Fantasy Cricket: Top five batsmen of the 2019 World Cup

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World Cup 2015 Winning Team

If this were the 1990s, anything above five runs an over would have been exceptional. But, this is the T20 era. These days, even a score of 350 is easily chaseable. What more, as Mark Wood of England proclaimed, a score of 500 is just around the corner. That could be just why the organisers of the World Cup 2019 have set the scoreboards to accommodate 500!

With the real action set to start in just over a week’s time, we thought of focusing on the top players set to enthral us. The first article of this series will focus on the top-five batsmen who can make a difference this summer. Of course, it is difficult to zero down on just five, but we have tried our bit!

Jonny Bairstow

Can he hand England their first ever ODI World Cup title?

The upsurge in England’s fortunes has been spearheaded by this talented opener. Destructive most of the times, Bairstow is a pillar of strength for England team. Since the 2015 World Cup, he has averaged 50.22 at a SR of 109.35 in 56 ODIs.

Having blazed through many records over the past four years, England start the 2019 World Cup as hot favourites. Their ability to chase down any target and consistently score 300-350 depends on Bairstow’s brilliance. He could lit this World Cup with his fireworks.

Virat Kohli

Can the best batsman in the world show his pedigree on the biggest stage?

The Indian captain is one of the best batsmen, if not the best, of this generation. He has 10, 843 runs to his name already in just 227 matches at a staggering average of 59.57. To make it more impressive is his SR of 92.96.

Over the last four years, Kohli has scored at an average of 78.29 and a SR of 98.33. This period saw him notch 19 hundreds and 16 fifties in 69 matches. That means, a fifty-plus score every other game. Need any more reason to pick him? This could be Kohli’s another chance to shine on the big stage!

Chris Gayle

Will the ‘Universe Boss’ sign off on a high?

The ‘Universe Boss’ is playing the final ODIs of his career. The stage is set for the world to be entertained with his scores. Like England have found out in their last trip to the Windies, Gayle can be destructive.

He had scored 424 runs in just four matches at a whopping SR of 134.17 and an average of 106. He had two fifties and two hundreds through the series, with 50 being his low score! And, like he says, the bowlers fear bowling to Gayle.

Kane Williamson

Will ‘Mr. Nice of world cricket’ lead his side to success?

A mismatch in this group, purely because of the silken touch he brings. This Kiwi skipper is an aberration to the quintessential New Zealand approach of ‘no super stars’. Probably the only globally recognizable Kiwi batsman, Williamson makes batting easy on any surface.

Even his record is steady like a rock. He averages 45.90 over 139 ODIs and has 5, 554 runs to his name. If you take only the last four years, his average is marginally higher at 46.45. What stands out is his consistency, a definite trait for your fantasy picks.

David Warner

David Warner
David Warner is back in Australian colours following a lengthy suspension. Can he help to carry the Aussies all the way to a World Cup victory?

The pantomime villain for the English crowd, Warner will have his task cut out this summer. Not only will he have to fight the bowlers, the Aussie opener also has to stand out against the probable abuses.

However, Warner is someone who loves a challenge. He has shown just that in the Indian Premier League 2019, where he was the best batsman by far with 692 runs (Avg. 69.20, SR 143.86). And, he loves the challenge of proving people wrong!

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