Kohli, Babar, Archer: 10 players to watch in ICC T20 World Cup 2024 | ICC Men’s T20 World Cup News

The world’s greatest athletes often choose the biggest occasions to make their mark on the game.

When the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2024 begins on Saturday, cricket fans will be eager to see their favorite stars shine and lead their countries to glory at the end of the nearly month-long tournament on June 29.

The biggest-ever edition of the T20 World Cup with 20 nations competing will bring the biggest names to the fore, but only a few are on our list of players to watch. Are here:

Virat Kohli: India

Not much needs to be said about Kohli, arguably the biggest name in world cricket, but his recent form says it all. The Indian talisman finished at the top of the scoring charts in the recently concluded Indian Premier League (IPL).

Kohli was the player of the tournament at the 50-over Cricket World Cup 2023. At 35, the T20 World Cup could mark his last attempt to add another trophy to a brilliant career, and the man often known as “ King Kohli “He is not someone who misses too many opportunities.

Virat Kohli holds the record for most runs scored in a T20 World Cup (File: Adnan Abidi/Reuters)

Babar Azam: Pakistan

The Pakistan captain is considered one of the best batsmen in world cricket across all formats. His role at the top of the team’s table is so crucial that if Pakistan wants to reach the final, it will largely depend on Babar’s run in the tournament.

The 29-year-old has already played 287 international matches in all formats for his country and arrives at the World Cup in top form.

Babar Azam
Pakistan’s Babar Azam named ICC Cricketer of the Year 2023 (File: Adnan Abidi/Reuters)

Jofra Archer: England

The right-arm seamer bowled the Super Over for England in their 2019 Cricket World Cup final victory against New Zealand but has since been plagued by injuries.

Born in Barbados to an English father and Bajan mother, the 29-year-old’s raw pace and knowledge of West Indies conditions will be crucial in England’s quest for a record third T20 world title.

Jofra Archer
Jofra Archer returned to the England team during the recent T20 series against Pakistan (Ed Sykes /Action Images via Reuters)

Rashid Khan: Afghanistan

Rashid Khan is a man who wears multiple hats in Afghanistan and does it with a smile. For Afghanistan to have a great World Cup, Rashid, who is arguably their biggest star and most important player, must shine as a bowler, lower-order batsman and captain.

The cunning leg-spinner is capable of stopping the charge of some of the world’s biggest batsmen and setting opposition bowling on fire with his big knocks.

Rashid Khan of Afghanistan
Rashid Khan will lead Afghanistan in the ICC T20 World Cup 2024 (File: Manish Swarup/AP)

Andre Russell: West Indies

Andre Russel is a veteran with two T20 World Cup wins in 2012 and 2016 and an important cog in Kolkata Knight Rider’s title-winning run in the recently concluded IPL. The 36-year-old’s form with bat and ball, right up to the final, was crucial to Kolkata’s third IPL title.

West Indies fans will be hoping that this powerful all-rounder will reproduce for their country and bring them a third title as well.

Andre Russell of the Kolkata Knight Riders
Andre Russell took three wickets for Kolkata Knight Riders in the IPL final (Mahesh Kumar A/AP)

Adam Zampa: Australia

Adam Zampa, a 32-year-old wrister, had a mixed campaign in the 2023 Cricket World Cup, during which he was predicted to shine for Australia. However, he came up with the good stuff at a crucial moment and helped drag the Australians from a slow start to lifting the trophy. An economy rate of 7.5 in T20Is is a high fraction, but his average of 22 cannot be discounted. In the absence of another leg spinning specialist, Zampa will carry the load of the spinning department.

Adam Zampa from Australia
Adam Zampa will carry the spin bowling load for Australia (File: Aijaz Rahi/AP)

Finn Allen: New Zealand

The New Zealand opener stormed Pakistan in their T20 series this year with a stunning six-hit display. If Allen reaches his full potential, his raw power will be nearly unstoppable against any team.

The 25-year-old has a strike rate just below 170 in T20 internationals, and with his 137 in the series against Pakistan, he replaced Brendan McCullum at the top of the Kiwis’ top individual T20 scorers.

Finn Allen of New Zealand
Finn Allen plays a shot against Pakistan in Karachi (File: Fareed Khan/AP)

Wanindu Hasaranga: Sri Lanka

After an injury-plagued 2023, Wanindu Hasarnga has once again led Sri Lanka from the front in his recent limited-overs outings.

The 26-year-old all-rounder’s potent presence in the middle order (with a strike rate of 130) cannot be overlooked. Then comes the twist of his leg. In 63 T20 international innings, he has claimed 104 wickets at an average of 15.

Sri Lanka's Wanindu Hasaranga
Wanindu Hasaranga, right, will lead Sri Lanka in the T20 World Cup (File: Eranga Jayawardena/AP)

Gerald Coetzee: South Africa

The fast bowler is quickly establishing himself as a key part of the South African team. Alongside his youngster Marco Jansen, the 23-year-old is part of the bright future of the Proteas attack.

South Africa's Gerald Coetzee requests an lbw from Australia's Pat Cummins
Gerald Coetzee (File: Andrew Boyers/Reuters)

Shakib Al Hasan: Bangladesh

Shakib Al Hasan, who is second behind Hasaranga in the ICC all-rounder list, is uprooting trees even at the age of 37.

A veteran of 122 T20 internationals and often rated as the best all-rounder in all formats, the left-hander has 12 fifties with a strike rate of 122, while averaging 20 with his slow left-handers for his 146 wickets.

Shakib is one of the few players to have played in all eight editions of the T20 World Cup.

Bangladesh captain Shakib Al Hasan
Shakib Al Hasan is an experienced T20 World Cup cricketer and has played in the eights (File: Eranga Jayawardena/AP)

Notable mentions

Jasprit Bumrah: India

Shaheen Shah Afridi: Pakistan

Joseph Butler: England

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