Harbhajan Singh, a former Indian spinner, selected his Team of the Tournament from the just ended T20 World Cup 2021 in the United Arab Emirates. In an interesting twist, David Warner was the lone representative from Australia, who went on to win the tournament after beating New Zealand in the final cricket match.
Among Harbhajan’s picks were three Pakistani players, two from India and one each from New Zealand and England, as well as one from Sri Lanka. As revealed in an interview with Sportskeeda, he selected Mohammad Rizwan to start alongside Warner, who was named Player of the Tournament, and then New Zealand captain Kane Williamson to start at No. 3, who had a great final cricket match.
With 289 runs from six games, Warner concluded the tournament as the second-highest run-scorer, including a critical half-century in the final. Due to his performances right through the campaign, he was named the the Man Of The Tournament and silenced his critics and haters.
What players did Harbhajan Singh further pick for his team?
In the middle order, there were two Englishmen — Jos Buttler of England and Aiden Markram of South Africa — who were followed by a trio of all-rounders — Sri Lanka’s Wanindu Hasaranga, Pakistan’s Asif Ali, and India’s Ravindra Jadeja.
In addition to leaving out Babar Azam, the tournament’s highest run-scorer, he also left out Adam Zampa, the Super12 stage’s leading wicket-taker. Taking into account the qualifying matches, Hasaranga was the player who took the most wickets (16), with Zampa taking 13 scalps to come second. He also picked Afridi and Trent Boult, both left-arm seamers from Pakistan and New Zealand, respectively. Indian bowler Japsrit Bumrah was retained as the final quick in the team.
Bhajji picked Rashid Khan as the 12th man
Rashid Khan, Afghanistan’s exceptional leg-spinner, was picked as the 12th man by Bhajji, who just missed out on being part of his team. After having an outstanding season in the IPL, where he took 14 wickets to be one of the few bright spots for Sunrisers Hyderabad in a disappointing season, Rashid maintained that form into the World Cup, ending with eight wickets in five games to round off a successful campaign.
Afghanistan, on the other hand, had qualified for the Super12 by virtue of being placed among the Top 10 teams in the International Cricket Council T20I rankings. However, they were unable to qualify for the knockout stages.
Harbhajan Singh’s Team of the Tournament: David Warner, Mohammad Rizwan, Kane Williamson, Jos Buttler, Aiden Markram, Wanindu Hasaranga, Asif Ali, Ravindra Jadeja, Shaheen Afridi, Trent Boult, Jasprit Bumrah, Rashid Khan (12th Man)
Team Australia stole the show and David Warner led from the front
It was a brilliant performance by the Aussie side. They were not the best team right through the tournament. However, once they picked up, they were just at the right place and at the right time, with the right performances that pushed them to yet another title.
No matter whether they are underdogs or not, the Australian side always seems to pull off miracles and get wins that may seem unlikely at some point. They may be the underdogs but the fight that they showcase can turn around any game, in any tournament, especially the bigger ones.
With that being said, some of the players in this Australian side were not in the best of form at the start of the tournament. However, they picked up form as the games went on and got the job done when it really mattered. This is a quality of this team that can be never underestimated.
They are the most successful team in the history of world cricket and have won the most 50-over World Cups. They have five trophies to their name already and this was the first time that they won the World Cup of the shortest format of the game.
Keeping that in mind, the tournament next year will be in their own country. They will want to defend their title at home, the one that they just won this year. Despite that, it will not be that easy for them, as some of the other contenders already look strong and just faded away in the key moments, which may not happen in the upcoming tournament.