With the ICC T20 World Cup scheduled to take place in October 2020, we’ve picked out five up-and-coming T20 batsman around the world who could take the tournament by storm if selected for their country. We’ve based our choices on their performances not only in the numerous T20 franchises leagues throughout the world, but also on their international accolades.
Arguably the biggest star in domestic/franchise T20 cricket at present, it’s been a whirlwind year for Tom Banton. The Somerset opener specialises in heavy powerplay scoring and holds the second-highest boundary percentage (79.64) in T20 powerplays amongst all batsmen, with over 600 T20 runs since 2019. Last year saw Banton rise to prominence after hitting 549 runs in the 2019 Vitality Blast, including a century from just 52 balls against Kent Spitfires. His form led to a maiden England call-up and his international T20 debut against New Zealand in Nelson. It also led to a Big Bash invitation, with the Brisbane Heat snapping up the 21-year old. It proved a worthwhile investment, with Banton scoring 223 runs from seven games with a strike rate of 176.98. With an ICC T20 World Cup call-up no doubt on the horizon, Banton’s star shows no sign of waning anytime soon.
The 22-year old wicketkeeper batsman shone this year for the Sydney Sixers in the 2019-20 Big Bash League. A Western Australia native, Philippe finished third on the highest run-scorer charts of Australia’s premier domestic T20 competition, accruing 487 runs at a strike rate of 130, opening the batting for the Sixers. Philippe had a particularly strong end to the tournament, scoring three half-centuries in his last four games, including 52 from 29 balls in the all-important Grand Final as the Sixers defeated Melbourne Stars in a rain-affected showdown at the SCG.
Despite being only 24 years old, Nicholas Pooran has already established himself as something of a T20 veteran. The left-hander has played over 100 T20 matches over the course of his young career, including 21 T20Is for the West Indies. Despite only scoring two 50s in those 21 matches, Pooran has shown that he has the capabilities to take his game to the next level. Since his starring role in the West Indies' 50 over World Cup campaign in 2019, Pooran has established himself as their go-to middle order batsman and with the experience of stints in the Indian Premier League, the Caribbean Premier League, the Vitality Blast and the Pakistan Super League amongst others, Pooran finally looks ready to make an all-out assault on the international T20 stage in Australia this autumn.
Shubman Gill always had big things in his future after being named player of the tournament in the ICC Under 19 World Cup back in 2018. Since then, Gill has gone from strength to strength and proved in last year’s Indian Premier League that there is still room for classical stroke players within T20 cricket. The 20-year old was promoted up to open in the 2019 IPL and it proved the making of him, as he went on to score 296 runs over the course of the tournament at an average of 32.88. He hit three half centuries with a highest score of 76 against Kings XI Punjab. Gill has shown remarkable temperament for such a young age, knowing when to keep the scoreboard ticking and when to hit out. Whilst it will be difficult to dislodge Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan as India’s first choice openers at the ICC T20 World Cup, a place in the squad does not look out of reach for Gill.
Who's Shubman Gill, you ask? Almost exactly a year ago, the youngster, who is making his India debut today, was in New Zealand at the #U19WC, doing this in the semifinal against Pakistan! 👀 https://t.co/ZYGW1OAKSo— ICC (@ICC) 31 January 2019
Pakistan looked to have unearthed another young gem within their ranks in 19-year-old Haider Ali. This year’s Pakistan Super League has proven a breakthrough campaign for the middle order batsman, who has accumulated 239 runs in 9 innings with his highest score being 69 from 43 balls against Lahore Qalandars. Ali holds an average of 29.87 in the HBL PSL 5, with a strike rate of 158.27. Impressive stats from a middle order batsman. The youngster is yet to be capped by Pakistan, but the country has a proud record of giving opportunity to young talent on the international stage and a T20 World Cup call-up could be in Ali’s future.