The cricketing world eagerly awaits the commencement of yet another edition of the shortest format of the cricket World Cup. It is a tournament which is special in its own ways, equally revered as the world cup but at the same time manages to bring in the thrills and jauntiness that can hold the crowd.
It is a stage where the conventional may not succeed, where the pre-planned tactics may count for nothing and where impossible may seem out of place. And when such a tournament is brought to the flat, turning Indian cuisine tracks, the run fiesta becomes much spicier.
In such high voltage games teams look for those game changers, a complete commodity, who can come in and give that 20 run difference to your overall score, who can bowl that 2 over spell and shift the momentum of the game, who save those crucial 10-15 runs for you on the field; overall you look for that impact bowler who fits everywhere and is not limited to any one speciality.
So in this edition of Essentially Sports, we bring to you, the top five all-rounders to watch out for, in the upcoming T20 World Cup:
He is a player who would walk into any team line up, any dynamics or any strategy you could possibly conceive, in the T20 format. The all-rounder can really be considered as a heretic when it comes to the traditional shibboleths of batting.
Born in the carnival of limited overs, Maxwell is someone who doesn’t apply according to the opposition or the situation; if it’s there to be hit, he would back himself to go after it.What makes him a much touted commodity this year is the maturity he has developed over the recent years. He wouldn’t lash out and give away his wicket; instead he would set you up and then take on the bowling.
Given that his offies can be really effective in the Indian conditions and he is an exceptional fielder, it wouldn’t be much of a surprise if his form serves as the deciding factor between whether or not, this young Aussie team can adorn their trophy shelf with a new addition this year.
Shakib Al Hasan could easily be considered as the paterfamilias of the Bangladeshi side coming for the World Cup. He is someone who is not only lionized in the dressing room but also by the Bangladeshi fans. For someone who is extremely assiduous in his niche, he would be keen to take his side one step forward from just being just a one match surprise package.
Bangladesh is a side who absolutely love the sport and play it with indomitable courage, having a decent yoke of the young and the experienced. And it’s time that they prove they have come a long way from being a mere pushovers, and Shakib al Hasan sits right at the heart of those plans.
He has enough depth in his armoury with his slow left arms to irk any batsman and is quite adept at wielding the stick. The guy has a real penchant for the bigger stage and oppositions, and would certainly hold the levers of Bangladesh’s stint in the world cup.
Ascribed as the solution to India’s no.7 debacle, the captain seems to have a bee in his bonnet about the lad and Ravindra Jadeja has pretty much shown why. He is ideally suited in home conditions and can play a impactful role in prising out victories from choppy waters. He may not be a big spinner of the bowl but his pace and length make him difficult to score from. He can really swing and smash in the later part of the innings to make the total a bit loftier than the par score.
And there wouldn’t be many, who would argue on the point that Ravindra Jadeja is one of the best fielders in the world in the present era. His pace and flexibility has been supplemented with extremely strong shoulders making him one of the best in his business. Thus “Sir” Jadeja ticks most of the boxes right and thus can prove to be a game changer for the home side in the coming world cup.
The England side seems to be undergoing a paradigm shift when it comes to the limited overs cricket and Ben Stokes pretty much is the face of it. Considered as the next big thing by the British media, he really is the paragon of what the New England side is trying to achieve in terms of their attitude and their approach to the modern game.
The guy almost emulates the Big Freddy both in terms of attitude and game style. He loves taking on the bowlers and is really stuffed with some strong brute force which aids him in smashing it over the fence almost at will. At the same time, the lad can run in and give you 4 overs at around 140kmph.
So going by the line-up he is someone who can bat for you at no.6 , be your third pacer(which allows you to pick up an additional spinner as you are travelling subcontinent) and is a safe fielder; so practically he is a gift that every captain wants. Albeit only time would tell whether such a prodigy can really step up to be the superstar who wins the next World Cup for England.
The future of West Indies cricket appears to be in jeopardy with players opting to play in various leagues rather than wear the national jersey. The cash seems to have dried up and it’s affecting the player’s commitment to stick with the national side. But still in the streets of Jamaica, we would find a sect of staunch supporters who believe that the world is enjoying the carnival called T20 cricket because of the Caribbean flavour linked to it. Stats would not disagree with such claims, and this makes the West Indies side a really perilous opponents in T20’s.
One of such T20 born cricketer is the Jamaican Andre Russell. The guy has a real penchant for the format as he plays his cricket for various clubs all across the globe. Andre is someone who really can swing the game in his team’s favour in a span of 12 balls. He is an absolutely truculent hitter of the cricket ball and can constantly notch up to 140, making him a complete commodity. The West Indian has really been on song in the last year’s IPL and the recently concluded Big Bash league, and the West Indies would really be looking at him as a source of light at the end of the proverbial tunnel.