Rohit Sharma to lead while Rishabh Pant to keep as we look at the T20I best playing 11 of the year 2021 for Team India.
As Team India plays their last international match of the year 2021, let’s relook at the format that grabs our most attention, the T20Is. It has been a decent year for Team India having won 10 matches in the total played 16 matches. While the win% is good, Team India’s early T20 World Cup exit was the major turn-off.
The format also saw a controversial change in leadership as Virat Kohli abruptly announced retirement from captaincy ahead of the T20 World Cup 2021. Post the world cup, Rohit Sharma was announced as the Captain of Team India for the T20 format. Whereas KL Rahul was announced as his deputy.
Team India also saw a lot of personnel changes, and were deprived of a consistent playing 11 until the last match of the year. On that note, let’s look at the T20I best playing 11 of the year 2021 for Team India. Before that, let’s look at our unique methodology. Please note, only players who have played at least 5 matches are considered for the selection.
As usual, we have removed any biases or perceptions while selecting the best performing 11. Our robust methodology gives precedence to ‘Performance Rating’ to select players in the playing 11. Also, Team has 2 openers, 3-4 batters, at least 1 all-rounder and spinner, and at least 3 Pacers.
Openers: Rohit Sharma & KL Rahul
Team India played Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul as the openers in the T20Is for the majority of the year. Of the two, Rohit Sharma has been the standout opener. He is the leading run-scorer for Team India this year with 424 runs from 11 innings. Unlike his previous, Rohit has been more consistent this year with five fifties to his name. His average has also been good at 38.5 and the strike rate has been good too at 151. Overall, Rohit gets a rating of 8.7 for his performance.
KL Rahul, on the other hand, has had a decent year as a batter. He started poorly against England at home with 4 back-to-back failures, but then pulled things back in the T20 World Cup. KL Rahul scored a total of 289 runs from 11 innings at an average of 28.9 and a strike rate of 130.8. His consistency stood at just 36.8%, and he gets a rating of 5.4 for his performance.
Middle-order: Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav & Rishabh Pant
The middle-order for the team of the year comprises Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav & Rishabh Pant. Virat Kohli has been the best batter on this team. He scored a total of 299 runs from 8 innings at an average of 74.8 and a strike rate of 132.9. Virat’s consistency was slightly lower than that of Rohit at 57.1%, but his performance rating is slightly better at 8.8.
Suryakumar Yadav rose to prominence this year with some stunning performances with the bat. It was a long time coming for Surya, who has been in contention for a few years now. Surya didn’t disappoint in his debut year as he managed a total of 244 runs from 9 innings at an average of 34.9 and a strike rate of 155.4. His consistency stands at 62.5% and gets a rating of 7.4 for his performance.
Rishabh Pant has been performing the role of a primary wicket-keeper for quite some time now. He had a decent year as a batter scoring 213 runs from 10 innings at an average of 30.4 and a strike rate of 126. Rishabh Pant’s consistency stood at 50% and his performance rating stands at 5.5.
All-rounders: Hardik Pandya & Ravindra Jadeja
Undoubtedly, we have Hardik Pandya and Ravindra Jadeja as the all-rounders of the team as there was simply no competition. While Hardik has been the batting all-rounder of the team, Ravindra Jadeja has been the bowling all-rounder of the team. This is also reflected in their stats. However, Hardik’s performance as a batter has been below-par
Overall, Hardik managed to score a total of 165 runs from 8 innings at an average of 27.5 and a strike rate of 138. These stats could have been way better; at least in the strike rate department. As a bowler, Hardik managed to take 4 wickets from the 24 overs he bowled. Overall, Hardik gets a rating of 5 for his performance.
Ravindra Jadeja, on the other hand, has been utilized primarily as a bowler. He has been quite good in this department. Surprisingly, Jadeja bowled less than Pandya, but was more effective. He took a total of 7 wickets from 5 innings at an average of 14 and an economy rate of 5.9. As a batter, Jadeja played only 2 knocks, and scored a total of 39 runs at an SR of 121.9. Overall, Ravindra Jadeja has a rating of 7.6 for his performance,
Bowlers: Ravichandran Ashwin, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar & Shardul Thakur
This is the department that has seen some unique performances from a few new players. The best pacer has been Jasprit Bumrah, who continues to lead this area. Bumrah didn’t play much, but in the 5 innings he played, Bumrah took a total of 7 wickets at an economy rate of just 5.1. His consistency stood at 80%, and his performance rating stands at 8.6.
Ravichandran Ashwin has been a surprise package this year as a bowler. Ashwin hasn’t disappointed since his comeback though. He took a total of 9 wickets from 5 innings at an average of 11 and an economy rate of just 5.3. Similar to Bumrah, Ashwin’s consistency stood at 80%, but his performance rating has been the best at 9.7.
The other two pacers in the final 11 are Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Shardul Thakur. While Bhuvneshwar Kumar has been the leading wicket-taker of the year for Team India with 12 wickets to his name, Shardul Thakur has been more than handy as a bowler with 8 wickets to his name. Overall, Bhuvi’s performance rating stands at 5.8. Whereas for Shardul it stands 4.9.
The other players that were in contention, and can play a part in 2022 include Ishan Kishan in the opening department. Shreyas Iyer in the middle-order. Rahul Chahar and Yuzvendra Chahal in the spin department. Whereas Deepak Chahar and Mohammed Shami in the pace department.
T20I Best Playing 11 of the Year 2021 for Team India:
Rohit Sharma (C), KL Rahul, Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant (WK), Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur, Ravichandran Ashwin, Bhuvneshwar Kumar & Jasprit Bumrah.
Thanks for reading! What’s your T20I team of the year 2021 for Team India? Please email your thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org
Adesh Kothari is the founder of AK4Tsay1 Cricalytics with over 20 years of experience following Cricket.
Cricket to him is like what Football is to Lionel Messi, Singing is to Lata Mangeshkar, Dancing is to Michael Jackson, and Acting is to Clint Eastwood.
Besides his effervescent love for Cricket, Adesh is an MBA by qualification.