Babar Azam among Adam Gilchrist’s top five T20I players

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With the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup less than two weeks away, Australia legend Adam Gilchrist has chosen the first five players he would pick in a dream World T20I XI.

A man who revolutionised the game with his work with both bat and wicket-keeping gloves, Gilchrist enjoyed a legendary white-ball career for Australia, winning three Cricket World Cup titles. In the T20 game, Gilchrist showed his qualities in the format’s infancy, boasting a strike-rate of over 140.

Now a Fox Cricket commentator, Gilchrist has overseen a wealth of T20 cricket, and named players from five different countries in his quintet.

1. David Warner (Australia) – ICC T20I Batting Ranking: 49th

“He’s at the top of the order,” Gilchrist said.

“I think just his attacking attitude, the way he kick-starts innings at the top, and the confidence he’ll have from the previous T20 World Cup.”

2. Babar Azam (Pakistan) – ICC T20I Batting Ranking: 3th

“His versatility across all formats, but also when it’s getting down to T20 cricket, just across all conditions, I think he can play all conditions really well,” Gilchrist noted.

3. Hardik Pandya (India) – ICC T20I All-Rounder Ranking: 4th

“Pandya is just an awesome figure straight across the board,” Gilchrist said.

“His ability to bat, bowl, field and entertain, he’s definitely in there.”

4. Rashid Khan (Afghanistan) – ICC T20I Bowling Ranking: 4th

“He’s just got to be there in any T20 team, doesn’t he?” Gilchrist said.

“Cricketer of the year in this format across the world. Over the last decade, Rashid Khan is in there.”

5. Jos Buttler (England) – ICC T20I Batting Ranking: 21st

“It’s a bit batting heavy I know, but Jos Buttler for me,” Gilchrist added.

“He is just dynamic, his power and his courage to take it on. Simply a stroke of brilliance from him and its game over.”

Gilchrist is the most recent star of the game to list his first five players picked in a dream T20I XI, following in the footsteps of Mark Waugh, Ricky Ponting, Shane Watson and Mahela Jayawardena as former greats to have given their view on the difficult task.

Fellow Australian Waugh only listed two players the same as Gilchrist – Rashid Khan and Jos Buttler – while Ponting had four players in common with his former team-mate when speaking with host Sanjana Ganesan on The ICC Review.

Watson had three players in his five that were in common with Gilchrist, while Jayawardena had only two players in common when he was asked to list his five players earlier in the year.