Riyan Parag, the standout as we look at the combined best playing 11 for Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy (SMAT) 2023 tournament.
India’s premier Domestic T20 tournament, the 2023 Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy sees another successful completion. The Punjab team created history by winning their maiden SMAT title by defeating the high-flying Baroda team in a high-scoring clash at Mohali.
Ever since the inception of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy in 2006, the tournament has often been recognized as a talent hub for emerging T20 cricketers. The 2023 edition was no different as we saw plenty of players making a mark with as many as 38 teams participating in the tournament.
The SMAT 2023 tournament started on October 16, and was concluded on November 06. More than 600 players participated in the tournament via 38 teams. But who have been the best 11 players to have performed in the tournament? Well, let’s find out the combined best playing 11 for Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy 2023.
Overall, the Best 11 of the Tournament for Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy 2023 is selected from players who have played at least the Knockouts. From the players eligible from the pool, performance rating is given the preference. Moreover, the final 11 is selected with at least 3 batters, 2 all-rounders, 1 wicket-keeper, 1 spinner, and 3 pacers in place.
Combined Best 11 for Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy (SMAT) 2023:
#1: Abhishek Sharma (Punjab)
Inns: 10 // Runs: 485 // Avg: 48.5 // SR: 192.5 // HS: 112 // Rating: 10
The first opener on the list is Abhishek Sharma, who has been a belligerent opener in the tournament with a strike rate of 192.5. This is some extraordinary stuff from Abhishek, who has scored 485 runs with this strike rate. This also happens to be the highest strike rate among the top 20 highest run-getters. With IPL 2024 coming soon, Abhishek would want to continue this form for SRH as well.
#2: Atharva Taide (Vidarbha)
Inns: 7 // Runs: 302 // Avg: 43.1 // SR: 169.7 // HS: 97 // Rating: 10
Supporting Abhishek at the top is Atharva Taide, who has undoubtedly been the second-best opener of the tournament. Atharva has scored 302 runs from 7 innings with a consistency of 71.4%. Except for 15 in the first match, Atharva’s scores read 54, 30, 97, 37, 40, and 29. Atharva plays for Punjab Kings in IPL, and would want to continue his performance in IPL 2024 as well.
#3: Vishnu Vinod (Kerala)
Inns: 8 // Runs: 363 // Avg: 51.9 // SR: 160.6 // HS: 109* // Rating: 10
The Wicket-keeper batter of the tournament, Vishnu Vinod finished the tournament as the four-highest run-getter with 363 runs to his name. Vishnu has played with prominence, and 109 vs Services was a prime example of this. Vishnu will now be seen in the Mumbai Indians camp during IPL 2024.
#4: Anmolpreet Singh (Punjab)
Inns: 9 // Runs: 355 // Avg: 44.4 // SR: 180.2 // HS: 113 // Rating: 10
The Player of the Final, Anmolpreet Singh shall be remembered for his heroics in the SMAT 2023 final where he scored 113 runs off just 61 balls; thus helping his side achieve a maiden SMAT title. Aside from that hundred, Anmolpreet Singh scored 355 runs from 9 innings at an average of 44.4 and a strike rate of 180.2; which is exceptional. He will now be seen in the SRH camp during IPL 2024.
#5: Riyan Parag (Assam)
Inns: 10 // Runs: 510 // Wkts: 11 // SR: 182.8 // HS: 76* // Rating: 10
Undoubtedly the player of the tournament, Riyan Parag has played some extraordinary cricket in the 10 matches of the 2023 Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy. He is the leading run-getter of the tournament by some far margin in addition to taking 11 wickets for the team. What an amazing feat by Riyan Parag. He will now be seen in the Rajasthan Royals camp, and unlike the previous flop shows, hopefully, Riyan will replicate his form in IPL 2024.
#6: Rinku Singh (UP)
Inns: 7 // Runs: 256 // Avg: 85.3 // SR: 170.7 // HS: 77* // Rating: 8.8
The finisher of the tournament, Rinku Singh has continued his golden run by once again showing the world the finisher he is. Rinku ended the SMAT 2023 with 256 runs from just 7 innings at an amazing strike rate of 170.7. He did everything he could for his team including a brilliant 77 in the QF vs Punjab. Nevertheless, KKR would be hoping for a similar show in IPL 2024 from Rinku Singh.
#7: Krunal Pandya (Baroda)
Inns: 10 // Runs: 323 // Wkts: 7 // BA. Avg: 64.6 // Rating: 8.4
The Captain and MVP of the Baroda team, Krunal has led by example for the Baroda side, who did everything possible to win the title, but fell just short of it. Krunal ended the tournament with 323 runs and 7 wickets to his name. While Parag has been the best all-rounder of the tournament, Krunal wasn’t far behind either.
#8: Atit Sheth (Baroda)
Inns: 9 // Wkts: 18 // Avg: 14.3 // ER: 7.6 // BBI: 4/29 // Rating: 8.7
While Krunal led the team in the batting and bowling department, Atit Sheth was quite impressive with his pace bowling for Baroda. Overall, Atit took 18 wickets from just 9 games at a good average of 14.3 and an economy rate of 7.6. Atit maintained a consistency of 66.7, which is quite good for a pacer.
#9: Bhuvneshwar Kumar (UP)
Inns: 7 // Wkts: 16 // Avg: 9.3 // ER: 5.8 // BBI: 5/16 // Rating: 10
Arguably the best pacer of the tournament, Bhuvi has shown he isn’t finished as yet. Bhuvi finished the 2023 SMAT with 16 wickets to his name from just 7 innings. His average of 9.3 remains the lowest among all pacers. Whereas his economy rate of 5.8 is also the lowest among the top 30 wicket-takers.
#10: Suyash Sharma (Delhi)
Inns: 7 // Wkts: 18 // Avg: 7.2 // ER: 4.6 // BBI: 5/13 // Rating: 10
Undoubtedly the best bowler of the tournament, Suyash has been quite exceptional in SMAT 2023. He ended the season as the second-highest wicket-taker with 18 wickets to his name from just 7 innings; that’s 2.57 wickets per innings. Suyash’s average of 7.2 is the lowest among all bowlers, and his economy rate of 4.6 is also the lowest among the top 20 wicket-takers.
#11: Tushar Deshpande (Mumbai)
Inns: 8 // Wkts: 16 // Avg: 12.8 // ER: 6.9 // BBI: 4/13 // Rating: 9.7
Finally, the third-best pacer of the tournament, and also the only player from Mumbai, is Tushar Deshpande. Continuing his IPL 2023 form, Tushar once again kept himself among wickets, albeit with a better economy rate. He ended the season with 16 wickets from 8 games at a good economy rate of 6.9.
Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy 2023 – Combined Best 11 of the Tournament:
Abhishek Sharma, Atharva Taide, Vishnu Vinod (wk), Anmolpreet Singh, Riyan Parag, Rinku Singh, Krunal Pandya (c), Atit Sheth, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Suyash Sharma & Tushar Deshpande
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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.
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