The biggest event of the shortest format of the game, the T20 World Cup is less than 10 months away. All the teams will be looking to utilize this 10-month period to iron out the chinks in their arsenal, identifying the right combinations, and will be eyeing for the big prize.
The T20 World Cup will be held in the Indian subcontinent during October-November next year. There will also be extra pressure on the Indian cricket team this time, as they will be playing on home soil, in a land where cricket is nothing short of a religion.
On that note, let us take a look at one player from each country who can win the Man of The Tournament award in the 2021 T20 World Cup.
10. Afghanistan- Rashid Khan
He is the talisman with the ball, as far as the Afghan side is concerned. He has the ability to tie down batsmen with accuracy, and clever variations. At the age of 22, Rashid Khan is the biggest star of the Afghanistan side. The leg spinner boasts of an excellent record in T20I cricket.
Rashid has played 48 T20Is for Afghanistan and picked up 89 wickets at an average of just 12.63. His economy rate is a miserly 6.14 runs per over. Rashid has been a vital cog of the Sunrisers Hyderabad outfit as well. He has featured in 62 matches in IPL cricket and picked up 75 wickets at an average of 20.49.
In the 2020 edition of the IPL, Rashid was at his deceptive best. He was the sixth-highest wicket-taker in the tournament, and his economy rate was just 5.37 runs per over. Given that the T20 World Cup would be held in India, where the tracks would aid spin, Rashid would be the man on whom his side would be banking on.
9. Bangladesh- Shakib Al Hasan
If there is one man from the Bangladesh side who can cause worries in the opposition camp with the bat, ball and on the field, it is Shakib Al Hasan. The veteran all-rounder has been a part of the Bangladesh side for more than a decade. The left-handed batsman is the second-highest run-scorer for Bangladesh in T20Is.
The middle-order batsman has amassed 1567 runs for his country and has also scored 9 half-centuries for them. What makes him such an asset for Bangladesh is the fact that he is their highest wicket-taker with the ball as well. In fact, Shakib is the third-highest wicket-taker ever, in the history of T20Is.
The left-arm spinner has taken 92 wickets for his country, at an average of 20.58. He last played for the Bangladesh side in September 2019, after which he was banned for a year for not reporting approaches by a bookie.
Shakib’s exile has ended, and his side will be eagerly awaiting the arrival of their cricketing superstar. And, if Shakib can get back to his best, opposition teams are surely in for some trouble. And, with his vast experience of playing in the subcontinent, Shakib is the man Bangladesh will be banking on.
8. West Indies- Kieron Pollard
He is big. He is a naturally gifted athlete. And, when he gets going, the opposition camp is definitely not at peace. Possessing an ability to destroy bowling attacks at will and the prowess to clear the ropes with his brute power, Kieron Pollard is the biggest asset in the West Indian camp.
Pollard is the third-highest run-scorer for the ‘Men in Maroon’, and has scored 1226 runs from 62 innings. He has a strike rate of over 135 and has scored 78 sixes in T20Is. Apart from that, Pollard is also a clever bowler, who can vary his pace and flummox the batsmen. With his gentle medium pace, the big West Indian has picked up 37 wickets in T20Is. Even in the IPL, Pollard has picked up 60 wickets.
And needless to say, there are not many cricketers who can match Pollard’s athleticism on the cricket field. In the 13th season of the IPL, Pollard averaged 53.60 and scored 268 runs at a stupendous strike rate of 191.43. All eyes will be on Pollard, as the West Indian side will look to win the World T20 for a record third time.
7. Sri Lanka- Thisara Perara
Thisara Perara is a cricketer who is handy with both the bat and ball. The Sri Lankan all-rounder has played T20I cricket for a decade now. The left-hander has scored 1201 runs with the bat in T20Is, but what makes him a feared batsman to bowl to, is the fact that he scores his runs at a strike rate of 152.60.
Perara has also picked up 51 wickets with the white ball in T20Is. He has the knack of breaking partnerships and does so with regularity. In fact, he is the fourth-highest wicket-taker for Sri Lanka in the shortest format of the game.
Sri Lanka will be hoping that Perera’s pyrotechnics allows them to lift their second World T20 title in India next year.
6. England- Dawid Malan
He is the ‘next big thing’ in English cricket. With the willow, Dawid Malan has exhibited remarkable dexterity in the shortest format of the game and is a talent worth paying for. The left-hander has played just 19 innings in T20Is but is already closing in on 1000 T20I runs. He is also one of the two England batsmen to score a century in the T20 format.
In the year 2020, Malan has shown remarkable consistency with the willow. He has scored 397 runs from 10 innings, at an average of 49.63 this year. Malan also has 4 fifties in T20Is played this year.
If he can continue his good vein of form, there is every chance that Malan could win the prestigious Player of the Tournament award in next year’s T20 World Cup to be held in India.
5. New Zealand- Kane Williamson
He is the talisman of the New Zealand side with the willow. He is a man who will rise up to the occasion irrespective of the format. And he is a man, who can dissect any bowling attack in his own inimitable way. Kane Williamson’s approach to the game is like that of a monk. He goes about his work in his own mellifluous way. And, there are very few men who can match the Kiwi batting maestro with the willow.
Williamson has featured in 60 T20Is for New Zealand and has scored 1665 runs at a respectable average of 32.65. The right-hander also boasts of impressive numbers in IPL cricket. Williamson has played in 53 IPL matches and has scored 1619 runs at an average of 39.49. He also won the Orange Cap award in the year 2018.
In the 2020 edition of the IPL, Williamson averaged 45.29. The right-hander scored 317 runs in the 13th IPL edition, and also crossed the fifty-run mark on three occasions. The Black Caps will be hoping that the cool-headed Williamson fires with the willow, and helps them to win the elusive T20 World Cup in India next year.
4. Pakistan- Babar Azam
He has been the talk of the cricketing world for the last few years. At the age of 25, captaincy has already been thrust on him, and he is considered as the man who will lead the charge with the bat for the Pakistan side. Babar Azam holds the record for being the fastest to score 1000 runs in the history of T20Is.
The batting sensation reached the landmark in just 26 innings, one less than Virat Kohli. Babar is currently the fourth-highest run-scorer for Pakistan and boasts of an enviable record in T20Is.
The stylish right-hander has scored 1681 runs for the Men in Green in T20Is and has scored his runs at a superb average of 50.93. The Pakistanis would be having high hopes on Azam when he lands in India for the T20 World Cup next year.
3. South Africa- Quinton De Kock
Quinton de Kock is a batsman who can make any bowling attack shudder on his day. His hand-eye coordination and his ability to combine flair with force make him a difficult batsman to bowl to. The left-hander has scored 1303 runs in South African colours and is currently the fifth-highest run-scorer for his side.
De Kock is also dynamite in IPL cricket and boasts a very good record in the biggest T20 league in the world. The Mumbai Indians’ opener has scored 1959 runs in the IPL and has scored them at an average of 31.60. In the recently concluded edition of the IPL, De Kock was the second-highest run-scorer for the five-time IPL champions.
The 28-year-old walloped 503 runs in the tournament, including 4 half-centuries as well. De Kock’s form will be of paramount importance if South Africa harbour any ambitions of lifting the T20 World Cup next year.
2. Australia- David Warner
He is flamboyant. He is flashy. And he is a batsman who can change the fortunes of a match in a matter of a few overs. At the top of the order, David Warner is an asset for Australia. The 34-year-old is the leading run-scorer for the kangaroos in T20I’s and has scored a colossal 2265 runs at the international level.
Warner will also qualify as an all-time great in the IPL, and is the third-highest run-scorer in the history of the league, with 5254 runs. Warner also holds the record for scoring the most number of fifties in the IPL as well and has plundered 48 half-centuries.
The opening batsman once again played a key role in the Sunrisers Hyderabad finishing at the third place in the 13th IPL edition, scoring 548 runs. And, needless to say, Warner will be the man on whom the kangaroos will place their bet on, in the T20 World Cup next year.
1. India- Virat Kohli
When he gets going, there is a sense of awe that envelops the audience. Virat Kohli is a man who can rightfully stake claim to being the greatest willow wielder in limited-overs cricket in the modern era. The Indian skipper is the leading run-scorer in T20Is and has scored 2928 runs at an average of 50.48. The right-handed batting legend also has the most number of fifties (25) in T20I’s.
Even in the IPL, Kohli is unrivalled. The Royal Challengers Bangalore skipper is the leading run-scorer in IPL cricket too and has amassed 5878 runs at an average of 38.16. The batting genius has also scored as many as 5 hundreds in IPL cricket.
With the T20 World Cup taking place in India, Kohli will be hoping to lead the ‘Men in Blue’ to their second-ever T20 title next year.
Note: All stats have been taken from Cricinfo, Cricbuzz, Howstat cricket and iplt20.com and have been updated as on 20th December 2020.
- New Zealand
- South Africa
- Sri Lanka
- West Indies
Source: The source of this content is our cricket news platform Crictracker.
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