4 Of the best bowling spells in World Cups
As the saying goes, "Batsmen set the game up for you, it's your bowlers who win you the game."
There are several means by which you can give yourself the chance to win a game. However, if you can pick up wickets at any stage of the game, you give yourself the best chance. There is nothing as valuable as penetrative bowling spells.
When you are playing a big tournament like the World Cup, you want your bowlers to be on top on their game and leave no stone unturned. If your bowlers perform effectively and consistently, you are likely to deliver highly clinical performances.
The batsmen build the platform and the bowlers destroy the opposition to win you the tournament.
ICC Cricket World Cup is now only a few days away. It is expected to be a real blockbuster with all the teams looking good and any team can pip the other team on its day. Hence, there will be no room for complacency.
With all the teams having potent ball-strikers, the bowlers will have to show real character to deliver in what is expected to be a high-scoring World Cup owing to flat pitches in England.
They can seek some inspiration from some of the memorable spells in the previous editions of the World Cup. These performances are not the "top 4", rather are "four of the best" bowling performances in World Cup history.
These bowling spells are in no specific order.
#1 5/14 by Glenn McGrath versus the West Indies in the 1999 World Cup
McGrath who is widely regarded as one of the best fast bowlers to have played the game was not quite express-pace. His accuracy in his line and length and the ability to move the ball both ways were enough to trouble some of the best batsmen around the world.
McGrath came into this game under pressure which he built himself by claiming that he would topple one of the best batsmen going around- Brian Lara. Australia was defeated by New Zealand and Pakistan before this game and it had to win this game to progress to the Super Six stage.
McGrath thrived under pressure as he blew the West Indies batting line with a magical spell of 5/14 in 8.4 overs with three maidens. He picked up three early wickets reducing the West Indies to 20-3. Brian Lara as McGrath promised got a ripper of a delivery and he found his off-stump flattened. McGrath came back to the attack later and cleaned up the tail quickly to bowl them out for a meager 110.
The chase, therefore, was a piece of cake for the Australian batsmen and they did it in style. This performance gave them the much-needed momentum after having a not-so-great tournament until that point. This boost allowed them to eventually lift the trophy in 1999.