2021 witnessed two major ICC spectacles-WTC finals and T20 World Cup. It was arguably the year of T20Is with the franchise league dominating the scenes. T20 World Cup was the culmination of action-packed T20Is throughout the year. There were splendid performances which lit up the biggest stage. Australia ended up winning their maiden T20 World Cup. Their win was as unexpected as some of the top T20I performers this year.
Here’s our ranking of the top 5 T20I cricketers in 2021:
#5 Jos Buttler
Jos Buttler, England’s white-ball vice-captain had a fantastic T20I season. He smashed twin T20I centuries. Buttler registered his maiden T20I hundred, first in the IPL and then in the World Cup. He amassed 589 runs at an average of 65.44. His returns are extraordinary as he struck them at a brilliant strike rate of 143.30. He is already one of the T20 legends.
#4 Babar Azam
Babar Azam is one of the most consistent batsmen across formats. He notched up his highest score in the format scoring 122 against South Africa. Azam kept piling up the runs throughout the year. He was PSL’s and World Cup’s highest run-getter wherein he smashed 554 runs and 303 runs respectively. His T20I form has been sizzling this year with having scored 939 runs at a strike rate of 127.58.
#3 Wanindu Hasaranga
Wanindu Hasaranga tops the T20I bowling charts for a reason. He is never fazed against the opponent that he is up with. Hasaranga’s ability to turn the ball both ways makes him a deadly prospect. He played 20 T20Is this year wherein he picked up 36 wickets at an economy of just 5.44. Hasaranga was the highest wicket-taker in the T20 world cup too. He is a handy middle-order batsman too who keeps his team in the game as long as he stays at the crease.
#2 Mitchell Marsh
Mitchell Marsh’s career was at crossroads until this year. He was asked to bat at number 3 in the bilateral series leading up to the World Cup. This move changes his career stunningly. Marsh was exceptional this year combining brute power with consistency. He notched up 5 fifties in 21 games in addition to picking up 8 wickets. The icing on the cake was his player of the match performance in the World Cup finals.
#1 Mohammad Rizwan
Mohammad Rizwan is undoubtedly the T20I player of the year. He played 29 T20I matches averaging 73.66. Rizwan recorded the highest runs (1326) in a calendar year for a T20I batsman. His strike rate in the 130s adds more metal to his numbers. It will take a lot for any batsman to overtake his record.