The much-anticipated T20 World Cup is set to begin on October 17 in Oman and United Arab Emirates (UAE). Several teams and players have already reached the Gulf nation in order to prepare for their warm-up fixtures.
Ahead of the global showpiece event, many experts have dropped their prediction and analysis regarding players and teams participating in the muti-team tournament. Recently, Australian star Glenn Maxwell and West Indies stalwart Kieron Pollard have picked five such cricketers (present and past) they would feature in their World T20 XI.
Following the similar trend, Afghanistan spin wizard Rashid Khan has revealed his top five T20 players from around the world. Rashid went with three world-class batters and two top of the line all-rounders.
The first on the list of Rashid’s top five T20 cricketers was Indian captain Virat Kohli. The Indian superstar is a household name and arguably one of the best and most consistent batters in modern-day cricket. Kohli is the leading run-scorer in T20 Internationals (T20Is). He has accumulated 3159 runs in T20Is at an average of 52.65 and a strike rate of 139.04.
“Doesn’t really depend on the wicket, doesn’t matter whatever the wicket is, he is someone who is going to step up and perform,” said Rashid as quoted by ICC.
Next on Rashid’s list was New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson. Rashid’s teammate at Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) in the Indian Premier League (IPL) has proved that a sweet timer of the ball and an expert picker of gaps can make his presence felt in a format dominated by big hitters. Williamson has scored 1805 runs at an average of 31.66 and a strike rate of 125.08 in T20Is.
Rashid then went with another batting phenom AB de Villiers on his list of five best T20 players. De Villiers, who needs no introduction, is an absolute legend of the game. The former South Africa cricketer averaged 26.12 in T20Is with 1672 runs to his credit at a strike rate of 135.16.
“Someone who can give you quick runs at any stage, any wicket, against any bowler, and he can play any shot. As a captain, you will always love to have that batsman,” said Rashid while describing wicketkeeper-batsman De Villiers.
After proper three batsmen, including a wicketkeeper-batter, Rashid moved towards two all-rounders to finish the proceedings. The leg-spinner picked Windies skipper Pollard and Indian star Hardik Pandya as his two all-rounders.
Starting with Pollard, no one has played more T20s than the Trinidadian (568). He is the second-highest run-getter in the shortest format, with 11,236 runs. Only Chris Gayle (14,276) has scored more runs in the T20s than Pollard. On top of that, Polly has also taken 300 wickets in the shortest format.
Similarly, Pandya is also a magnificent discovery for Indian cricket, especially for the T20 format. Pandya carries a strike rate of 141.49 in T20s while 145.34 in international T20 fixtures. He has overall taken 152 wickets.
“These two will be my key (batters) who can chase 80-90 when I need them in the last four-five overs. They are the kind of batsmen who can do the job for you easily,” said Rashid on Pollard and Pandya.