The seventh edition of the ICC T20 World Cup is set to commence on October 18. The first five days will witness the eight qualifying teams fighting for four spots. These teams will make it to the Super 12 round and then the real battle will begin from October 23. Check Wicket Keeper Of All ICC Cricket Teams.
The World Cup in the shortest format is being played after a long gap of five years. It was slated to take place last year itself, but the pandemic led to the postponement of the tournament.
Though it is just a 40-over game, every aspect of each of the 11 players is tested during this period. Wicketkeepers play an important role not only behind the stumps but also need to bat very well these days.
Gone are those days when the wicketkeeper was only needed for their primary skill of keeping. Most of them either are the openers or the finishers with the bat for their side. It has become mandatory now for them to shine with the willow.
That they will play a crucial role in the upcoming T20 World Cup to be played in the UAE.
Check out the top wicketkeepers of all ICC cricket teams.
Nicholas Pooran is a devastating player when it comes to batting. He can win matches single-handedly for West Indies on his day. But on current form, the left-hander gets the lowest rating.
He struggled in the Indian Premier League (IPL) while featuring for the Punjab Kings (PBKS). He also didn’t have fruitful outings during the home season.
Pooran is a safe bet behind the stumps as a wicketkeeper. He has taken 23 catches and affected three stumpings for West Indies. Pooran has also taken 98 catches and sent 16 batsmen back with stumping in all 185 T20 matches.
He will be crucial for the Caribbean side in the World Cup while batting at five or six. He will need to finish games more often.
Australia has generally struggled in the T20 format. Very seldom they have fielded the full-strength line-up in the shortest format and that has left them wanting for a quality wicketkeeper-batsman who can bat in the middle-order or be a finisher.
Matthew Wade has been playing T20Is for them for quite some time. But given the fact that he is naturally an opener, he is clearly struggling in the middle-order.
Wade opens the innings or bats at three for his Big Bash League (BBL) team Hobart Hurricanes. Even when he has played a swashbuckling knock, it has come while batting at the top of the order.
Wade’s recent form is not good either scoring 163 runs in his last 10 T20I innings. But he is the best Australia have now with Alex Carey, Ben McDermott, and Josh Philippe not impressing much.
There are no doubts about his wicketkeeping at all. He rarely drops any catches and has grabbed 76 of those in all T20s he has played.
Wade will have to give confidence to his team in the middle-order. There is no place at the top for him with Aaron Finch and David Warner opening the innings.
Rahmatullah Gurbaz is another opening wicketkeeper-batsman who loves to take the attack to the opposition. Mohammad Shahzad’s getting dropped during the 2019 World Cup paved the way for him in the national team.
Gurbaz is naturally an aggressive player and has time and again got the team off to a very good start.
Gurbaz boasts of a terrific strike rate of 143.87 in 13 T20Is he has played, and it proves his ability to attack. Even the average of 34.30 shows he is consistent enough having scored three half-centuries as well.
Though he hasn’t played much at the international level, Gurbaz has shown in T20 leagues in Afghanistan playing in 48 overall T20 matches scoring runs at 154.22.
In terms of wicketkeeping, the 19-year-old will only learn as he plays more and faces the top teams in the format. Afghanistan will need his heroics at the top in the T20 World Cup and Gurbaz will be gearing up to make his mark.
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Tim Seifert has kind of carried forward the legacy of Brendon McCullum opening the innings. Though he has not matched the latter’s class, Seifert has done well to score quick runs in the powerplay overs. He has played 35 T20Is scoring 695 runs at a strike rate of 133.14 with five half-centuries.
The only concern with him could be that he has played more matches in New Zealand and the Kiwis would love for him to get an opportunity in the IPL ahead of the World Cup.
Seifert will get the required exposure as he has been signed by the Kolkata Knight Riders and even a couple of matches will give him an idea of where he stands in those conditions.
In terms of wicket-keeping, he is a safe bet when it comes to handling the fast bowling and hasn’t been tested with the quality spin on pitches where the ball will turn. The World Cup will certainly test his wicketkeeping skills.
Ever since Sarfaraz Ahmed has been side-lined, Mohammed Rizwan has risen as the top batsman and wicketkeeper for Pakistan. He has opened the innings and done exceptionally well.
Rather Rizwan has batted superbly in T20Is opening the innings with Babar Azam and has sealed his place in the side.
His form in the shortest form is brilliant and boasts of scores like 63, 37, 76 (all against England) and 46 (against WI) in his last four innings in the format.
Rizwan was also in good form during the Pakistan Super League (PSL) and led Multan Sultans to their maiden triumph earlier this year leading from the front with the bat.
Rizwan’s wicketkeeping is top-notch and there is no question about that. The 29-year-old has taken 96 catches and effected 34 stumpings in 148 T20s of his career.
He has the experience of playing on turning pitches as well and his skills will work wonders for Pakistan in the World Cup in the UAE.
Rishabh Pant has had crazy nine months or so. His place in the Indian team was continuously being questioned. But the Australia tour changed his career once and for all and across all formats, Pant made a comeback soon.
His confidence raised with the captaincy responsibility for the Delhi Capitals and his swashbuckling batting is what is his USP.
Clearly, his wicketkeeping has improved a notch as well and the fitness has also been superb. He is in a great space currently and is constantly delivering for the team. In T20Is, he bats normally at five depending on the situation and can be promoted up the order at times as well.
As far as his career is concerned, Pant has played 33 T20Is and though his strike rate of 123.07 doesn’t look overwhelming, it doesn’t tell the whole story. The southpaw hasn’t played many T20Is since establishing himself in the Indian team and one will have to watch out for him in the World Cup.
South Africa is blessed to have a batsman and a wicketkeeper like Quinton de Kock. The left-hander has played a lot of memorable knocks across formats for the Proteas and is one of the most experienced batsmen for South Africa in a team filled with youngsters.
Opening the innings, he will be key for them having scored 1605 runs in 54 T20Is at a strike rate of 138 which is very good. He also played in the Indian Premier League (IPL) in the UAE for Mumbai Indians (MI) getting used to the conditions on offer.
De Kock’s wicketkeeping is on point too and having led the team before, he can give his inputs from behind the wickets as well. He has taken 49 catches and effected 13 stumpings in T20 Internationals.
A lot will depend on De Kock for South Africa to go deep in the competition.
Jos the Boss. The man’s career has certainly gone up ever since he has started opening the innings in the T20 format.
It started with him scoring back-to-back fifties for Rajasthan Royals in the Indian Premier League (IPL) during the 2019 season and since then, England also promoted him.
Jos strikes at close to 140 in 74 innings with 14 fifties to his name. He adapts well according to the conditions on offer and showed his class during the home series against Pakistan.
The only concerning thing for him and England would be Buttler missing the second leg of the IPL due to personal reasons and coming in the tournament with no cricket under his belt.
And that could lead to him taking a little bit of time at the start of the tournament. But he is a class player and like his batting, the 30-year-old will also be expected to do the job behind the wickets.
He plays for England across all the formats and wicketkeeping isn’t a big issue for him.