Afghanistan spinner Rashid Khan has named India captain Virat Kohli and all-rounder Hardik Pandya among his top-five T20 players in the world, saying the two are capable of winning matches for their team from any position and irrespective of conditions. (More Cricket News)
In an interview to ‘t20worldcup.com’, Rashid Khan also picked retired South African legend AB de Villiers, New Zealand captain Kane Williamson and West Indian swashbuckler Kieron Pollard among his favourites ahead of the mega-event, starting October 17 in the UAE and Oman.
Kohli’s 3,159 runs make him the topmost run-getter in T20 Internationals. Among players who have batted at least 20 times, no one has a better average than his 52.65. “Doesn't really depend on the wicket, doesn’t matter whatever the wicket is, he is someone who is going to step up and perform,” Rashid, an ICC Live the Game Ambassador, said.
Kohli goes into his fourth T20 World Cup campaign for India having been crowned the Player of the Tournament at each of the past two events. He will step down as India's T20 captain at the end of the tournament. Khan said Pollard and Pandya would be his go-to men for high-pressure chases.
“These two will be my key (batters) who can chase 80-90 when I need them in the last four-five overs,” Khan said of Pollard and Pandya. “They are the kind of batsmen who can do the job for you easily.”
Pandya has been a key cog in India’s T20 batting order since first appearing for the side in 2016. His bowling is also a key for India and some fitness concerns surrounding him have the side worried right now.
Rashid picked Williamson for the sense of ‘calm’ he brings to the side and admitted that there is no good time to bowl to De Villiers.
“A destructive batsman. Someone who can give you quick runs at any stage, any wicket, against any bowler and he can play any shot. As a captain, you will always love to have that batsman,” he said.