Former Australia opener Mark Waugh has picked Indian pace spearhead Jasprit Bumrah as one of his top five picks for the T20 World Cup.
Bumrah recently returned to action after recovering from a back injury in the three-match T20 series against Australia that India won 2-1. The 28-year-old, who underwent rehab at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bangalore, looked fully fit but he is yet to get back to his old rhythm.
“I think he’s a fantastic bowler in all formats, actually. His ability to get wickets in T20 cricket is key. He can bowl at the death and he can bowl up front,” Waugh told the ICC website.
Waugh picked Pakistan’s Shaheen Afridi as Bumrah’s new-ball partner as they were the only two pacers in his top five, which also featured Afghanistan spinner Rashid Khan, Australian all-rounder Glenn Maxwell and England’s Jos Buttler. “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 said.
Terming Shaheen as wicket-taker, Waugh said: “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 No. 2.”
On picking Rashid, Waugh said: “In all competitions he plays in, he’s just the one guy who you know is going to bowl four overs. 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.”
On his rationale behind picking Buttler, the Australian said: “I think he’s probably the No. 1 batsman in world cricket in the T20 format. He’s just a clean striker of the ball.”
The T20 World Cup gets underway on October 16.