ICC World Cup 2023 | Rashid Khan, Virat Kohli feature in Jacques Kallis' top five players list
Jacques Kallis has previously worked with South Africa and England as a batting consultant|
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Jacques Kallis made his picks for the potential best performers at the upcoming ODI World Cup in India, scheduled to start on October 5. In a video released by ICC, the former Proteas named Rashid Khan, Virat Kohli, Anrich Nortje, Jos Buttler and Babar Azam as key players heading into the event.
Kallis highlighted Rashid Khan's suitability to subcontinental conditions after the wrist-spinner has excelled in the Indian Premier League over the years, with 2023 being his most fruitful season to date on the back of 27 scalps in 17 innings.
"For me, Rashid Khan, he's going to be a massive player for Afghanistan, done particularly well lately and those conditions are going to suit him. I think he's going to lead from the front. He's a fighter and for me, he's going to play a massive role for Afghanistan," Kallis was quoted saying by ICC.
Indian talisman Virat Kohli was next on Kallis' radar following the batter's recent statement making century against Pakistan. The veteran has the most runs of any active batter in ODIs, having recently gone past the 13,000 mark, and is the only player remaining from the winning contingent in 2011.
"Kohli would be another pick of mine, magnificent player. He's gonna want to set the world alight, probably the last World Cup he'll play in his home country and he'll want to finish with a bang. So, for me, he's going to play a big role in the top order for India," Kallis said.
Right-arm quick Anrich Nortje, considered at large the fastest bowler in the world at the moment, as well as England skipper Jos Buttler made it to Kallis' predictions.
"Anrich Nortje would be another pick of mine, he will be certainly one of the fastest bowlers in the World Cup. He's gonna play a massive role leading the South African attack, especially early on in the tournament when the wickets are a little bit fresher. I think he could scare a few batters and knock a few top orders over."
"Jos Buttler will fit in there for me. A big player for England, I think he's going to have a massive World Cup. And if England are going to progress far in this World Cup, I think he needs to fire at the top and get them off to quick starts and certainly blow the opposition away," Kallis added.
The 47-year-old capped off his opinion with Pakistan captain Babar Azam, who boasts the highest batting average in ODI history amongst players to have scored at least 2,000 runs.
"And my fifth and final pick is Babar Azam, world class player. Going to score a lot of runs the top of the order for Pakistan. And if they're going to progress further, he's going to play a massive role. For me, he's a key player for them and a wicket that the guys will want to get early on," Kallis concluded.