Bengaluru, May 16: World Cup cricket has always been the stage for all-rounders to deliver.
Be it Kapil Dev or Mohinder Amarnath in 1983 or Imran Khan in 1992 or Yuvraj Singh in 2011, there are ample examples to cement the argument that the highest stage has always been chosen by the multi-talented to deliver.
Likewise, the upcoming World Cup in England starting May 30 will also wait for more such names to appear on the horizon. Here we take a look at five names that are expected to set things ablaze in the 12th edition of the tournament.
Hardik Pandya (India):
The 25-year-old has made a magnificent comeback to competitive cricket after his stints with injury and off-field controversy. The recently concluded Indian Premier League (IPL) saw the Baroda all-rounder hitting the purple patch with the bat and set to play his first WC, Hardik could see the upcoming tournament as the first major stepping stone towards becoming one of the greats of the game.
Pandya is still not three years old in international cricket and has less than 2k runs and 97 wickets across the formats.
Ben Stokes (England):
Ben Stokes though made his ODI debut in 2011, this is the first time he will be featuring in a World Cup. He didn’t make much of an impact initially but has emerged as one of England’s top all-rounders in the recent years.
Stokes has played in 82 ODIs overall and has scored three hundreds in them, all since October 2016. In bowling, he has taken 63 wickets with one five-wicket haul at an average of 41.65. Stokes has been of high value in the last few IPLs and now, the English supporters will look up to him to score the maximum in the upcoming WC.
Marcus Stoinis (Australia):
The 29-year-old Western Australia cricketer made his debut in 2015 and has been a key member of the current Australian side. He has appeared in only 33 ODIs so far but has scored a big hundred already besides taking 26 wickets.
Stoinis had a magnificent run in the last Big Bash League with 533 runs at an average of 53 plus and strike rate of 136 plus. India captain Virat Kohli, who plays with Stoinis in the Royal Challengers Bangalore, also harbours a high opinion about the right-hand batsman who also bowls right-arm medium fast. Australia will look forward to the man firing in his maiden WC.
Shakib Al Hasan (Bangladesh):
While the above three will be trying to make an impact in their first-ever World Cup, ace Bangladesh all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan will be playing in his fourth tournament this year. At 32, Shakib still stands as one of his country’s mainstays though series of injuries of late has pegged his performance back.
With over 10,000 runs and 500 wickets, the Tiger is still a force and Bangladesh, still looking to make their first semi-final, will not spare an effort to stand by him. He has hit three half-centuries in the ongoing tri-series in Ireland and it will boost Masfrafe Mortaza’s man too.
Andre Russell (West Indies):
Andre Russell has played just one ODI in the last three-and-half years or more but his recent exploits in the IPL has made him one of the big names to look forward to in the World Cup.
Russell’s superhuman hitting for the Kolkata Knight Riders this IPL had taken the cricketing world aback and the West Indies team led by Jason Holder will believe that he can do the same in the World Cup as well.
Russell has played in 52 ODI games after making his debut in the 2011 World Cup and is just two short of 1k runs and has 65 wickets. In ODIs, he has a strike rate of 130 plus which, if he can execute in the World Cup, will go a long way in boosting the West Indies’ chances.
Originally Published by en.mykhel.com