As the year 2021 is about to end, many experts have started revealing their team’s of the year or top-performers of the year across all formats. Recently, ex-Indian cricketer Aakash Chopra had released his top-5 batters of 2021 in the Test format. Following the trend, Former Pakistan spinner Danish Kaneria has picked his T20I team for the year 2021.
Starting with the openers, Kaneria went with the Pakistan duo of Mohammad Rizwan and Babar Azam. Notably, Rizwan and Babar are the top-two run-getters in T20Is this year. Rizwan has scored 1,326 runs in 29 matches at an average of 75.06. He is also the only player to score more than 1,000 T20I runs in a calendar year. Similarly, Babar has 939 runs to his name in 29 fixtures.
“Mohammad Rizwan and Babar Azam are my openers as performed really well throughout 2021. They were outstanding in the T20 World Cup (2021), and they played well in the recently concluded series against West Indies as well,” said Kaneria on his YouTube channel.
However, Kaneria didn’t name the two global superstars Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli in his team of 2021. Both Kohli and Rohit are two of the leading run-scorers in the shortest format. While Kohli has 3227 runs to his credit in 85 games, Rohit has scored 3197 runs in 119 matches. They are only behind Martin Guptill, who is at the top with 3299 runs in 112 fixtures.
Kaneria instead went with England‘s Jos Buttler over the Indian duo and explained that: “People will say at one down it should be Rohit Sharma or KL Rahul or Virat Kohli, but no, I have a different opinion, I will go with Jos Buttler. He (Buttler) played really well, and he had also scored a hundred in World Cup. So, he deserves the spot.”
The former Pakistan spinner did pick four Indians, including the 12th man in his T20I team of the year. He went with all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja, off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin, and pacer Jasprit Bumrah. Kaneria named Rishabh Pant as the 12th member of his team.
The Karachi-born also named Liam Livingstone, Shaheen Afridi, Trent Boult and Adam Zampa to fulfil the T20I XI of 2021.
Here is Danish Kaneria’s T20 XI Of 2021:
Babar Azam, Mohammad Rizwan, Jos Buttler, Liam Livingstone, Mitchell Marsh, Ravindra Jadeja, Ravi Ashwin, Shaheen Afridi, Trent Boult, Jasprit Bumrah, Adam Zampa. Rishabh Pant (12th man)