Five Players To Watch In The World Twenty20...
It would me a major surprise if Afghanistan even came close to springing a surprise, but if they do, Hamid Hassan is sure to have something to do with it. Skiddy, quick and hungry after a long time out with injury, Hamid has the potential to be much more than merely a plucky minnow. One of the best all-round fast bowlers in the tournament, he possesses a slippery yorker and enough pace to worry even the best of batsmen as well as at times venomous late swing. Expect some fireworks if he gets a head of steam up against the Indians, notoriously nervous players of quick, short-pitched bowling in recent times.
A few years ago, the Daily Mash ran a spoof article which claimed the English were to ‘uninvent’ cricket, until the rest of the world reached the same skill level as Luke Wright. Although those days are gone, Wright has yet to convince at the highest level, but a greater recent consistency in scoring hundreds and taking wickets suggests that this could be the event in which he finally announces himself on the world stage. A crucial, but under-rated, part of England’s success in 2010, Wright will get his chances at the top of the order and with the ball. In the absence of KP, I’m praying that he takes them.
The West Indies go into this tournament in a position unusual to them in the last 15 or so years; as one of the real favourites. The number of potential match winners in the side is scary; Kieron Pollard, the Bravos, Sunil Narine and of course Chris Gayle, the Bradman of Twenty20 cricket for the past 3 years. However, none of these have quite the same breadth of skills as Andre Russell, who can win matches with bat, ball or with electrifying fielding. As England need no reminding following his 4 wickets and 49 at the World Cup, Russell can not only win matches with any discipline, but he has the potential to pretty much win them single-handedly.
Despite possessing a physique which cricket thought it had seen the back of with the retirement of Inzamam, Paul Stirling is one of the most dangerous cricketers in the tournament, and any opponent who dismisses him as a mere biffer will soon be given a rude awakening in the form of a series of powerful drives and finessed sweeps. Also armed with the sort of flat off spin that gets a lot of wickets in Twenty20 cricket, Stirling could be the man who leads Ireland to spring a shock or two
Without wishing to pack this list with slightly portly top-order batsmen, Rohit warrants his inclusion as a somewhat forgotten man. Despite being given ample chances in the one day arena, he has never strung together a good number of innings of substance, a lapse of concentration too often costing him. When on form, he looks ike the classiest batsman in the side, even more so than Gambhir and Kohli. It is difficult, however, to avoid the impression that he is drinking in the last chance saloon here, at least in one-dayers. Rohit possibly only has one final chance to cement a regular place in the side. It is hard to see a way back from a string of failures
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