Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The Key Men For The T20s

Dernbach – The Surrey Lions bowler is a deceptive operator with a unique approach towards bowling. With such a range of skilful well disguised slower deliveries of the hardest calibre Dernbach is the sort of bowler who can mesmerise the opposition. What stands out about Dernbach is the dip and drop his slower balls get in the air whilst batsmen look to execute their strokes. Dernbach can still bowl the off stump line and clock top speeds which makes him even more dangerous because you simply never know what’s coming down. The South African born Dernbach can bowl 6 different deliveries an over with multiple cutters and changes of pace. The Greens wouldn’t have seen much of him before which would make him a greater threat as it can be difficult to adjust and adapt to facing him as you don’t find bowlers like him around the world often. After taking 4 wickets in his first outing of the tour Dernbach would be fairly confident going into the 20/20s.

Swann – An off spinner who can deceive the batsmen in the air with his dip, drift and tidy lines of attack. Swann claimed 5 wickets in 2 T20s against Pakistan in the UAE here in February 2 years ago for a brief 2 match series. Against Pakistan at home in Cardiff during the 20/20 series in 2010 Swann bowled beautifully, memorably dismissing Umar Akmal through the gate as Umar charged him once more after the youngster had clubbed him for 2 maximums back past his head a few balls before. Swann followed that up by dismissing the left handed Fawad Alam with a sharp turner that found the edge for a caught behind to give him 2 in 2. Swann has captained England in their last 3 20/20s so should be consulting with Broad who is the new to the job by sharing his suggestions and advice.

Eoin Morgan – A genuine match finisher who can play shots 360 degrees all around the wagon wheel. Morgan is also the vice captain of the 20/20 side so will want to make an impact with the added responsibility. Morgan can hit them big, improvise and strike the ball in strange places. Not an easy batter to set a field to by any means.

Kieswetter – The Somerset wicket keeper batsmen who was MOM in the 2010 WT20 final in Barbados on May 16th 2010 with that blazing half century against the Baggy Greens. Kieswetter can play explosive strokes and utilise the power play up front with his fearlessness, hand eye coordination and self confidence. There have been suggestions he will be returning to the top of the innings as usually has been the case in this format. Pakistani opening bowlers will like to see the back of him early.

Awaiz Zia – T20 is a stage for youngsters to make their name and impress one and all with their talents and freshness. Zia has been selected in the Pakistan squad as a T20 specialist. Zia possesses a phenomenal strike rate and has captured the headlines in domestic T20 competitions where he opens the batting for Rawalpindi Rams who won the inaugural Faysal Bank Super 8 tournament in July which was held at the Iqbal Stadium in Faisalabad.

Misbah ul Haq – Pakistan’s leading T20 run scorer with an average in excess of 35 which is considered extremely high for the format. Misbah has a safe pair of hands in the field with his sharp reflexes and bucket hands. Misbah will most likely be positioned at mid wicket saving the single when the spinners are in business which is a key position so he’ll always be in the action. Misbah recently scored 48* from 38 balls to guide Pakistan to a 5 wicket win in a one off T20 against Sri Lanka who came into this encounter having won all their previous 5. In 7 successful 2nd innings chases Misbah has been there at the end to knock off the winning, guide the team over the line and remain unbeaten on 4 occasions. Misbah can be innovative in his strokes, but can also lift them big when needed & run them hard between the sticks.

Mohammad Hafeez – Struggling for form of late against England, however his T20 form has been exceptional with 3 man of the match awards in his last 5 internationals in this format with his all round credentials. Hafeez was Pakistan’s leading run scorer and leading wicket taker in T20s last year. Will the extra freedom of the format enable his form to return?

Saeed Ajmal – England have struggled to pick him throughout the test and ODI series no matter how hard they have tried. Ajmal already has 34 wickets against England in their tour of the UAE. The number 2 ranked T20 bowler in the world on the ICC T20 bowling rankings will be looking for more scalps in these final 3 matches. Ajmal is a difficult customer to get hold of when looking to attack. The off spinner has all the toys to outsmart the English batsmen who can easily get stuck at the wicket against him in the middle overs. Pakistan’s go to man will be equally as influential in the shortest form of the game.

Unfair to dismiss Shahid Afridi: Mr Twenty20 cricket. The former Pakistan captain is the leading T20 wicket taker in the world at international level. A man who has been signed with Hampshire Royals, Deccan Chargers, Melbourne Renegades, Dhaka Gladiators, awarded captaincy of Karachi Dolphins and signed for endless T20 teams around the globe with his glamorous appeal as the crowd come flooding through the gates to see him in action. The leg spinning all rounder is probably highest profiled T20 cricketer in the world. Afridi bowled poorly in the one day series and struggled to make an impact averaging over 66 per wicket in the 4 day night matches, but showed promising and threatening signs with the bat which Misbah ul Haq will be hoping comes off in this series. When on fire, few can match him.

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