Ranking the top 5 fast-bowling units ahead of the T20 World Cup 2024

India v Australia: Final - ICC Men
India v Australia: Final - ICC Men's Cricket World Cup India 2023

The T20 World Cup 2024 is just around the corner, with 20 teams vying for the ultimate prize. The tournament is set to kick off on Sunday, June 2, in the USA and West Indies, with the two nations co-hosting the competiton. All matches of the Super 8 stage and knockouts, including the final, will be played in the Caribbean.

While members of several teams were a part of the recently concluded Indian Premier League in India, many teams even participated in bilateral series to prepare for the World Cup. The practice matches will conclude on June 1, with India and Bangladesh squaring off in what will be the former’s first and only warm-up game.

Preparations have been in full swing for all 20 teams participating in the forthcoming global tournament. With the venues in the USA being unfamiliar to many, both batters and bowlers will play a crucial part in every team’s campaign.

On that note, let’s rank the top five bowling units ahead of the World Cup.

#5 New Zealand

Kane Williamson-led New Zealand boasts some of the top cricketers from the circuit, especially the bowlers. Big players like Trent Boult and Tim Southee, who have several years of experience playing heavyweight clashes, will spearhead the pace attack.

NZ’s bowling unit also includes Lockie Ferguson and Matt Henry, who are coming off a successful IPL campaign. While the spinners too will be a crucial cog of the lineup, fast bowlers will play a major role in the powerplay overs, especially Boult.

All in all, the Kiwis are covered in all aspects and will surely be one of the team to look out for. Having made it to the semi-final in the tournament’s previous edition, the Blackcaps will be looking to go a step further and fulfill their dream of making it to the summit clash and lifting the cup.

#4 England

Defending champions England will be raring to go at the upcoming 2024 edition of the 20-over World Cup. Their fast-bowling unit includes some deadly players like Jofra Archer, Chris Jordan, Sam Curran, Reece Topley and Mark Wood.

While Sam Curran had a great time at the IPL this season, Archer and Jordan haven’t had much game time. They were a part of England’s lineup against Pakistan in their recently concluded T20I series and did well too.

Having played just 20 matches in the past 42 months owing to injury breaks, Archer will be eager to get his name back in the wicket-taking charts. Wood and Curran will be England’s top bets, with Jordan being handed the responsibility in the death.

#3 India

Every member of the Indian bowling unit had recent exposure at the IPL and will be looking to learn from their setbacks to do well at the World Cup. Jasprit Bumrah will spearhead India’s pace attack and will be joined by Mohammed Siraj and Arshdeep Singh in the lineup.

While Bumrah had a season to remember at the IPL this year, ending as the leading wicket-taker for Mumbai Indians and the second-highest overall, Siraj and Arshdeep have a lot to improve upon. With Mohammed Shami out of the scenario, India will be dependent equally on their pacers and spinners.

Arshdeep and Siraj couldn’t strike consistently at the IPL, which was worrisome for their respective franchises, and will be the case for India too as they head into the tournament. While India have Hardik Pandya as an all-round option, he too had a season to forget at the IPL.

Nonetheless, the pacers have done well at the big stage and have a good amount of experience under their belt, which will be an advantage for the team.

#2 Pakistan

Pakistan’s recent outings against England have been disappointing, but one can never count their bowlers out. They boast of one of the finest bowling units in the tournament, and with big names like Shaheen Afridi and Haris Rauf in their ranks, they’ve one of the strongest lineups.

The Men in Green fielded an almost similar bowling unit in the tournament’s last edition in 2022, where they made it to the final, only to lose to England on the big day. Nonetheless, their bowlers had a tournament to remember.

Afridi and Naseem Shah opened the bowling attack for Pakistan last time, with Haris Rauf and Shadab Khan taking the onus in the middle overs. The bowling unit has worked on several occasions for Pakistan, especially in recent times, and they’ll be heavily dependent on their fast bowlers to do the job. Shaeen Afridi will be their key bowler.

#1 Australia

Australia not only have one of the best pace attacks but also boasts one of the finest squads heading into the World Cup. They couldn’t make it to the top four last year as their campaign was marred by several rain-affected matches.

Given their recent form as a unit, Australia will be the top picks to make it to the final and even lift the cup. Two of their finest pacers- Pat Cummins and Mitchell Starc- earned big bucks at the IPL. With a price tag of over INR 20 crore attached to their name, they were put under immense pressure but did not disappoint.

While Cummins led SunRisers Hyderabad (SRH) to the final while also playing a crucial role with the ball in hand, Starc put up some terrific performances and helped Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) lift their third IPL title.

Given their recent form, topped with Josh Hazlewood, Mitchell Marsh and Marcus Stoinis’ recent exploits, Australia boasts one of the strongest, if not the strongest, fast-bowling unit at the T20 World Cup 2024.

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