Sthalekar

Lisa Sthalekar, a two-time World Cup champion and member of the ICC Hall of Fame, has revealed the first five players she would choose for her ideal ODI XI.

Sthalekar, who had success with the strong Australian teams in 2005 and 2013, is well-versed in what it takes to win a World Cup. Sthalekar also keeps a close eye on the modern game in her capacity as a pundit.

Sthalekar listed the top five players Sthalekar would start with while assembling her Dream ODI XI before the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup kicked off in India in October.

1. Jasprit Bumrah – India

“I have to go Jasprit Bumrah at No.1.

“An opening bowler is very important as you need to pick up wickets early, but then also be able to bowl at the death when the players are going hard. 

“He is someone that can be used in the middle overs as well, so is a handy bowler across all the three different phases.”

2. Virat Kohli – India

“From a batting point of view, I am going to go with Virat Kohli at No.2.

“On the big stage in front of his home crowd, he is someone you would bank on getting runs and lifting as it will probably be his last World Cup. 

“A chance for him to say farewell and to also do India proud.”

3. Babar Azam – Pakistan

“I think he (Babar) will score a lot of runs (at the World Cup).

“The conditions and the way the 50-over format is played will suit him. 

“He is the type of guy that likes to lead from the front as well and he is almost the glue to that Pakistan batting line-up. 

“They have got explosive players around him and he can play his own style and just eke away at his runs and before you know it, he already has triple figures.”

4. Steve Smith – Australia

“He is someone who has adapted his style to all types of conditions. 

“He is a good player of spin, which I think will be important in those middle overs and he will be able to control the innings from there.”

5. Shaheen Afridi – Pakistan

“My last player will be left-arm quick from Pakistan, Shaheen Afridi.

“He is so damaging with the ball. What he can do with his pace and if he gets a bit of movement. 

“Again, (he is) that type of bowler who can bowl at the death. T20 cricket has helped him and he will have a huge impact at the 50-over World Cup.”

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