ICC WT20 2016 - the tournament that had everything
In terms of entertainment and skill level, the ICC World T20 2016 was one of the best, if not the best ICC T20 cricketing event. It had everything.
South Africa self destructed once again. They played too many risky shots even when wickets were falling at one end. and the loss of JP Duminy didn't help their cause. They also paid the price for not bringing the experienced Morne Morkel to India knowing that Dale Steyn was not in the best of form and had only recently recovered from an injury.
The Proteas had a great opportunity against West Indies, but they didn't play smart cricket on the day. Faf du Plessis' decison to keep third man up in the ring and instruct his bowler to bowl wide yorkers was difficult to understand. It leaves no margin of error for a bowler who is already under pressure.
New Zealand surprised everybody with their great adapatbility on rank turners. Their spin attack ruled the tournament. I think more credit is due for Ish Sodhi than left-arm spinner Mitchell Santner. Sodhi showed great control with his leg spin. It's very difficult to bowl conventional leg-spin on Indian wickets - just ask Shane Warne, who struggled there too
People have tipped Afghanistan to come good in the near future. However, one thing to remember is that the team which played in the World T20 was not a young side. Giving opportunities to young talent will ease pressure from senior members of the squad. For me, off-spinner and all-rounder Mohammad Nabi is their best player, a real street-smart cricketer.
Virat Kohli and Joe Root took T20 batting to a different level. Kohli was dominant with the bat that he put his own team mates, who have been playing the game for longer than him, under pressure to perform. Such was his form and aura in the tournament that it isolated the other top players in the team.
MS Dhoni was forced to just admire and compliment Kohli from the non-strikers end. This World T20 will be remembered for Virat Kohli's dominance with the bat. When he looks back at this tournament, he will surely be pleased with what he has done and what he is capable of doing with a bat in his hand. He was breathtaking throughout.
Great players become legends of the game when they show their greatness in major tournaments. Kohli has already put himself right up there with the very best.
In the final, Samuel Badree made life easier for West Indies when he took the wicket of Jason Roy in the very first over of the game as Roy would have been very dangerous on that nice batting wicket in Kolkata.
The West Indies squad gives the impression that a different playing eleven could be selected for every format of the game. Every format demands different kinds of resources and players .The Word T20-winning West Indian playing team might not survive for three days of a Test match, but one thing is for sure that this team is tailor-made for the T20 format.
Sri Lanka are suffering because their domestic infrastructure is struggling. Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene had to go at a certain time, but the timing to leave was not right. Could they have prolonged their stay in the team until someone had stepped up to take their place?
We didn't see the same Australia that we have seen over the last few years. We saw an Australian team not sure about their game. An Australian team faltering under pressure. Missing their usual ruthless approach and finishing off games.
They would have really struggled had Shane Watson not been selected. They were always chasing things after that loss against New Zealand in their opening game. This author would have made Watson captain instead of Steven Smith and Aaron Finch should have played from the start.
Pakistan did exactly what they generally do in a World Cup. They first set things up for themselves but then also gifted the same game to their opposition. Nine out of 10 times any team would have won against New Zealand after getting off to such a fine start to the chase. Chasing 181,they were only one down for 65 runs in 5.3 overs, but went on to lose the game by 22 runs with five wickets in hand - quite a failure.
Bangladesh have come a long way in International cricket. They have certainly emerged as a team which can play some serious cricket, but what they have not learnt over the years is that there is no room for emotion when you are playing against quality side in a pressure game.
First you make sure that you finish the game and then let your mouth and body do the talking. Marlon Samuels did exactly that. He listened to what Warne said about him. He first let his bat do the talking and then his mouth. Emotions should be replaced with aggressive cricket.
How embarrasing was that scene when Mushfiqur Rahim started celebrating before the game was finished? He has been playing international cricket for long enough to know that a game is not finished until the last legal delivery is bowled.
Unfortunately for him, people remember these sort of things more than quality cricket from their players. Many will remember Mushfiqur's silly act as a highlight of World T20, while Mustafizur Rahman's brilliant spell against New Zealand will be forgotten
One positive for Bangladesh was the performance of Sabbir Rehman. He is a serious batsman and one to watch for the future.
What were your ICC World T20 highlights? And lowlights?
© Cricket World 2016