T20 World Cup: Livingstone, Inglis, Ashwin, Mills – the players to watch

Venue: United Arab Emirates & Oman Dates: 17 October – 14 November
Coverage: Commentary on every game on BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra. Text commentary, in-play clips and video highlights of every game from 23 October on BBC Sport website and app.
Heard about the ambidextrous spinner, the Yorkshireman who plays for Australia or the Scotland international with a 41-ball Twenty20 hundred?

They are among the players who will take part in the T20 World Cup, which starts on Sunday.

BBC Sport picks out the men to watch during what promises to be a thrilling tournament, including England’s wildcard, India’s returning spinner and the player known as ‘The Spiceman’.

T20 World Cup squads
T20 World Cup fixtures & groups
The ambidextrous bowler – Kamindu Mendis
Graphic showing Kamindu Mendis’ T20 international record: 5 matches; 76 runs; strike-rate 122.6; 0 wickets; economy 8.75
Kamindu has played five T20s since his Sri Lanka debut in October 2018
With Sri Lanka widely expected to struggle without star names of the past, their most eye-catching player may well be 23-year-old all-rounder Kamindu Mendis.

Although primarily a left-handed middle-order batter, Mendis is notable for being an ambidextrous bowler, who switches between right-arm off-spin and left-arm orthodox spin.

His record is modest – he has not taken a wicket in five T20s for Sri Lanka – but he could be one of the most intriguing players to watch at the tournament.

Did you know? Kamindu made his Sri Lanka T20 debut against England in Colombo in 2018, hitting 24 off 14 balls.

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The Yorkshireman turned Aussie – Josh Inglis
Graphic showing Josh Inglis’ T20 record: 1,645 runs; average 32.90; strike-rate 151.6; highest score 118*
Saturday 30 October is a date for your diary – the day England and Australia meet in Dubai. It will be a particularly interesting day for uncapped Australia wicketkeeper Josh Inglis.

Born in Leeds, Inglis lived in the UK until the age of 14, when his family emigrated to Australia.

He played junior cricket for Yorkshire, turned out in a second XI game alongside England and Yorkshire spinner Adil Rashid and admitted as recently as 2017 that he supported England.

Now 26, Inglis could play against Rashid’s side for their biggest rivals in a World Cup.

Did you know? Inglis was the top run-scorer in this year’s T20 Blast with 531 runs at a strike-rate of 175.82 for Leicestershire.

Scotland’s big hitter – George Munsey
Graphic showing George Munsey’s innings against the Netherlands: 127*, 56 balls, five fours; 14 sixes; strike-rate 226.8
Asked to name the England-born batter with the fastest men’s T20 international hundred, you might get through quite a few names – Jos Buttler, Liam Livingstone, Ben Stokes and Jonny Bairstow perhaps? – before finding the right answer.

In fact, Oxford-born Scotland international George Munsey holds that record after hitting a 41-ball century against the Netherlands in 2019.

The opener, 28, ended on 127 not out from 56 balls, an innings that included 14 sixes – the joint-second highest in a T20 innings.

Did you know? Munsey, who played county cricket for Kent this summer, also hit a 25-ball hundred in an unofficial T20 match for Gloucestershire second XI.

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England’s form man – Liam Livingstone
Liam Livingstone
At the start of 2021 Liam Livingstone’s place in England’s T20 squad was far from certain. By the end of the summer the 28-year-old had made himself a definite in the XI.

He goes into the competition as one of the world’s form players.

Livingstone hit a thrilling 42-ball century against Pakistan in the first T20 in July, smashed a six straight out of Headingley two days later and was then top scorer in the inaugural men’s Hundred with 348 runs at an average of 58.

The grounds in the UAE are small. Will they be big enough for Livingstone?

Did you know? Livingstone’s hundred against Pakistan was the fastest for England in T20 cricket.

The man of 2021 – Mohammad Rizwan
Graphic showing most T20 runs in 2021: Mohammad Rizwan 1,445; Babar Azam 1,363; Glenn Phillips 1,281; Liam Livingstone 1,249; James Vince 1,197
As good as Livingstone has been, he still trails the highest run-scorer in T20 matches this year, Mohammad Rizwan.

The Pakistan wicketkeeper has scored 1,445 runs in 32 innings in 2021 at an average of 57.80. In T20 internationals this year Rizwan averages 94.

The slight 29-year-old was not seen as a T20 player until this devastating form but, alongside captain Babar Azam, he will spearhead Pakistan’s bid for a second T20 World Cup title.

Did you know? Rizwan and Babar are the two leading run-scorers in T20 cricket this year.

India’s odd one out – Ravichandran Ashwin
Graphic showing Ravichandran Ashwin’s record for India: 46 T20s; 52 wickets; average 22.94; economy rate 6.97; best figures 4-8
After a summer where he curiously carried drinks throughout the Test series in England, Ravichandran Ashwin was recalled for a World Cup in a format he has not played internationally for more than four years.
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It was a surprise selection from one of the tournament favourites, especially after a fallout with captain Virat Kohli was suggested as a reason the world’s number two-ranked bowler sat out four consecutive Tests in England.

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Ashwin, 35, had a quiet time with the ball in the Indian Premier League but once again managed to find the headlines.

He had heated a row with England captain Eoin Morgan when he chose to run an overthrow single after a throw had deflected off the non-striker’s bat, surely adding further spice to match between India and England should they meet in the the latter stages.

Did you know? It is 1,567 days since 35-year-old Ashwin last played a white-ball match for India

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