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Last Updated:  Monday, 20 January, 2003, 15:47 GMT
Five star batsmen
BBC Sport looks at five of the best one-day international batsmen preparing to showcase their talents in South Africa.

Sanath Jayasuriya (SL)

Jayasuriya has returned to form in spectacular style
The Sri Lanka captain suffered a run of poor form before Christmas as he looked to reign in his naturally attacking game to marshall his side in Australia.

A decision to play his natural strokes brought 333 runs from four matches in the space of eight days during the group stages of the VB Series.

The blazing batting of their diminutive opener played a large part in Sri Lanka's 1996 World Cup triumph and re-wrote the rules of how teams play a one-day international.

But away from Asia, his pyrotechnical approach is equally likely to see Jayasuriya dismissed cheaply as lead the way for his side.

Sachin Tendulkar (Ind)

No batsman has more than Tendulkar's 11546 one-day international runs, or his 33 centuries, although a recent move down the order has seen his run-flow staunched somewhat.

India have kept their greatest asset under wraps of late, allowing him to rest injuries for all of the home series against West Indies and much of the tour of New Zealand.

Tendulkar has not passed 20 in a one-day innings since dominating Sri Lanka at Bristol in July.

But he can be counted upon to shine in the World Cup, where he averages 58.83 in his three tournaments so far, including three centuries.

Herschelle Gibbs (SA)

A leg-side wide and a poorly-judged winning run against Bangladesh in October saw Gibbs denied a record fourth consecutive one-day century.

Impatience pays for Gibbs in one-day cricket
But a missed chance to re-write the record books against sub-standard opposition could not diminish the talents of one of cricket's most athletically-gifted batsman.

The South Africa opener's only flaw in Test cricket is his impatience, often leading to rash shots.

That is a plus in the limited-overs game, though, where he has all of the shots in the book and a few of his own.

Virender Sehwag (Ind)

India's newest star batsman baulks at being called a "Second Sachin", and with good reason if recent performances are any guide.

I just want to play my natural attacking game and concentrate on my shots
Virender Sehwag
He burst onto the international scene just 18 months ago, smashing a century from 70 balls in a one-day international against New Zealand in Colombo.

A complete disregard for opposing bowlers has seen him score four more tons since then, always at high speed.

And the approach has even paid off in Test cricket, where he refuses to tone down his aggressive approach.

Adam Gilchrist (Aus)

In Test cricket Gilchrist is a luxury, an extra batsman coming in at seven in the order, often with devastating effects.

Gilchrist stars at the top of the Aussie order
But the World Cup holders make greater use of their best all-rounder in the one-day game, where he opens the innings in typically aggressive fashion.

England bore the full brunt of a Gilchrist onslaught in Melbourne at the beginning of the VB Series, when he clubbed 124 from 104 balls, with 12 fours and four sixes.

Sheer power turns apparently risky shots into boundaries, resulting in 26 half-centuries and eight hundreds in his 148 matches.

World Cup rookies to watch
20 Jan 03 |  World Cup

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