Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy 2021-22: Best Playing XI of the tournament

Now that the high-octane tournament has winded up, let’s have a look at the best playing XI of the competition.

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Vijay Shankar

Vijay Shankar. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Vijay Shankar
Vijay Shankar. (Photo Source: BCCI/ Twitter)

Shahrukh Khan smashed a stunning six in what was a thriller final to help Tamil Nadu to defend their Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy title. It was nothing but an agony for Karnataka who put up a strong fight to defend the runs on board. Tamil Nadu thus secured victory by four wickets and was crowned as the champions of the season.

The eventful tournament produced some exceptional performances. The players did not leave any stone unturned to grab the opportunity to display their sheer flair. Now that the high-octane tournament has winded up, let’s have a look at the best playing XI of the competition.

 Best Playing XI of Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy 2021-22:

1. Tanmay Agarwal

Tanmay Agarwal
Tanmay Agarwal. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Hyderabad had an impressive outing in the tournament. The team won all five matches and topped the Elite Group E. However one name that had a bigger role to play in the team’s success is that of opening batter Tanmay Agarwal.

The batter is renowned for his attacking game and that is what he exuded in the tournament. He finished as the top run-getter for the side as he chipped in a total of 334 runs from seven matches. He scored these runs with an impressive average of 55.66 and a strike rate of 148.44.

2. Ashwin Hebbar

Though Andhra Pradesh couldn’t make a larger impact on the tournament Ashwin Hebbar made sure he makes a name for himself. He was amongst the runs throughout the tournament and helped the side to fetch in some crucial runs in the marquee competition. He has been one of the pivotal cogs of the team’s wheel for a while now.

The right-handed batter smashed 279 runs at an excellent average of 93.00. He showed his mettle by hitting an unbeaten century against Haryana. He took on Haryana’s bowling attack and hit 12 fours and four sixes to register the first century of the season in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy.

3. Manish Pandey

Manish Pandey
Manish Pandey. (Photo Source: Twitter)

This tournament was a crucial one for Pandey who was struggling a tad bit with his form. In IPL 2021 though he played a few important knocks, the batter did not appear to be at his absolute best. However, he made sure he changes his fortunes this time around.

In the tournament, he was amongst the runs as the prolific batter scored 272 runs from nine matches. He averaged 30.22 and led the team to the summit clash of the high-profile series. In the semifinal match, he registered a half-century and starred with the bat to enable the team to book their seat for the finals. As he received his rhythm back, it would have boosted his confidence which the batter will look forward to making most of.

4. Vijay Shankar

The all-rounder has been one of the strongest links of Tamil Nadu’s chain. In the tournament, he scored 199 runs at a healthy average of 66.33. His exploits with the bat in the middle-order provided the side with much more strength and belief in their batting order.

With the mega auction of IPL 2022 on cards, his impressive performances will go down to help him in being one of the strongest contenders. With Dinesh Karthik injured, Shankar also had the added responsibility of captaining the side for this edition of the tournament.

5. Deepak Hooda

Deepak Hooda
Deepak Hooda. (Photo Source: Instagram)

Ahead of the start of the tournament, Hooda took the call of leaving the Baroda team and joining Rajasthan for the upcoming domestic season. Playing for Rajasthan this season, he finished as the top run-getter for the team. He held the fort of the side on most occasions and enabled the side to take the charge of the game.

From six matches, he scored 294 runs at a stunning average of 73.50. Before the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, Hooda had also produced some impressive cameos in the IPL 2021 whilst playing for the Punjab Kings. He reflected the same in this tournament as well.

6. Sheldon Jackson (wk)

The Saurashtra team was placed in a rather challenging group. They were pitted against former champions of the competition Delhi and Uttar Pradesh. Whereas further with the likes of Hyderabad and Chandigarh which had formidable squads, Saurashtra had a big task in hand. But that did not demotivate the team and one player who helped the side to make an impact in the competition is Sheldon Jackson.

He played a vital role in helping the team to enter into the pre-quarterfinals. In the match where Saurashtra found itself in a spot of bother, the keeper batter walked in to ease out the things. He played a crucial knock of 79 off a mere 47 deliveries and helped the side to post a respectable total. He is the highest run-getter of the team, having gathered 271 runs at an average of 67.75 from six matches.

7. Rishi Dhawan

Rishi Dhawan
Rishi Dhawan. (Photo Source: Instagram)

Rishi Dhawan comes in handy with his excellent all-rounder abilities. He put up some match-winning knocks for the team and impressed everyone with his repertoire. He further marched the drum of his talent by chiming in with crucial wickets for the side.

From six matches he scored 117 runs in the tournament. Dhawan also clinched 14 wickets in the competition and finished as the top wicket-taker of the team.  Overall, he is the third-highest wicket-taker of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy 2021-22.

8. Chama Milind

The other player who grabbed the attention of the cricket on-lookers with his prowess is Chama Milind. Playing for the Hyderabad team over the years, he has been one of the most influential players on the side. In this edition of the tournament, the left-arm medium-pacer exuded his class to the cricketing fraternity.

The speedster scalped 18 wickets from seven matches at a healthy economy rate. He consistently picked up wickets for the side and was one of the key reasons for the team reaching the semifinals.

9. Sai Kishore

R. Sai Kishore
R. Sai Kishore. (Photo Source: BCCI/ Twitter)

Whether it comes to bowling at the death overs or in the middle overs, the left-arm spinner has grabbed every opportunity to display his fiefdom. In the previous season of the tournament, Sai Kishore had bowled with an excellent economy rate which was the best among the bowlers. He carried his good momentum in this season as well.

He registered a hat trick against Puducherry in the final over and played a pivotal role in the team’s success in the tournament. He was the top wicket-taker for the side with 10 wickets to his account. His economy rate was also impressive throughout the competition which further garners the audacity of his talent.

10. Cheepurapalli Stephen

The left-arm medium-pacer finished as the second-highest wicket-taker of the tournament. He was exceptional for Andhra as he scalped 14 wickets from just five matches. Stephen was quite impressive with his performances in the competition.

He not only picked up crucial wickets for the side but also maintained a good economy rate in the matches. His contributions to the team were extremely crucial in the tournament. Though the side couldn’t make it big, the speedster continued to produce some outstanding spells.

11. Darshan Nalkande

Darshan Nalkane
Darshan Nalkande. (Photo Source: Instagram)

Playing for Vidharba, Darshan Nalkande picked up 13 wickets from eight matches and is among the five top wicket-takers of the tournament. However, he grabbed the headlines for his excellent spell against Karnataka in the semifinal of Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy 2021.

Nalkande picked up four wickets from four balls and showed his talent to the world. He became the only second Indian player to achieve the feat in T20 cricket after Abhimanyu Mithun. In the final over of the first innings, he dismissed Aniruddha Joshi, BR Sharath, J Suchith, and Abhinav Manohar in four consecutive balls.

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