The stage is set, the players raring to go. Cricket lovers’ nerves will be jangling more than ever, now that the World Cup has progressed to the quarter-finals. But the spotlight will be on those players who really hit their stride during the group matches. These players would have to continue turning out match-winning performances to take their team forward. Let’s take a look at some of the players who have a great responsibility on their shoulders to contribute to the team in the quarterfinals.
This guy recently completed 10000 runs in international cricket. He is just 26!!! At any given day one can bet on Kohli to perform and win matches. Hi century against Pakistan in the opening match and a quite 46 against South Africa showed us he can adapt to situations ideally. Numbers can never lie – Kohli has 22 hundreds under his belt and India have won on 20 occasions when Kohli has done that.
He needs no introduction, does he? With scores of 162, 77, and 99 he has amassed 417 runs this world cup already. We already know what can happen when he gets into his destructive mode. Now that the Proteas have broken the knockout jinx, the semi-final game awaits another AB show!!!
This 30 year old cricketer has really come forward and made Bangladesh look like a team to be taken seriously. He hit back to back centuries against top teams like England and New Zealand, fashioning a historic win over the former that knocked them out of the World Cup, and challenging the latter with an endearing performance. His last three scores read 128, 103 and 62. Come the quarter-final match between India and Bangladesh, Mahmudullah would be one player to watch out for.
The Australian team is blessed with two Mitchells who can hurl the cricket ball at 145 mph with regularity. But the one who has made a mark in this World Cup has been the younger of the two, Mitchell Starc. The leading wicket taker with 16 wickets, Starc has hit the peak of his form at the right time. He practically dismantled the famed New Zealand line up with figures of 6/28. He is arguably the best death over bowler in the world right now, regularly rattling stumps with accurate yorkers.
Playing in Australia is always difficult, and even more so when facing a roaring New Zealand team. But if there is one man who can bring about a change and turn the tide in West Indies’ favor, it is Chris Gayle. With a splendid double century to his credit, the West Indian run machine may have a chance to put West Indies on top if he fires on all cylinders against the likes of Trent Boult and Tim Southee.
Brendon McCullum’s open exhibition of aggression has already put fear in other teams. Both in his captaincy and his batting, the New Zealander has shown tremendous potential to go down as one of the greats. He scored the fastest fifty in a world cup against England, blasting his way with fours and sixes like only A B De Villiers could. He is the match-winner that could prove beneficial to New Zealand in the quarterfinals.
The resurgence of Pakistan after its two initial losses has been due to great bowling performances from Wahab Riaz and Sohail Khan. Wahab has been a key player in their late success, taking 14 wickets in the tournament and entering the top 3 wicket takers list. His match winning figures of 3/45 against South Africa and 4/45 against Zimbabwe have helped Pakistan pile on the pressure against the opponents. He will be the bowler that his captain will look up to take wickets when Pakistan need them the most during the quarterfinals.