The biggest international event that the entire cricketing world will look forward to in the year 2021, is the T20 World Cup, which will be held in the months of October and November this year. The T20 World Cup is the biggest prize that is up for grabs in the shortest format of the game and all the teams will be vying to get hold of the trophy this year.
Needless to say, all the teams will also be trying to pick their best squad for the mega event. 2016 was the last time that the T20 World Cup was held. And surely, the road to the mega event has well and truly begun.
Having said that, let us take a look at the strongest and weakest players from the top 8 teams according to the ICC T20I rankings ahead of the T20 World Cup.
8. Sri Lanka
The Sri Lankan side emerged as the champions of the 2014 T20 World Cup. In the 2016 World Cup edition, the Sri Lankan outfit experienced a disappointing run, as they could win only one out of the four matches that they contested in.
For Sri Lanka, Kusal Perera will be the man on whom the Sri Lankan outfit will pin their hopes on. The left-hander is the 4th highest run-scorer for Sri Lanka in T20Is and is a man who has the capability to take down any opposition on his day. In the 47 matches that Perera has played thus far, he has plundered 1293 runs and scored them at an average of 28.10.
On the other hand, the weakest link in the Sri Lankan squad would be Lahiru Kumara. The right pacer has been a huge disappointment in his short career. In the 7 matches that Kumara has played thus far, he has picked up 6 wickets and has picked them up at an ordinary average of 33.50. Also, in his last 2 outings in T20Is for his country, Kumara has leaked runs without proving to be effective.
In the T20I against West Indies on 6th March 2020, the pacer gave away 28 runs in the 3 overs that he bowled and scalped a single wicket. And, in the encounter against India on 10th January 2020, he gave away 46 runs in 4 overs, at an economy rate of 11.50.
Let us now take a look at the dark horses, Afghanistan. It is pretty straightforward that Afghanistan’s strongest player would be Rashid Khan, Not only is Rashid Khan Afghanistan’s best bowler, he will even qualify as one of the best bowlers in limited-overs cricket right now.
In the 51 T20Is that the Afghan spinner has played, he has scalped a whopping 95 wickets and has picked them up at an average of just 12.63 and a strike rate of 12.19. Rashid Khan is also a member of the Sunrisers Hyderabad franchise in the IPL and has picked up 85 wickets in his IPL career.
Shafiqullah is a weak link in the Afghanistan squad. Even though he has featured in 46 matches for the Afghanistan side, he has scored just 494 runs at a poor average of 16.46. Also, in his last 20 T20I innings, the right-hander has recorded as many as 13 single-digit scores as well.
6. South Africa
For South Africa, their strongest player would be the batting dynamite, Quinton De Kock. The left-hander has been one of the pillars of the South African side in the T20I format of the game. In fact, De Kock is the 5th highest run-scorer for South Africa in T20Is and has plundered 1303 runs at an average of 31.02 and a strike rate of 136.58.
Also, in his last 11 innings in T20I cricket, the stylish willow wielder has 4 scores in excess of fifty and will lead South Africa’s charge with the bat in the T20 World Cup. The weakest player in the South African side would be Bjorn Fortuin.
Fortuin has been unimpressive with the ball in hand for the Proteas. In the 7 matches that he has played in his T20I career, the left-arm spinner has picked up 6 wickets at an economy rate of 8.05 runs per over. Also, in his last 5 T20I matches put together, he has scalped only 3 wickets and has given away a lot of runs as well. Even with the bat, Fortuin has scored just 35 runs in 5 innings at an average of 11.67.
The Australian side is yet to win the T20 World Cup. And surely, the Aaron Finch-led side will be looking to lift their maiden T20 World Cup title this year. For the kangaroos, the strongest player in their squad has to be Mitchell Starc.
Starc is a bowler who has good pace, can swing the ball both ways, and also possesses a yorker that can rattle even the best willow wielders in the business. Also, Starc is the 2nd highest wicket-taker for Australia and has picked up 47 wickets at an excellent strike rate of 16.70.
The weakest player in the Australian setup would be Mitchell Swepson. Even though his action might remind the cricket fan of the great Shane Warne, Swepson has been inconsistent with his line and length and has the habit of bowling long hops to the batsman. These are still early days in Swepson’s career, and he still has a long road ahead.
Babar Azam will be the man to watch out for in the Pakistan side during the T20 World Cup this year. Blessed with excellent technique, Azam has emerged as the lynchpin of the Pakistan side with the willow in hand.
The batting superstar is already the 3rd highest run-scorer for Pakistan in T20Is and has plundered 2035 runs in T20I cricket at a stunning average of 47.32. The 26-year-old has also scored 18 fifties and a century in T20I cricket.
Sarfaraz Ahmed is the weakest player in the Pakistan squad. The wicket-keeper has struggled to score runs with the bat in his recent outings in T20I cricket. Also, in his last 12 innings in T20I cricket, the 33-year-old has crossed the 30-run mark just twice.
3. New Zealand
One of the strong contenders to win the T20 World this year would be the New Zealand side. The Kiwis have a strong squad that can challenge any team in world cricket today. And in the mega tournament, the Black Caps will be led by their captain and batting legend Kane Williamson.
And surely, Williamson is the backbone of the New Zealand outfit. The Kiwi batting maestro is the 4th highest run-scorer for his country in T20I cricket and has scored 1805 runs at an average of 31.66. Also, the calming influence that Williamson brings with him helps the Black Caps soak the pressure in a massive tournament like the World Cup.
The weakest link in the Kiwi squad is Mark Chapman. In his last 7 innings in T20I cricket, Mark Chapman has not scored in double digits on 5 occasions. The left-handed batsman has struggled to get going with the willow in hand.
Another team that is the favorite to lift the T20 World Cup this year is the Indian side. Indian skipper and batting icon Virat Kohli is surely the most important member of the Indian T20I squad. Kohli is the leading run-scorer in the world in T20I cricket and has piled up a colossal 3159 runs in the T20I format at a stunning average of 52.65.
The batting maestro has also scored 28 half-centuries in his illustrious T20I career. The batting legend has been in good form in the recent past in T20Is. In his last 6 innings in T20Is, Kohli has scored 4 half-centuries.
The weakest member in the Indian squad is Navdeep Saini. Even though he is blessed with good pace, Saini has sprayed the ball around and has been highly inconsistent with his line and length. Saini is 28 years old, and will surely learn as he plays more competitive cricket in the future.
The No.1 ranked side in the world, England will fancy their chances to win the 2021 T20 World Cup this year. England boasts of a good T20I squad, and their strongest member is Jos Buttler. The right-hander is one of the cleanest strikers of the cricket ball and can provide a blistering start for the England side at the top of the order.
The right-hander is the 2nd highest run-scorer for England in T20Is and has scored 1723 runs at an average in excess of 30 and an imposing strike rate of 140.99. And surely, if Buttler gets going, then the opposition camp will have a lot to worry about.
The weakest player in the England squad is Sam Billings. In his last 9 innings in T20I cricket, the right-hander has not crossed the 30-run mark even once and has also failed to cross double figures on 5 occasions.
And, just like they tasted success in the 2019 World Cup under Eoin Morgan, the England side will look to lift the T20 World Cup in 2021 as well.
Source: The source of this content is our cricket news platform Crictracker.
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