Australia icon and Fox Cricket commentator Mark Waugh has joined the lengthy list of past greats to select the first five players they would pick in a World T20I XI with the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup just around the corner.
Waugh, who made 8500 ODI runs and was a member of Australia’s 1999 Cricket World Cup winning team, was renowned for his aggression at the top of the order and his lightning fielding both in the infield and the slip cordon.
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The all-rounder, a talented white-ball cricket player, would have probably dominated the T20 world had he competed in the present era.
Waugh emphasized that his list was not in any specific sequence while speaking in the run-up to the 2022 T20 World Cup in Australia, although he started with the bowlers from the group of five.
1. Jasprit Bumrah – ICC T20I Bowling Ranking: 45th
Jasprit Bumrah, who was rested for the most recent T20I series, will undoubtedly do well at the event in Australia, according to Waugh.
“I think he’s a fantastic bowler in all formats, actually,” Waugh began, praising the quick’s versatility.
“His ability to get wickets in T20 cricket is key. He can bowl at the death and he can bowl up front.”
2. Shaheen Afridi – ICC T20I Bowling Ranking: 19th
“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,” Waugh said.
“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.”
3. Rashid Khan – ICC T20I Bowling Ranking: 4th
Rashid Khan, an Afghanistan spinner who is renowned for his consistency with the ball, uses his assistance with the bat to further strengthen his case in the Australian’s eyes.
“In all competitions, he plays in, he’s just the one guy who you know is going to bowl four overs,” Waugh noted.
“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.”
4. Jos Buttler – ICC T20I Batting Ranking: 15th
The Englishman’s accomplishments at the top of the order in both local and international cricket were too impressive for Waugh to overlook during a strong run of batting form.
“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,” Waugh said.
“We’ve seen him in all tournaments; he just looks on a different level to other players.”
5. Glenn Maxwell – ICC T20I Batting Ranking: 29th / ICC T20I All-Rounder Ranking: 6th
In selecting an all-rounder, Waugh pushes forward the case of compatriot Glenn Maxwell.
“Glenn Maxwell is the sort of player that can win you a game in the field and with the bat,” Waugh exclaimed.
“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.”
When asked to provide the five players they would select for a World T20 XI on The ICC Review, past greats Ricky Ponting, Shane Watson, and Mahela Jayawardena chose similar lineups to several of Waugh’s choices.
Ponting had three of the same players that Waugh selected, adding two more players in the form of Pakistan captain Babar Azam and Indian sensation Hardik Pandya.
Watson, another Australian, only had two players in common with Waugh; in addition to Babar, Suryakumar Yadav, and David Warner, the gifted all-rounder had five players in total.
In his top five, Jayawardena had four players who were identical to Waugh, with Pakistan’s Mohammad Rizwan serving as the lone exception.
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