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2014 World Twenty20: Top five allrounders to watch out for

Reuters
Mar 14, 2014 at 01:48pm IST

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The fifth edition of cricket's World Twenty20, featuring 16 teams, will start in Bangladesh on Sunday. Following is a factbox on the allrounders to watch out for during the tournament.

Shahid Afridi, Pakistan

An aura of unpredictability always hangs around Shahid Afridi when he takes the cricket field. His swashbuckling batting and fiery legspin make him an exciting player in the shortest format of the game but there is always a chance for him to self-destruct, by throwing away his wicket at a crucial juncture or by means of wayward bowling.

2014 World Twenty20: Top five allrounders to watch out for

File photo of India allrounder Yuvraj Singh. (AFP)

On his day, however, the 34-year-old former captain can win a match single-handedly and Pakistan will hope that he can continue his Asia Cup form into the World Twenty20.

Afridi, who hurt his hamstring during the 50-over tournament in Bangladesh, was at his adventurous best when he took Pakistan to the Asia Cup final with close wins against arch-rivals India and hosts Bangladesh.

Shane Watson, Australia

The highest run-scorer and player of the tournament in the last edition of the World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka, Watson has the power to pummel any opposition attack and is particularly harsh against the spinners.

The burly allrounder's ability to hit the spinners out of the ground will make sure Australia do not get tied down in the middle overs against the slow bowlers.

Watson's tight line and length is an added bonus for the team and he often reposes that faith by picking up vital wickets.

Marlon Samuels, West Indies

Samuels has already proved his worth by digging West Indies out of a hole to the World Twenty20 title with a brilliant half-century against hosts Sri Lanka in Colombo in 2012.

The classy stroke-player can play all the shots in the book and is almost unstoppable when he is on song with the bat. A part-time offspinner who can fire in deliveries in the block hole, Samuels has great control in varying the pace of his deliveries and could be a vital weapon for the defending champions on the low and slow Bangladesh wickets.

Yuvraj Singh, India

The left-hander was the hero of India's Twenty20 World Cup victory in 2007 and was the player of the tournament during the home triumph in the 50-over format in 2011.

One of the hardest hitters of the cricket ball, as England's Stuart Broad found out when he was hit for six consecutive sixes in an over in 2007, Yuvraj can change the complexion of a match in the spate of a few deliveries.

A crowd favourite, more so after his successful battle against cancer, Yuvraj's gentle left-arm spin can also be very effective on the slow surfaces in Bangladesh.

Corey Anderson, New Zealand

The new kid on the block, Anderson grabbed eyeballs when he broke the record for the fastest century in international cricket with his 36-ball hundred against West Indies in an ODI on the first day of 2014.

The 23-year-old has played just eight Twenty20 matches for New Zealand but the left-hander's big-hitting ability is tailor-made for the format.

He has a five-wicket haul with his left-arm medium pace bowling in the 50-over format and will be a decent bowling option for captain Brendon McCullum in Bangladesh.

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