With the 2015 Cricket World Cup on our doorstep, Kill’s Corner takes a look at the game changers and match winners who will turn the cricketing world on its head.
Picture yourself in the head offices of Pinnacle Records in the movie Get him to the Greek and Sergio Roma is telling you need a ‘game changer’. So you are stuck between Chocolate Daddy and Aldous Snow…personally I go for the rock star. I go Aldous Snow. I pick the players that will change the game and one day, hundreds of years from now, people may be speaking of them in the same way we speak of Sir Don and Dr WG Grace.
So let’s get into the mind of Professor Xavier and look at the X-Men batsmen who will light up the 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup…
AB de Villiers (South Africa) – More of a freak than Quassimodo, more rare than a polar bear in the Kalahari and realer than the real Slim Shady; AB de Villiers is perhaps one of the greatest to have played the game. He is a demi-god and in Greek times he’d be having fines with Zeus and Hercules after each match. He simply has no equal. Fastest fifty, fastest hundred, most sixes and at the time of his record breaking knock he had odds of 20/1 to be the top run scorer at the World Cup…I’d take those odds any day my friend! Taking a bet like that is the equivalent of playing Black Jack with Rain Man on your team.
Steve Smith (Australia) – Like Cat Stevens, this lad has come along way and he’s changing day to day. From having been a weak link in the Aussie lineup 18 months ago, Steve Smith is now to cricket what Harry Potter is to Quidditch. This fella is a superstar and he is destined for glory. With the blade in hand he is virtually unstoppable and folks from all round the world will flock to their telly screens to catch a glimpse of his somewhat awkward genius. Oh and if you go to the Adelaide Oval or the MCG or the Gabba or the WACA…that’s where this child will play Mr Stevens.
Luke Ronchi (New Zealand) – According to James McOnie, this blokes only weakness is karaoke…cause he sings in the ‘Wrongkey’. Ronchi played four ODI’s for Australia in 2008 before turning out for his native New Zealand in 2013. He has scored 852 runs an average of 37 with a strike rate of of 125 from 36 matches, however in his last 13 ODI’s he has scored 513 runs (ave 64.12, SR 125). So why does this make him so dangerous then? Plenty players have similar stats in the lead up to the World Cup don’t they? Well Ronchi has scored nearly 400 runs in his last eight ODI’s at home (ave 99) against fairly decent opposition in the form of South Africa and Sri Lanka. So despite looking like a combination of Shrek and his donkey, this bloke can play and on home soil he will be lethal, especially coming in at number seven.
Jos Buttler (England) – When the run rates down and things don’t look good, who ya gonna call? Jos Buttler! Might not be in the best form of his life at the moment, but my giddy aunt he is a genuine match winner. His place in the England side is assured in all formats after Matt ‘The Big Cheese’ Prior lost his place due to a lack of runs and more importantly as a result of unfriending Kevin Pietersen on Facebook. When he gets going he is near impossible to bowl to, because like Brendon McCullum and AB de Villiers, he moves around in the crease so well and ramps the ball better than General Lee jumps a broken bridge.
Angelo Mathews (Sri Lanka) – Imran Khan inspired the Pakistani’s to fight like cornered tigers at the 1992 World Cup and Angelo Mathews could do a similar job for Sri Lanka. Billy Birmingham may have got his tongue twisted trying to pronounce his name, but reading his stats is pretty easy: 1298 runs at an average of 59 in the last year. Like indicators on a Joburg taxi, his bowling is an added bonus that makes him the complete ODI allrounder.