Monday, February 14, 2011

World Cup Predictions: Most Valuable Player

In part four of our seven part series, Matthew combines with Subash and Dave to select their World Cup MVPs.

Matt Wood

First up, we can eliminate the bowlers. No matter how well the trundlers perform, the awards always go to the batsmen and the criteria for MVP depends on where that guy bats. If you bat in the top four, you have to score a shedload of runs like Ricky Ponting did in 2003. If you bat lower, the biggest criterion is to change the game with the way you hit, a la Lance Klusener’s 1999 tournament. The nearest thing the world has to Klusener is Pakistan’s Shahid Afridi, whose chances of winning the award are slimmed somewhat by Pakistan’s inconsistency and lack of their two best bowlers. So the best guess is here for Amla or Sangakkara, two batsmen who’ll get plenty of crease-time and whose elegant, wristy styles are perfectly suited for low, slow subcontinental pitches.

WC MVP: Amla or Sangakkara


Subash Jayaraman

Who else but Sachin Tendulkar? Or maybe, Shane Watson or Jacque Kallis, the two best all rounders in the game currently? (No, Harbhajan Singh is not an all rounder.)

WC MVP: Sachin Tendulkar


David Siddall

There are candidates for the most valuable player everywhere you look. There are match-winners a plenty. For South Africa you have Steyn, Smith, Kallis, De Villiers and Amla. For India you have Khan, Tendulkar, Sehwag and Pathan. For England you have KP and Trott. For the West Indies it has to be Chris Gayle. For Australia it is likely to be Watson and Lee. For Sri Lanka you have Sangakarra, Jayawardene and Malinga.

It’s normal for the most valuable player to be selected from the World Cup winning side and seeing as I’m going for the perennial chokers – who yet again have one of the strongest sides on paper – of South Africa, I’m going to go for Hashim Amla who will also be their leading run scorer. He’s been in scintillating form this past year notching up 6 of his 7 one-day centuries. His ability to bat through innings after innings and score at a healthy strike rate could put him in line for the prize. If South Africa do go on to win the World Cup, Amla’s role will be that of as sizeable cog in a well-oiled machine. I don’t think one player can win a World Cup on their own in the way that many claim Maradona won Serie A single handedly for Napoli in the late 1980s.

WC MVP: Hashim Amla


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