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T20 World Cup: Harry Brook, Shaheen Shah Afridi , David Warner and the players to watch in Australia?


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Two-time World Cup winner Michael Bevan and Sri Lanka legend Russel Arnold give their predictions ahead of the upcoming T20 World Cup.

Two-time World Cup winner Michael Bevan and Sri Lanka legend Russel Arnold give their predictions ahead of the upcoming T20 World Cup.

Australia host the T20 World Cup and are seeking to retain the title after they beat New Zealand in the final in the United Arab Emirates last year.

While the hosts are the favourites again, the likes of England, India, New Zealand and Pakistan will all think they can lift the title.

Sky Sports takes a closer look at some of the key players to watch in Australia…

Harry Brook

Harry Brook has impressed at number five in recent games for England

Harry Brook has impressed at number five in recent games for England

Jason Roy and Johnny Bairstow are missing for England in Australia, while there are concerns over the fitness of Liam Livingstone, which leaves England light of power hitting, especially in the middle overs.

But youngster Harry Brook has shown in a short space of time that he is an excellent player coming in at number five, and will be important for an England side who will have ambitions to go deep into the tournament.

Brook was one of the star players during this year’s edition of The Hundred and continued his good form for England in Pakistan.

The 23-year-old has scored 316 T20 runs for England in 14 matches, including 81 against Pakistan and 45 not on in the final warm up match against the same opposition.

His strike rate is 149.05 and he is averaging 35.11 runs. He has built a reputation on getting runs in the death overs and England will look to Brook to add runs in the final overs in Australia.

He hasn’t played much cricket in Australia and showed in the first two T20’s against Australia that it might take some time getting used to the conditions. But he will be a key figure for England this year, as he looks to cement his place in the the side in all formats.

Mark Wood

Mark Wood has taken nine wickets on his return to the England side

Mark Wood has taken nine wickets on his return to the England side

Mark Wood’s qualities are well documented, but so are his injury troubles.

The fast bowler only returned to action this year in Pakistan after eight months out, but showed how effective he is in T20 cricket, taking three wickets in three consecutive games.

With Jofra Archer missing due to injury, Wood is the only bowler in the squad who offers express pace. With almost 35 wickets in 23 matches wickets for England, Wood is sure to be the man Jos Buttler calls upon when he is searching for wickets.

This was evident in the first T20 against Australia on October 9, when Wood took important wickets as Australia looked like they were cruising to victory.

The only question mark over the 31-year-old is his fitness, and he will need to be managed through the tournament.

If England have any hopes of lifting the title, they will need Wood fit and firing.

Hardik Pandya

Hardik Pandya has taken important wickets and scored runs lower down the order for India

Hardik Pandya has taken important wickets and scored runs lower down the order for India

Despite missing the likes of Ravindra Jadeja and Jasprit Bumrah, India boast an impressive squad that puts them among the favourites in Australia.

All-rounder Hardik Pandya has been key for India in T20 cricket in recent months, scoring important lower order runs and taking key wickets at the death.

His role with the ball could be even more important this year, with India missing key front line bowlers.

The 28 year-old took some time away from cricket recently and returned with new vigor.

Ahead of the T20 World Cup, analyst Freddie Wilde predicts some of India's star players could shine in the tournament in Australia.

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Ahead of the T20 World Cup, analyst Freddie Wilde predicts some of India’s star players could shine in the tournament in Australia.

Ahead of the T20 World Cup, analyst Freddie Wilde predicts some of India’s star players could shine in the tournament in Australia.

He captained the Gujrat Titans to the Indian Premier League title in their first year and led India to a series win against Ireland this year.

Pandya has taken 12 T20 wickets this year in 17 innings. He is now one of the experienced heads in the dressing room and was sorely missed during the T20 World Cup in the United Arab Emirates.

With almost 500 runs under his belt in 2022, Pandya will need to be on his game for Rohit Sharma’s side this year if they have any hopes of lifting the trophy.

Arshdeep Singh

Arshdeep Singh has impressed since making his T20 debut

Arshdeep Singh has impressed since making his T20 debut

Injuries have given young seamer Arshdeep Singh an opportunity in the India side, and he has shown exactly why he is so highly rated.

He demonstrated composure and calmness in two tight overs against Pakistan and Sri Lanka during the Asia Cup this year, and Sharma said that he has the temperament to bowl at the death.

India are also missing a left arm seamer in their attack, but Singh offers that with 15 wickets in 12 matches since making his international debut.

He might be one of the young players who can shine at this World Cup.

David Warner

David Warner has been in great for Australia in recent months

David Warner has been in great for Australia in recent months

The hosts are the favourites with the bookies and have picked a squad featuring a blend of experience and youth.

Australia won the last T20 World Cup in the UAE, and opener David Warner has been a key part of his side’s T20 success in recent months.

Warner has been in scintillating form this year. He has scored almost 300 runs in just seven T20s, including a match winning innings against the West Indies.

He continued his good form in the pre-tournament series against England, scoring 73 runs in the first T20 in Perth.

With home advantage in Australia’s favour, if Warner can continue his purple patch, Aaron Finch’s side will be tough to beat.

Tim David

Tim David could displace an experienced batsman during the World Cup

Tim David could displace an experienced batsman during the World Cup

Tim David’s rise to Australia’s World Cup squad has been quite something.

Without a state contract or a first-class appearance under his belt, the batsman was signed by the Mumbai Indians in the IPL auction for £848,769.

The 26-year-old has become one of the most sought after T20 finishers in world cricket.

After honing his game in the Big Bash and with the Lahore Qalanders in the 2020/21 season, David was also picked up by Surrey, the Southern Brave and then Mumbai.

During the 2022 IPL season, he faced 86 balls and hit 16 for six, finishing with the best-ever strike rate for a batter in a single season.

He continued his good form with the national side, scoring 116 runs in six matches, including a stunning cameo against the West Indies, where he scored 20 off just four balls.

David’s place in the starting 11 isn’t guaranteed, however, with the batsman competing with Steve Smith, Mitch Marsh and Marcus Stoinis for a place in the middle order.

But there is every chance he could displace one of them in the side as the tournament progresses.

Devon Conway

Devon Conway missed last year's final due to an injury

Devon Conway missed last year’s final due to an injury

A staple in a New Zealand side who have lost back-to-back cricket World Cup finals, Devon Conway has been in a rich vein of form this year.

He missed a major chunk of the IPL this year, but has returned for New Zealand and continued where he left off in 2021.

Conway scored over 400 runs last year, including 46 in the semi-final of the T20 World Cup, but sustained a hand injury that kept him out of the final.

He has continued his good form, scoring 129 runs in six matches, including a match winning 70 not out on October 9 against Bangladesh, top scoring in the tri-series against Pakistan and Bangladesh with 233 runs.

Mohammad Rizwan

Mohammad Rizwan is the number one ranked T20 batsman in the world

Mohammad Rizwan is the number one ranked T20 batsman in the world

Mohammad Rizwan is one of the most feared T20 batsman in international cricket and has formed a formidable partnership with Babar Azam at the top of the order for Pakistan.

He is the number one ranked T20 batsman in the world and has scored the most T20 runs in 2022, overtaking Suryakumar Yadav during the recent tri-series in New Zealand.

Rizwan’s form has been good going into Australia. He also top scored at the Asia Cup and hit 316 runs in six T20s against England recently.

Pakistan’s star player ended the recent tri-series against New Zealand and Bangladesh as the second-highest run-scorer with 201 runs.

Pakistan are heavily reliant on their openers to get runs and their middle order has often struggled when they are called upon early in an innings.

Captain Azam will hope Rizwan can continue his excellent form in the World Cup to give Pakistan their best chance of challenging for the trophy.

Shaheen Shah Afridi

Shaheen Shah Afridi returns to fitness for the T20 World Cup for Pakistan

Shaheen Shah Afridi returns to fitness for the T20 World Cup for Pakistan

While Pakistan struggles for middle order runs, they frequently restrict teams to small totals, in large parts thanks to their varied bowling attack.

Shaheen Shan Afridi has been a key part of their bowling unit since making his debut in 2018. The 22-year-old has taken 47 wickets in 40 T20s and has been his side’s pace spearhead.

His express speed, ability to generate bounce and bowl accurate yorkers, makes him one of the most feared T20 bowlers in world cricket

Recently, the seamer has been eased back to fitness and played in Pakistan’s penultimate warm up match against England before they start their World Cup campaign against India on October 23.

Without Afridi due to injury, Pakistan’s attack seemed a bit limp against England, and his return will be a major boost for Azam at this World Cup.

You can watch the T20 World Cup live in full on Sky Sports.

Watch England vs Afghanistan live on Saturday October 22 from 11.30am on Sky Sports Cricket.



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