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T20 World Cup 2021: 9 Bowlers who can be the highest wicket-taker in the tournament

The countdown has begun for the next edition of the T20 World Cup that will host some of the finest cricketers in the world showcasing their potency in the mega T20 event.

With the tournament all set to take place amidst the Indian conditions, the teams would look to craft their lineups, especially the bowling attack, to extract support from the wickets offered and ram through the opposition unit.

And with so many international cricketers participating in the Indian Premier League (IPL), some making a distinct recognition for themselves in the shortest format, and the statistics pertaining to the players available, there’s a plethora of cricketing action to look forward to in the T20 World Cup.

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To make it all the more interesting, each of the participating teams has just the right player in their armory who could potentially end up leading the bowling charts in the much-coveted tournament.

Keeping that in mind, let us take a look at 9 bowlers who could end up as the highest wicket-takers in the forthcoming edition of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021 in India from October to November –

Adil Rashid (England)

Currently ranked third in the ICC T20I rankings, Adil Rashid is arguably one of the finest spinners from England in the limited-overs. The fact that he proved to be a vital cog in England’s successes in white-ball cricket speaks volumes of his spin prowess.

In 52 T20I appearances, the 32-year-old Yorkshire cricketer has snatched 51 wickets at an average and strike rate of 25.80 and 20.59 respectively.

He is a potential match-winner on his day who could easily strangle the opposition lineup by luring the batters with lofted deliveries that arrive straight into the fielders’ grip.

Trent Boult (New Zealand)

Mumbai Indians brought the best of the Kiwi pacer in IPL 2020, as he surfaced as the second-highest wicket-taker with 25 wickets and the third highest in the tournament, guiding the Rohit Sharma-captained side to their 5th IPL title. It won’t be wrong to say that a player of Boult’s caliber could severely damage the top-order of any opposition lineup.

In the international circuit, Boult has bagged 39 wickets in 22 T20Is, with 6 wickets and an average of 16.00 comprising a four-for in Indian conditions. Not to mention, the left-arm pacer’s speedy incoming deliveries could pose a hurdle for the batters in the powerplay which coupled with his experience of competing in IPL could make him a player to watch out for in the mega T20 tournament.

Jasprit Bumrah (India)

Burmah’s meteoric rise in limited-overs cricket has made him one of the most bankable players in clutch moments. Such has been the dominance exhibited by Bumrah since his debut in 2016, that he already finds himself in many All-Time XI’s – be it for the Indian cricket team in the white-ball format or Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League.

In fact, cometh the death overs and one can witness ball being handed over to Bumrah and he ends up shattering the stumps without breaking a sweat.

What’s striking is the pacer’s ability to contain the rivals’ scoring rate by creating pressure onto him with tight lines and lengths and then picking wickets on a consistent level has made him a major asset in franchise league or at the international level.

Known for his trademark toe-crushing yorkers, the 27-year-old Ahemdabad-born has scalped 59 wickets in 50 T20Is at a stupendous economy of 6.67, with 26 wickets on the Indian soil while averaging just over 20.

While there are contenders in the Indian contingent as in Yuzvendra Chahal or Washingon Sundar who could end the T20 World Cup 2021 with most wickets, one could find Bumrah surpassing them as matches progress.

Adam Zampa (Australia)

Zampa’s been a menace for the opposition teams from the time he has arrived on the Australian cricket team. An extremely clever bowler who knows the art of deceiving the players and get breakthroughs, Zampa has every chance of rising on to the bowling charts in the T20 World Cup.

The 28-year-old right-arm leggie is currently ranked fourth in the ICC T20I rankings and to date, he has played 36 T20Is, affected 39 dismissals, at a staggering economy of 6.61, and has contributed to 16.88 percent of the teams’ wickets.

Although Zampa hasn’t played many T20Is in the Indian conditions or during the Indian Premier League, he still has numbers to back his prowess.

In 8 international appearances, Zampa has scraped 8 wickets averaging 17.38 and at an economy of 6.04, while he holds 19 wickets from 11 IPL matches contested in India and averages less than 17. So, he could be highly effective with his exploits on the spinner-friendly pitches.

Kagiso Rabada (South Africa)

It goes without saying that Kagiso Rabada is one of the best pacers in the generation and one of the finest South African cricketers to have competed in white-ball cricket.

The right-arm speedster has turned up as one of the most feared bowlers when playing for the Delhi Capitals in IPL, proving to be a major contributor to their successes since the 2017 edition, more importantly, in the last two seasons.

The Protea cricketer picked 25 and 30 wickets in IPL 2019 and 2020 at an average of 14.72 and 18.27 respectively, and was the Purple-Cap holder in the concluded IPL season held amidst the conditions in UAE.

Though he hasn’t emulated the same numbers in the T20Is, wherein he averages over 26 and has an economy of 8.24, he could still be expected to get back into his IPL groove once the tournament commences.

Also Read – No real surprise that India came out really hard in MCG: Pat Cummins

Rashid Khan (Afghanistan)

Rated by the cricket pundits as the best bowler in T20s and currently ranked as the number 1 in T20Is, Rashid Khan comes as an automatic pick among the highest wicket-takers tally. His leg-breaks and googlies have been a major annoyance to players across the globe competing against him in the franchise leagues, and with the conditions being tailor-made for a player of his prowess, one could vouch for him to toss up stellar numbers in the World T20.

In IPL, he goes as one the most skilled, unplayable and economical bowlers, bowling at a rate of 6.25, averaging 20.49, and a total of 75 wickets in 62 matches for the Sunrisers Hyderabad. He was recently awarded as ICC T20I Player of the Decade (2011-2020) for a breathtaking tally of 89 wickets, averaging 12.63, with 2 five-fors and 5 five-fors to his name.

Not to mention, he was the second-highest wicket-taker in the 2016 T20 World Cup which was played in India, picking 11 wickets in 7 matches at an average of 16.64.

 Shaheen Shah Afridi (Pakistan)

The left-arm speedster, who is often compared to the legendary Pakistani pacer Wasim Akram with the ball-swinging abilities, has raked in decent numbers in the shortest format. Since his international debut in 2018, the 20-year-old quick has picked 22 wickets in 18 T20Is while averaging 23.77 and an economy rate of 7.78. He was the highest wicket-taker in PSL 2020, grabbing 17 wickets at an average of just under 20.

In the T20s combined, he has picked 92 wickets in 68 appearances with a five-for and a 4 four-for and the best figure in an innings being 6/19. Bowling pacey yorker deliveries are his forte, and he could potentially rattle the opposition with the same at crucial moments in this format of the game.

Also Read – Ravindra Jadeja has done better than a lot of batsmen in the last couple of years: Deep Dasgupta

Wanindu Hasaranga (Sri Lanka)

Sri Lankan leggie has been raking attention more so for his exploits in the concluded Lanka Premier League (LPL) wherein he grabbed 17 wickets in 10 matches while playing for the Jaffna Stallions and steered them to their maiden titular win in the inaugural T20 edition.

The Galle-born 23-year-old made his T20I debut in 2019 and has risen quickly as a promising talent from the subcontinent. In his second T20I series versus Pakistan, Wanindu, with his mystery spin, scraped 8 wickets at a jaw-dropping average of 9.88, and was eventually adjudged as the ‘Player of the Series’.

So far, he has picked 16 wickets at an average of 18.38 and strike rate of 14.13. He could be pretty lethal as a partnership breaker in the middle-overs of the contest and surely one of the key bowlers from the Sri Lankan team to keep an eye upon as the tournament unfolds.

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Mustafizur Rahman (Bangladesh)

The left-arm pacer rose to the limelight with his international debut in 2015 and since has been a pivotal player for Bangladesh in the shortest format of the game. The cutter specialist has been successful in affecting 58 dismissals in 41 T20Is, averages just over 20, and holds 2 four-wicket hauls with 5/20 as the best bowling figures.

Having played in IPL for Mumbai Indians (MI) and Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH), and winning an IPL Trophy with the latter in the 2016 edition with 17 wickets at an economy of 6.90 and an ‘Emerging Player of the Season’ award, one shouldn’t be surprised if he winds up with lauding numbers in the tournament.

The 25-year-old southpaw seamer debuted in the shortest format in 2015 and has been a mainstay in their lineup ever since. A veteran of 41 games, Fizz has claimed 58 wickets in T20Is at a remarkable strike rate of 15.5. The tally also includes a 5-fifer against New Zealand at the Eden Gardens in the 2016 WT20.

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V Shashankhttps://www.mpl.live/
A cricket aficionado who has been following the game since the historic Ashes 2013-14. "People throw stones at you, you turn them into milestones." - Sachin Tendulkar

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