Global T20 Canada: All you need to know about Toronto Nationals
In the headlines for being the side to pick Steven Smith, thus fast-tracking his comeback to competitive cricket, the Toronto Nationals will head into the tournament as the obvious favourites, flaunting an arsenal of internationally acclaimed and sought after Twenty20 cricketers. What will separate this side from the rest in the course of the tournament will be the depth they possess in terms of the endless batting and bowling options they seem to have.
Their trump card will be Kamran Akmal, rather overlooked in a team of relatively more popular cricketers, he will be a very important part of the side. With a much-improved set of gloves, he's far from the sloppy wicket-keeper who got dropped from the national side years ago. A revamped batting technique saw him get runs for fun in the recent PSL, yet he retains the fast footwork with which he charged at the Indian bowlers and forced them into submission all the way back in 2005. Watch out for him!
Another sphere where Nationals have a massive edge ahead of the other sides is the captaincy, Darren Sammy is one of the best to have captained in this format. Strategically sound, he rallies his troops with his spirited never-say-die attitude and prefers to lead by example, as he did at Peshawar Zalmi. His methods are effective too and don’t make for just romanticism. With two World T20 titles to his name, his leadership has already won several laurels, and he will be eager to continue the legacy.
Smith too, will be keen to get out on the ground and get going after missing the IPL and Australia’s tour of England so far. Since he won’t be able to play the Australian domestic cricket, this is one of his limited opportunities to make a case for selection once his suspension gets over and also to keep himself from being rusty ahead of the World Cup next year. But more than anything, this is his beginning at a clean slate, a second chance, and he will want to make most of it.