The 2014 Champions League T20 is just days away and the twelve teams would have already started their preparations. This is the tournament that gave birth to several International cricketers which includes the likes of Kieron Pollard, Steve Smith, R Ashwin, Quinton de Kock and Jimmy Neesham. This time around, there will be few layers who will be hoping to have a change in fortunes after the tournament ends. Here is the list of Top 5 players to watch out for in the 2014 Champions League T20.
Craig Simmons (Perth Scorchers)
This Perth Scorchers opener is one of the reason why Perth won the Big Bash League in 2014. In the seven innings he played, he has scored 278 runs at an average of 39.71. His strike rate of 165 shows how destructive he can be. He is one of the few batsmen in the circuit who strikes the ball cleanly and is comfortable with both pace and spin. He scored the fastest century of the Big Bash League when he scored a century off just 39 balls against Adelaide Strikers before scoring another century against Sydney Thunders few days later. With the grounds in India tend to be flat and the boundaries are well short when compared to Australia, some fireworks can be expected from Simmons.
Robin Uthappa (Kolkata Knight Riders)
Robin Uthappa, the eventual winner of the Orange Cap in the 2014 IPL will be keen to continue is good form for his team Kolkata Knight Riders in the Champions League T20 with which he can book a ticket to the 2015 World Cup which takes place in Australia and New Zealand. Uthappa came back into the reckoning in the 2014 IPL were he scored tons of runs throughout the tournament. He scored 660 runs in 16 innings at an average of over 44 and also crossed the 40 run mark on nine consecutive occasions. He is the architect behind Kolkata’s victory in the IPL and it is because of the starts he gave match and match again made the men in purple to reach the finals easily and win it.
Glenn Maxwell (Kings XI Punjab)
Glenn Maxwell stands for destruction. Nobody can explain the kind of destruction Maxwell did in the IPL better than Chennai Super Kings, Rajasthan Royals and Sunrisers Hyderabad. Turning out for Kings XI Punjab, Maxwell was in devastating form throughout the tournament and smashed the ball to all parts of the ground time and time again. He showed no respite for the bowlers and started attacking right after taking guard at the crease. He was severe against spinners especially R Ashwin, on whom he stamped his authority. He gave nightmare for the opposition captain as he scored 36 sixes in 16 matches. He finished with 552 runs at an average of 35 with an astonishing strike rate of over 187. He will look to carry on from where he left during the IPL and guide his side to title.
Jason Holder (Barbados Tridents)
Jason Holder as a pacer is what majority of the people would have heard of. But the recently concluded Caribbean Premier League he showcased his skills with the bat. He often batted up the order for his side Barbados Tridents and scored runs at a good pace and maintained the consistency. He even managed to clear the boundaries with will. With the ball, Holder was not only economical, but also picked up wickets at regular intervals. He will be the key member of the Tridents side in the 2014 CLT20 as the Barbados team won’t be having the services of Dwayne Smith, Kieron Pollard, Shakib al Hasan and Shoaib Malik.
Mohammad Hafeez (Lahore Lions)
Mohammad Hafeez, who is no stranger to the conditions in India is the most established player among the five. He will lead Lahore Lions in the 2014 Champions league T20. The Pakistani T20 skipper is one of the leading All Rounders in the circuit. He is an economical bowler who often bowls in the field restriction overs and is an exceptional batsman as well. The entire Pakistani has been relying on his shoulders for a good show in CLT20. Hafeez is a batsman who maintains his cool under pressure and plays according to the situation. It is certain that Lions will qualify for the main round and they need to play to their potential to make it to the semis.