Photo © International Cricket Council
Wasim Akram, Shane Warne, Anil Kumble and Glenn McGrath are some of the bowling greats who have stamped previous editions of the cricket World Cup with their stellar performances. With the ICC World Cup 2015 barely a few days away, we take a look at five bowlers who would be in the reckoning to join these legends of the game:
Yasir Shah, Pakistan
Many in Pakistan are questioning his place in the team, but the 28-year-old from Abbottabad, which famously came into news a few years ago thanks to Osama bin Laden, brings an old-world charm to the limited-overs game. He is your classical leg spinner who can trouble even the seasoned batsman not with the doosra or the teesra, but with the medieval weapon called flight. Yasir Shah’s rise has been slow, but steady. Last year, he was the leading wicket taker in the Quaid-e-Azam, Pakistan’s version of the Ranji Trophy. When Shane Warne showers praises on you, you surely a bowler to watch out for.
Josh Hazlewood, Australia
In a team which with heavyweights like Mitchell Johnson, Josh Hazlewood’s selection might surprise you. The 25 year old fast bowler from New South Wales has a swift and natural action, with a Glenn McGrath-like consistency, essential for those death overs. Hazlewood has been in cracking form, delivering those balls in the corridor of uncertainty with ease. Incidentally, Hazlewood was the Man of the Match in the finals of the under-19 World Cup in 2010 when Australia beat Pakistan to win the title.
Lasith Malinga, Sri Lanka
This unorthodox and (at times) revolutionary pacer needs no introduction. Slinga Malinga’s action is tailor-made to shoot at the base of the middle stump, often rattling all three pieces of wood. Proof his dangerous accuracy can be seen by the fact that he remains the only bowler to take three hat-tricks in One Day Internationals and the only one to take it one off his first three balls in a match (against Bangladesh in World Cup 2003). If Malinga can regain his fitness, he can be the most difficult bowler to read and score off. With tracks that will suit him perfectly, accompanied by his lethal pace and accuracy, trouble is on the opposition’s way.
Dale Steyn, South Africa
South Africa, undeniably, has the most effective and lethal bowling unit in world cricket. Leading the pack with a knowing confidence is the Deadly Dale. If not the best, Dale Steyn is surely one of the top-three bowlers out there. Pace, pinpoint accuracy, aggression and consistency, Dale Steyn has all the necessary ingredients of a bonafide bowling legend. The World Cup title is the only thing missing from his impressive resume and he’ll be rearing to correct that and help South Africa get rid of the tag of chokers that they have carried for years. Steyn is surely one of the players, batsman or bowler, to watch out for at the ICC World Cup 2015.
James Anderson, England
Jimmy Anderson’s capabilities of swinging the cricket ball can be matched by few in the international arena. That ability, coupled with his remarkable control, will ensure that Anderson makes life more than a little difficult for most batsmen. Moreover, it might be the last World Cup for the 32-year-old quickie. With his legacy in Test cricket ensured (he is four wickets shy of becoming England’s leading wicket taker), Anderson will be looking at this World Cup to seal his place in the pantheon of ODI bowling greats. With the likes of Stuart Broad and Steven Finn to back him up, Anderson will be looking forward to leading England’s bowling attack to World Cup glory.
This year when cricket’s biggest event rolls up be where the action is! Plan a trip to Australia and New Zealand with Eventraveler’s ICC World Cup 2015 page.
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