Team-wise one legend in making
Some of these young cricketers are well on their way towards becoming an iconic figure in the game.
Published - Jun 7, 2019 10:53 am | Updated - Jun 7, 2019 10:53 am
Every edition of the ICC World Cup turns young boys into men and some greats of the game to absolute legends. It takes one monumental effort from each of these players to etch their names in history like Glenn McGrath did in 2007, Yuvraj Singh did it in 2011 and Mitchell Starc in 2015.
The whole transition from a great player to a legend doesn’t happen that easy. The obstacles some of these players face on the way could sometimes seem impregnable, but the ones destined for a legendary status find a way through and eventually get what they want.
As we take a look at some of the names in the current World Cup sides, there are names which already did everything possible like Virat Kohli, MS Dhoni, David Warner, Chris Gayle to earn legendary status. Here are some young and established names from each team who could one day be a legend for their country.
1. Afghanistan – Hazratullah Zazai
A young and exuberant southpaw made first inroads into the limelight by hitting six sixes in an Afghanistan Premier League match in Sharjah. From then on, Hazratullah Zazai made it to the International side and although the start has been a bit shaky, the youngster looks well set to achieve great things in his career.
A testament to his ability was his knock against Ireland, where he single-handedly demolished the bowlers and helped his side register the highest total in the history of T20 cricket. He has bigger challenges ahead of him in this very tournament and his performances could determine how far he will go.
2. Australia – Pat Cummins
Already an Alan Border medal winner, Pat Cummins was a very peripheral member of the 2015 World Cup winning Australian side. He has grown humongous in stature in the last few years and is keen on delivering a sensational performance in the 2019 edition. He started off on a bang with two outstanding spells against Afghanistan and West Indies.
The 26-year-old speedster has upped his game quite brilliantly during the phase when Australia were struggling to cope with the absence of David Warner and Steve Smith. He already has proven that he loves performing well for the side when they’re in tatters, which is a hallmark of a great player. He definitely has the potential to be the player of the tournament this time.
3. Bangladesh – Mehidy Hasan
Asian countries giving new spinners to the cricketing world is no new thing, but Bangladesh’s Mehidy Hasan is quite a special talent. He broke into limelight with a very special performance against England in the Test series in 2016. He had some dark phases during this time period but is up and running once again.
Bangladesh has produced some outstanding finger spinners like Abdur Razzak, Shakib Al Hasan and this youngster wishes to follow on the same path. He also captained Bangladesh in the 2014 U19 World Cup, so he could potentially fight to be the senior team captain someday. Thus far, he has picked three wickets in two games in the tournament.
4. England – Jofra Archer
Jofra Archer was already a superstar before making his International debut. His unbelievable consistency to hit the right areas time and again at high speeds was just phenomenal. Although he wasn’t named in the provisional squad announced in April, he kept delivering some top-notch performances in the IPL and also in the England-Pakistan series, which prompted the selectors to pick him.
He picked up three wickets against South Africa in the opening encounter but failed to confiscate the Pakistani batters. He will face some severe challenges and might as well struggle to cope with a few of them, but he certainly has the mental toughness and strength to overcome all of it.
5. India – Jasprit Bumrah
Some would say he’s already up there, but Jasprit Bumrah has not yet achieved anything significant apart from the IPL trophies with Mumbai Indians. An ICC trophy to his cabinet is what would make him the legend he wants to be and he definitely is on the verge of getting there, if not now, surely in the near future.
He bowled a mind-boggling spell against South Africa in India’s opening game and is looking determined to win the games all by himself. His bowling partner Bhuvneshwar Kumar found some form after a disappointing IPL campaign and if these both can launch a serious attack, India could well be on the road to Lord’s.
6. New Zealand – Tom Latham
New Zealand’s middle order has some outstanding cricketers, one of them is Tom Latham. The left-handed batsman is blessed with amazing mental strength and also is a very technically astute cricketer. He is a good player of both spin and pace bowling and excelled in Asian and non-Asian conditions throughout his career.
Some feel he bats a little too deep in the batting order, but he found success even while batting at number 5. He is a proper team player who is versatile enough to adapt to any situation. Some experts are also touting him to be the captain in the future, which really would escalate his status.
7. Pakistan – Shaheen Afridi
Among all the Asian countries, it is needless to say that Pakistan has the best pool of fast bowlers. They have been sensational in developing great fast bowlers who can notch high speeds and also pick wickets at regular intervals and one of their prime prodigies right now is Shaheen Afridi.
After making a name for himself in the Pakistan Super League, the youngster made his way into the national side. He is not finding a place in the XI right now, but to make it to the World Cup squad at the age of 19 is simply astonishing. He has a very bright future ahead of him and has shown enough promise to place our bets on him to become a global star in the coming times.
8. Windies – Shai Hope
After a fantastic performance in the Tri-series in Ireland leading up to the World Cup, there were plenty of eyes set on Shai Hope to be the pillar of West Indies’ batting lineup. The 25-year-old delivered one of the grittiest knocks in World Cup history against Australia in a losing cause and vindicated why he is the future of their country.
On a track where tackling new ball was getting very difficult, Hope was hit on the body several times but he managed to keep his composure and registered a fifty. He has the will power to keep battling no matter what the odds are saying, which is what makes him a force to reckon with in the coming years.
9. South Africa – Aiden Markram
Aiden Markram was the U19 captain for South Africa when they won it in 2014 and since then, his name was lurking around the national side corridors. He eventually made it to the Test side and stitched some fantastic knocks right from the outset. The young opener is just about finding his way in the ODI side as well and could potentially be a huge star in the coming years.
South Africa is known to deliver some technically precise batsmen and Markram could be one of them. He has a beautiful stance and great composure, to go with the trust he won from his captain. The Proteas are looking for their next superstar after AB de Villiers’ retirement and this lad could be one to watch out.
10. Sri Lanka – Kusal Mendis
Among the current lot, there is not a lot of promise for Sri Lanka apart from Kusal Mendis. The 24-year-old from Moratuwa has impressed one and all in the longest format but is yet to deliver in the World Cup. His numbers might not be very promising, but he has had his moments in International cricket to back him as the next superstar.
The Islanders are desperately in need for some character to be shown in the middle order, with Angelo Mathews, Lahiru Thirimanne and the rest not performing up to the mark. There is a very little indication to suggest in terms of current form that Kusal Mendis could be the one, but he definitely has enough talent and time to work his way towards glory.