With the T20 World Cup 2022 around the corner, Australian batting legend Mark Waugh on Tuesday (September 27) named his top five players that he would pick as part of a World T20I XI.
While Waugh’s list was in no particular order, he preferred to start the list with bowlers by picking Jasprit Bumrah, Shaheen Afridi, and Rashid Khan.
According to him, India’s ace pacer Bumrah will do well in the showpiece tournament Down Under, starting October 16. Bumrah is known for his yorkers and variations in the shortest format of the game.
“I think he's a fantastic bowler in all formats, actually,” Waugh quoted as saying by ICC. "His ability to get wickets in T20 cricket is key. He can bowl at the death and he can bowl up front.”
During the last year’s T20 World Cup in UAE, Pakistan speedster Shaheen Afridi wreaked havoc on quite a few batting line-ups.
Waugh expects the left-arm fast bowler to make a mark in Australia as well.
“To open the bowling at the other end we'll go with another right opening bowler, Shaheen Afridi from Pakistan, who is a tremendous left-arm fast bowler," he stated.
"He's a wicket-taker. He sort of lifts the team. He's a guy that other players follow.
“He is a left-armer so that’s another point of difference. He can swing the ball back into the right-hander, he’s quick as well, so I’ve got him number two.”
Commenting on Afghanistan leg-spinner Rashid Khan, Waugh said: “In all competitions he plays in, he’s just the one guy who you know is going to bowl four overs."
“He’ll probably get two or three wickets and go for 20 runs, and he can bat. He can also whack the ball over the fence.”
For the remaining two slots, Mark Waugh picked swashbuckling batters - Jos Buttler and Glenn Maxwell.
Buttler has been in explosive form lately, slamming four centuries in the 2022 edition of IPL. No wonder, Waugh hailed him as No. 1 batter in the shortest format.
“I think he's probably the number one batsman in world cricket in the T20 format. He's just a clean striker of the ball," he said.
“We've seen him in all tournaments, he just looks on a different level to other players.”
Speaking on his compatriot, Waugh said: "Glenn Maxwell is the sort of player that can win you a game in the field and with the bat. With the ball, he's probably underrated, but I think if he bats 30 balls, he'll win you the game.”
"So I think Glenn Maxwell, even though he's just not a consistent player, he's that X-factor that can win your game on any given day.”
(With ICC inputs)