The ICC T20 World Cup 2020 is just six months away as all the fans are gearing up for yet another exciting edition of the global event. So far, India, England, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and West Indies have been successful in winning the grandest T20 tourney of the world.
Over the years, T20 cricket has evolved a lot. Earlier, a bowl out was used to determine the winner of a tied T20 match but now, the organizers use the Super Over to pick a winner in case both the sides score equal number of runs. The importance of Super Over has increased in the last few months and now, every team wishes to have Super Over specialist batsmen in their team.
Here are the two best batting options available with each team if they play a Super Over in the T20 World Cup:
1. West Indies – Andre Russell and Shimron Hetmyer
Andre Russell is the biggest hitter in world cricket at the moment. The right-handed all-rounder has the capability of striking the ball out of the park right from ball one. He has won several matches for Kolkata Knight Riders in the Indian Premier League with his big-hitting skills.
Shimron Hetmyer is another West Indian player who can decimate the bowlers right from the word go. As there are only six balls in a Super Over, West Indies will look to name the combination of Russell and Hetmyer as their opening pair.
Besides, this duo will also provide them with the left hand-right hand dynamic in the middle. Thus, Russell and Hetmyer are the best options for the Caribbean team in case they may play a Super Over.
2. Bangladesh – Liton Das and Mushfiqur Rahim
Bangladesh cricket has evolved over the years and at the 2020 T20 World Cup, the Bangladeshi side will look to impress its fans in the shortest format of the game. While matches involving Bangladesh have rarely ended in a tie, the team has two solid batting options if one of their T20 World Cup matches ends in a tie.
Wicket-keeper batsman, Liton Das has stolen the show with his boundary hitting skills in the Bangladeshi top order. He knows how to find the gaps and his timing has also earned him a lot of fans all over the world.
Mushfiqur Rahim has made a name for himself by finishing off several matches for Bangladesh. Although he is short in height, he can hit some big shots and trouble the bowlers with his striking abilities. Thus, the combo of Das and Rahim is the best option in the hands of Bangladesh.
3. Sri Lanka – Kusal Mendis and Kusal Perera
Sri Lanka’s stock has fallen a lot in the international arena after their marquee players bid farewell to the cricket world. The team has undergone a transition and now, the islanders rest their hopes on their young and aggressive batting lineup.
Two of the brightest stars of the current Sri Lankan cricket team, Kusal Mendis and Kusal Perera will be the team’s first two choices if they get a chance to play a Super Over. Both the batsmen have the potential to steer the Islanders to a victory in crunch situations.
Both the players have gained the attention of the fans with their stroke-playing abilities while they can also hit the big shots. Perera and Mendis will hold the key to success for Sri Lanka in Super Overs.
4. Afghanistan – Hazratullah Zazai and Mohammad Nabi
Afghanistan will be the dark horses of the T20 World Cup. Although the Blue Tigers could not win a single match in the 2019 ICC World Cup, the fans expect Rashid Khan and co. to pull off a better show when they land in Australia to play in the T20 World Cup.
While Afghanistan has a lot of big hitters in their squad, they will prefer to name Mohammad Nabi as one of their openers when they get an opportunity to a play in a Super Over. Nabi has immense T20 experience under his belt thus, he is their best choice.
Also, Hazratullah Zazai has established himself as a match-winner in T20 cricket with his splendid batting performances. The Afghan duo can be backed to get the better of any bowler who bowls the Super Over against them.
5. New Zealand – Kane Williamson and Martin Guptill
New Zealand have not had the best of the lucks when it comes to playing Super Overs in limited-overs cricket. The Kiwis lost the 2019 World Cup final in Super Over while this year, India has already defeated them twice in the Super Over.
Hence, they will come under huge pressure if any of their matches at the T20 World Cup ends in a tie. New Zealand has a lot of experience of playing Super Overs and their top two picks to open the innings would be skipper Kane Williamson and Martin Guptill.
Both the batsmen require little time to settle. While Williamson can score runs through gaps, Guptill can take the aerial route and boost the process of scoring the runs. Thus, Guptill and Williamson should open for New Zealand in the Super Overs.
6. South Africa – Quinton de Kock and David Miller
The Proteas are billed to be the chokers of the ICC tournaments because they are always one of the top contenders to lift the trophy; they even perform well in the first round but, in the knockout stages, the pressure gets the better of South Africa.
They have not played a major Super Over in world cricket however, they may come under pressure if they get a chance to play one in the T20 World Cup. Quinton de Kock would take the responsibility to open the innings for the side in Super Overs.
He would pick AB de Villiers as his partner but AB de Villiers’ participation in the T20 World Cup is not confirmed yet. Hence, the second-best option available with South Africa is the left-handed middle-order batsman, David Miller.
7. India – Hardik Pandya and Rohit Sharma
Rohit Sharma showcased his batting talent in the recently played Super Over against New Zealand. The Hitman single-handedly changed the course of the match with his consecutive maximums. Sharma will be India’s prime choice to open the innings in Super Over.
The second choice for this role would be Hardik Pandya. The Mumbai Indians star was out with injury during the New Zealand series which is the reason why Virat Kohli and KL Rahul were picked to open in the Super Over.
Everyone knows that Pandya can smack the ball right from the moment that he arrives on the crease. Pandya and Sharma can wreak havoc in the Super Over if they get a chance to bat together.
8. England – Eoin Morgan and Jos Buttler
English limited-overs skipper, Eoin Morgan is very underrated as a batsman. Having a glance at his T20 numbers, the fans would know how special the left-handed player is. He had stolen the show at the 2019 World Cup with a marvellous knock against Afghanistan.
Opening the innings along with him in the Super Over would be Jos Buttler. The right-handed batsman regularly plays as an opener so, he takes very less time before he starts middling the deliveries.
This combination will provide the left hand-right hand combination to England. Given that they won an intense Super Over in the 2019 World Cup final, the English team would back itself to win the one-over eliminator in case they get a chance to play one in the T20 World Cup.
9. Australia – Glenn Maxwell and David Warner
Australia will have a lot of options in case they get a chance to play a Super Over. They have Aaron Finch and Steve Smith in their squad; two absolute geniuses of the game who can run the match on their fingertips. But, it would be better if the hosts of the T20 World Cup prefer a combo of Glenn Maxwell and David Warner.
Usually, the goal of every team is to score as many runs as possible in the six deliveries they get during the Super Over. Warner and Maxwell are two players who can get the opposition bowler under pressure in this situation.
First of all, he may not be able to concentrate on his line and lengths looking at Warner and Maxwell at the other ends. And, even if he hits the deck hard, the chances that the ball lands in the stands are very high given how talented the Aussie pair is.
10. Pakistan – Babar Azam and Shoaib Malik
The world number one T20I team, Pakistan will be one of the favourites to win the ICC T20 World Cup in Australia. The Men in Green have dominated their opponents in the shortest format of the game for a long time. They had narrowly missed out on a semifinal spot in the 2019 World Cup.
If Pakistan lands up in a Super Over situation, skipper Babar Azam is likely to name himself as one of the two batsmen who would open the innings for Pakistan. For the second batsman’s role, there would be a tough competition but Shoaib Malik should be the prime pick as he is very experienced.
Malik can bring his experience to the fore and play as per the game plan laid down by the team management. The all-rounder can even hit the boundaries easily thus, he will be the proper supporting batsman for Azam.
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