Cricket world Cup 2015 is just around the corner with Australia and New Zealand hosting the big event both and bat and bowl will have equal chance of dominating the games. ICC went with the 1992 world cup format where 14 teams are divided into 2 groups and top four teams from each group will make it to the quarter finals. Today we are going to take a look at 10 players who are playing the best cricket in last 12 months and will be the ones to watch out for.
Virat Kohli (India)
Probably the best batsman in the last couple of years, specially in limited over cricket. Kohli has scored around 4055 runs since august 2011 with 16 centuries in 87 matches and at a very healthy average of 58.76.
Looking at these numbers its frighting how consistent Kohli has been and he holds the key for the defending champions campaign down under.
The way he scores runs at deadly pace, he can singly handedly take the game away from opposition. Currently on Australian tour where he is part of test team already scored two hundreds in first test match and it looks like he is going to love batting in those fast tracks of Australia and grounds with short boundires. His recent record in both Australia and New Zealand has been sensational with massive 50+ average and around 100 strike rate.
Glenn Maxwell (Australia)
He was the pick of players when Australia visited India last year, his sensational batting got Australia a rare ODI series win in India. He will be a key player if Australia were to reach finals.
He was out of form against South Africa the recent series Australia won but he has a long ODI tri nations series coming up to get back into the form where Aussies will be playing against India and England before they start their 2015 world cup campaign. Apart from his deadly batting he can be used as a part time bowler as well.
Angelo Matthews (Sri Lanka)
Current Sri Lanka captain Angelo Matthews has come of age since the 2011 world cup, his batting has improved in all formats and he can be a very handy bowler as well. Looking at his statistics since august 2011, in 87 ODI matches since 2011 he has scored 2363 runs and also took 52 wickets.
He can be very dangerous player in lower middle order, can change gears according to the scenario. Sri Lankan success depends alot on his shoulders alongside veterans Kumar Sangakara and Jaywerdene
Brendon McCullum (New Zealand)
Kiwis will be playing most of their matches in New Zealand and there is no better batsman in limited over cricket than New Zealand opener Brendon McCullum. With shorter boundries with ball coming nicely to bat he will be key player for New Zealand in the 2015 world cup which could turn out to be his last major ICC competition.
He has not been in great form lately but a test series and than ODI matches against Sri Lanka will give him chance to regain his batting touch before the world cup, this New Zealand side will be one of the favorites to go all the way.
Dale Steyn (South Africa)
Just like Virat Kohli who is the best batsman in the world at the moment, Dale Steyn is easily the leading fast bowler in last 2 to 3 years in all formats of the game. He is quick with great line & length and austalian wickets will suite him alot.
In 39 ODI matches since august 2011 he has taken 64 wickets at the average of 23. Although his bowling was not up to his usual standards in the ODI matches played in Australia or New Zealand.
Moeen Ali (England)
England are using Moeen Ali as a top order batsman and the move has brought in mixed results against Sri Lanka. He scored a quick hundred followed couple of quick fifties. It is remain to be seen whether Moeen Ali will be used as opener in World Cup or not but his ability to score quick runs might get him a permanent opening slot in England’s limited over cricket.
Moeen can a be very handy bowler as well and after Graeem Swan retired he will take on the opportunity as a lone spinner in the team
Shahid Afridi (Pakistan)
Pakistan are not going into the world cup with great expectations and looking at the players at their disposal its hard to point out someone who can consistently win them matches. But like always Shahid Afridi is there only trumph card who can change the course of the game with both bat and bowl.
He recently announced that he will retire from ODI cricket after world cup 2015 and hopefully he can continue his recent run of form which saw him score couple of fifties and quick fire 30s and 40s against New Zealand. He also picked 8 wickets in 5 odi games against New Zealand making him the only inform player in Pakistan team.
AB de villiers & Hashim Amla (South Africa)
Alongside Kohli two batsman who have been scoring consistently on international stage are South African duo of Hashim Amla and captain AB de villiers. IF we look at the records of both Amli and De Villiers you can see that they have been rocks for South Africa since 2011. De Villiers scored massive 3000 runs in just 60 odis since 2011 with record average of 67 while Amla has scored 9 hundreds and 2600 runs in just 58 matches since 2011 at the average of 48.
Here are some statistics of both players, first its De Villiers and if you take a look at table below you can see that he loves playing in Australia and New Zealand. While Amla scored 345 runs in just 6 odis in New Zealand.