Five young guns ready to impact the T20 World Cup
1. Arshdeep Singh (India)
With Jasprit Bumrah ruled out of the tournament through injury, Arshdeep Singh becomes a vital part of India's plans for the T20 World Cup. The 23-year-old left-arm quick stormed into the Indian squad on the back of IPL performances and impressed throughout the year with his ability to bowl during the Powerplay and death overs.
With 19 wickets in 13 T20Is at an average of 19.78 and an economy rate just above eight runs per over, Arshdeep has impressed the think-tank and will likely be a first-choice player in India's XI in Australia.
His death bowling performances, in particular, have attracted attention, but Arshdeep has also managed to make an impact with the new ball, most recently taking two wickets in his first over in the second T20I against South Africa in Guwahati.
2. Vriitya Aravind (UAE)
UAE's wicketkeeper-batter and batting mainstay in the middle-order, Aravind topped the run charts at the ICC Men's T20 World Cup Qualifier A with 267 runs from five innings at an average of 89 and an impressive strike-rate of 154.3.
The 20-year-old India-born player is an exciting star to watch out for from UAE in the T20 World Cup in Australia.
Having made his T20I debut in 2020 following a good showing in the ICC Under-19 World Cup that year, Aravind has become the pillar in UAE's batting line-up. Since the end of the last T20 World Cup in UAE, Aravind has made over 400 runs while averaging 40.7 and striking at a rate of 140.8.
3. Fazalhaq Farooqi (Afghanistan)
The 22-year-old Fazalhaq Farooqi is Afghanistan's leading wicket-taker in T20Is this year, having taken 17 wickets at an average of 19.35 and an impressive economy rate of 6.83.
Like Aravind, Farooqi is a product of the 2020 edition of the ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup. The left-arm quick impressed in the tournament and a year later made his T20I debut.
Recently, he put in a good performance at this year's Asia Cup and has also been getting gigs in domestic franchise cricket around the world.
4. Tristan Stubbs (South Africa)
South Africa's young hard-hitting finisher has only played eight T20Is to date but is already among the most feared strikers of the cricket ball in world cricket. Stubbs, who is quickly becoming a franchise cricket favourite, has a strike rate of 212.5 in his T20I career so far.
The right-hander made an instant impression in his first batting innings in international cricket, smashing 72 off 28 balls with a stunning eight sixes against England in July this year.
Stubbs will be a key part of South Africa's plans for the T20 World Cup in Australia this year. The 22-year-old may not be experienced but will have no difficulty clearing the big boundaries Down Under with his wild bat swing.
5. Naseem Shah (Pakistan)
At just 19 years of age, Naseem Shah has filled the void left by Shaheen Afridi's injury recently, putting in impressive bowling spells in the Powerplay. Notably, he also led Pakistan to the final of the recent Asia Cup, that time showcasing his batting skills with two massive sixes in the final over against Afghanistan.
He has only played six T20Is so far, and pneumonia followed by Covid-19 prevented him from featuring more in the recent home series against England, but Naseem is expected to be ready for the tri-series in New Zealand this month ahead of the ICC tournament.
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