Fantasy Cricket: Top five batsmen to look out in Ashes


Move on from the ICC World Cup, the Ashes is here. The biggest stage on world cricket and probably the toughest rivalry. It is not an exaggeration to say that when Australia and England fight on the pitch, the whole world stops to watch. The additional incentive this time is that the ICC World Test Championship kicks off with this five-match series.

As the action nears, we look at the top five batsmen on view this series. 

David Warner

The pantomime villain for the home fans, Warner has a bit of history with the English fans. Be it the Joe Root punching incident or the recent ban on ball tampering. However, Warner loves to perform when pushed to a corner. That makes him a batsman to watch.

Warner has 590 runs against England in his last ten innings at an average of 65.56. That has six 50+ scores, including one century. His record in England, however, is not impressive. Warner aggregates just 556 runs in 15 innings at an average of 37.06 with just six 50+ scores and no centuries. Can he make it big this time?

Joe Root

One of the best batsmen of this generation, the England captain will have the additional burden of being their best batsman. There is still so much flux in the host camp to see if Root can bat at one down to give stability. Whether he comes at 3 or 4, Root will be a big threat for the Aussies.

Root scores a fifty every third Test innings against the old enemies – 12 50+ scores in 36 innings. It is his record of 3,799 Test runs in 43 home matches at an average of 54.27 that makes the Australians wary. In ten home Tests against Australia, Root has six 50+ scores, although he would be itching to go better this time.

Steve Smith

Another of those characters that England public would love to see fail. Smith, however, loves to bore people to death with his Test batting. Forget the techniques, he knows how to get the job done and that is a huge positive.

Smith’s last eight innings against England read 143, 141*, 40, 6, 239, 76, 102* and 83 (latest). That’s a whopping average of 138.33 with 1×50 and 4×100. Need we say more?

Ben Stokes

The English talisman all-rounder is fresh from leading his side to the ODI World Cup title. Not just that, he is back being the vice-captain of the Test side. Will that spur Stokes to new heights? The fact that he is such an impact player – with the bat, ball and in the field adds to England’s chances.

Stokes missed the last series down under because of an off-field incident. That is a thing of the past now, as he looks to add to his 480 runs and 26 wickets in nine Tests against the Aussies.

Jos Buttler

A late bloomer in the Tests, Buttler adds a lot of variety to the England side. His late-order aggression and calm head could be the key, as England look to regain the Ashes. What sets Buttler apart is the fact that he can change gears at a very short notice.

It is still early days in his career, but Buttler averages 38.30 in 17 home Tests, slightly more than his career average of 35.87. However, it is not just in the numbers that Buttler adds weight. His calm demeanour gives a lot of strength to the hosts.

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