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Cricket World Cup 2019: The X-Factor for each  team in the tournament

Ishan Kacker
ANALYST
Top 5 / Top 10
Modified 20 Dec 2019, 23:08 IST

#8 Lasith Mainga (Sri Lanka)

Malinga bowled the tournament-winning over of IPL 12
Malinga bowled the tournament-winning over of IPL 12

Playing his last World Cup, Lasith Malinga would definitely want to bring the trophy home to the Island of Lanka. Age is just a number and Malinga is another prime example of that. Even at the age of 35, the 'Slinga' is still going strong and there still seems to be enough gas left in his tank. Malinga brings in a lot of veteran experience to the team, which will prove to be invaluable for the relatively younger, inexperienced squad.

Ever since Asia Cup 2018, Malinga has got his old groove back and the opposition batsmen better be prepared to dodge those slinging yorkers.

#7 Babar Azam (Pakistan)

Babar Azam is Pakistan
Babar Azam is Pakistan's resident No.3

This has to be one of Pakistan's strongest batting line-ups entering a major ICC tournament in a long time, and a major portion of the credit goes to the top order featuring Fakhar Zaman, Babar Azam and Imam-ul-Haq.

At a healthy average of over 51 and a decent strike rate of over 85, Azam's performance at the World Cup will play a pivotal role in Pakistan's success. Pakistan has reinforced their bowling department bringing back both Mohammad Amir and Wahab Riaz, but there will be times when the batting would have to chase totals going over 300.

At No.3, Azam will be expected to provide stability to the batting order, as he can play both pace and spin quite well. His recent form bodes well for Pakistan as Azam was able to muster 261 runs from just 4 matches in the bilateral series against England.

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Published 23 May 2019, 08:15 IST
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