When England last lifted the trophy in 2010, Kevin Pietersen was named the Player of the Tournament. Now retired, the 42-year-old English cricketing legend gets down to pick his favorite players in his own T20 World Cup team from this year’s tournament in his blog post. While being very picky in his choices, Pietersen seemed to have given equal weightage to Batsmen as well as Bowlers, keeping the competition fair and square. Being a right-arm off-break bowler and a top-order batter himself, he chose 5 batsmen, 5 bowlers, and one all-rounder in his team. During his entire career, Pietersen had played 37 T20I matches in which he had scored 1176 runs at a strike rate of 141.51. His 8,181 Test runs at 47.28 in 104 Tests had few rivals in England’s history and his record in limited-overs cricket was also outstanding.
Looking at his selections, however, one can easily appreciate the prowess and skill that he had put into bringing together the greatest of cricketing names of today. Cricket these days is brewing with young and energetic talents who have been motivated, trained, and mentored by the legends themselves. This makes such assemblages even more difficult. Pietersen, however, has a clear mind. It is known that England won the T20 world cup 2022 that was being held in Australia, beating Pakistan in the finals.
Among the Batsmen, he selects Jos Buttler (England – 225 runs), Alex Hales (England – 212 runs), Virat Kohli (India – 296 runs), Suryakumar Yadav (India – 239 runs), and Glenn Philips (New Zealand – 201 runs). Pietersen is full of praise for these accomplished batsmen. Speaking of Butler he says that the guy has proven that he was worthy enough to fill the massive shoes of Eoin Morgan. Not only did he guide his squad well through the thicks and thins of the tournament, he also became England’s top scorer. For Hales, Pietersen calls him a “match winner”, while for Philips he calls him,” New Zealand’s most impressive batter.” For Kohli and Yadav, he calls the former as the “highlight of the tournament” and the latter “just spectacular to watch”.
Coming to Bowlers, he chose Sam Curran (England – 13 wickets), Shadab Khan (Pakistan – 11 wickets), Wanindu Hasaranga (Sri Lanka – 15 wickets), Shaheen Shah Afridi (Pakistan – 11 wickets), and Anrich Nortje (South Africa – 11 wickets). Pietersen appreciated the “rise” of Curran since his days of being England’s part-timer and finds Khan as the strongest reason that Pakistan made it into the finals. He titled Sri Lankan leggy Hasaranga “among the premier white-ball spinners around” and South Africa’s pacer Nortje as “an elite bowler across all formats of the game.” Pietersen even feels that had Afridi not been injured in the final, the story would have been much different. Among an all-rounder, Pietersen picks Zimbabwe’s Sikandar Raza who took 10 wickets and scored 219 runs in the tournament, which Pietersen calls “is no mean feat.”