Factbox-Cricket-Five batsmen to watch at the Twenty20 World Cup


FILE PHOTO: Cricket - Fourth Test - England v India - The Oval, London, Britain - September 6, 2021 England's Dawid Malan looks dejected after being run out Action Images via Reuters/Andrew Couldridge

(Reuters) - The following are five batsmen to watch at the Twenty20 World Cup in the United Arab Emirates and Oman.

DAWID MALAN (ENGLAND)

Malan burst onto the T20 scene in 2017 with a superb 78 against South Africa - the highest on debut for England - and became the fastest batsman overall to make 1,000 runs in the format in March, reaching the milestone in 24 innings.

Nicknamed "AC" in a nod to Italian giants AC Milan, the stylish left-hander is the world's top-ranked T20 batsman and could play a vital role for England in their quest to claim their second title.

BABAR AZAM (PAKISTAN)

With more than 2,200 runs from 61 T20I games - including a century and 20 half-centuries at a strike rate of 130.64 - Pakistan skipper Azam is one of the most dangerous players in world cricket and will look to lead from the front.

The 27-year-old struck a half-century against West Indies in their rain-hit T20 series earlier this year and heads into the World Cup following a string of good displays in Pakistan's national T20 tournament.

ROHIT SHARMA (INDIA)

Rohit can change any game in an instant with his big-hitting and the Indian vice-captain will likely use every opportunity to impress as selectors look for a replacement for Virat Kohli, who is stepping down as skipper following the tournament.

Already the third-highest scorer in T20 internationals with 2,864 runs from 111 matches, Rohit is a reliable batsman at the top of the order alongside Kohli and the duo's form could well determine how far the 2007 champions go.

CHRIS GAYLE (WEST INDIES)

At 42, Gayle is nearing the end of his career and fans will wonder if it is the last time they can witness one of the game's most explosive batsmen in action at a World Cup.

The self-titled "Universe Boss" left the Indian Premier League bio-bubble early to stay fresh for double World Cup winners West Indies.

GLENN MAXWELL (AUSTRALIA)

Maxwell was in brilliant form for the Royal Challengers Bangalore in the IPL, with 513 runs in 15 games at a strike rate of 144.10 - numbers that will delight Australia who are on a mission to win their maiden T20 crown.

Australia will hope Maxwell can carry that momentum into the national team with question marks over the form and fitness of players like David Warner, Aaron Finch and Steve Smith.

(Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Toby Davis)

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