Men’s T20 World Cup when he took 5-19 to help dismantle Bangladesh for 73. He took at least a wicket in each of Australia’s seven games and only once conceded more than 26 runs. As team-mate Glenn Maxwell said after the final, “a superstar”.

11. Trent Boult (New Zealand)

Wickets: 13; Average: 13.30; Economy: 6.25; Best figures: 3-17

Arguably the most central figure in a well-rounded New Zealand bowling attack, Boult claimed big wickets in almost all their matches. With a semi-final spot still on the line, the left-arm seamer took 3-17 to stifle Afghanistan and send the Black Caps through. He also claimed a brilliant 2-18 in a losing cause in the final.

Who missed out?

Selection is a ruthless game, so some players who had excellent World Cup campaigns did not make the cut. Dashing Sri Lanka batter Charith Asalanka misses out despite averaging 46.20, while Chris Woakes came close for his scene-setting top-order scalps for England. Nine wickets were not enough to earn South Africa pace bowler Anrich Nortje and New Zealand leg-spinner Ish Sodhi a place in the team, while Scotland left-arm spinner Mark Watt suggested greater things lie in store for him with a T20-defying economy rate of 6.13.

Honourable mentions

We couldn’t finish without mentioning West Indies veterans Chris Gayle and Dwayne Bravo. Gayle, at 42, is likely to have played his last global tournament, while Bravo ended a 17-year international career. Asghar Afghan also bid an emotional goodbye to Afghanistan, ending a career that saw him captain them in their inaugural Test in 2019.

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