The day has finally arrived when the Men in Blue will be kicking off their World Cup 2019 campaign and their opponents are South Africa. The match promises to be an explosive one as the Proteas have lost both their games so far and will coming hard at India who will be trying to get into the groove. Virat Kohli’s men haven’t played international cricket since the home series against Australia in March and the last of their two warm-up games played before the big event was almost a week ago.
Nevertheless, all eyes will be on some of the top performers of the Indian line-up, including Kohli, hid deputy Rohit Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, among others. However, former Australian pacer Glenn McGrath feels it is neither Kohli, Bumrah of Dhoni but somebody else who could turn out to be the stand-out star of the tournament.
According to the 49-year-old ‘Pigeon’, it is ace all-rounder Hardik Pandya who could have in this edition the same impact as Yuvraj Singh had in the 2011 World Cup. Yuvraj was chosen the man of the series for his all-round performance in the tournament that India won. This year, too, all-rounders have already made their marks with England’s Ben Stokes and Bangladesh’s Shakib Al Hasan producing match-winning shows against South Africa. All eyes are now set on Hardik who was in a terrific nick, especially with the bat, in the Indian Premier League this year.
“Pandya can play that role. DK (Dinesh Karthik) is a good finisher too. I think they have got the team to do well,” Timesnownews.com cited reports quoting McGrath, who has the record of grabbing the most number of wickets (26) in a World Cup (2007), as saying. He said this when asked if India would miss a player of the calibre of Yuvraj in this edition.
Bumrah makes India a dangerous team, feels McGrath
McGrath, who himself was the Player of the Series of the 2007 edition, thought the presence of Bumrah also makes India a dangerous team in the 2019 World Cup.
“Their bowling attack.. with Jasprit Bumrah who is up there with the best ODI bowlers in the world. The lengths he bowls and bowls quality yorkers. He is a really good finisher. They have got the team to perform really well in this World Cup. Have to see how they go in the English conditions,” he said, adding praise for Dhoni as well.