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No Indian in ICC's team for T20 World Cup, Pakistan's Babar named captain

 
Dubai, Nov 15 (IANS) After their dismal show, no Indian cricketer was on Monday named in the official 2021 ICC Men's T20 World Cup team of the tournament with Pakistan skipper Babar Azam leading the star-studded side.

The Virat Kohli-led India started the T20 World Cup in UAE with the favourites tag but they were knocked out of the tournament after the ordinary performance in the Super 12 phase.

India's much-trumpeted batters, as well as bowlers, flopped in back-to-back crucial matches against Pakistan and New Zealand. The Indian cricketers had great outings in the last three clashes against Afghanistan, Scotland, and Namibia but it wasn't enough to help them feature in the ICC's team of the tournament.

Based on their performances, stars from champions Australia, runners-up New Zealand, semi-finalists England and Pakistan as well as Sri Lanka and South Africa feature in the ICC Men's T20 World Cup team of the tournament.

Opening batter David Warner, leg-spinner Adam Zampa and seamer Josh Hazlewood all make the cut after helping steer Australia to its first-ever ICC Men's T20 World Cup title.

Warner had a power-packed set of performances and scored a total of 289 runs -- the second most of the tournament -- at a healthy average of 48.16, playing a major role in Australia winning their maiden ICC Men's T20 World Cup crown.

On the other hand, Zampa picked 13 victims from seven matches -- including a memorable five-wicket haul against Bangladesh in the Super 12s while his teammate Hazlewood followed in his footsteps with a total haul of 11 wickets as the skillful right-armer proved a crucial weapon in guiding Justin Langer's team to its maiden tournament title.

There are also spots for England ace Jos Buttler as wicketkeeper, Pakistan's Babar Azam as captain, New Zealand left-armer Trent Boult and Sri Lanka star Wanindu Hasaranga -- the tournament's leading wicket-taker -- in the line-up.

England star Buttler was in blistering form throughout the event, scoring just 20 runs fewer than Warner at a brilliant average of almost 90. He cracked a perfectly-paced century against Sri Lanka -- off just 67 balls - when his team needed him most, while his brutal knock of 71 not out against Australia helped fire England to an emphatic eight-wicket victory against the eventual champions.

Captaining the side at No 3 is Pakistan skipper Babar, who was the only batter to break the 300-run barrier in the competition, scoring 303 runs with an impressive average of 60.60.

His 68 not out against old rivals India powered Pakistan to a memorable 10-wicket victory, while three further half-centuries in the Super 12 stage helped book his team's slot in the semi-final against Australia. And while they were unable to battle past Aaron Finch's outfit in the semi-final, Babar helped himself to 39 runs to finish his campaign in a typically consistent fashion.

Left-armer Boult took three-fers against both India and Afghanistan while grabbing both of his team's wickets in the final helped him finish the tournament with 13 wickets at an average of 13.30.

Completing the middle order is another Sri Lankan in the form of Hasaranga, who stands tall as the tournament's leading wicket-taker with a stunning 16 from his eight matches.

The skillful leg-spinner bagged a brilliant hat-trick against South Africa as he dismissed Temba Bavuma, Aiden Markram, and Dwaine Pretorius - across two separate spells - to etch his name into ICC Men's T20 World Cup folklore. And a further three wickets against England, bolstered by two against Australia, saw him emerge as the most prolific bowler of the tournament and firmly deserving of his place in the Team of the tournament.

The side was pulled together by a selection panel featuring commentators, former international players, and journalists.

"As with any team selection there will be varying opinions, and robust discussion on the final composition of the squad. The panel respects that, and we encourage the strong debate that will ensue. This team was incredibly difficult to select over such a highly competitive tournament. Selections were based predominantly on the Super 12 onward to the final," said convenor Ian Bishop about the team.

The team of the ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2021 (in batting order) is:

David Warner (Australia) - 289 runs at 48.16
Jos Buttler (wk) (England) - 269 runs at 89.66, five dismissals
Babar Azam (Captain, Pakistan) - 303 runs at 60.60
Charith Asalanka (Sri Lanka) - 231 runs at 46.20
Aiden Markram (South Africa) - 162 runs at 54.00
Moeen Ali (England) - 92 runs at a strike rate of 131.42, seven wickets at 11
Wanindu Hasaranga (Sri Lanka) - 16 wickets at 9.75
Adam Zampa (Australia) - 13 wickets at 12.07
Josh Hazlewood (Australia) - 11 wickets at 15.90
Trent Boult (New Zealand) - 13 wickets at 13.30
Anrich Nortje (South Africa) - nine wickets at 11.55
12th: Shaheen Afridi (Pakistan) - seven wickets at 24.14

--IANS

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