Top 5: Batsmen to Watch in the Cricket World Cup
14 June 2019 • By - Harry Thompson
Now the Cricket World Cup is underway, we take a look at five batsmen who are expected to light-up this year’s tournament.
Steve Smith – Australia
Australia captain Steven Smith will have all eyes on him, being the nations controversial captain and talisman. After a 12-month ban from cricket for his role in the famous ball-tampering scandal, Smith has returned to the side in ominous form. He has racked up 170 runs in his side’s opening 4 matches at an average of 42.5.
Given the fierce nature of England and Australia’s rivalry, Smith has regularly been welcomed onto the field with a chorus of boo’s. He has shown great mental strength thus far and will need to maintain his high-standards if the Aussie’s are to progress to the semi-finals and beyond.
Image credit: "Steve Smith" by Naparazzi
Jos Buttler – England
The hosts enjoy an embarrassment of riches in the batting department, but it is likely Buttler that strikes the most fear into opposition bowlers. His ability to clear the boundary ropes with relative ease is scintillating to watch, not to mention his array of stroke-making that was on full display during his stunning 103 against Pakistan.
Buttler has scored a lofty 185 runs already from England’s opening 3 games at an impressive average of 61.66. If the wicket-keeper continues to blitz bowlers around the park, as he has done in England’s previous two fixtures, the tournament favourites may well prove their billing to be justified as they chase their maiden Cricket World Cup.
A stunning innings but Buttler falls the very next ball! 💯
— England Cricket (@englandcricket) June 3, 2019
Virat Kohli – India
India captain Kohli entered the tournament as the No.1 rated batsman in the world, a tag that few people could disagree with following his remarkable exploits in recent years. The 30-year-old has scored over 10,000 ODI runs to date and could go on to challenge his compatriot Sachin Tendulkar for the number-one run scorer of all time.
Kohli has enjoyed a strong start to this year’s competition, leading his side to victory in their opening 3 matches. Hitting 100 runs from his two innings, at an average of 50. His consistency is one of his finest assets, so expect Kohli to score many more runs yet as India chase their 3rd World Cup trophy.
— Virat Kohli (@imVkohli) May 23, 2019
Chris Gayle – West Indies
The cricketing world will say goodbye to Chris Gayle in the ODI format after the destructive opening batsman decided to retire to specialise in the shorter format of Twenty20. The man nicknamed the ‘Universe Boss’ has been entertaining fans around the world for 20 years and would surely love nothing more than to sign-off by leading his nation to glory.
Gayle has had an indifferent start to this tournament though, scoring just 71 runs in his opening 4 matches, albeit one was a complete washout. However, he has shown over the years that he is a man for the big occasion. Expect some fireworks as the West Indies head towards the business end of the competition.
Image credit: "Chris Gayle" by paddynapper
Kane Williamson – New Zealand
Williamson continues to show why he is viewed as one of the games finest’s batsmen across all 3 formats. He doesn’t possess the destructive power of a Buttler or Gayle, but his ability to pierce gaps in the field make him incredibly difficult to bowl at.
The New Zealand captain has enjoyed a fruitful beginning to the tournament, hitting 119 runs in his opening two knocks, including 79* against Afghanistan. After registering wins from their opening 3 matches, Williamson’s side are serious contenders to claim the Cricket World Cup.
Kane Williamson has managed to post 747 runs across his last 10 ODI knocks in England and Wales (74.7 average); his 40 against @BCBtigers last time out ended a run of seven half-centuries there in a row @OptaJim #Stat #BACKTHEBLACKCAPS #CWC19 #NZvAFG #cricket pic.twitter.com/ILejV0VHo7
— BLACKCAPS (@BLACKCAPS) June 8, 2019
Have any of these batsmen inspired you to play cricket? Perhaps someone else has caught your eye during the Cricket World Cup? Find out more and book your nearest cricket pitch or nets at Playfinder.
Image Credits Header image: "Eoin Morgan of England" by Ben Sutherland Featured image: "Shaun Pollock bowls to Michael Hussey" by Thugchildz