Chris Gayle’s days as Universe Boss are coming to an end, and Andre Russell finds it harder and harder to get through a tournament because of fitness issues. Kieron Pollard hardly bowls and Dwayne Bravo, (his fellow Trinidadian) is 38. Most Indian fantasy league players, who use fantasy cricket apps to enhance their experience of watching cricket will tell you that for a T20 as well as a fantasy cricket side, all rounder in cricket of such quality are gold. So as one generation makes way, who are the players who might strengthen your fantasy XI in the weeks and months ahead, as we move from the Australian Men’s Bash to Indian T20 League and then on to another T20 World Cup?
Glenn Maxwell (Australia)
Maxwell is 33 years old and has been playing international cricket for almost a decade now. Australia’s faith in him has seldom wavered and he has been an integral part of 2 World Cup wins – the 50-overs World Cup in 2015 and the T20 World Cup in the UAE in 2021. Maxwell is one of the few cricketers who has scored a century in each of the 3 formats of cricket. Even his biggest supporters, though, will admit that he hasn’t always lived up to his potential. After a stellar Indian T20 League season in 2014, Maxwell became a much-wanted player at the auctions. But despite franchises spending huge money on him, he could never reach those 2014 heights. In 2021, though, he topped the run charts for the Bangalore team, ahead of Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers. And he has built on that with 2 centuries in the Australia Men’s Bash, including a 154*, which was the highest score in the competition’s history.
Mitchell Marsh (Australia)
The youngest of Geoff Marsh’s cricket-playing sons made his Indian T20 League debut for the now-defunct Deccan team way back in 2010. Marsh has played at least 30 matches in each of the 3 formats for Australia and his 77* in the T20 World Cup final against New Zealand in 2021 capped a superb tournament. He has more than 100 international wickets, and his ability to bowl a heavy ball in addition to his clean ball striking makes him a very exciting prospect for most T20 sides. He hasn’t quite cracked the Indian T20 League, but after some special performances in the Australia Men’s Bash, don’t bet against him repeating that form for whichever Indian T20 League franchise decides to take a chance on him.
Moeen Ali (England)
During an international career that began in 2014, Ali has taken over 300 wickets, starred in memorable Test wins, been part of a World Cup-winning squad (2019), and top-scored for England in a T20 World Cup semi-final. His clever off-spin and his ability to hit the ball into the stands caught the eye of the Chennai team in the Indian T20 League, and he was one of the players they retained after winning a fourth title in 2021. In that final, Moeen struck a 20-ball 37* and he was equally impressive with the ball during the tournament, helping choke the runs in the middle overs. His economy rate of 6.85 after two seasons is one of the best in the league’s history. He hasn’t been as convincing in an England shirt but is very much part of their plans going into the next T20 World Cup later this year.
David Wiese (Namibia)
Wiese, a hard-hitting batter who could also bowl genuinely quick, was one of the several cricketers South Africa looked at to succeed Jacques Kallis. But after last representing the Proteas at the age of 30, Wiese waited and chose to represent the country where his father was born – Namibia. The impact was immediate, with his 2 Man of the Match awards giving Namibia an unexpected place in the Super 12s at the T20 World Cup in 2021. Wiese struck the ball beautifully, and his mixture of cutters, slower balls, and bouncers often confused batters. He hasn’t played in the India T20 League since 2016, but with over 3000 runs and 200 wickets in T20s, he has the kind of experience many teams would want to have.
Mohammad Nabi (Afghanistan)
The first from his country to earn an Indian T20 League contract, Nabi has come a long way from being the young man who smashed Mike Gatting’s MCC bowlers onto the Western Railways tracks next to the Police Gymkhana in Mumbai. He may be 37, but Nabi remains one of the most in-demand all rounder in cricket in the T20 format. It’s not hard to see why, with his 296 wickets and nearly 5000 runs in T20s. For Afghanistan, his off-spin remains valuable support to Rashid Khan’s leg-spin wiles, and his batting strike rate of 143 is excellent. But Nabi’s greatest quality, which he showcased while captaining his national team, is his composure. That has been passed on to others like Rashid, and it goes some way towards explaining why the Afghans are such a dangerous side.
If you’re familiar with the exploits of these men and other top performers, it’s time you started putting your wits against friends and experts for lucrative cash prizes. To play free fantasy games, download the Howzat fantasy cricket app from the Play Store for free. Pick your fantasy XI, join a league, or challenge fellow cricket fans in head-to-head matches.