T20 World Cup - Which players have been the top performers at the T20 World Cup so far

The T20 World Cup is nearing the end of the group stage, with four teams already having qualified for the next stage of the competition. However, some big names, like Pakistan, England, and New Zealand, are facing an early exit from the tournament.

Those who became used to running fests in the most recent season of the Indian Premier League will have found this tournament a complete contrast. This time, it is the bowlers who have held say benefitting from conditions and pitches that are much more to their liking.

However, some players have stood out more than others for their performances. They include the following:

Fazalhaq Farooqi

Afghanistan has been one of the surprise teams of the T20 World Cup so far. Barring a major upset in their next match against Papua New Guinea, they seem certain to qualify from Group C alongside the West Indies.

And a significant part of that success has been left-armed seam bowler, who has taken more wickets, so far, than any other player in the competition. 

Farooqi began with a devastating spell against competition newcomers Uganda, taking 5 – 9 in four overs as they were bundled out for just 58. That was enough for him to claim fourth place regarding best bowling figures at a T20I World Cup.

And then he followed that up against New Zealand, where he helped rip through their top order, dismantling one of the most feared batting line-ups in the competition. He eventually finished with 4 -17 as Afghanistan won that match by 84 runs.

Anrich Nortje

Another paceman who has enjoyed success at this World Cup has been South Africa's Anrich Nortje, despite struggling for form in the Indian Premier League recently in the Delhi Capitals. In mitigation, he had been rusty after missing a lot of cricket with an injury that forced him to miss the World Cup last year. 

He began with a four-wicket burst in their opening game against Sri Lanka, benefitting from the two-paced bounce of the drop-in pitches used at the Nassau County Stadium in New York. He then followed that up with two more wickets in each game as South Africa recorded narrow wins over the Netherlands and Bangladesh.

Adam Zampa

Australia has a loud and proud tradition of leg spinners. Adam Zampa can claim to be following in the line that includes Richie Benaud and Shane Warne after becoming a member of the exclusive group to have taken 100 wickets or more in T20I cricket.

He reached the milestone after taking 4 – 12 against Namibia, a performance that helped his side reach the Super 8 competition stage.

Earlier, he took two wickets against Oman and followed that up with another two against England.

Hardik Pandya

Many questioned whether Hardik Pandya should even be included in the India squad for the T20 World Cup. 

He had endured a miserable season in the Indian Premier League, and the decision to make him captain in place of the popular Rohit Sharma earned him jeers not only from opposing supporters but also from his own fans.

He was widely criticized for his captaincy as the Indians finished bottom of the regular league season, and his form suffered. He only took 11 wickets with the ball while he struggled for runs with the bat.

Yet he has more than justified his place, and in the process, going from zero to hero with valuable wickets in the middle overs for India in all three matches they have played so far. 

Pandya has yet to have an opportunity to prove what he can do with the bat, but everybody who played their group matches in New York struggled for runs.

Arshdeep Singh

Before the World Cup began, many expected Jasprit Bumrah to share new-ball duties for India with Mohammed Siraj. Instead, they have chosen to entrust them to Arshdeep Singh, allowing Bumrah to bowl in the death overs when his accuracy and economy rate can have the maximum effect.

Singh has responded to the opportunity he has been afforded by taking eight wickets, including a spell of 4 – 9 against Canada. He might not even have been on the squad had Mohammed Shami been fit, but he now seems to have cemented his place on the side.

Bumrah, meanwhile, continues to be a model of efficiency, setting a gold standard when it comes to T20 bowling.

Rahmanullah Gurbaz

While the bowlers have generally performed better in this tournament, Rahmanullah Gurbaz is an exception to that rule. He is currently the leading run-scorer, having scored 156 from his two innings so far, at an average of 78 and a strike rate of 154. 5.

He began by making 76 off 45 balls against Uganda, sharing an opening stand of 154 with partner Ibrahim Zadran.

And the pair shared another opening partnership against New Zealand, with Gurbaz again top-scoring for his side by making 80 off 56 balls, including five sixes and five fours.

He hopes to add to his tally when they play Papua New Guinea in the next match.

His performances have already seen him snapped up by Caribbean Premier League side the Guyana Amazon Warriors, the defending champions, returning to the franchise he has been a part of since 2022.

Aaron Jones

When the decision was made to jointly award co-hosting rights to the USA, the ICC hoped it would give cricket in the country a boost. The national team's performances have certainly done that, with their Super Over defeat of Pakistan one of the biggest upsets in the competition's history.

This also means that some of the US players, barely known before the tournament began, could be in high demand from franchise leagues after that.

One of those is Aaron Jones, the right-handed batter, whose 94 off 40 balls against Canada remains the highest individual score of the tournament so far, an inning which also saw him break the record of Yuvraj Singh for the most sixes in a T20 World Cup innings.

It was no coincidence that Jones was the man that the US chose to face that Super Over against the Pakistanis.

Saurabh Netravalkar

Saurabh Netravalkar was born in Mumbai and was good enough as a youngster to play for India at the under-19 World Cup. He had hopes of playing for Mumbai, earning himself a lucrative IPL contract, and even playing for the Indian national side one day. However, after struggling to make the breakthrough, he decided to pivot in a different direction and began studying for a degree in computer science at Cornell University in the US.

While pursuing his studies, he began playing club cricket again, and, after qualifying for the US on residency grounds, he was eventually picked by their national team.

It was the culmination of a dream when he found himself playing against India in a World Cup, but the best was yet to come, as he had Virat Kohli caught behind the first ball, the first time that Kohli had been dismissed for a golden duck in World Cup history. When he then had Rohit Sharma caught as well, he had accounted for India's two most famous players.

Like Jones, he will likely find himself inundated with franchise offers.

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