Who will be best bowler for elite nations at 2016 World Twenty20?
Simon Sinclair | March 12, 2016
The big boys of world cricket will converge on India for an exciting second stage of the World Twenty20 following the culmination of the qualifiers.
Spin will play a huge role in deciding the outcome of this tournament on the turning tracks of the Subcontinent.
Here, Coral takes a look at the men expected to shine when they get underway next week.
Ravichandran Ashwin (India)
The 29-year-old comes into the tournament under pressure to deliver for the host nation.
Due to the lack of quality spinners in world cricket at the present time, Ashwin will be expected to light up the tournament and steer his team towards title success.
Ashwin has begun to translate his form from the Test arena into limited overs cricket, taking his best figures of 4-8 against Sri Lanka, leaving him in good shape heading into the tournament.
As a result, the off-spinner is the favourite to lead the wicket column for the hosts at odds of 15/8.
Adil Rashid (England)
The Yorkshireman had an impressive spell in the Big Bash with the Adelaide Strikers and carried his form into the T20 series against South Africa in a losing effort for the Three Lions.
Rashid has yet to put his mark down as England’s primary spinner, but a strong tournament could propel him past Moeen Ali and make him a regular in all formats of the game.
Conditions will be favourable for the 28-year-old to make an impact and improve his modest average of 31, although Eoin Morgan will be hopeful that he can bring an element of control to aid his inexperienced bowling line-up.
James Faulkner (Australia)
The Baggy Greens head into the tournament with the lack of a recognised spinner as well as paceman Mitchell Starc.
Wicket burdens will fall heavily on their pace bowlers and Faulkner could be the man to shine, especially with his low bowling action and ability to throw excellent yorkers at the end of innings.
The 25-year-old has limited experience of Twenty20 Internationals, but has played a lot of IPL cricket, impressing with a bowling average of 26.53.
Faulkner carries odds of 7/2 to strike for his team most here.
Imran Tahir (South Africa)
Veteran leg-spinner Tahir was a constant thorn in England’s side in the short-form cricketing victories for South Africa towards the end of the winter Tour.
Tahir has a boom-or-bust quality, but when he does fire it’s usually to great effect as shown in the Proteas’ win in Cape Town when the 36-year-old took career-best figures of 4-21.
The tracks will favour Tahir’s bowling style and he will be expected to capitalise, driving his team towards their first T20 title.
Dale Steyn and Kagiso Rabada, who stepped up to deputise for the former when injured this winter, will offer competition in the wicket column, but Tahir is a solid 5/2 bet to best with the ball for South Africa.
Lasith Malinga (Sri Lanka)
Malinga stepped down as the Lions’ skipper ahead of the tournament as he battles a knee injury to start in India.
The 32-year-old has been one of the stand-out performers of the Twenty20 format since its inception, with his low-action providing great difficult for opposing batsmen to attack.
His experience in the subcontinent will make him a grave threat to all team, especially due to his accuracy late in the innings with his toe-breaking yorkers.
Sri Lanka’s hopes could well rest on his fitness and at 5/2 odds to be their leading wicket taker suggests his importance to their defence of their crown.
Samuel Badree (West Indies)
Badree was one of the surprises of the tournament two years ago in Bangladesh when he took 11 wickets in five matches.
The 35-year-old has struggled with injuries since making his impact in 2014, while he also failed to hit the heights of his accomplishments at the World Cup when he played in the IPL.
Badree has an excellent economy rate in the format, going at under six an over, which will stand him in good stead in favourable conditions.
His form has been questionable going into the tournament, but at 3-1 he is well worth the shout to repeat his performance of the 2014 World Cup.
Mohammad Amir (Pakistan)
Amir will be desperate to make a positive impact at the tournament following his return from a five-year ban for spot fixing.
The 23-year-old has been in impressive form for the Karachi Kings and took that into his team’s warm-up matches against India and Bangladesh, notching five wickets.
Pakistan’s paceman will aim to continue the trend of success that left-armers have achieved in the competition following in the footsteps of Mitchell Starc and Ryan Sidebottom back in 2010.
At 2-1 a lot is expected from Amir on the world stage to announce his comeback and begin to make amends to his side for his lack of judgement in 2010.
Trent Boult (New Zealand)
The Kiwis enter the competition like Australia with the lack of a frontline spinner, putting their experienced pacemen under pressure to perform.
Boult has been his side’s stand-out performer since his arrival on the international scene in 2011, displaying consistency across all three formats.
Conditions will not be favourable for the 26-year-old and he has struggled at times for control in T20 cricket, although his accuracy may be enough to overcome these obstacles.
Boult is backed at 5/2 to lead the way for the Kiwis, which is a sound bet mainly due to the lack of options for Kane Williamson and his team.