New Delhi: Who will it be this time? As the World Cup knocks on the door, this…
The man from Durban exudes serenity as he takes his stance. At the opposite end is his strike partner- Australian powerhouseDavid Warner who is itching to get on strike. These two batsmen would make for an immaculate opening pair for any team in the world.
Hashim Amla (L) and David Warner (R) are the ultimate dream opening combo (file photo)
Here is a list of the best eleven cricketers in the world who are expected to direct their team towards cricket’s greatest prize. The players have been selected based on both form and temperament with a combination of six batsmen, an all rounder and four specialist bowlers.
First up on the list is South Africa’s most valuable batsman – Hashim Amla. The man, whose grandparents migrated from Gujarat, treats cricket like an art form.
There is a reason why experts and former greats consider Amla to be a vital cog in this South African team. Amla now holds the distinction of being the quickest man to reach 5000 runs in ODI’s. He beat Sir Viv Richards recently. He achieved this feat in a mere 101 matches at a stupendous average of 56.41.
Hashim Amla is ‘Mr Reliable’ for South Africa (getty images)
David Warner- The twenty-eight year old opener would be an ideal strike partner for Amla up front. While he may not be as technically gifted as Hashim, his blistering start’s is just what any team would want from an opener. With the new ball swinging, Warner puts to rest any uneasiness that his team faces at the beginning of every innings.
David Warner can smash opposition bowlers to smithereens (getty images)
Virat Kohli- the man from Delhi has intent written all over his batting style. And when you partner intent with the wide range of shots that he possesses in his repertoire, what you get is a master class in stroke play. One of the busiest players in the Indian team, Kohli will make sure to keep the scorecard ticking even when the going gets tough.
Virat Kohli is the man India have to turn to in 2015 World Cup (getty images)
At number four we have wicketkeeper batsman A.B.de Villiers. We’ve all heard of the adage- “the jack of all trades”. Interestingly considering his current form, the thirty year old seems to be the “master of all trades”. He can bat, field and keep wickets equally well. A.B was also recently honored when he became the first living South African cricketer to have a suite named after him at the Northern Cricket union.
AB de Villiers is in scintillating form for South Africa (getty images)
Smudge a.k.a Steve Smith comes in at number five. The twenty-five year old has a nonchalant approach towards the game. Smith is no longer considered the future of Australian cricket. He is in fact the present and forms the core nucleus of the team. Be it the reverse sweep or an exceptional dive on the field, Smith always performs in multiple departments. He and A.B will bring in some much needed versatility to any cricket eleven.
Steve Smith is in pristine touch ahead of the World Cup (getty images)
The first thing that stands out when you look at Corey Anderson’s statistics is his strike rate- a whopping 129.37. Having played twenty-six matches for the Black Caps so far, the cricketing world will be expecting Corey to take the World Cup by storm with his insistent hitting.
Corey Anderson can swing things around for New Zealand (Reuters)
All rounder Angelo Mathews will slot in at number seven. The Sri Lankan captain is the most underrated player on the list by far. Every team needs a player who does a bit of both batting and bowling effectively. Consider this- It’s the 40th over and the team needs some quick fire runs.
Angelo Matthews will be Sri Lanka’s lynchpin at the World Cup (getty images)
Mathews will regularly put on a swift forty odd runs to the total. Apart from this, he is also a regular wicket taker in the death over’s thus ensuring the barrage of hard hitting strokes is kept in check. Among all these stellar names, low key Angelo will also captain this star studded team.
Consistently bowling at 140 km/hr is a task in itself. But doing that with pin point accuracy is nothing but classic fast bowling at its best. Nicknamed “Phalaborwa Express” (his birth place), Dale Steyn is guaranteed to spearhead any bowling attack in the world. Having played close to hundred matches, Steyn still maintains an impeccable strike rate of 31.4.
Dale Steyn can put fear of god in opposition batsmen (getty images)
The King of Swing, James Anderson will form a formidable bowling partnership with Steyn. One can only imagine the carnage that these two bowlers will be responsible for on the cricket field. England’s all-time highest international wicket-taker will be licking his lips at the prospect of bowling on the bouncy and pacy wickets in Australia and New Zealand.
James Anderson is England’s ‘swing king’ (getty images)
This list wouldn’t look right without including Lasith Malinga. The man from Galle will be expected to keep every hard hitting batsman in the tournament, in check. A specialist at the death over’s, Slinga has a habit of frustrating the batsman in the final overs of an innings. Every
Lasith Malinga can outgun batsmen with ferocious pace (getty images)
Yorker that he bowls is equivalent to pure gold, considering how important dot balls are, at the end of the innings. Left arm orthodox spinner Daniel Vettori will complete the all star eleven. Daniel, who played his first ODI in 1997, has improved with age.
Daniel Vettori is good enough to outfox batsmen with his canny spin (Reuters)
With an impressive economy rate of 4.13, the man who they fondly call Harry Potter still has it in him to trouble the batsman. Now aged thirty-six, Vettori will be the oldest player in this incredible cricket team.