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ESPNcricinfo writers select their team of the tournament from the World T20
April 7, 2014
This XI was collated from votes given by ESPNcricinfo's staff who worked on the World T20. Many selections were clear, but a few areas prompted more uncertainty: especially the wicketkeeper and opening batsmen. Also, the desire to field a balanced team was taken into consideration with the decision to field two spinners and two quicks among the four specialist bowlers
Features : Spin success, and Sri Lanka's Powerplay heroics
Features : Spin it to win it
Players/Officials: Stephan Myburgh | Alex Hales | Virat Kohli | Glenn Maxwell | Jean-Paul Duminy | Darren Sammy | Denesh Ramdin | Ravichandran Ashwin | Dale Steyn | Imran Tahir | Lasith Malinga
Series/Tournaments: World T20
Stephan Myburgh (7 matches, 224 runs @ 32.00, S/R 154.48)
The attacking left hander often provided the impetus for Netherland's innings. He began the tournament with 55 off 36 balls and then inspired the fantastic pursuit against Ireland when they hunted down the target in quick enough time to enter the Super 10s. In terms of opposition, though, his best innings was the 51 off 28 deliveries against South Africa where he set his team up for a famous victory only for the lower order to blow it.
Alex Hales (4 matches, 166 runs @ 55,33, S/R 158.09)
In on the strength of one innings - but what an innings it was. The 116 off 64 balls against Sri Lanka was England's first international T20 hundred and led them to their highest successful chance. For one day (and that's about as long as it lasted) it lifted the cloud hanging over English cricket.
Virat Kohli (6 matches, 319 runs @ 106.33, S/R 129.14)
The Player of the Tournament, of that there was no doubt. Can rightly win an argument over who is the best batsman in the world right now. His innings against South Africa in the semi-final was as perfect as you could wish to see in a pressurised T20 chase. His consistency - across six innings his lowest score was 23 - meant that India were rarely in trouble; his innings in the final scotched any notion about batting first being an issue. You could feel his frustration as he lost the strike in the closing overs.
Glenn Maxwell (4 matches, 147 runs @ 36.75, S/R 210.00)
Australia's reputation at World T20s continued to flounder, but Maxwell enhanced - or at least cemented - his with a searing strike-rate. His 74 off 33 was a ferocious innings from where Australia should have beaten Pakistan. Once viewed as a raw slogger, Maxwell is a dynamic, calculating T20 batsman who backs himself to the hilt.
JP Duminy (5 matches, 187 runs @ 62.33, S/R 140.60)
His unbeaten 86 against New Zealand was one of two performances which kept South Africa in the tournament, and he finished as their leading run-scorer. Also hit the most sixes among South Africa's batsmen (eight, the next most was three). His offspin was expensive - conceding more than nine an over - but given the difficulties spinners had in Chittagong, it was felt better to try and squeeze an early over out of him.
Darren Sammy (5 matches, 101 runs @ 101.00, S/R 224.44)
Now one of the finest finishers in this format. The power he gets into his shots is phenomenal and he can turn a half-decent delivery into a six. He produced two startling innings in different situations: the unbeaten 34 against Australia to seal a highly-charged chase and his unbeaten 42 to turn a poor total into a match-winning one against Pakistan. West Indies were well adrift in their semi-final against Sri Lanka, but it would not have been beyond Sammy to turn it around. He would also be an inspirational captain for this team.
Denesh Ramdin (5 matches, 6 stumpings)
Barely had a chance to influence a match with the bat, but his glovework was as consistent and sharp as he has ever shown on the international stage. Standing up to Krishmar Santokie with the new ball helped suffocate batsmen and he was alert whenever Samuel Badree or Sunil Narine zipped one past the outside edge. Quirkily, all his dismissals were stumpings.
R Ashwin (6 matches, 11 wickets @ 11.27, Econ 5.35)
Arguably the bowler of the tournament as he combined wickets with economy. He conceded just 5.35 per over across six matches - only in the final going for more than a run-a-ball - and also produced the ball of the tournament to remove Hashim Amla in the semi-final. His round-the-wicket line and shrewd use of the carrom ball left many batsmen fumbling. That he did not have enough runs to work with in the final was not his fault
Dale Steyn (5 matches, 9 wickets @ 17.00, Econ 7.98)
The dirty overs were rarely much muckier than when Steyn was thrown the ball by AB de Villiers or Faf du Plessis which explains the high economy. At times, South Africa's entire hopes rested on his shoulders - in the Super 10 match against New Zealand he responded with one of the finest final overs in T20 history as he defended a paltry seven runs. In the semi-final, all of South Africa's eggs were in Steyn's basket, almost an unfair expectation against India, and he could not quite find the perfection required.
Imran Tahir (5 matches, 12 wickets @ 10.91, Econ 6.55)
In the not too distant past you would have got long odds on a legspinner being central to a South African bowling attack in any format - let alone T20. But the shifting balance of risk and reward, with some captains now putting the value of wickets above the cost of an extra six or two, was clearly shown in Tahir's role. It helped him that three of the group stage opponents - New Zealand, England and Netherlands - were among the weakest at playing spin, but he also claimed 3 for 26 against the nimble-footed Sri Lankans.
Lasith Malinga (6 matches, 5 wickets @ 22.00, Econ 6.11)
When it really mattered, Malinga came to the fore and that is the mark of a star player. In the semi-final, with West Indies threatening to break away early in their chase, he removed both openers in a two-over spell that cost just five runs. Then, in the final, which brought with it an airplane load of baggage for Sri Lanka, he delivered one of the finest death spells you will see to limit the previously untroubled Indian batting order to scampering singles.
The 2nd XI Rohit Sharma, Kane Williamson, Mahela Jayawardene, Tom Cooper, AB de Villiers, Angelo Mathews, MS Dhoni (capt & wk), Nuwan Kulasekara, Samuel Badree, Krishmar Santokie, Amit Mishra
Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfoFeeds: Andrew McGlashan
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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