ICC Hall of Famer, Former Sri Lanka captain and current Mumbai Indians head coach Mahela Jayawardena has named five players for a dream T20 XI on the most recent episode of The ICC Review. Check full list HERE,
#1 Rashid Khan
Afghanistan’s Rashid Khan was his first choice, finishing fifth in the ICC rankings. He said of Rashid Khan:
“For me the bowlers are the most important aspect of T20 cricket and Rashid Khan is a proper spinner that can bat, “
“He is a very good number seven or number eight batter and you can use him in different circumstances depending on your combinations.” He can also bowl in different phases of an innings like during the Powerplay, the middle overs and also at the death he is not a bad option depending on the conditions, so Rashid would be my first pick. “
#2 Shaheen Shah Afridi
Pakistan’s young fast bowler Shaheen, was a Jayawardene’s second choice and he said Shaheen could swing well in the New ball.
Pakistan pacer Shaheen Shah Afridi has been in remarkable form of late and he also won the Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy after being adjudged as ICC Men’s Cricketer Of The Year.
“I am then going to go with two more bowlers actually and the first one is going to be a left-armer in Shaheen Afridi,”
“He had a great World Cup last year, bowls very well with the new ball and is more than capable of getting some swing early too.
“He is a wicket taking option too that bowls very well at the death as well, so can be considered a good attacking option” mahela added
#3 Jasprit Bumrah
Jasprit Bumrah is the only Indian in the list. While talking about Bumrah, Jayawardena said that a side always needs wicket-taking options and there is no better player than Bumrah to close an innings off.
Mahela said India’s fast bowler Bumrah has the ability to bowl at different times in an innings.
“Jasprit Bumrah is a guy I have always admired as he is capable of bowling in different phases of an innings, “
“He is another wicket taking option and, when you need guys to close an innings off, there is no one better than Jasprit Bumrah.”
In 57 T20Is for India, Bumrah has managed to take 67 wickets at an average of 19.89.
Jayawardena named Chris Gayle when he was asked which player, he would bring out of retirement to play in his dream XI.
Jayawardena said that a “I would take Chris at the top of the order as he can change a game.”
“I would take a 30-year-old Chris Gayle to open the batting with Jos Buttler and that would be an awesome combination Chris would just stand still and hit and Jos would have to do all the running for him.
“He was at his peak at that first T20 World Cup in South Africa in 2007 and that inaugural century against South Africa was something special. I would take Chris at the top of the order as he can change a game.”
#4 Jos Buttler
Jos Buttler, England’s devastating Wicket Keeper batsman is currently the Orange Cap holder in the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) 2022 and he has already scored three centuries this season.
Talking about Buttler, Jayawardena said: “I would probably open the batting with Jos. He is very aggressive and plays both pace and spin well. He has been in great form at the IPL of late and did well at the last T20 World Cup as well where he played really well in tough conditions in the UAE.”
#5 Mohammad Rizwan
Mahela was selected as Pakistan’s Mohammad Rizwan’s wicketkeeper.
“The next option is the wicketkeeper-batter and I am going with Mohammad Rizwan. I know he does often open the batting for Pakistan, but I think he can bat in that middle order. He’s a good player of spin and a very busy player. “
Mahela Jayawardena’s five-a-side dream T20 team features these superstars 🤩
Which five players would you pick?
— ICC (@ICC) May 2, 2022