The following five youngsters will be the ones to watch out at the coming ICC World Twenty20 championship.
Nasir Jamshed (Pakistan): Nasir Jamshed had vanished from international cricket for two-and-a-half years until resurfacing at the Asia Cup this March. He announced his return with a run-a-ball 112 in a losing cause against India at Mirpur.
Although not a big striker of the ball, Jamshed comfortably makes up for it with his fluent four-hitting. His scoring rate, consequently, never suffers. Still only 22, he appears to be the sort of opening batsman Pakistan has long craved for.
Sunil Narine (West Indies): Although familiar to Indian viewers after his Player-of-the-Tournament exploits in the IPL, Sunil Narine has yet to make a big impact on international cricket. He comes into the World Twenty20 on a good run of form, though, having tormented New Zealand in the summer’s home series. The 24-year-old off-spinner is preposterously frugal and in subcontinental conditions will be a handful for any batting side.
If Narine reprises the kind of performance he put on for Kolkata Knight Riders (24 wickets in IPL-5), opponents could have some difficulty beating the West Indies.
Glenn Maxwell (Australia): Glenn Maxwell’s stock has risen after his fine showing over Pakistan, where he displayed a calm head and a strong bottom-hand to help Australia win the deciding ODI at Sharjah. His unbeaten 38-ball 56 was marked by a bold approach against Pakistan’s spinners, and is a good portent for the future. Although his arriving at No. 7 in the order would seem to suggest he’s a bowling all-rounder, Maxwell’s off-spin has not thrilled anyone. His batting, on the other hand, has.
Akila Dananjaya Perera (Sri Lanka): Akila Dananjaya’s is the sort of fairytale that requires some suspension of disbelief. The 18-year-old spinner had only been playing schools cricket in June when, called to bowl in the Sri Lankan nets, he so impressed the captain and the coach that he was drafted into the preliminary 30-man-squad for the World T20 immediately. Mahela Jayawardene then made sure to find a place for him in his Wayamba United side in the SLPL, where he spun the ball a dozen ways.
Jonny Bairstow (England): England’s big, young hope across formats, Jonny Bairstow forced his way into the national side on the strength of all his runs in first class cricket. Batting as a No. 6, Bairstow impressed on his ODI debut, clouting a 21-ball 41 versus India at Cardiff. He may not have scored extraordinarily thereafter, but handed a Test chance against South Africa earlier this summer at Kevin Pietersen’s expense, the 22-year-old acquitted himself well, scoring 95 and 54 in the two innings. Bairstow is a good, sound batsman but can give the ball a fair whack. Also capable of keeping wicket.
Keywords: ICC World Twenty20 championship