Friday, 9 March 2007

Shaun Pollock

As the World Cup approaches, Third Umpire will be selecting a ODI World 11, with one player featuring every day. We continue with our number nine, South Africa's Shaun Pollock.

It is amazing to think that Shaun Pollock has been operating at the top level of international cricket for over a decade now. In that time he has consistently been one of the best bowlers in both Tests and one-dayers. His current ODI form is outstanding, averaging 17.63 with the ball in the last year or so and 29.50 with the bat. He has been one of the key reasons for South Africa's wonderful recent run, culminating in them claiming the number one spot from Australia.

What makes Pollock such a great bowling allrounder is his incredible control of line and length, which gets him plenty of wickets as well as an astonishingly miserly economy rate - just 3.71 runs per over in 274 ODIs. He is a superb bowler with the new ball, extracting a great deal of seam movement on almost any surface. Add to this his accuracy and you have an almost perfect bowling machine.

Though he has been criticised for not making the most of his batting talent, Pollock has still managed to maintain a healthy average over the years and has made some telling contributions to South Africa's cause. His aggressive, fast-scoring style makes him an ideal number eight or nine, destroying the opposition's tiring attacks in the later overs.

His intelligence ensures that he is an astute judge of any match situation and he will be crucial to South Africa's chances in the forthcoming World Cup.

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