10 Stars to Watch in ICC World T20 2016 Super 10 stage
After an exciting group stage with some brilliant cricket played by all eight sides, things are only going to get even more exciting as the very biggest names in cricket come together for the Super 10 stages of #WT20. We’ve picked out the 10 stars to watch throughout the rest of the tournament:
14 March 2016 22:01
1. Gulbadin Naib (Afghanistan)
Gulbadin Naib is a crucial all-rounder for Afghanistan. In the recently concluded One-Day International series against Zimbabwe, Naib was instrumental, hitting an unbeaten on 82 off just 68 deliveries, when it chased 249 for victory. Staring down the barrel at 146 for 6, Naib (with good support from Rashid Khan) helped Afghanistan to seal the thriller with two balls remaining. Naib’s strike rate looms around the 130s, more than useful in this format. Naib’s contribution down the order where he can smoke a few and finish off well, will be vital for Afghanistan’s progress during the World Cup.
2. David Warner (Australia)
While he is the original Twenty20-player turned Test and One-Day International operator, David Warner has come a long way since he made his debut in the shortest format back in January 2009. Established in all formats, Warner has shown a great degree of adaptability and this allows the captain to use him in different positions as per the team’s requirement. When he gets going, Warner is unstoppable, and despite being explosive he does not suffer from a lack of consistency.
3. Mushfiqur Rahim (Bangladesh)
The diminutive wicketkeeper-batsman is a classy bat with strokes all around the wicket, and can pack a punch when required. Mushfiqur has consistently been among Bangladesh's most reliable batsmen and the team will look to him to shepherd the middle order along. Known for his ability to take on bowlers during crunch situations, Mushfiqur has delivered goods more often than not. In 49 T20I matches, Mushfiqur has amassed 655 runs at an impressive strike-rate of 112.93.
4. Eoin Morgan (England)
Eoin Morgan, who took over as England T20I captain in December 2012 for the series in India, which ended 1-1, has been as well-rounded a short-format batsman as they come. The emergence of Jos Buttler and Jason Roy and Ben Stokes has taken some of the attention off Morgan in recent times, but in his last five T20I innings before the series in South Africa, he had scores of 71, 74 and 45 not out. And that average of 30.59 and strike rate of 133.02 puts him up there among the best in the format. As captain, he is calm and tactically astute, something that is often glossed over in the haze of fours and sixes in T20s, and in a team of swashbucklers, Morgan is the expert finisher.
5. Virat Kohli (India)
Having established himself as a batsman for all seasons in the Test and 50-over formats, Virat Kohli has taken a giant step in the last six weeks towards T20I greatness too. Since lashing a spectacular unbeaten 90 against Australia in Adelaide on January 26, he has smacked four half-centuries in seven innings, and two other scores in the 40s. During that period, he has also masterminded four successful run-chases. In all, he averages a staggering 52.61 in 38 T20Is at an excellent strike-rate of 133.07. Kohli has proved himself to be the king of chases, blessed with the ability to read situations and adjust his game accordingly. From the pivotal No. 3 position, he controls the innings and allows the others to bat around him.
6. Kane Williamson (New Zealand)
"He's a genius." Brendon McCullum's take on Kane Williamson is a sentiment shared by most of the cricket fraternity. The late Martin Crowe went one step further, predicting Williamson to becoming the greatest run scorer in New Zealand history. Williamson will be leading the side for the first time since McCullum's retirement. Though Williamson is not one to bash boundaries at will like his predecessor, his consistency is impressive -- he's notched up three half-centuries in his last five T20I games. Since his T20I debut against Zimbabwe in October 2001, Williamson has played 30 games, hitting 844 runs at 36.69 with a healthy strike-rate of 127.68.
7. Shahid Afridi (Pakistan)
Afridi was the all-round star of Pakistan's title run in 2009 and has been leading from the front as captain. Not only is he the highest wicket-taker in T20Is with 93 sticks from 94 matches, but his strike-rate with the bat is 148.92, the fifth-highest in the world and second among those who have played at least 50 games. An entertaining hitter with 66 career sixes and 95 fours, Pakistan knows that they'll always have a chance when Afridi is at the crease. Afridi, who had said he'd retire from game after the ICC World T20 2016, indicated he might change his mind. But if he sticks to the plan, this might be the last time fans get to see this entertainer in full flow.
8. AB de Villiers (South Africa)
By common consensus – especially among his peers and rivals – AB de Villiers is the greatest batsman in the modern game. He has hit a 31-ball century in ODIs – and the mind boggles when you watch the limitless range he brings into play in a T20I. Of late, he has started to come up the order for South Africa, giving him the most time to make use of the 20 overs at the team’s disposal. If the elements fall in place, there is no bowler who will confidently say he can stop a rampaging de Villiers.
9. Angelo Mathews (Sri Lanka)
It’s difficult to emphasise Mathews’s importance to the Sri Lankan side, across formats. He is a batsman who can adapt to any situation and is also one of its frontline bowlers. Apart from his contributions to both departments, Mathews is also an able leader and is the face of Sri Lankan cricket’s next generation.
Mathews made his T20I debut in 2009 and has played and has played 62 matches since, scoring 862 runs .
10. Andre Russell (West Indies)
His T20I numbers may be modest – 219 runs at 11.52 and 11 wickets at 48.9 from 35 games – but Russell, now nearly 28, has been a bonafide star for several T20 franchises around the globe. This year alone, he has helped inspire Sydney Thunder to the Big Bash League title, and Islamabad United to the top rung of the inaugural Pakistan Super League. A canny seam bowler with clever changes of pace, Russell can also belt the ball a fair distance. This could be the tournament in which he shows off his qualities on the big stage.
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