Explosive entertainers set to take centrestage

Last Updated 20 March 2014, 18:10 IST

Chris Gayle (West Indies): The Jamaican, known for his big hitting ability, is an absolute crowd pleaser but completely dreaded by the bowlers. When on song, no boundary is big enough for the left-handed opener and even his mishits often land in the stands.
M: 37; R: 1,096; HS: 117; SR: 140.33; Avg: 33.21.

David Warner (Australia): In the form of his life, Warner warmed-up for the big bash with a blistering 65 off 27 balls against New Zealand in Wednesday’s warm-up. A fiesty cricketer who can unnerve his opponents with his destructive batting, Warner holds the key if Australia hope to claim the one title that has remained elusive for them.M: 47; R: 1,300; HS: 90 n.o.; SR: 139.93; Avg: 28.88.

Virat Kohli (India): One of the most exciting talents in world cricket, the 25-year-old has become the batting mainstay for India since the retirements of several greats over the last few years. A free-scoring batsman and an extremely quick runner, Kohli’s aggression and exuberance wil play a pivotal in India’s chances considering their dismal form since December.M: 21; R: 587; HS: 78 n.o.; SR: 130.44; Avg: 34.52.

AB de Villiers (South Africa): The talented middle-order batsman has the ability to adapt to any situation and can effortlessly shift gears which makes him an indispensable part of the South African team. When in flow, de Villiers is a nightmare for any bowler for his knack to improvise which can upset any field setting.M: 52; R: 878; HS: 79 n.o.; SR: 121.10; Avg: 21.41.

Eoin Morgan (England): A destructive middle-order batsman, Morgan is known for his finishing ability as much as his reverse sweep shot. One of the two batsmen to score a ODI hundred for two countries (Ireland being the other), Morgan can be a very dangerous character lower down.M: 44; R: 982; HS: 85 n.o.; SR: 130.58; Avg: 29.75.

MS Dhoni (India): Without any the doubt, the best finisher today. Inventor of the helicopter shot that has sent many balls soaring over the roof, skipper MSD, with his ice-cool demeanor, has the time and again sealed victory for India and Chennai Super Kings from seemingly impossible situations. When in a mood, there is no force that can stop MSD. M: 43; R: 772; HS: 48 n.o.; SR: 114.88; Avg: 32.16.

Lasith Malinga (Sri Lanka): Malinga has now played international cricket for almost 10 years but batsmen still struggle to read the paceman with blond-tinted hair and a sling-shot action. Malinga's fast, unorthodox action, toe-crushing yorkers, slow bouncers and pinpoint accuracy make him one of modern day cricket's most feared bowlers.M: 50; W: 60; Econ: 7.37; S/R: 17.5.
            Saeed Ajmal (Pakistan): Another key bowler in Pakistan's World Twenty20 triumph, Ajmal, who was the joint second highest wicket-taker in 2009, will harass the batsmen with his bag of tricks. The off-spinner, the best exponent of the 'doosra', is also the most successful bowler in the format. Pakistan captainMohammad Hafeez will depend heavily on Ajmal's knack of restricting the scoring rate and picking up wickets under pressure.M: 59; W: 81; Econ: 6.26; S/R: 16.2.
    Sunil Narine (West Indies): The West Indian is the latest addition to the list of mystery spinners with his ability to turn the ball appreciably in both directions without any perceptible change in the bowling action.Batsmen have found it extremely difficult to score against the off-spinner who enjoys an enviable economy rate of 5.97 in the batting-dominated format.M: 24; W: 30; Econ: 5.97; S/R: 17.9.

Dale Steyn (South Africa): The lynchpin of the Proteas’ attack may be facing a battle against time to be fit for the opening matches but there is no doubting Steyn’s ability with the ball. If South Africa are to break clear of their chokers tag and finally bag a cup befitting their talents, then Steyn will be at the heart of answering most of their ‘SOS’ calls. M: 33; W: 46; Econ: 6.2; S/R: 15.2.
      Mitchell Starc (Australia): The burden of providing the initial thrust with the new ball falls on Mitchell Starc now that the other Mitchell, Johnson, has been deemed unfit for the tournament. Deceptive pace, a wicked bouncer and with a host of other variations in his arsenal, this could well be the tournament where Starc announces himself on the world stage. M: 14; W: 19; Econ: 6.07; S/R: 16.2.
    Ravindra Jadeja (India): India’s achilles heel in most ICC tournaments tends to be its bowling and it is no different this time out. But with R Jadeja, they possess a bowler of genuine quality who will be hard to get away in the death overs. His wily left-armers are bowled with a lot of discipline and he usually sticks to a stump to stump approach – something that is vital in this form of the game. M: 15; W: 15; Econ: 7.12; S/R: 37.2.     

(Published 20 March 2014, 18:10 IST)

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