New Delhi: Ahead of the inaugural edition of the ILT20 in the UAE, former India opener Virender Sehwag believes West Indies wicketkeeper-batter Nicholas Pooran is a dangerous player and if he comes in the form, then his team MI Emirates stands to benefit hugely.
Pooran’s form has been a huge point of concern, amassing just 94 runs in his last 10 innings in T20Is. In West Indies’ shock first-round exit from the Men’s T20 World Cup in Australia, Pooran had scores of 5, 7 and 13 and stepped down as the side’s white-ball skipper.
“Nicholas Pooran is a dangerous player. While his performance in the ICC men’s T20 World Cup was not up to the mark, he is a brilliant player. In the recent Abu Dhabi T10 innings, he scored 70-80 runs in mere 20-25 balls. If he comes in the form, it will definitely benefit MI Emirates. And it is certainly good news that both all-rounders like Kieron Pollard and Dwayne Brave who bat in the middle order are now playing in one team. It will definitely be a boost for MI because both are match-winners,” Sehwag said ahead of the ILT20 starting from January 13.
In the six-team tournament, England’s premier white-ball all-rounder and recent T20 World Cup winner Moeen Ali will be leading Sharjah Warriors, and Sehwag expects him to come good for the side which also has Afghanistan cricketers like Mohammad Nabi, Noor Ahmad, Rahmanullah Gurbaz, and Naveen-ul-Haq.
“One benefit of Moeen Ali is that he is an all-rounder. A left-hand player who bats anywhere from 1 down to 6 down and can bowl well. He also has captained the England national team, is a World Cup winner, so he has the mindset to read the games. He is a brilliant addition to Sharjah Warriors. The advantage Afghanistan players will have when they play ILT20 is that when they play with international players, they will learn and improve while enjoying the game. The experience will help build Afghanistan cricket as well.”
The tournament also had another big-hitting West Indies all-rounder Andre Russell, who will be turning out for Abu Dhabi Knight Riders. “Andre Russel’s ability to bat well is phenomenal and it will be great for Abu Dhabi Knight Riders if he comes up the order. If he gets enough balls to bat, then you don’t need anyone else to bat. He will finish the game himself. We have witnessed it in the past that he has won matches in difficult situations. His bowling is always underestimated, but he bowls the best in death overs,” concluded Sehwag.