Babar Azam, Shreyas Iyer, Mitchell Santner headline best XI from recent T20I series

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Babar Azam, Shreyas Iyer and Mitch Santner were on a roll.

It was an action-packed week in the world of international cricket with three T20I series taking place at the same time.

In the end, Australia, England and India enjoyed the taste of victory while Pakistan, New Zealand and Bangladesh were left to lick their wounds.

The three bilateral series served up some enthralling white-ball action with multiple records falling by the wayside. Here, we piece together the best XI from the six teams.

Babar Azam – Pakistan

The batting stalwart made his Pakistan captaincy debut with two fluent half-centuries on the trot to make amends for what was a dismal series against Sri Lanka last month. His T20I average is now back to over 50 once again after his displays Down Under.

Aaron Finch – Australia

The Australia skipper plundered 26 runs off a single Mohammad Irfan over in the washed-out first T20 while aggregating an overall 106 in the three matches without being dismissed. His runs came at a terrific strike-rate of over 160 as well.

Steve Smith – Australia

Super Smith crushes Pakistan's hopes.

Super Smith crushes Pakistan’s hopes.

Back in the T20I fold after a gap of more than three years, Smith showed Australia exactly what they have been missing with a sublime unbeaten innings of 80 in the second match. This follows his unbeaten half-century against Sri Lanka last month.

Shreyas Iyer – India

The 24-year-old India batsman is starting to look the real deal at No4 and finished as the team’s top-scorer in the 2-1 series win. His magnificent 33-ball 62 in the deciding T20 rescued India from a perilous spot while his 108 runs overall came at a strike-rate of over 183.

Dawid Malan – England

Making the most of the absence of the big stars such as Ben Stokes and Joe Root, the 32-year-old strengthened his claim for a 2020 World Cup berth with a superb unbeaten ton along with a half-century in the five-match series. He was the leading run-scorer in the series with 208 runs which came at an average of nearly 70.

Eoin Morgan (c) – England

Malan and Morgan put on a six-hitting show in Napier.

Malan and Morgan put on a six-hitting show in Napier.

Following Malan closely in the run-scoring charts was his skipper Eoin Morgan who amassed 197 runs of his own. The southpaw was in sparkling touch in the fourth T20 where he struck the fastest T20I fifty by an Englishman (21 balls) before registering a personal best of 91 in the format. He also struck seven sixes in a single T20I innings for the third time in his career.

Mushfiqur Rahim (wk) – Bangladesh

The Bangladesh stalwart takes the wicketkeeping gloves in our XI after his brilliant unbeaten 60 under immense pressure in the first T20 against India. It helped the Tigers chase down a stiff target of 149 with three deliveries to spare, while also helping them record their maiden T20I win over the subcontinent neighbours.

Iftikhar Ahmed – Pakistan

Apart from Babar’s personal form, the emergence of Iftikhar as a reliable lower-order aggressor was the only positive to take for Pakistan from their series humbling. Recalled to the Pakistan side after three years, the all-rounder’s unbeaten 62 helped save the side’s blushes in the second T20 while his 45 was the lone bright spot in a shambolic batting effort in the series finale.

Mitchell Santner – New Zealand

Mitchell Santner is turning to be key for New Zealand.

Mitchell Santner is turning to be key for New Zealand.

The left-armed orthodox spinner showed why he will be New Zealand’s most valuable player in next year’s World Cup with 11 wickets in the series at an average of only 12.81. The Daniel Vettori clone has mastered the art of tying down batsmen with subtle variations while he also remains a gun fielder.

Kane Richardson – Australia

Australia are blessed with abundance in their T20 pace battery with Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins leading the line. Richardson, however, showed that he is a vital cog in that unit as well with six wickets in the series against Pakistan, which came at a healthy economy-rate and an average of 14.16.

Deepak Chahar – India

Eight wickets, an average of just seven and an economy-rate of only 5.41, were Chahar’s overall figures in the three-match series against the Tigers. However, it was his sensational display in the series decider which had the cricket world take notice, with the seamer recording the best-ever T20I bowling figures of 6-7. He also became the first Indian to claim a T20 hat-trick in the process.

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