Chris Gayle (West Indies)
One of the reasons why West Indies are being rated among the top contenders for the crown is because they have in their midst the one and only Chris Gayle. The 32-year-old power hitter is undoubtedly the most dangerous T20 player in the short history of the game so far. He has proved his repute by succeeding in T20 leagues around the world when he wasn’t in the Windies team, owing to clashes with the WICB. Apart from being a clean striker of the cricket ball, Gayle is also a useful offbreak bowler, whose slow ‘yorkers ‘ often frustrate batsmen who are looking for the big hits.
Irfan Pathan (India)
He was the star when India won the inaugural World T20 in 2007. Since then, he has been in and out of the side, but the tour of Sri Lanka has rekindled his career. Though he doesn’t possess the sting of old in his bowling, Pathan has been making up for it with some very good variations, which confuse the batsmen. The fact that he achieved success recently in the same country where the World T20 is being held should boost his confidence. As a batsman as well, Pathan is a critical to the Indian outfit. He comes in late in the order, and finds the boundaries. He can also do a Robin Singh, and play the pinch hitter, when promoted.
Brendan Taylor (Zimbabwe)
For Zimbabwe to make an impact, their skipper Taylor will have to play a big role. With Tatenda Taibu having retired, his task has now become that much more significant. Taylor is a calm batsman under pressure, something which he has demonstrated on more than one occasion over the course of his career. He’s isn’t a big hitter of the ball in the Gayle mould, but has the ability to find the boundaries when needed. Although he cannot do much without support from his teammates, it is a given that for Zimbabwe to make a mark, Taylor will have to succeed with the bat.
Shane Watson (Australia)
But obviously, all-rounders play a key role in a T20 World Cup. In Watson, Australia have an opener who can bludgeon the bowling to all parts of the ground. In the company of David Warner, he forms one of the most destructive opening pairs in the world. If the two fire in tandem, Australia rarely lose. The advantage with Watson is that he is highly experienced, and can handle pressure situations adeptly. With the ball in hand, he can be more than a handful when he gets his line and length right. In short, Watson isn’t an easy bowler to hit boundaries off.
Eoin Morgan (England)
The innovative left-handed bat has two gears to his batting. He can keep the scoreboard ticking at a fair pace in case England are in need of rebuilding. Alternately, he can come up with unconventional methods to find the boundary and, even clear it. Morgan is equally adept at playing both styles, which makes him a must-have in England’s middle-order. His T20 record speaks for itself, an average of 36 and strike rate of 132.90 maintained over 25 games.