T20 World Cup: Suryakumar Yadav among top-five players in Shane Watson’s World T20 XI
T20 World Cup: Star Indian batter Suryakumar Yadav is among the top five players that legendary Australian all-rounder Shane Watson would choose for his World T20 eleven.
From 2002 until 2016, Watson played for Australia and retired as one of the nation’s all-time top white-ball players. He recently joined Delhi Capitals as their assistant coach in the Indian Premier League in an effort to develop young potential. The top T20I players in the world are being closely watched by Watson throughout his time as a coach, and he is looking forward to the ICC T20 World Cup, which will be held this year in October and November.
“First one I would pick would be Babar Azam. He’s the No.1 T20I batsman in the world, and he just knows how to dominate. It is like he’s not even taking any risks, and he scores incredibly quickly against the best bowlers in the world,” said Watson during the recent episode of ICC Review on Tuesday.
“He is going to do very well in Australian conditions (during the T20 World Cup) as well, as his technique is very much built for Australian conditions,” he added.
“Second one is Suryakumar Yadav. He is batting incredibly well, and he would be my No.2 pick,” continued Watson.
Despite Watson’s support for Yadav, the second-best T20I batsman in the world, KL Rahul might perform well at the T20 World Cup in Australia, believes former Australian all-rounder.
“But I would not be surprised at all if (India team-mate) KL Rahul explodes in the T20 World Cup in Australia, because he is got the game to dominate in these conditions in Australia,” he said.
David Warner, a seasoned Australian opener who had won the previous tournament’s “Man of the Tournament” award after scoring 289 runs in seven innings and recording three fifty-plus scores, is Watson’s third choice.
He is now ranked 40th in ICC T20I batting.
“No.3 is David Warner. He won the Player of the Tournament in the last men’s T20 World Cup, with the Aussies winning. And has scored some great runs for the Delhi Capitals (in the IPL) as well. He is going to have plenty of fire in his belly to make his mark in a T20 WC at home. So he is going to be ready to go,” he said.
Explosive Jos Buttler is Watson’s fourth selection as the starting Englishman. He now holds the 17th spot in the ICC T20I batting rankings. And has been in scorching form for England and the IPL team Rajasthan Royals this season.
“No.4 for me is going to be Jos Buttler. During the IPL, well a lot of times anyway, no one could get him out. Four hundreds has only been done once before in an IPL, with Virat Kohli doing that (in 2016). When he is in form, and he has been in form. He is just about impossible in T20 cricket to get out,” he said.
“He can hit wherever he wants off the best bowlers in the world. And he knows Australian conditions really well, he has played the Big Bash. And did very well a few years ago, when I played with him at the Sydney Thunder. So Jos Buttler is going to dominate,” he added.
Shaheen Afridi, a star Pakistani pacer who ranked 13th in the ICC T20I bowling rankings, is Watson’s final selection.
“And the last one is Shaheen Afridi. His wicket-taking ability is something special. We saw in the last men’s T20 World Cup his ability to be able to get the best batsmen out with that brand new ball. I would very surprised if he does not really dominate in Australian conditions. With the ball swinging around and fast, bouncy wickets.
“My only little concern with him is, if he does not take wickets to start with. Then he can tail off a little bit. But I am sure he has been working on that. I would surprised if he does not dominate here,” he added.