The start of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 is getting ever closer, and in the lead up to the first game – England vs South Africa – on May 30th, we take a look at some of the players that could be the difference for their teams over the course of the tournament. From the Batsmen to keep an eye on to the Bowlers that can create an impact, there are plenty of international cricket stars ready to take the field in England and Wales for this year’s tournament. You can find more pre-tournament online bets at the best bookmakers on the market, available at the Wincomparator site.
When it comes to the batting favourites in this year’s competition it is the English that are dominating the pre-tournament conversation – with three players tipped as the ‘Top Tournament Batsman’.
The ICC ODI no.1 batsman will captain his Indian side for a third successive World Cup campaign, and is expected to be one of the star batsmen of the tournament. This veteran player was the fastest batsman to reach 10,000 ODI runs – having made 10,483 runs and 41 100’s from 227 matches. Regarded by many as one of the best batsmen in the world of cricket, this veteran will no doubt be a key figure in this 2019 World Cup.
England’s Joe Root is one of the most promising young batsmen for his side – the 28 year-old is ranked at no.6 in the World ODI batting rankings. His stats are nothing to dismiss, with the right-handed batsman having taken 5300 runs and 14 100’s from 132 ODI matches. The Sydney Thunders saw the impact he can have on a game during the 2018/19 season, and it is likely that he will play a key role for England this summer.
One thing the hosts have going for them in particular for this tournament is the strength of their batting line-up – of which wicketkeeper-batsman Jonny Bairstow is included. The Yorkshireman make a splash in his first year in the IPL with the Sunrisers – he was the fifth highest run-scorer of the 2019 season with 365 runs.
David Warner will make his official return to the Australian side for this summer’s World Cup campaign, after being absent due to the year-long ban that was imposed on him as a result of his ball-tampering scandal. Partnered with England’s Jonny Bairstow at the Sunrisers this season, Warner recorded 692 runs in 12 IPL games this season, and will be expected to carry this form into this edition of the World Cup.
The New Zealand captain may have had a disappointing season in the IPL, but he remains the world no.11 ODI Batsman as he leads his national side into this 2019 World Cup. With a batting average of 45.90 in 139 ODI games, it is likely that Williamson will overcome is slump and put in a big performance for his country in this summer’s tournament.
These are not the only batsmen who could be decisive in this year’s competition – it would not be such a surprise is players such as Jason Roy, Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan also have their say over the course of the tournament.
The list of bowlers expected to cause trouble for their opponents is much more mixed – no one nation has the most players at the top of the ranks for ‘Top Tournament Bowler’.
The World no.1 ODI bowler is the head of India’s fast-bowling attack, and with a bowling average of 22.15 from 49 matches it will not be an easy task to knock him from his perch. An excellent IPL season that saw him win the title with the Mumbai Indians also saw Bumrah claim the man of the match in the final – the second bowler to ever receive this award.
Starc may have been troubled by a bout of injury recently, but he will aim to be flying fit and back on form when he travels to England in a couple of weeks. The fast-bowler was crowned Player of the Tournament when Australia won the World Cup in 2015, and will likely be a valuable asset to the side again this time round.
This year’s England squad has plenty of depth in terms of bowling, and one of the standout names on this list in Adil Rashid. The spin-bowler is ranked 10th of the world ODI Bowlers by the ICC, and has an average of 30.46 from 80 ODI matches.
The South African fast bowler was forced to retire from the IPL midway through the 2019 season due to injury, but will be fit to return to his national side in time for this summer’s tournament. Rabada is ranked 4th in the world ODI Bowler rankings, and has taken an average of 14.35 from 66 matches.
Regarded as one of the best spin bowlers in the world, Khan is the 3rd ranked ODI bowler and top-ranked t20 bowler in the world according to the ICC. With an average of 15.08 from 55 ODI averages, he will no doubt prove to be a key asset for Afghanistan throughout the competition.
Other pre-tournament contenders include England’s Jofra Archer, Australia’s Pat Cumins, and New Zealand’s Trent Boult.