Sanath Jayasuria (Sri Lanka) – The 38 year old opener has returned to form over the last year or so and much will be expected of him to get Sri Lanka off to a good start, laying the platform for the string of fine batsman in the Sri Lankan batting line up. His slow left arm bowling will also be useful, and thus far in his 2 T20 internationals he has taken 5 wickets and gone for just 6.6 runs an over. If Jayasuria can get Sri Lanka off to a good start the likes of Sangakkara and captain Jayawardene can set imposing targets for any team to chase.
Shahid Afridi (Pakistan) – On his day the most dangerous and exciting batsman in the world, T20 it seems was made for Afridi, with his fearless stroke play and slogging, when he comes off, Afridi is a sight to behold. Made his international ODI batting debut as a 16 year old pinch hitter and went on to record the fastest century in ODI history, taking just 37 balls. On his last trip to South Africa in a match in Durban Afridi scored 77* off 35 balls and took 3/25 from 9 overs, just the kind of destructive performance Pakistan will be hoping to get out of him. A career strike rate of 109 in 240 games speaks for itself.
Mehendra Singh Dhoni (India) – With Dravid, Tendulkar and Ganguly back home in India, Dhoni will lead a young, exciting Indian team in the T20 championships. Being wicket keeper and the added burden of captaincy will test his resolve and mental fitness, but if Dhoni is able to rise to the occasion no boundary will be to big for the unorthodox batting style of Dhoni. Has the highest score in ODI’s by a wicket keeper of 183* and although his form has wavered of late, the short format of T20 cricket may just suit him. Much will depend on where India, and Dhoni himself, decide to bat him, at the top of the order, where he can set up totals, or in the middle order, where he can finish them.
Yuvraj Singh (India) – Without the legendary trio of Tendulkar, Dravid and Ganguly, India’s batting will be lead by Yuvraj. Able to both clear the boundary and pick the gaps, this talented, stylish batsman could be key to any success India hope to achieve in the next 2 weeks, particularly when chasing down a total, his calm timing of an innings will be invaluable. India’s best fielder and a useful spin bowler, Yuvraj offers much to this team.
Scott Syris (New Zealand) – Styris was one of the leading batsman in at the World Cup earlier this year, averaging 83,16. Consistency from Styris is needed if the New Zealand batting line up are going to post and chase big scores. Playing County Cricket means Styris is the most experienced T20 player in the squad, and as such will have to lead with his bat and and his medium pace bowling.
Jacob Oram (New Zealand) – The giant all rounder will be expected to turn in some impressive performances if New Zealand harbour any hopes of winning the T20 World Cup. Has had injury problems, but when fit can be the biggest hitter in the game, and a very useful fast medium bowler, the type of player Chris Cairns was.
Shane Bond (New Zealand) – In a game made for batsman, Shane Bond may be the weapon New Zealand possess to turn games in their favour. Had it not been for a career plagued by injury Bond may well have been one of the finest bowlers the game has ever seen. The 32 year old strike bowler has only played 67 ODI’s in his career and has a brilliant average of just 19,32. Finished the Caribbean World Cup with 13 wickets and as the tournaments most economical bowler. Early wickets up front by Bond could restrict the opposition totals and make life easier for the New Zealand batsman.