India’s domestic season for 2020-21 finally got going in January in a bio-bubble with the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 Trophy. After as many as 102 T20 matches, Tamil Nadu emerged as the champions as they defeated a spirited Baroda side in the final. There were many exceptional performances during the tournament which must have surely sought the attention of the Indian Premier League (IPL) franchises.
The tournament also resumed cricket in India and it gave hope for the domestic cricketers who didn’t have much to do since the lockdown in March last year. No wonder each player gave his best in the tournament and it turned out to be one of the better editions of SMAT20.
Here we bring you the best XI of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy:
1. N Jagadeesan (Tamil Nadu)
N Jagadeesan’s form at the top of the order was one of the main reasons behind Tamil Nadu’s consistent unbeaten run in the tournament this season. He was the top run-getter of the season with 364 runs in 8 innings at an impeccable average of 72.80 and a superb strike-rate of more than 140. Jagadeesan scored four half-centuries in the competition and remained unbeaten thrice whenever he crossed the 50-run mark.
2. Kedar Devdhar (Baroda)
Kedar Devdhar was the epitome of consistency in SMAT20 this year and clearly, most of the opposition teams didn’t have an answer to his way of batting. He carried Baroda’s batting on his shoulders making sure the other batsmen could play around him. Devdhar scored 349 runs at an average of close to 70 and his strike-rate of 113.68 proves that he concentrated on playing out 20 overs and was successful on a number of occasions.
3. Prabhsimran Singh (Punjab)
The 20-year-old from Punjab impressed the cricketing fraternity with his batting. He scored three half-centuries while amassing 341 runs in seven innings and hit the most sixes in the tournament sending the ball into the stands 22 times. His average of 85.25 and strike-rate of 142.08 was one of the reasons for Punjab’s brilliant run in SMAT20.
4. Sheldon Jackson (Puducherry)
Sheldon Jackson moved to Puducherry this season and was the catalyst for the team. The senior pro in domestic circuit scored 242 runs in five matches with a century and a fifty to his name. His strike-rate was also in excess of 150 which clearly depicts that he accelerated the innings at the perfect time for the team.
5. Riyan Parag (Assam)
Riyan Parag impressed for Rajasthan Royals in the last IPL season and continued to do so for Assam in Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy. In the middle order, he more often than not arrested a collapse and also made sure that the team fought well in the game. Parag scored 261 runs in five matches at an average of 87 and the strike-rate of over 140.
6. Dinesh Karthik (Tamil Nadu) (C & WK)
The perfect finisher for Tamil Nadu this season. Dinesh Karthik is a legend in domestic cricket and he once again proved it. The team man led his troops superbly throughout the tournament and also made sure that they had that extra cushion of runs while batting first. Karthik didn’t get much batting this season but even in limited opportunities, he managed to smash 183 runs in six innings remaining unbeaten thrice.
7. Rishi Dhawan (Himachal Pradesh)
This name would surely surprise many but Rishi Dhawan did perform well. His all-round abilities kept Himachal in the hunt on most of the occasions during the tournament. Rishi picked up nine wickets at an exceptional average of 16 and an economy of 6.85. He also mustered 140 runs in five innings remaining unbeaten twice finishing the innings for the team.
8. Ashutosh Aman (Bihar)
Ashutosh Aman has been the top bowler for Bihar over the years and the left-arm spinner once again spun a web around the opposition batsmen. Many will feel R Sai Kishore should’ve made it to the XI, but Aman’s 16 wickets pipped him in the end. Aman’s economy of 5.08 and average of 7.62 was the best of the tournament and it needs appreciation irrespective of the fact that Bihar was placed in the Plate Group.
9. Lukman Meriwala (Baroda)
Lukman Meriwala was one of the very few bowlers to pick up a five-wicket haul this season. He ended the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy with 15 scalps, the second most of the season. He delivered economical spells on most occasions and stood up whenever the team needed him.
10. Ravi Bishnoi (Rajasthan)
Ravi Bishnoi from Rajasthan was one of the best spinners for Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) in the IPL. And he did the same for his state team in SMAT20. Bishnoi kept a lid on the run-scoring of the opposition teams picking 11 wickets in five matches and his economy of 5.75 proves he was the toughest to be hit for runs.
11. Ishan Porel (Bengal)
There was a cut-throat competition between Ishan Porel and Siddarth Kaul for the final spot in this XI. But the former made it to the team, in the end, thanks to his express pace which troubles the opposition batsmen. Ishan Porel of Bengal picked up 13 wickets with a couple of four-wicket hauls to his name.
Source: The source of this content is our cricket news platform Crictracker.
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