We’ve already seen who Professor Xavier has in his batting cupboard, now let’s glance over at what he has up his sleeve in the bowling department.
Click here for Part 1.
Dale Steyn (South Africa) – Hard to call him an x-factor player when he delivers like a midwife. He consistently steps up to the plate for his country and has the ability to take wickets on any surface in any situation. Without him, the South African attack turns from a rabies infected Ridgeback to a slobbering Labrador. Now we all love ourselves a good old lab pup, however they aren’t of much use on a cricket field other than to retrieve balls and these little fellas could get tired of hoping over the fence to pick up Wayne Parnell’s pieces should Steyn be absent. AB de Villiers and Hashim Amla are crucial to South Africa’s cause, but without Steyn they all might as well stay in their hotel.
Mitchell Starc (Australia) – The leading wicket taker at the last World Cup in Australasia (1992) was one Wasim Akram, so putting some cash monies down on Mitch Starc might not be a bad idea. The bastard son of Ned, Mitch has made his way south of Winterfell and has found a permanent home in Sydney. He has also found some love in the form Alyssa Healy, the niece of Ian, proving once and for all that Starc is of cricketing royalty. Besides that, he can swing better than Austin Powers and has a yorker that would even trouble the great Abraham Benjamin de Villiers. And forget not his ability to wield the willow…Wasim 2.0 perhaps? The Sultan of Swing seems to think so himself anyway (click here).
Trent Boult (New Zealand) – Much of the buzz about New Zealand’s recent successes in the cricketing world has been around the likes of Brendan McCullum, Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor. However, Trent Boult has played a big role in the Black Caps rise. In fairness, it’s with the red ball that he has shone the brightest and his ODI record is fairly bread (15 wickets in 14 games at 37). So let’s look past the stats here, Trent Boult has something special, he can turn a match on it’s head. His ability to swing the ball up front on tricky New Zealand surfaces will make him a danger man along with Tim Southee for the Kiwis. Aside from that, he is one of the best fielders in the world…quite unheard of for a fast bowler!
Sunil Narine (West Indies) – After the uncontroversial BCCI banned him from bowling at the Champions League T20 many feared that the Windies magician would not be the same. But it’s safe to say that he’s back having taken 6/9 in the final of the Nagico Super 50 tournament for Trinidad…albeit that the Caribbean domestic cricket league is of the same quality as a Pep Stores T-shirt. When Narine is at his mystery spinning best, you’ll find it easier to score at a Victoria’s Secret party. His return to the Windies side could provide a much needed spark to their attack that the gangly, frustrated and often grumpy Sulieman Benn has been unable to provide thus far.
Lasith Malinga (Sri Lanka) – He’s been out of action since September with an ankle injury, but the Sri Lankans are
desperate confident he will be back. Slinga Malinga has 31 wickets from 15 outings in World Cup’s at an average of just under 18. A man for the big occasion, his world renowned yorkers and slower balls could even outfox the CIA. Who could ever forget his four wickets in four balls against South Africa in 2007 to turn the match on it’s head? Death bowling is where this tournament will be won and lost, so looking past Malinga as an X-Man would be more Ludacris than telling a female dog to get out the way!