(by Mark McGowan)
Insight looks at five exciting young players who could have a huge impact on this year’s ICC T20 World Cup currently taking place in Bangladesh.
In order to make the shortlist, the player must have been younger than 24 at the start of the tournament or if older, must have played less than 7 T20Is prior to the beginning of the tournament.
1. Corey Anderson (New Zealand)
This is perhaps the ideal stage for Anderson to make a name for himself in front of a bigger audience, after blasting the fastest ODI hundred – a 36-ball ton against the West Indies- earlier this year. Only 23, his record so far in his 8 T20Is is modest. He averages a mere 8.20 with the bat with a strike rate of 132.25 while he has taken 2 wickets with his left-arm medium pace at an average of 79 and an economy rate of 8.31. Surely these figures do not do justice to his talent and he would want to quickly right this wrong.
2. Jos Buttler (England)
An audacious batsman and an improving wicket-keeper, Buttler has already played 31 T20Is but makes this list on account of being only 23-years-old. So far he has scored 406 runs at an average of 22.55 and a strike rate of 137.16. While not outstanding, these are decent statistics given the nature of T20s and the positions he normally bats. His innovation and raw power make him an ideal finisher with the bat and in the absence of Kevin Pietersen he is even more crucial to the England team. In the field, he will have to set high standards behind the stumps. There is a lot of responsibility on his young shoulders but he certainly has the talent to set tongues wagging.
3. Quinton de Kock (South Africa)
This 21-year old wicket-keeper/batsman could be one of South Africa’s trump cards in this tournament. He has already had an impressive introduction to international cricket, especially in ODIs and is quickly making a name for himself in T20s. In 12 T20Is, he has scored 299 runs at an average of 37.37 and a strike rate of 119.60. Clearly gifted, de Kock could be the leading wicket-keeper batsman in the world by the end of 2015.
4. James Neesham (New Zealand)
One of the surprise packages in this tournament could be this 23-year-old all-rounder. He has only played five T20Is thus far but has demonstrated sufficient ability to indicate he could be a genuine match winner with his fast/medium bowling and left-handed batting. He, along with Anderson, represent the future of New Zealand cricket and this tournament would be ideal to show the world just why.
5. Krishmar Santokie (West Indies)
Given his phenomenonal record in domestic T20 cricket, it is rather surprising that the 29-year-old Santokie has not gotten more chances in West Indian colours. The left-arm medium pacer from Jamaica has taken 89 wickets in 47 matches at an average of 11.66 and with an economy rate of less than six runs per over. Known for his pin-point accuracy, three quarters of his victims have either been bowled or trapped leg before wicket (lbw). His figures are all the more remarkable when one considers that he usually opens the bowling and comes back to bowl at the death.
Santokie is sure to add to his five international games during the tournament, which may be just the opening he needs to state his claim as a star of the T20 game.