Two spin kings, an unorthodox fast bowler and an elegant batter… plus one for England to be wary of – the five players all set to sparkle at the T20 World Cup
- England’s Adil Rashid and Afghanistan’s Rashid Khan are among the spin stars
- India bowler Jasprit Bumrah and Pakistan batter Babar Azam could also impress
- England should beware West Indies’ Kieron Pollard in their tournament opener
The Super 12 stage of the Twenty20 World Cup in the United Arab Emirates and Oman is set to begin tomorrow, with anticipation at fever pitch.
England face West Indies in the afternoon on the first day of the second stage of the tournament, with Australia clashing with South Africa in the morning.
And several players are set to star on the biggest stage, in the pinnacle of the shortest format, with two spin kings, an unorthodox fast bowler, an elegant batter and one for England to be wary of all ready to sparkle.
There are several players set to sparkle at the T20 World Cup, including England’s Adil Rashid
West Indies captain Kieron Pollard can be a damaging opponent in England’s opening match
Kieron Pollard – West Indies
You’ll never stop people talking about Chris Gayle, the self-styled Universe Boss, but West Indies captain Pollard has turned himself into T20’s greatest six machine.
In 2020 alone, he hit 59 in 20-over matches — one every 5.5 balls. If his team need 50 in three overs, and Pollard’s in, don’t bet against them.
They face Australia, Bangladesh, England, South Africa and Sri Lanka in Group 1 after Sri Lanka and Bangladesh qualified from the preliminary stages.
Group 2 will be contested by Afghanistan, India, New Zealand, Pakistan, Scotland and Namibia.
Rashid Khan – Afghanistan
There are few more beguiling sights in white-ball cricket than leg-spinner Khan whirling through his repertoire.
No other bowler in this tournament has a better economy-rate than his 6.21, and his googly is a wonder. He stepped down recently as captain, but is desperate to lift a country hit by the Taliban’s takeover.
Jasprit Bumrah – India
Not that anyone needed reminding, but the yorker that knocked over Jonny Bairstow during the India-England warm-up match in Dubai earlier this week was proof of Bumrah’s peerless ability at the death.
He barely concedes a run a ball in T20, and once sent down two maidens in three overs against Pakistan.
Unorthodox India fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah (above) has a peerless ability at the end of games
Babar Azam – Pakistan
England’s Dawid Malan may be top of the T20 rankings, but not far behind him is Pakistan opener Babar, whose average of nearly 47 is second only to India’s Virat Kohli and team-mate Mohammad Rizwan.
He scored 85 off 49 balls against England at Trent Bridge in July, and hardly seemed to play a shot in anger.
Adil Rashid – England
Rashid’s leg-breaks and googlies have long been at the heart of England’s middle-overs strategy — so much so that he has risen to No 4 in the world rankings, eight places higher than his nearest team-mate, Chris Jordan.
And only Jordan has more than Rashid’s 65 wickets in the format.