Yuvraj Singh (India)
Curiosity more than anything else is the biggest factor surrounding the flamboyant left-handed bat. In the sole T20 at home against New Zealand, he did not look scratchy in spite of being away from international cricket for so long. Yes, he wasn’t a hundred per cent fit, but that was expected considering the amount of strain his body had been through. That he managed to clear the boundaries a couple of times proved that his touch of old was in tact. However, the length of the tournament in Sri Lanka, and of course the magnitude, will test Yuvraj’s fitness levels for sure.
James Franklin (New Zealand)
The all-rounder isn’t among the most talented players in the world, but has learnt to work around his limitations and succeed. When he started out, he was an average medium pacer who couldn’t bat. Over the years though he has developed into a highly reliable batting all-rounder. The left-hander is the team’s floater, who can bat anywhere in the order, as per the demands of the situation. Franklin has the ability to find the boundaries at will, which makes him an extremely dangerous batsman in this format of the game. As a bowler, he can be handful with his variations, more so if the pitch offers some assistance.
Saeed Ajmal (Pakistan)
It is said that T20 is a batsman’s game, but look at the off-spinner’s record in this format, and you will tend to disagree -- sixty wickets in 42 matches at an average and strike of just over 15. Even his economy rate of 6.03 is excellent for this form of the game. The fact that he is a wicket-taker is further illustrated by the fact that he already has three four-wicket hauls to his credit. Ajmal has all the variations needed for an off-spinner, and despite his lack of experience at the international level, he has tasted success pretty soon. Pakistan would be banking on him foremost for wickets.
A B de Villiers (South Africa)
The Proteas skipper will have a key role to play if South Africa are to do well in the event. Remember, in spite of being counted among the favourites for most world events, South Africa have never quite managed to win the tournaments that matter the most. The recent number one Test ranking they achieved must have boosted their confidence for sure. As leader, de Villiers’ role will not be just to get quick runs on the board, which he anyways will be expected to. The more critical aspect for him will be to make the team believe that they can win this cup.
Tillakaratne Dilshan (Sri Lanka)
In familiar conditions at home, this Lankan opener can be more than a handful. If he gets going, Sri Lanka’s chances of doing well will improve significantly. On his day, Dilshan can blast the best of the attacks into submission. The Lankans would be hoping that this is his tournament. Since Dilshan will be opening, his performance will set the tone of the innings for Sri Lanka. As a restrictingoff-spinner and a splendid fielder too, Dilshan has the ability to take Lanka all the way.
--By A Cricket Analyst