Only One Indian In Mahela Jayawardena’s Top 5 Pick For His Dream T20 XI

Former Sri Lanka captain and current Mumbai Indians head coach Mahela Jayawardena has named five players for a dream T20 XI and Jasprit Bumrah is the only Indian in the list. While talking about Bumrah, Jayawardena said that a side always needs wicket-taking options and there is no better player than Bumrah to close an innings off. The other four players in the list are — Rashid Khan, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Jos Buttler and Mohammad Rizwan.

“Jasprit Bumrah is a guy I have always admired as he is capable of bowling in different phases of an innings. He is another wicket-taking option and, when you need guys to close an innings off, there is no one better than Jasprit Bumrah,” Jayawardena told ICC.

In 57 T20Is for India, Bumrah has managed to take 67 wickets at an average of 19.89.

Jos Buttler is currently the Orange Cap holder in the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) 2022 and he has already scored three centuries this season.

Talking about Buttler, Jayawardena said: “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.”

Pakistan pacer Shaheen Shah Afridi has been in remarkable form of late and he also won the Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy after being adjudged as ICC Men’s Cricketer Of The Year.

“He had a great World Cup last year, bowls very well with the new ball and is more than capable of getting some swing early too,” said Jayawardena.

“He is a wicket-taking option too that bowls very well at the death as well, so can be considered a good attacking option,” he further stated.

Jayawardena named Chris Gayle when he was asked which player, he would bring out of retirement to play in his dream XI.

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“I would take a 30-year-old Chris Gayle to open the batting with Jos Buttler and that would be an awesome combination,” said Jayawardena.

“Chris would just stand still and hit and Jos would have to do all the running for him. He was at his peak at that first T20 World Cup in South Africa in 2007 and that inaugural century against South Africa was something special. I would take Chris at the top of the order as he can change a game,” he added.

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