Other panel members included former West Indies pacer-turned-commentator Ian Bishop, former Australia cricketer Mel Jones, who’s now a commentator, former West Indies batter and ICC Hall of Fame inductee Shivnarine Chanderpaul and ICC’s general manager of cricket Wasim Khan. While respecting the confidentiality of the discussions, TOI gives an insight into the rationale behind the selections.
Left-arm seamer Sam Curran deservedly won the Player of the Tournament award. Curran was exceptional at the death all through the tournament but his performance in the final (3 wickets for 12 runs) saw him edge out other contenders like Virat Kohli, Shadab Khan and Jos Buttler, among others.
TOI takes a brief look at their performances, the numbers that got them the nod:
ALEX HALES (ENGLAND): Had an exceptional World Cup after spending almost three years on the sidelines for off-field misdemeanours. Redeemed himself with 52 vs NZ, 47 vs SL and 86 not out against India. Scored 212 runs at 42. 4 (SR 147.3).
JOS BUTTLER (ENGLAND, CAPTAIN & WICKETKEEPER): Captain courageous with the bat. Never allowed his team to take a backward step. Even with Pakistan‘s pacers turning on the screws in the final, his batters kept counter-attacking to keep ahead of the par score. Has forged his own style after Eoin Morgan’s departure but kept England’s white-ball revolution on course. Scored 225 runs at 45 (SR 144.2). The man who has set the new T20 paradigm.
VIRAT KOHLI (INDIA): Pencils himself in. The highest run-scorer with 296 runs at an average of 98. 7 (SR 136. 4) even though he got to bat only 5 times in the tournament. Played the knock of the tournament — some would say the greatest T20I innings ever — against Pakistan. ‘Mr Dependable’ in the middle.
SURYAKUMAR YADAV (INDIA): Unanimous choice at No. 4. SKY’s maverick strokeplay lit up the tournament and gave headaches to all opposition bowlers and captain. The perfect 360-degree foil in the middle order to Kohli. With 239 runs from 6 games (avg 59.8, SR 189.7), he is the tournament’s third-highest scorer.
GLENN PHILLIPS (NEW ZEALAND): No dream team can do without him. NZ’s most valuable player. Scored a stunning 104 off 64 balls against Sri Lanka. 201 runs (avg 40.2, SR 158.3) in the tournament.
SIKANDAR RAZA (ZIMBABWE): Edges out Hardik Pandya because he was the lone ranger for his team and played a crucial role in the upset against Pakistan. 219 runs and 10 wickets in the tournament make him an allround asset in this team.
Some outstanding performances with the bat at the #T20WorldCup 2022 😍Who was the best batter in the tournament? 🤔 https://t.co/TdYgt2upes— T20 World Cup (@T20WorldCup) 1668400228000
SHADAB KHAN (PAKISTAN): Another mercurial cricketer who is hard to keep out. Spun magic with his leg spin (11 wickets at 11.5) and scored 98 runs, including a half-century. Every panellist’s favourite!
SAM CURRAN (ENGLAND): 13 wickets at 11. 4 (best 5/10), the second highest wicket-taker in the tournament. He had an overall economy rate of 6. 5 per over, which is incredible considering that he bowled most of his overs at the death.
ANRICH NORTJE (SOUTH AFRICA): The only South African in this team. His scorching pace makes him hard to keep out. Had a good tournament with 11 scalps from 5 games (ER 5.4, two 4-wicket hauls) and the tournament-best average of just 8.5. The most feared bowler as long as South Africa were still around in the tournament.
MARK WOOD (ENGLAND): 9 wickets at an average of 12. The fastest pacer in the tournament by some distance. He was unlucky to miss the semis and finals due to injury. That doesn’t keep him out of this team, though, since performances throughout the tournament count.
SHAHEEN SHAH AFRIDI (PAKISTAN): The king of pace and swing. Had a shaky start to the tournament as he gingerly worked his way back from injury but was soon back to his lethal ways. His 11 wickets at an avg of 14.1 played a big part in Pakistan’s miraculous turnaround. His unfortunate injury in the final proved the turning point in the match.
12TH MAN: HARDIK PANDYA (INDIA): 128 runs at 25. 6 and 8 wickets at 18.3
UNLUCKY TO MISS OUT: Wanindu Hasaranga (Sri Lanka). He was the highest wicket-taker in the tournament (15 wickets at an average of 13. 3) but this included 3 matches in the qualifying round. He was slightly less impressive in the Super 12 stage. Besides, the team already has 2 good spinners in Shadab and Raza and playing another spinner would upset the balance
👌 Second-highest wicket-taker🏅 Player of the Match in the final💥 Career-best figures in the tournament⭐ England’… https://t.co/ArVxOTXZDs— T20 World Cup (@T20WorldCup) 1668393040000
PLAYER OF THE TOURNAMENT
England’s left-arm seamer Sam Curran became the first bowler to win the Player of the Tournament award at a T20 World Cup (though he’s technically an all-rounder, he got the award entirely due to his bowling performances). Curran was exceptional at the death throughout the tournament but his performance in the final, during which he took 3 wickets for 12 runs off 4 overs, saw him edge out other contenders like Virat Kohli, Shadab Khan and his own teammates Alex Hales and Jos Buttler, among others. In the final, Curran first got rid of Pakistan opener Mohammad Rizwan within the Powerplay (1/5 off his first 2 overs) and then came back in the 17th over to get rid of a well-settled Shan Masood before removing Mohammad Nawaz in the 19th. When he returned to bowl at the death, Pakistan were in sight of setting a 160-plus target. Instead, Curran’s last 12 balls saw him bag two crucial wickets and concede only 7 runs.