Mohammad Rizwan, the Pakistan wicketkeeper-batter topped the batting charts in 2021 when it came to the shortest format of the game. Aggregating a staggering 1326 runs in only 29 matches, Mohammad Rizwan struck at an average of 73.66 and a strike rate of 134.89. Another keeper England’s Jos Buttler amassed 589 runs in 14 matches at 65.44 with one century alongside getting 13 dismissals. Mohammad Rizwan registered his name in history as he became the first-ever batter to reach 2000 runs in a calendar year in the T20s.
Wanindu Hasaranga, the Sri Lankan all-rounder established himself as one of the best spinners in the shortest format picking up 36 wickets in 20 matches at 11.63 while also being a player who could contribute with the bat scoring 196 runs with one half-century. Another Australian all-rounder Mitchell Marsh amassed 627 runs in 27 matches at 36.88 besides picking 8 wickets at 18.37.
Mohammad Rizwan Of Pakistan And Jos Butler Of England Are Keepers Among ICC Player Of The Year 2021 Award
Apart from Mohammad Rizwan’s exploits with the bat, he was as solid as ever behind the stumps, getting 24 dismissals and playing a key role in Pakistan’s run to the semi-finals during the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021, where he ended up as the third-highest run-scorer.
He also scored the maiden T20I century of his career against South Africa in Lahore early in 2021 and ended it continuing his form with a brilliant knock of 87 against West Indies in Karachi. Pakistan will hope that Mohammad Rizwan continues in the same vein, with another 2022 T20I World Cup nearby. Though a chase of 152 looked relatively easy on paper, Pakistan had never beaten India in a World Cup encounter.
With the likes of pacers Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammad Shami in opposition attack, the task was made all the more complicated. Mohammad Rizwan along with his skipper Babar Azam ensured that a famous victory would be sealed to break the jinx. He smacked an unbeaten 79 in only 55 deliveries, hitting six fours and three sixes. He ensured that there were no hiccups in the run-chase as Pakistan galloped towards the target without losing any wicket to seal a 10-wicket victory.
Jos Buttler started the year off brilliantly with two blistering knocks against India away from home. He would continue this run in the subsequent series against Sri Lanka and Pakistan, despite not playing all the matches. This boded well for England as their key batter was in sublime touch heading into the T20 World Cup.
He did not disappoint in the tournament, always getting his side off to brilliant starts. His two best knocks came in consecutive matches – first against Australia and then against Sri Lanka who faced his full wrath. He ended the tournament as England’s leading run-scorer with 269 runs before their run ended by New Zealand in the semi-finals in a nail-biting thriller.
Blasting the first century of the 2021 T20I WC, Jos Buttler was at his belligerent best in the encounter against Sri Lanka in Sharjah. It was ball-striking of the highest order as the wicketkeeper-batter penetrated all areas of the ground. His unbeaten 101 came in only 67 deliveries and consisted of six fours and six sixes. His knock allowed England to post a competitive score of 163/4, which they ended up defending and winning the contest by 26 runs.
The value of his knock was vital as it came on a slow and low pitch in Sharjah, which wasn’t conducive to a stroke-maker like Jos Buttler, with the batters finding it generally tough to time the ball.
Wanindu Hasaranga And Mitchell Marsh Are The Two All-Rounders Among Nominees For Player Of The 2021 Year In T20Is
A consistent performer throughout the year, Wanindu Hasaranga’s star shone the brightest during the T20 World Cup in UAE and Oman. He ended the tournament as the leading wicket-taker with 16 scalps and also played some handy knocks with the bat, like his 71 against Ireland.
He was a constant menace for the opposition as Sri Lanka impressed all during the tournament with their young and energetic side. Still only 24, Wanindu Hasaranga is expected to become a cornerstone of Sri Lankan cricket, especially in the shortest formats of the game.
In a pressure encounter in Sharjah against South Africa, Wanindu Hasaranga almost single-handedly helped his side claw back into the contest with his brilliance with the ball. Claiming a memorable hat-trick, he took the big scalps of Aiden Markram (19) and Temba Bavuma (46) before dismissing Dwaine Pretorius to complete his hat-trick. He ended up with figures of 3/20 in his four-over spell, and it was only the power-hitting of David Miller at the death that got the Proteas over the line.
Australia’s success at the T20 World Cup can be traced back to the decision to move Mitchell Marsh up the batting order to No.3, instead of designating him the role of being a finisher lower down. Throughout the calendar year, he was their best batter in the shortest format, improving his game by leaps and bounds, especially against spin and when it came to rotating the strike.
He was the silver lining in Australia’s otherwise poor showings in West Indies and Bangladesh, where they lost both T20I series by 4-1, batting higher up the order. Heading into the tournament in UAE, he was in supreme confidence after his good displays and improved fitness. This led to a fruitful tournament as he aggregated 185 runs in 6 matches at an average of 61.66 and a healthy strike rate of 146.82.
He reserved the best for the last, playing a match-winning knock in the final against New Zealand. Chasing down a stiff target of 173 and after the early departure of skipper Aaron Finch, the pressure was on Mitchell Marsh to build a substantial partnership with David Warner. He played his best knock of the tournament. His unbeaten 77 off 50 deliveries consisted of six fours and four sixes.
Starting off on an aggressive note, he rotated the strike brilliantly in the middle overs as he teed off again towards the end. His knock ensured that Australia chased down the challenging target in only 18.5 overs, and was crowned the winners of the T20 World Cup for the first time. For his performance, he has been adjudged the Player of the Match.