Morne Morkel - Bowler of the tournament?
The Cricket World Cup is just around the corner, squads have been announced. Close examination of these squads will always bring the questions of why is here there? How can you leave him out? These questions will be answered elsewhere, here the question is: Which bowlers can win their sides the World Cup?
With the World Cup being on the sub-continent, sides have stacked their teams with spinners. England have three, as do New Zealand and India, even South Africa who often have struggled to find a single spinner have named three. However, I doubt these bowlers will be the match-winners.
I can hear the outrage now, spinners not being match winners in India? Sri Lanka? Don't get me wrong, there are spinners at the World Cup who can win the match, there are just not many of them.
Spinners will be used for tying down the opposition, reducing the run rate and picking up a few wickets through pressure. The real match-winners I believe, will be pace bowlers.
The quick's are the men who can win, or admittedly lose the match quickly for you. A bad start with the hard ball and it will be disappearing further then it will all innings.
The latter overs, however, is where they earn their pay. The ability to come back with the old ball and get bounce, lift or reverse swing and prise out that well set batsman is what each captain will pray for.
Bowler of the Tournament
However, there a few genuine quicks who can return with the old ball and cause carnage. These are the players the captain will turn to when the chips are down, and can salvage victory from the jaws of defeat.
Men like Morne Morkel who can extract bounce with pace even on slow pitches, he is my pick for bowler of the tournament. Other men who can turn in a match-winning performance are, dare I say it, Shaun Tait, if he stays fit.
Lasith Malinga is devastating when he get his yorkers right, and with a discoloured ball will be hard to pick up. Others such as Dale Steyn and Brett Lee (still highly regarded here). There are plenty of seam bowlers, but the thoroughbreds are the valuable ones.
These speedsters will win the games, the spinners will limit the runs without the glory. Oh that is unless your name is Muttiah Muralitharan, but not everyone can bend the elbow at funny angles and turn the ball round corners.