Mahela Jayawardene, a member of the ICC Hall of Fame, has named the first five players he would choose if he were in charge of putting up a fantasy T20 team. Jayawardene has had a prolific international career with Sri Lanka in all formats of the game and is currently associated with the Mumbai Indians as their head coach for the IPL 2022 season. As a member of an IPL side, the now 44-year-old witnessed some stellar performances from players of various countries.
In the latest episode of The ICC Review with Sanjana Ganesan, Jayawardene named five players for his dream T20 team Rashid Khan, Shaheen Afridi, Jasprit Bumrah, Jos Buttler, and Mohammad Rizwan. Rashid has been in top form for the Gujarat Titans in the IPL for the past few games and has once again impressed. “For me, the bowlers are the most important aspect of T20 cricket and Rashid Khan is a proper spinner that can bat. He is a very good number seven or number eight batter and you can use him in different circumstances depending on your combinations. He can also bowl in different phases of an innings like during the Powerplay, the middle overs, and also at the death, he is not a bad option depending on the conditions, so Rashid would be my first pick,” said Jayawardene.
Jayawardene picked two more bowlers in the form of Pakistani speedster Afridi and the India and Mumbai Indians pacer Bumrah. Afridi had a dream run in the World Cup last year and has been a permanent for the Pakistan side since. He heaped praises on Bumrah as he named him as one of the best options to put an end to the opposition’s innings. Buttler has been the highest run-scorer in the IPL so far and is at the peak of his career. Jayawardene named him as the opener of his dream team. “I would probably open the batting with Jos. He is very aggressive and plays both pace and spin well. He has been in great form at the IPL of late and did well at the last T20 World Cup as well where he played really well in tough conditions in the UAE,” he said. Lastly, he picked Pakistan’s Rizwan as the wicketkeeper batter of his team and placed him in the middle order, as he felt that he would play the spinn