Players to watch out for in T20 World Cup 2024

The World Cup will begin in the United States in Dallas

June 01, 2024
Babar Azam (L) with Virat Kohli (C) and Mohammad Rizwan. — AFP

The T20 World Cup 2024 is just around the corner and fans have started to look out for stars who are expected to light up the tournament in the United States and West Indies.

For the first time in the tournament’s history, 20 teams are competing for the elusive title and such, a breathtaking event can be expected with a number of players shining with the ball or the bat and taking their respective teams to the next level.

As the T20 World Cup nears, we look at the five players every team will look out for in the mega event.

Travis Head

Travis Head emerged as one of the best batters across format in recent years and there is no doubt in his abilities. The left-hander guided Australia to their record-extending sixth World Cup trophy by beating India in the final in Ahmedabad in November 2023. He scored 137 runs on 120 balls. 

Head represented Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) in the IPL 2024 and amassed 567 runs in 15 innings at an exceptional strike rate of 191.55. With the way he played in IPL, despite failing to step up in the playoffs, he surely sent shockwaves around the cricket world as the Aussie looks all set for the World Cup.

Travis Head smiles as he walks off after scoring 137 against India in ODI World Cup 2023 final. — ICC

Phil Salt

England have some of the best T20 batters in their squad and Phil Salt is surely one of them. Salt played for Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in IPL 2024 and terrorised the opponents with aggressive cricket and he accumulated 435 runs in just 12 innings. 

As England look to defend their title, they would be counting on Salt to be at the top of his game as he, along with the likes of skipper Jos Buttler, Will Jacks and others, would be their most important weapon with the bat.

Phil Salt will be the one to watch in the World Cup. — AFP

Virat Kohli

The Player of the Tournament in the 2014 and 2016 T20 World Cups, Virat Kohli remains one of the best batters in the world and thus, will have all eyes on him when India begin their World Cup campaign on June 5 against Ireland in New York.

The 35-year-old scored 296 runs in the T20 World Cup 2022 in Australia, which was the most, standing up once again for India but the Blues couldn’t lift the title. As Kohli dominated the IPL 2024 with 741 runs, the most in the tournament, he will, once again, be the biggest source of headache for the opponents in the World Cup.

Virat Kohli after his famous innings against Pakistan in T20 World Cup 2022. — ICC

Heinrich Klaasen

South Africa have one of the best T20I teams in the world and players like Heinrich Klaasen made them what they are. The right-hander scores sixes for fun and is a definite threat to all the teams. He played for Sunrisers Hyderabad in the IPL and scored 479 runs, most importantly he hit 38 sixes in the event.

Klaasen will combine with the likes of David Miller, and the wicketkeeper batter will surely look to dominate the World Cup with his elite ball-hitting abilities.

Heinrich Klaasen raises his bat after scoring a century. — AFP

Shaheen Afridi

Shaheen Shah Afridi is known for his dominance with the new ball and taking a wicket in his first over has almost become a certainty. Shaheen recently became the first bowler to take 50 wickets in the first overs in T20 cricket and that is something Pakistan will surely count on as the Babar Azam-led unit will look to win their second T20 World Cup title.

Combining with the likes of Naseem Shah and Mohammad Amir, two of the best pacers in the world, Shaheen will surely be a treat to watch as the left-arm pacer would definitely be Pakistan’s most important asset, even more so with his ability to bag wickets in the first over.

Shaheen Afridi takes off after taking a wicket. — AFP

Wasay Qayyum is a sports journalist at Geo Super.