Many bowlers will be seen in action during the biggest cricket spectacle – ICC Cricket World Cup 2015, starting February 14 in Australia and New Zealand. Top ten bowlers, who will be seen spearheading their respective teams’ chances in the ICC World Cup 2015, are discussed below..
1: Dale Steyn (South Africa)
Steyn is the leader South Africa’s potent fast-bowling attack and undoubtedly one of the best, if not the best, bowler in the world at the moment. With controlled swing and extreme speed, the 31-year-old now has more than 100 wickets to his name. Steyn, who produced a match-winning 5-55 against India in the 2011 ICC Cricket World Cup, has been in excellent form in the months leading up to the 2015 tournament, with performances including 3-27 against West Indies in January.
2: Mitchell Johnson (Australia)
The ICC Cricketer of the Year 2014 will be crucial to Australia’s hopes in the tournament.
In 10 ODIs during 2014 the quick picked up 14 wickets at an average of 26.64, including two three-wicket hauls against Pakistan the United Arab Emirates in October. At his previous World Cup appearance in 2011, his best performances came against Zimbabwe (4-19) and New Zealand (4-33).
3: James Anderson (England)
Anderson reached as high as No.3 in the ICC ODI bowling rankings in mid-2014 as he continued to tear apart opposition batting line-ups with his pace. This will be his fourth World Cup and Anderson will be well-suited to the pace and bounce of the wickets as he heads England’s bowling attack, appearing the man most likely to strike early for England. He gave fans a taste of what he could produce at CWC15 in Brisbane in January when he took 4-18 off 8.3 overs against India.
4: Morne Morkel (South Africa)
Morkel, a member of South Africa’s lethal pace trio alongside Dale Steyn and Vernon Philander, is one of the most feared bowlers in world cricket. The 1.96cm quick has taken more than 100 wickets in one-day cricket and his performances throughout 2014 showed why he is one to watch at CWC15. Morkel snared a five-wicket haul against Australia in Perth in November and was in good form against West Indies through December and January.
5: Sachithra Senanayake (Sri Lanka)
Off-spinner Sachithra Senanayaka reached a career-high ODI ranking of seven in December thanks to strong performances through the last 12 months. His best ODI figures of 4-13 were captured against England in May 2014, while his form leading up to the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 was solid, including 3-33 at home against England in December.
6: Tim Southee (New Zealand)
From debuting as a 19-year-old in 2008, Tim Southee has developed into the leader and spearhead of New Zealand’s destructive pace bowling unit. With immaculate control, deft changes of pace and the ability to swing the ball away at sharp pace, Southee is regarded as one of the most dangerous opening bowlers in ODI cricket. He impressed on the sub-continent pitches at the 2011 Cricket World Cup, finishing as the third-leading wicket-taker with 18 scalps at an average of 17.33. He is sure to be even more potent in his home conditions at #cwc15.
7: Shakib Al Hasan (Bangladesh)
Statistically the most successful player in Bangladesh’s history, Shakib has played a major role in the development of the Bangladesh cricket team through his career. Shakib’s World Cup performances to date include three fifties, with a top score of 57* against England in 2007. His form with the ball in the second half of 2014 saw him climb back up the ICC ODI bowling rankings, thanks to performances including 3-30 and 4-41 against Zimbabwe in December, following a haul of 3-27 India.
8: Mitchell Starc (Australia)
As a potential future spearhead of Australia’s bowling attack, Starc produces express pace and swings the ball and has an uncanny ability to pick up early wickets. Starc’s best ODI performance to date was West Indies in early 2013 when he took 5-20 and the left-armer returned to the Australia one-day line-up in August 2014 for the tour of Zimbabwe. He snagged six wickets from five matches in that series, but Starc’s return was properly heralded in November when he took 4-32 in Canberra. Starc’s excellent form continued in January’s ODI Tri-Series when he picked up 10 wickets in the first two matches with hauls of 4-42 and 6-43.
9: Rangana Herath (Sri Lanka)
The left-arm orthodox spinner has played more than 60 ODIs and took wickets consistently during 2014. A quality bowler for many years, Herath’s ‘carrom ball’ has deceived batsmen all over the world. Some of his best performances of late included 3-36 against England in December.
10: Ravichandran Ashwin (India)
This off-spinner does plenty of damage with a cricket ball and is handy with the bat as well. A member of India’s winning ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 squad, Ashwin has clever varieties and is reliable when it comes to taking wickets during the middle overs. With more than 120 scalps from 80 ODI matches, Ashwin has also retained an economy rate under five runs an over.