Melbourne: Australian great Mark Waugh has included India’s pace-bowling mainstay Jaspit Bumrah in his list of five cricketers who he thinks are the best T20I players in the world.
Waugh is confident the 28-year-old Bumrah, ranked 45th in the ICC T20I bowling ranking, will fire during the ICC T20 World Cup in Australia next month.
“I think he’s a fantastic bowler in all formats, actually,” Waugh said of the Bumrah, who has had to miss a couple of white-ball series of late to tend to his old back injury.
“His ability to get wickets in T20 cricket is key. He can bowl at the death and he can bowl up front,” added Waugh.
The former all-rounder, known for his top-order blitzkrieg and athletic fielding in the slip cordon, also picked Pakistan quick Shaheen Afridi in his top-5
“To open the bowling at the other end we’ll go with another great opening bowler, Shaheen Afridi from Pakistan, who is a tremendous left-arm fast bowler,” Waugh, a member of Australia’s 1999 Cricket World Cup-winning squad, said on ICC.
“He’s a wicket-taker. He sort of lifts the team. He’s a guy that other players follow. He is a left-armer so that’s another point of difference. He can swing the ball back into the right-hander, he’s quick as well, so I’ve got him number two,” added Waugh about Afridi, ranked 19th among bowlers.
The other three Waugh picks include Afghanistan spinner Rashid Khan (fourth in the T20I ranking for bowlers), England skipper Jos Buttler (T20I batting ranking 15th) and Australian all-rounder Glenn Maxwell (T20I batting ranking 29th, all-rounder ranking 6th).
“In all competitions he (Rashid) plays in, he’s just the one guy who you know is going to bowl four overs,” said Waugh of the Afghanistan cricketer.
“He’ll probably get two or three wickets and go for 20 runs, and he can bat. He can also whack the ball over the fence.”
For England white-ball skipper Buttler, Waugh said, “I think he’s probably the number one batsman in world cricket in the T20 format. He’s just a clean striker of the ball. We’ve seen him in all tournaments, he just looks on a different level to other players.”
On Maxwell, Waugh said, “He is the sort of player that can win you a game in the field and with the bat. With the ball, he’s probably underrated. And I think if he bats 30 balls, he’ll win you the game. So I think Maxwell, even though he’s just not a consistent player, he’s that X-factor that can win your game on any given day.”