The West Indian legend, writing for ESPNcricinfo, has picked seven batsman and two bowlers to watch out for at the tournament, with special praise aimed towards the recent efforts of De Villiers. The South African also made Richardson’s list of the 10 ODI batsmen he would pay to watch, which doubles as his pick as the top-10 ODI batsmen of all time.
‘I have to begin with AB de Villiers, who has just re-written the record books with the fastest ODI century. He is one of the world’s current all-round players. Sometimes when I watch him, it seems like I am watching myself. He looks very comfortable at the crease. The shots he plays bring such joy and not just to me. It is a joy to all cricket fans who are watching him the world over. I like his style and he is one player who is very hard to leave out of any ODI team.
‘Looking at the bowlers now, the first name is that of Dale Steyn obviously. In my opinion, he is the best fast bowler in the world and has been so for a few years now. He is just so consistent and aggressive, and his ability as a pace bowler is second to none. In the limited-overs arena too, he never looks to contain runs.
‘Steyn’s bowling is based on pace and aggression, and he will get wickets for you irrespective of the format and that puts South Africa in a formidable position. In this coming World Cup, he has an opportunity to do something special for his team and make it a memorable showing for the Proteas after a long time.’
According to Richards, the other seven players to look out for at the World Cup, are Virat Kohli, Chris Gayle, Steve Smith, Glenn Maxwell, Brendon McCullum, Kumar Sangakarra and Mohammad Irfan.