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MS Dhoni, Chris Gayle, Lasith Malinga and Other Stars Set for Final WC Appearance

-ICC World Cup 2019

Playing a World Cup is always a dream for any cricketer and there are only a handful who get to appear in multiple editions. Many players retired post the 2015 World Cup like Michael Clarke, Kumar Sangakkara, Mahela Jayawardene, Daniel Vettori and many more. By the looks of it, the 2019 edition won’t be any different.

Here we take a look at the some of the players who are likely to be playing their final World Cup.

One of the most successful captains in limited overs format, one of the finest finishers the world has ever seen, will be playing his fourth World Cup and all eyes will be on him given it is likely that this could turn out to be his final world tournament.

India had one to forget in 2007, 2011 was historic and in 2015 India hit a block against Australia.

Dhoni averages 36.94 in ODIs in England – the least for him in a country where he has played at least 25 ODIs. So, history is against him and he was booed at Lord’s during India’s recent visit to England for not showing enough intent.

There have been talks over his batting and how he approaches his knocks, especially starting his innings. He comes into the World Cup on the back of carrying Chennai Super Kings into the final, with his personal best IPL ever. He scored 416 runs in 12 games at a strike rate of 134.63.

With an uncertain Indian middle order, a lot will depend on how MS Dhoni goes about his business if he intends to finish things off in style.

Lasith Malinga

Matches: 218, Wickets: 322, Bowling Avg: 29.03, Eco. Rate: 5.33

The Sri Lankan legend showed why is regarded as one of the best bowlers in the limited-overs format after he came back after being hit around the park to bowl Mumbai Indians to their record fourth title triumph in the IPL 2019 final against Chennai Super Kings.

It was not too long ago when he was in the charge of the national squad and knows what it takes to win a World title, having led the Islanders to T20 title in 2014.

He’s had his moments too when it comes to the 50-over format. He took four wickets in as many balls against South Africa in 2007, been a vital cog of the sides to have made it to two World Cup finals.

In a squad devoid of experience, it will Malinga who will have to not only lead from the front but also guide the other bowlers on the big stage.

Chris Gayle

Matches: 289, Runs: 10151, Average: 38.16, 100s: 25, 50s: 51

Gayle announced his return to international cricket in style with a splendid series against England just before the IPL. He scored two tons and two fifties in the five games to show the world that the self-proclaimed Universe Boss still had it in him.

West Indies have had a good time ever since they won the Qualifiers in 2018 and will go into the big event full of confidence with the likes of Shai Hope, Shimron Hetmyer and Oshane Thomas showing promising signs.

Gayle scored a double hundred in the previous edition, becoming the first to do so in men’s tournament and playing his fifth World Cup, he will want to leave a mark and end his career on a high.

Imran Tahir

Matches: 98, Wickets: 162, Bowling Avg: 24.21, Eco. Rate: 4.62

The South African leg spinner has been in a rich vein of form for quite a while. In 2019, he has taken 11 wickets in seven games at an average of 22.54, going at just 3.87.

In IPL 2019, he became only the second spinner to win the Purple Cap having taken 26 wickets in 17 matches with a couple of four-fers. South Africa have a potent pace bowling attack in Dale Steyn, Kagiso Rabada and Lungi Ngidi and if

Tahir manages to continue his good work, the Proteas could boast of having one of the best attacks in the tournament and might finally win the coveted title.

Shoaib Malik

Matches: 282, Runs: 7481, Average: 35.12, 100s: 9, 50s: 44

Shoaib Malik may not be in the best of forms but remains a pivotal figure for Pakistan if they are to go a long way in the tournament. He has scored just 197 runs in the eight games in 2019 at an average of 28.14 with only one score in excess of fifty.

Pakistan don’t have many batsmen who can hit the ball right from the word go and an experienced batsman like Malik will be expected to step up and lead them to make a difference in what could be his final World Cup.

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