New Delhi, Sep 01, 2023, IANS
New Delhi, Aug 21 (IANS) Two-time World Cup winner and ICC Hall of Famer, former Australia captain Lisa Sthalekar, has revealed the first five players she would pick if she were selecting a dream XI for this year's ICC Men's Cricket World Cup which includes two India star- Virat Kohli and Jasprit Bumrah.
Sthalekar knows what it takes to win a World Cup having tasted success with the powerful Australian teams in 2005 and 2013 and keeps a close eye on the modern-day game in her role as a commentator.
Ahead of the start of the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup in India in October, Sthalekar's first pick was star pacer Bumrah, who made a stunning comeback after a long injury layoff.
"I have to go Jasprit Bumrah at No.1. An opening bowler is very important as you need to pick up wickets early, but then also be able to bowl at the death when the players are going hard.
"He is someone that can be used in the middle overs as well, so is a handy bowler across all the three different phases," Sthalekar was quoted by ICC website.
In the batting line-up, she chose to go with flamboyant batter Kohli, who boasts an exceptional track record in 50-over format.
"From a batting point of view, I am going to go with Virat Kohli at No.2. "On the big stage in front of his home crowd, he is someone you would bank on getting runs and lifting as it will probably be his last World Cup. A chance for him to say farewell and to also do India proud," said Sthalekar.
She then went on to pick Pakistan skipper Babar Azam saying "the way the 50-over format is played will suit him."
"I think he (Babar) will score a lot of runs (at the World Cup). "The conditions and the way the 50-over format is played will suit him. He is the type of guy that likes to lead from the front as well and he is almost the glue to that Pakistan batting line-up.
"They have got explosive players around him and he can play his own style and just eke away at his runs and before you know it, he already has triple figures."
Australian batter Steve Smith was on fourth in Sthalekar's list. She said "He is someone who has adapted his style to all types of conditions. He is a good player of spin, which I think will be important in those middle overs and he will be able to control the innings from there."
Pakistan pace sensation Shaheen Afridi completes Sthalekar's five-player pick. "My last player will be left-arm quick from Pakistan, Shaheen Afridi. He is so damaging with the ball. What he can do with his pace and if he gets a bit of movement.
"Again, (he is) that type of bowler who can bowl at the death. T20 cricket has helped him and he will have a huge impact at the 50-over World Cup," she said.
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