The ICC World T20 has finally reached its peak – the final. Two teams – England and West Indies – whom not many people were willing to bet on have now reached the finals, shocking many people outside their countries as well as a few within. All said and done, now is the time to look at players who can make a major contribution in the final and help their team win the coveted trophy for the second time. At the moment, the Caribbeans look to be the favourites given their all-round depth and skills for this format but T20 is a funny game and the often unheralded teams can win the game.
Players to watch out for in England
Jos Buttler: He has led the English batting admirably amassing 155 runs at an average of 51.66 and strike rate of 158.16. His contributions at the pivotal number 6 have helped England maintain a semblance of balance in their team composition and also taken the team to victories against the likes of South Africa and Sri Lanka.
Joe Root: The highest run-scorer for England with 195 runs at an average of 48.75 and a strike rate of 145.52, Root single-handedly won the game against South Africa. This helped them stay in the tournament following a demoralizing loss to the Windies. He will be a key player on the comparatively slow and low wicket at Eden Gardens.
Jason Roy: Hailing originally from Durban, Roy has evoked comparisons with a certain Kevin Pietersen, who has South African roots as well. He has given his team some good starts atop the order with 183 runs at an average of 36.60 and an average of 151.23. He will be expected to play a similar role in the final as well.
David Willey: He has picked up 7 wickets so far in the tournament and will be expected to play a similar role in the final as well.
Chris Jordan: Heis the team’s death bowler and has the pace and precision needed to bowl rather effectively in such crucial periods. He has picked 6 wickets so far and will play a key role along with Ben Stokes (4 wickets) in the latter stages against the likes of Russell, Sammy and co.
Moeen Ali: With 5 wickets so far, he has been the main spinner for England. Along with Adil Rashid (4 wickets) he will play a major role in the middle overs in choking the runs and creating opportunities for the team.
Players to watch out for in West Indies
Chris Gayle: In spite of his failure in the semis, Gayle remains a factor for the Windies. He has scored 109 runs so far at an average of 54.50 and a strike rate of 194.64 – the sort of figures that you expect from a man of his calibre. He will need to fire in the final if West Indies have to win their second World T20.
Andre Russell: He showed his worth in the semifinal with a swashbuckling innings that helped the Windies sail through a tense game. He has scored his runs at an average of 45 and a strike rate of 147.54. He is also the leading wicket-taker for them with 8 wickets, justifying his tag as the most exciting all-rounder to watch. He will have to perform well in the final again for the team to win.
Lendl Simmons: He flew in, he slept, and he conquered! As ludicrous as that may sound, that was how things happened in the game against India where Simmons stamped his authority as a big match performer. Similar heroics may be needed in the finals as well. Johnson Charles will be a crucial player in this sense as well.
Samuel Badree: The experienced leggie has proved that he is worth his weight in diamonds in this format with 7 wickets that have made up for the absence of a certain Sunil Narine. His role on a supportive wicket in the final will be crucial.
Dwayne Bravo: The elder Bravo is one of the best bowlers in T20 cricket with his various slower balls and yorkers. He has also been one of the major wicket takers with 6 scalps. In the final he may need to fire with the bat as well.