World Cup 2019: Will these men be tenacious again?
Ten 2015 World Cup stars who can make a big impact during next week's showpiece event in United Kingdom
Shikhar Dhawan (Ind)
Shikhar Dhawan may have not been in top form during this year's ODI series against Australia and New Zealand, but when it comes to ICC events, the India opener is in a league of its own. The southpaw, who is known to lift his 'A' game at ICC events, was India's highest run-scorer in the 2015 World Cup, smashing 412 runs in eight games including two centuries and one half-century. He was also the highest run-getter in the 2013 and 2017 Champions Trophy in England.
Faf du Plessis (SA)
Faf du Plessis will have to play a significant role in South Africa's quest to clinch their maiden World Cup. The Proteas will hope their captain leads from the front and repeat his 2015 show in Australia, where he scored 380 runs in seven games, including one century and three half-centuries at an average of 63.63.
Mitchell Starc (Aus)
Pace ace Mitchell Starc will have to play a major role to help Australia defend their World Cup title. The left-arm pacer, who was named the Player of the Tournament, was in sensational form, claiming 22 wickets in the last edition. Though injuries have kept him out of most matches, in the last four years, he can hold the key to Aaron Finch & Co's chances of lifting the trophy.
Shakib Al Hasan (Ban)
Shakib Al Hasan has been a star for Bangladesh with the bat and ball. The all-rounder, who scored 196 runs and claimed eight wickets in the 2015 World Cup, will be leading Bangladesh's spin attack in England. He has immensely contributed to Bangladesh's success in all formats which saw them getting over their minnows tag and a becoming a force to reckon with.
Martin Guptill (Nz)
With 547 runs in nine matches, Martin Guptill was the highest run-scorer in the 2015 edition. The Kiwi opener smashed the highest ever score in World Cup history during his 163-ball 237 to set up New Zealand's win over West Indies in the quarter-finals. A similar performance from the in-form dangerman, who has scored two centuries in his last three games against Bangladesh, cannot be ruled out.
Trent Boult (Nz)
Trent Boult has been leading the New Zealand bowling attack for many years and was the highest wicket-taker (22) in the 2015 World Cup, along with Australia's Mitchell Starc. One of the key aspects which separates Boult with other pacers is his control and accuracy. Skipper Kane Williamson will be hoping for a similar performance from the left-arm pacer, who has been in tremendous form this year, claiming 20 wickets in 10 ODIs.
Chris Gayle (Wi)
The big-hitting West Indian is one of the most destructive batsmen in the world. He rocked the 2015 edition by becoming the first batsman to hit a double hundred in a World Cup match (against Zimbabwe in Canberra). The Jamaican has been in great form this year, scoring 424 runs in five ODIs, including two tons.
Mohammed Shami (Ind)
Mohammed Shami will hold the key to India's chances of winning the third World Cup title. Also known for his reverse swing, Shami claimed 17 wickets in seven matches in the 2015 edition at an impressive economy rate of 4.81. The right-arm pacer, who has reinvented himself as a white-ball bowler in recent times, will look to repeat his 2015 show.
Virat Kohli (Ind)
With 41 centuries in 227 ODIs, India skipper Virat Kohli is going to be the most-followed cricketer at the World Cup. Kohli, who struck a hundred in the opening game at the 2011 and 2015 editions, amassing 305 runs in eight games in the previous World Cup. Kohli has been in ominous form since 2018, smashing nine centuries in 25 matches at an impressive average of 90.65.
Steven Smith (Aus)
All eyes will be on Steven Smith, who will be making a return to international cricket a year after the ball tampering episode in South Africa. The former Australia skipper, who amassed 402 runs in eight games in the previous edition with an average of 67.00, showed glimpses of his old touch in the three warm-up matches against New Zealand XI in Brisbane recently, scoring 202 runs in three matches.
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