From Phil Salt to Wanindu Hasaranga – 5 players to watch at Men’s T20 World Cup

Cricketers from around the globe are preparing for the Men’s T20 World Cup in the Caribbean and United States next month.

Here, the PA news agency looks at five players who could make an impression.

Phil Salt (England)

Phil Salt helped England to T20 World Cup glory in 2022 (PA)
Phil Salt helped England to T20 World Cup glory in 2022 (PA)

Captain Jos Buttler is England’s linchpin but his opening partner will be their fearless gunslinger. Peripheral in England’s 2022 success, Salt has been in outrageous form in the last six months. His back-to-back hundreds against the West Indies before Christmas cemented his role alongside Buttler at the top of the order while he averaged almost 40 with a strike-rate north of 180 for Kolkata Knight Riders at the Indian Premier League.

His knowledge of conditions in Barbados – where he spent a number of his formative years – may also come in handy, with several England fixtures set to be staged at Bridgetown’s Kensington Oval.

David Warner (Australia)

David Warner ended his Test and ODI career as a world champion (Adam Davy/PA)
David Warner ended his Test and ODI career as a world champion (Adam Davy/PA)

The 37-year-old is set to bring a decorated international career to a close in the next few weeks. A protracted farewell has thus far been successful, with Warner bowing out of Tests and ODIs as a world champion so is a hat-trick on the cards? There is scrutiny as to whether the aggressive opener should even be on the plane given the extraordinary emergence of Jake Fraser-McGurk in the IPL with Delhi Capitals, where Warner has been sidelined by a finger injury. Australia, though, are steadfast in their backing of their proven left-hander and it would be entirely apt if he made his critics eat their words one last time.

Gudakesh Motie (West Indies)

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An arsenal of six-hitters will look to restore some respectability on the global scene for co-hosts the West Indies, who have endured humiliating early exits in the last two T20 World Cups while they did not even qualify for last year’s 50-over equivalent. Their not-so-secret weapon on pitches expected to turn could be Motie, who tied England in knots alongside fellow left-arm spinner Akeal Hosein in December. While Motie has just five T20 caps to his name, he proved himself a match-winner against England with three for 24 in the series decider in Trinidad and could take centre stage in the absence of Sunil Narine.

Yashasvi Jaiswal (India)

Yashasvi Jaiswal is already an IPL star at just 22 years old (Mahesh Kumar A./AP)
Yashasvi Jaiswal is already an IPL star at just 22 years old (Mahesh Kumar A./AP)

India’s by-the-numbers approach at the business end of global tournaments has seen them go without major silverware for more than a decade, but they are favourites to end that at the T20 World Cup and you can bet online if you too fancy them to come out on top.

While Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli are dependable, Jaiswal might just provide the eye-popping firepower India’s top three will need at this event. Perhaps most importantly, the 22-year-old is unburdened by India’s past failures and has taken a liking to the grandest stage. Jaiswal is now a bonafide star in the IPL with Rajasthan Royals and had a starring role in his country’s Test series win over England’s Bazballers this year with a brace of double centuries.

Wanindu Hasaranga (Sri Lanka)

Wanindu Hasaranga will be key to Sri Lanka's hopes (David Davies/PA)
Wanindu Hasaranga will be key to Sri Lanka’s hopes (David Davies/PA)

The leading wicket-taker at the past two T20 World Cups should be in the reckoning to make it a treble if he is anywhere near full fitness after an injury to his left foot which meant he skipped the IPL. A leg-spinner with variations aplenty, how Hasaranga fares could determine how deep Sri Lanka go although three of four matches being in the USA brings a step into the unknown. Nevertheless, the Sri Lanka captain, who has combined figures of 12-0-42-8 in three T20s in the Caribbean, has the ability to transcend conditions.