Sir Vivian Richards
One of the most aggressive and destructive batsmen ever to play the game, Sir Vivian Richards won the ICC Cricket World Cup in 1975 and 1979 with the West Indies. He played in the 1983 final and captained the side in the 1987 World Cup. Richards featured in 23 World Cup matches and scored 1,013 runs at an average of 63.31. One of his three World Cup centuries was in the 1979 final when he scored 138* off 157 balls. In 21 World Cup innings, he belted over 85 fours and 20 sixes.Follow @vivrichards56
04 February 2015
SIR VIVIAN RICHARDS: My top 10 players to watch-out for at the ICC CWC 2015
Eight batsmen and two bowlers make the cut for Sir Vivian Richards' World Cup picks. Find out who they are
The more I watch AB de Villiers, the more it feels like I am watching myself bat.
In no particular order then, these are my players to watch out for in this coming tournament.
I have to begin with AB de Villiers, who has just re-written the record books with the fastest ODI century. The more I watch him, the more it feels like I am watching myself bat. He looks very comfortable at the crease.
"The shots he plays bring such joy, and it was evident in the way he scored that blazing century. It was a joy for everyone who watched him bat, and it is so every time he pads up."
I like his style and he is one player who is very hard to leave out of any ODI team.
The other batsman I am looking forward to seeing in the coming weeks is Virat Kohli. At such a young age he has twice the number of ODI centuries than in Tests and he is such a confident player in limited-overs. It is not to say he isn’t so in the longer format, but I really like his aggressive style in ODI cricket. Look at the way he started his career, and the batsman he has already become today, he is simply magnificent in whatever little time he has played so far. He is only going to get better and better, and add to his list of achievements.
Any talk of aggressive batsmen is incomplete without mentioning Chris Gayle. On his day, he can be very destructive, a bowlers’ nightmare. He can be a match-winner in any environment and in any match conditions. If he is on song, then the opposition can lose the match in the blink of an eye, that’s how destructive he can be.
Among one of the top batsmen in the world today is Steve Smith. He is not the most orthodox player, yet in the last couple years he has improved by leaps and bounds, unlike anyone else recently. Just look at his record after becoming Australia’s Test captain this past summer. He is almost tireless, picks gaps with ease and has a wonderful hand-eye co-ordination. He will be playing at home and will only make that advantage work in his favour in the World Cup.
Staying with the Australian team, it also boasts of Glenn Maxwell in its ranks. He is an enormously talented player, but he hasn’t done enough justice to his ability. This is because we don’t know what he will bring to the field on a particular day.
"And this is why he is in my list, because I am interested to see what he can do for his team on home turf. If we get Maxwell at his best, then other teams better watch out for him."
Kumar Sangakkara will also be playing in his last ICC Cricket World Cup. Over the last few years, no other batsman has lit up the international cricketing scene the way he has. He has scored heavily in both Tests as well as limited-overs. I have been an avid follower of Sri Lanka cricket and I believe the experience Sangakkara has, he can inspire his team to deliver a good showing at the World Cup.
Looking at the bowlers now, the first name is that of Dale Steyn obviously. In my opinion, he is the best fast bowler in the world and has been so for a few years now. He is just so consistent and aggressive, and his ability as a pace bowler is second to none. In the limited-overs arena too, he never looks to contain runs. Steyn’s bowling is based on pace and aggression, and he will get wickets for you irrespective of the format and that puts South Africa in a formidable position. In this coming World Cup, he has an opportunity to do something special for his team and make it a memorable showing for the Proteas after a long time.
The seven-foot tall Mohammad Irfan should be another fast bowler to watch-out for. Because of his height, the bounce of hard Australia wickets will be very useful for him and he will trouble the batsmen with it. Moreover, he is a left-arm bowler and that angle can create problems as well. If he stays fit throughout the tournament, Pakistan will have a wonderful bowler at its disposal.
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