Jos Buttler, Babar Azam pick T20 World Cup's Player of the Tournament and it's not Virat Kohli
Ahead of the summit clash the England captain Jos Buttler and his Pakistani counterpart Babar Azam were asked to pick the Player of the Tournament. Both the opening batters, quite surprisingly, were very clear in their minds.
There have been some outstanding individual performances in this T20 World Cup that has enthralled the crowd and helped the respective teams go deep in the tournament. England and Pakistan, the two teams set to battle for the title in the final on Sunday at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, have had multiple performers who have set the World Cup alight. Ahead of the summit clash the England captain Jos Buttler and his Pakistani counterpart Babar Azam were asked to pick the Player of the Tournament. Both the opening batters, quite surprisingly, were very clear in their minds.
Buttler went with India's Suryakumar Yadav, saying that the freedom with which the right-hander has batted in this tournament, has been very eye-catching.
"I think Suryakumar Yadav," Buttler said. "I think Suryakumar Yadav for me has been someone who's played with extreme freedom. He's been incredibly eye-catching to watch in such a star-studded line-up. To stand out the way he has is amazing.
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Yadav scored 239 runs in six matches, with his runs coming at a sensational strike rate of 189.68. He also scored three half-centuries, which came against Netherlands, South Africa and Zimbabwe.
With his exploits in Australia, Yadav truly announced his arrival on the big stage, while also becoming the No.1 ranked batter in the world in the ICC Men's T20I Player Rankings.
Buttler, who himself is among the nine players shortlisted for the Player of the Tournament award, also did not forget to talk about Sam Curran and Alex Hales' performances.
"Of course there's a couple of our guys on that sheet as well - Sam Curran and Alex Hales. If they put in a great performance in the final, they can be the Player of the Tournament for me," Buttler added.
Pakistan captain Babar Azam went with his teammate Shadab Khan. "I think it should be Shadab Khan for the way he is playing," Babar said.
"While his bowling has been outstanding, his batting also improved quite a bit. His dominating performances in the last three games along with his outstanding fielding makes him a prime contender for the Player of the Tournament."
Shadab's major contribution with the bat came during Pakistan's must-win contest against South Africa in Sydney, as he scored a blistering half-century. With the ball, he has picked 10 wickets in six matches, with best figures of 3/22 and a miserly economy of 6.59.
Apart from the Suryakumar Yadav and Shadab Khan, the other players shortlisted for the award are India's Virat Kohli, England's Jos Buttler, Alex Hales and Sam Curran, Pakistan's Shadab Khan, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Zimbabwe's Sikandar Raza and Sri Lanka's Wanindu Hasaranga.