AB de Villiers - The world’s best batsmen at the moment by a street, his all-round ability is astonishing - he has even bowled a few tidy overs for South Africa. His fielding alone is absolutely amazing and if he has to take the gloves here can do that as well. I am putting him down for the player of the tournament. He could be the key to South Africa changing their World Cup fortunes and has the potential to almost single-handedly get his team across the line.
JP Duminy - I’m putting another South African at Number 2 in my list. JP’s role in the team has stabilised in the last 12 months and this is why I think he will be a force in the tournament. His batting has been outstanding and he has a lot to offer with the ball. To me he lacked a little bit of confidence in the past but now he seems to have a sense of belonging in this side and he has relaxed and now just goes out and plays.
Andre Russell - This guy is an exciting talent. His game is slowly coming together over the last 8-10 months. His all-round talent with the bat and the ball as well as in the field can be explosive. Only recently, he bowled with the new ball and swung it with good pace. His batting can be brutal and arguably one of the biggest hitters in the game, but a real highlight for me is his ground fielding. The West Indies is going to need him to perform if it is to have any impact is this tournament at all. Hopefully, he can knuckle down and work really hard to put some really strong performances together for his team. With his bowling, I personally like it, but I would like to see him get a little more serious about it and be more consistent.
James Faulkner - If he can keep producing under pressure it will be amazing for Australia. Faulkner has played some remarkable innings with the bat over the past 18 months. He is also the ‘go to’ guy with the ball and is often asked to bowl the tough overs. Out of all the Australian all-rounders he is probably the one that will make the most of the opportunities that will be presented to him. I get the feeling that he had lost confidence in his slower ball but he is bowling it really well again as the Australian pitches really help with the bounce.
Angelo Mathews - The Sri Lanka captain is an outstanding cricketer. I have seen his skills up close while coaching him during the IPL. He is on top of his game at the moment and he will be such a key player if Sri Lanka are to do anything in this tournament. He personally has enjoyed Australian conditions before in previous tours but Sri Lanka will have their work cut out as they have just had a very poor tour to New Zealand.
Corey Anderson - He has hit world cricket with bang and has picked up some good experience of finishing off games for New Zealand. He is able to clear the boundary with ease, and probably has the added advantage in this tournament with all his team’s games being played in New Zealand with the smaller boundaries. His bowling is only steady but he will get a few overs from time to time in this tournament and is more than capable of getting a key wicket or two.
Shakib Al Hasan - He is Bangladesh’s best ever player. I believe this places a huge responsibility on his shoulders. If he can get a bit of support from a few of the other players he could have a starring role in the World Cup. As a world-class player in a weaker team he'll get loads of opportunities to perform with both bat and ball so he should be right up there in the wickets and runs charts at the end. Also he has gained some valuable time playing in the Big Bash with the Melbourne Renegades which will help him in terms of readiness for the local conditions. Of course he'll have to play off the back foot a little more than his does in the sub-continent conditions but he can still be a very clean striker.
Shane Watson - It's time for Watson to shine. He has the ability and the experience but most importantly he looks like he is going to get the opportunity to bat at Number 3. This is probably his preferred spot and coming in behind David Warner and Aaron Finch he is going to get a good platform to really build an innings. His fitness is always a talking point but he looks to be tracking nicely and the overs he has been bowling have been better than handy.
Ravindra Jadeja - What a talent this Indian all-rounder is in the right conditions. With the ball he is very hard to work away so his pace on the ball will be important here in this World Cup. His batting is getting better by the day and he is starting to be more consistent in recent times. He missed the Test Series in Australia because of selection and he has had an injured recently so I am sure he will be keen to perform once he gets his chance. He can have a big impact in this tournament but is probably lacking a bit confidence given the fact he hasn't played.
Ravi Bopara – He is a very experienced player now and I would like to see him bat up the order for England as a few years back he showed he could have a match-winning impact at the top of the order. I get the feeling England want him to bat down the order to finish games off, so his impact won't be as big even though I think he is ready for more responsibilities in this young team. His bowling is very handy, he bowls stump to stump and his change of pace out the back of hand works well for him.
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