The year 2021 is coming to a close and all eyes will be on the ICC Men’s World T20 in Australia next year. Therefore the T20 fever is all set to triple. Amidst all this, the ICC has announced the nominees for the T20I Player of the year. Sri Lankan leg spinner Wahindu Hasaranga, Pakistan wicket-keeper opener Mohammed Rizwan, English wicket-keeper batter Jos Buttler and Australian all-rounder Mitchell Marsh comprise the list for the best player of the year in the shortest format of the year.
“Two brilliant wicketkeeper-batters and two all-rounders constitute our nominees for the 2021 ICC Men’s T20I Player of the Year awards. Here, we take a look at their memorable performances and celebrate their achievements,” the ICC issued in a release.
Here’s a closer look at the nominees and a stellar performance this year –
Wanindu Hasaranga of Sri Lanka
36 wickets in 20 matches at 11.63; 196 runs with one half-century
The 24-year-old leggie from Sri Lanka, Wahindu Hasaranga proved it once again. Despite his team’s failure to make it big in the World T20, Hasaranga displayed his expertise as a spinner as he became the leading wicketkeeper in the tournament with 16 dismissals to his name.
He successfully spun his web of labyrinth against the batters in the spin-friendly conditions of UAE and was the only shining torchbearer from the Sri Lankan team. Adding to his wicket-taking abilities, Hasaranga is handy with the bat and he showed that on a number of occasions and his knock of 71 against Ireland was a treat to the eye.
Mohammad Rizwan of Pakistan
1326 runs in 29 matches at an average of 73.66 with one century; 24 dismissals.
GK question: Name the first batter to have scored 2,000 runs in T20 cricket in a calendar year.
The answer will be the stylish right-hand wicketkeeper batter of Pakistan Mohammad Rizwan. Known to attack from the very first ball, Rizwan had the perfect year as a batter in 2021. He was an instrumental member of the Pakistan squad that reached the WT20 semis and became the only 2nd wicket-keeper batter after Brendon McCullum to have scored a hundred across all 3 formats.
He began the year with a bang after hitting a spectacular hundred against South Africa and ended the year in the same vein with a sensational knock of 87 against the Carribeans.
Jos Buttler England
589 runs in 14 matches at 65.44 with one century; 13 dismissals
Jos Buttler, another wicket-keeper addition to the list was at his best once again in the T20 format. Considering his talent, temperament, and performance, it will not be wrong to call him the best wicketkeeper batter of the current generation. As a batter, he has shots all across the ground and gives little respite to the bowlers when he is at the crease.
Buttler has been a consistent performer and his records of the past years prove what an incredible asset he is for the English side. Buttler was the highest run-getter for England in the World T20 and was even the first batter to register a hundred in the tournament. The slow pitches of UAE could stop the runs flowing from Buttler’s bat as he looked unstoppable in the series.
Mitchell Marsh Australia
627 runs in 27 matches at 36.88; 8 wickets at 18.37
From being a talented player who missed out on matches due to frequent injuries to being the man behind Australia’s maiden World T20 triumph – Mitchell Marsh stole the show in 2021. Marsh has elevated up the order to No.3 from being a finisher and that idea turned out to be a masterstroke for the Australian T20 side. His ability to clear the fence at his will clearly bore fruits for his side as he continues to be in a dream run in his career.
Marsh was also the Player of the Match in the final clash against neighboring rivals New Zealand in the high voltage World T20 final. With a target of 173 runs on board, Marsh pulled off a blitzkrieg with his unbeaten knock of 77 off 50 deliveries comprising of 6 fours and 4 sixes.
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