Rashid Khan has revealed his top-five T20 players around the globe ahead of the showpiece event starting Sunday, October 17. Khan named Virat Kohli, Kane Williamson, AB De Villiers, Kieron Pollard, and Hardik Pandya and reasoned why he chose them as the top-five T20 players in the world.
Rashid Khan was tasked with naming the top-five T20 players in the world in an ICC event ahead of the T20 World Cup in the United Arab Emirates and Oman. The 23-year-old has played 51 T20Is for Afghanistan since 2015 and has picked 95 wickets with an economy rate of 6.21 and an average of 12.6. His first pick was Indian skipper Virat Kohli. Khan said that Kohli is always someone who will step-up and perform.
“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,” Khan who is an ICC Live the Game Ambassador said.
The upcoming T20 WC will be Kohli’s fourth as a player since 2012. He won the Player of the Tournament in the 2014 and 2016 editions in Bangladesh and India respectively.
Khan’s second pick was New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson. He reasoned that Williamson brings a sense of calmness to the table. In the previous T20 WC, Williamson thrived as a skipper as New Zealand won all their league games on the turning tracks and led the team to the semi-finals before they lost to England. He utilised the spin-bowling services of Nathan McCullum, Mitchell Santner, and Ish Sodhi.
Rashid’s third pick is the former Protean AB De Villiers. De Villiers hit 29 runs against Rashid Khan in 2016. Rashid said that De Villiers can give quick runs to the team irrespective of the pitch conditions.
“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 stated.
The former Protean has won 42 awards of Player of the match in T20s.
The 23-year-old's last two picks are Kieron Pollard and Hardik Pandya. Pollard was a member of the West Indies’ first T20 WC victory in Sri Lanka in 2012. He missed out on the 2016 edition due to injury and will be leading the defending champions for their third title. Pandya pulled off victory from the jaws of defeat against Bangladesh when he defended two runs off three balls to keep the Indian team alive in the tournament, back in 2016.
“These two will be my key (batters) who can chase 80-90 when I need them in the last four-five overs. They are the kind of batsmen who can do the job for you easily,” Khan opined on Pollard and Pandya.
The T20 WC will kick off with the pre-qualification game between host Oman and Papua New Guinea at the Al Amerat Cricket Ground.