The ICC T20 World Cup gets underway from October 17 and this is a tournament that fans have been waiting for eagerly as the last time cricket’s elite sides fought for the global title in the sport’s shortest format was way back in 2016. The International Cricket Council (ICC) on their part have been trying to generate interest around the tournament on its digital and social media platforms by asking top international players to name their “Top 5 T20 players”. The latest star to pick his top five T20 players was Afghanistan’s star all-rounder Rashid Khan.
Rashid has been a star performer for his country in international cricket but he was humble enough to not include himself in the list. Rashid selected three top quality batsmen in his side and rounded up his selection with two all-rounders.
One West Indies star
One South African
— ICC (@ICC) October 12, 2021
First on his list was Indian captain Virat Kohli, whom Rashid picked for his consistency across different playing conditions. “Doesn’t really depend on the wicket, doesn’t matter whatever the wicket is, he is someone who is going to step up and perform,” Rashid was quoted as saying by the ICC.
Kohli is the highest run-getter in men’s T20 internationals, with 3,159 runs at an average 52.65 and strike rate of 139.04.
He followed it up with Kohli’s contemporary Kane Williamson. Rashid himself has played alongside Williamson in the Indian Premier League (IPL) for years now and chose the New Zealand captain for the sense of “calm” he brings to any team. Williamson has scored 1,805 runs in T20Is at an average of over 31 and strike rate of over 125.
The third batsman in Rashid’s list is former South Africa legend AB de Villiers. “A destructive batsman, someone who can give you quick runs at any stage, any wicket, against any bowler and he can play any shot. As a captain, you will always love to have that batsman,” Rashid said of his choice to the ICC.
The two all-rounders who made the cut in Rashid’s top 5 are West Indies white-ball captain Kieron Pollard and India’s Hardik Pandya.
“These two will be my key (batters) who can chase 80-90 when I need them in the last four-five overs,” Rashid said about choosing Pollard and Pandya. “They are the kind of batsmen who can do the job for you easily,” he added.
Rashid has been playing in the IPL against Pollard and Hardik, who are teammates at Mumbai Indians, for years now and has seen their destructive ability with bat and ball from close quarters.
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