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T20 World Cup: 12 Bowlers To Watch Our For

June 03, 2024 14:12 IST
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The ICC T20 World Cup 2024 promises to be a tournament dominated by bowlers, particularly spinners.

This shift in focus from high-scoring batting displays witnessed in IPL 2024 is attributed to the slower pitches expected in the West Indies, one of the host nations.

Veteran cricketers like Mitchell Starc highlight the key difference -- the absence of the 'Impact Player Rule'used in the IPL. This rule allowed teams to bring in a specialist batsman or bowler depending on the match situation, potentially inflating batting scores.

In the World Cup, with one less batsman in the line-up, Starc predicts a decrease in overall team totals.

Pitch conditions in the West Indies have also undergone a transformation. Gone are the days of fast, bouncy wickets known for high scores.

Curators anticipate slower surfaces with more grip, offering spinners a significant advantage. This could be a crucial factor, especially as India has opted to include four spinners in their squad specifically to exploit these conditions.


Jasprit Bumrah (India)

Jasprit Bumrah

IMAGE: This year, with his red-hot form and peak fitness, Jasprit Bumrah has a chance to rewrite history. Photograph: BCCI

Since his debut in 2016, Bumrah has established himself as the world's premier T20 bowler. His express pace and variations have troubled batters worldwide.

With his deadly yorkers and deceptive swing, he possesses the complete package to dismantle batting line-ups.

Despite consistent performances in major tournaments, a World Cup trophy has eluded him and India.

His recent IPL performance is a testament to his brilliance. Finishing with 20 wickets in just 13 matches, he displayed exceptional control with an economy rate of a miserly 6.48. This wasn't just a flash in the pan -= Bumrah boasts the best economy rate (6.55) among pacers with over 50 T20I wickets.

He chokes off runs in the Powerplay and his death bowling mastery with pinpoint yorkers is unmatched.

This year, with his red-hot form and peak fitness, Bumrah has a chance to rewrite history.

Matheesha Pathirana (Sri Lanka)

Matheesha Pathirana

The T20 World Cup is about to witness a whirlwind -- Matheesha Pathirana.

This 21-year-old Sri Lankan speedster isn't your textbook bowler. Forget conventional actions; Pathirana slings the ball with an unorthodox style, leaving batters bewildered as they try to decipher line and length.

But Pathirana's deception isn't his only weapon. He possesses raw pace, consistently exceeding 145 kmph, keeping batters on their toes.

Despite battling injuries and national duty, Pathirana's brief IPL stint with the Chennai Super Kings was nothing short of phenomenal. In just six matches, he bagged a staggering 13 wickets, each dismissal a testament to his ability to unleash unplayable deliveries.

This isn't a one-off performance. Pathirana has been on a roll, grabbing 20 wickets in his last 10 T20 matches, never failing to find the stumps at least once.

Pathirana may be a newcomer on the international stage, but his recent red-hot form speaks for itself. Sri Lanka's World Cup hopes hinge on his ability to replicate his magic.

Mitchell Starc (Australia)

Mitchell Starc

Big players perform on big occasions, and Mitchell Starc epitomises this trait.

Over the years, Starc has proven his ability to rise to the occasion, consistently delivering match-winning performances when it counts the most.

The left-arm pacer has earned almost every accolade with the Australian team and recently added the 2024 Indian Premier League title with the Kolkata Knight Riders to his impressive resume.

Despite a challenging IPL season where he struggled with consistency for the Knight Riders, his reputation as one of the greatest fast bowlers in white ball history remains intact.

He was the joint highest wicket-taker in the victorious 2015 World Cup at home and led the charts in the 2019 edition in England.

In the shortest format, Starc is a potent wicket-taker for Australia, with 74 dismissals in 60 matches at a strike rate of 18.2 and an economy rate of 7.67.

<p? Overall, he has amassed 183 wickets in 133 T20 innings, boasting an impressive bowling strike rate of 15.9, placing him among the elite in the format.

As we approach the T20 World Cup, Mitchell Starc remains a bowler to watch.

His proven track record in high-pressure situations and his ability to dismantle top order batters make him a crucial asset for Australia.

Rashid Khan (Afghanistan)

Rashid Khan

Rashid Khan is a name synonymous with brilliance in T20 cricket.

His leg-spin sorcery transcends leagues, leaving a trail of bewildered batsmen in his wake. This year, the stakes are even higher as he captains Afghanistan at the T20 World Cup.

Recent injuries may have caused temporary setbacks, but Khan is clawing his way back to peak form. While IPL 2024 wasn't his most explosive season, his talent remains undeniable.

Beyond his wicket-taking prowess, Khan possesses an under-the-radar weapon -- his batting. Those lower order cameos can swing momentum in Afghanistan's favour.

For Afghanistan to conquer the World Cup, Khan needs to be at his absolute best. His googlies must weave their deceptive magic, his captaincy must be tactically astute, and his cameos with the bat must provide invaluable runs.

The World Cup stage awaits Rashid Khan, and Afghanistan's multi=faceted weapon is ready to unleash a storm.

Jofra Archer (England)

Jofra Archer

Jofra Archer is back with a vengeance. The England pacer, once a nightmare for batters with his searing pace, is ready to unleash his fury again at the upcoming T20 World Cup.

After a lengthy injury layoff, Archer's return is a major boost for England's title defense. His express deliveries, consistently exceeding 145 kph, are a constant threat.

His recent comeback in the T20I series against Pakistan showcased his form -- picking up wickets and proving his worth with the bat too. But for England, it's his bowling that truly excites.

Born in Barbados, Archer possesses an intimate understanding of West Indian conditions -- a potential x-factor for England as they chase a historic third T20 World Cup title.

With a somewhat fragile bowling attack, Archer becomes the difference-maker.

Adam Zampa (Australia)

Adam Zampa

Adam Zampa might not have had a stellar World Cup 2023, but when it mattered most, he delivered. The 32-year-old wrist spinner played a crucial role in Australia's eventual triumph, pulling them back from precarious situations.

While his T20I economy rate of 7.5 might be a touch on the high side, his wicket-taking prowess is undeniable, with an average of 22. In the absence of another specialist leg-spinner, the burden of Australia's spin department falls squarely on Zampa's shoulders.

Zampa is Australia's go-to white-ball spinner, and he'll be aiming to replicate his winning ways at the T20 World Cup.

Trent Boult (New Zealand)

Trent Boult

Trent Boult is a nightmare for openers from the very first ball. He reigns as one of the most prolific wicket-takers in T20 Powerplays globally, boasting a staggering 97 dismissals with a miserly economy rate of 7.2.

He has a staggering 74 wickets in just 57 T20I matches for New Zealand.

His 2021 T20 World Cup form was exceptional, grabbing 13 wickets in just seven matches at a phenomenal strike rate of 12.7 and an economy of 6.25, a key factor in propelling New Zealand to the finals.

As the T20 World Cup approaches, prepare to witness Boult's early wicket mastery in action. He thrives under pressure, and his ability to take quick wickets will be crucial for New Zealand's title aspirations

Shaheen Shah Afridi (Pakistan)

Shaheen Afridi

Shaheen Shah Afridi is a wicket-taking machine in T20 cricket.

Just look at his stats -- 91 scalps in a mere 66 appearances for Pakistan, boasting a economy rate of 7.73, one of the format's best ever.

He is especially dangerous with the new ball, grabbing an incredible 15 wickets in the very first over of his spells.

This red-hot form propelled him to spearhead Pakistan's bowling attack in the 2022 T20 World Cup, leading them to the finals. He finished the tournament with a remarkable 11 wickets in just seven matches, conceding runs at a miserly economy of 6.15.

With the T20 World Cup on the horizon, the cricketing world is ready to witness Afridi in action once again. His left-arm lightning and wicket-taking prowess will electrify the tournament and strike fear in the hearts of batsmen worldwide.

Gerald Coetzee (South Africa)

Gerald Coetzee

South Africa's pace attack is brimming with young talent, and Gerald Coetzee is at the forefront. The 23-year-old quick is rapidly establishing himself as a crucial cog in the Proteas' bowling machine. He is renowned for his toe-crushing yorkers and exceptional death bowling skills.

Partnered with fellow youngster Marco Jansen, Coetzee is part of a dynamic duo expected to lead the South African attack for years to come.

Coetzee's potential shone brightly at the 2023 ODI World Cup, where he emerged as South Africa's leading wicket-taker with an impressive 20 scalps in just eight games. However, his international experience is still young, with only 21 matches across formats under his belt.

Despite a hot-and-cold debut IPL season (13 wickets in 10 games), Coetzee has proven himself as a consistent wicket-taker in T20s, even if his economy rate needs some work.

Shakib Al Hasan (Bangladesh)

Shakib Al Hasan

At 37, Shakib Al Hasan continues to impress, firmly establishing himself as one of the finest all-rounders in cricket. His remarkable career spans 122 T20 internationals.

A veteran of the T20 World Cup, Shakib is one of the few players to have participated in all eight editions of the tournament. His versatility and experience make him Bangladesh's most successful bowler in T20 World Cups, with 47 wickets in 35 innings.

As we look ahead to the T20 World Cup, Shakib remains a bowler to watch, leveraging his extensive experience and skill to lead Bangladesh's attack.

Kuldeep Yadav (India)

Kuldeep Yadav

Kuldeep's return to form has been nothing short of remarkable.

After a period on the sidelines, the left-arm spinner has re-emerged as a vital cog in India's T20 machine. His ability to bamboozle batters with his variations and maintain accuracy will be crucial if India wants to lift the World Cup trophy.

Kuldeep boasts an impressive record since the last World Cup, boasting 15 wickets at a jaw-dropping average of just 14. The Caribbean pitches, known for assisting spin, could be his playground.

With his variations and control, Kuldeep has the potential to be India's X-factor in the upcoming tournament.

Shamar Joseph (West Indies)

Shamar Joseph

Shamar Joseph's debut Test series against Australia was nothing short of sensational. The young Guyanese quick ripped through the batting order at the Gabba, bowling a marathon spell and taking a career-best 7/68. His fiery pace and pinpoint accuracy were instrumental in securing the West Indies' first Test win Down Under in 27 years.

While Joseph has established himself as a force in the longer format, his impact in T20 cricket remains to be seen.

With only three T20 appearances and a wicketless IPL outing under his belt, he's yet to make his mark in the shortest format. However, his return to familiar Caribbean conditions for the T20 World Cup could be the turning point.

Playing on home soil, with the backing of the passionate Caribbean crowd, could be just the spark he needs to ignite his T20 career.

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