The 2021 ICC T20 world cup was an entertaining event with quite a few trophy hopefuls observing upsets. The big guns in the form of India, England and Windies could barely make it to the knockouts with England being the only one. In the round preceding the round of Super 12, Namibia and Scotland pull off great surprises over more established teams such as Netherlands and Ireland.
With the level of competition being so high, it is obvious that all teams must have put up exceptional performances. The teams that were considered minnows such as Sri Lanka and Afghanistan and also teams that were not expected to create ripples like Australia and South Africa, the cricketers from all these countries put up career defining performances. Many cricketing experts and analysts have already put together their best eleven of the tournament. Even the ICC released the best eleven which was captained by Babar Azam. One cricketing legend who announced his best eleven of the 2021 ICC T20 world cup is Kevin Pietersen. The English cricketing champion has picked an interesting eleven as his best XI team from the world cup.
His team had a handsome mix of cricketers from various countries. He had three cricketers from Pakistan since the Pakistani cricketers genuinely punched above their weights this world cup. It also had two cricketers each from England, Sri Lanka and South Africa. The latter two teams performed above most people’s expectations and spiced up the league stage games. It had one cricketer from Australia and New Zealand. The most shocking revelation here would be to not have a single Indian on this list. This suggests how poor the world cup was for the Indian cricketing unit.
For openers, Pietersen went with Mohammad Rizwan and Jos Butler. Rizwan was thoroughly impressive in the tournament. He played the semi-final after being hospitalized for viral the previous day. Butler as usual was at his rollicking best with heavy at the top of the order. Both the batsmen were among the top of the run-charts with 281 and 269 runs respectively in the competition. In the middle order, he went with Babar Azam, Charith Asalanka and Aiden Markram. Babar surely had a career defining tournament with all-round batting and captaincy. Asalanka was the big revelation having played pace and spin convincingly. He looked like the perfect middle order anchor for Sri Lanka in the future. Aiden Markram has always displayed enormous potential but showed glimpses of why he is considered one of the most technically sound batsman around.
In the finishers and all-rounder categories, Pietersen went with his countryman Moeen Ali. He also picked the other Sri Lankan, Wanindu Hasaranga. Both of them are fine all-rounders. Hasaranga was the highest wicket taker of the tournament with 16 scalps. Pietersen preferred the Australian leggie, Adam Zampa for the specialist spinner. He was impressive with his economy and built pressure through dots. He picked up a total of 13 wickets though the tournament.
For the pace bowling battery, Shaheen Afridi, Trent Boult and Anrich Nortje made it to the list. When the Australian batsmen were making a mockery of the Kiwi total, Boult seemed like the only bowler having them under control. He bowled his 4 overs in the final for just 18 runs and picked 2 wickets. Afridi was most probably the biggest superstar of the tournament barring the embarrassing 3 back-to-back sixes in the semi-final. Afridi running through the Indian top order was enough to put him in this list. Nortje has been on an ascend since the last couple of years and he reiterated why he is considered a world class talent. Nortje ended up with 9 scalps and Boult was the highest wicket takers among pacers with 13 wickets. All in all, the team picked by Kevin is packed with match and winners is a well-rounded squad.