By Parul Sabherwal:
The much awaited ICC cricket world cup opened with a glittering ceremony in Bangladesh. Though the Bangabandhu Stadium is a football stadium — it was cricket all over during this spectacular show. Now that the real show has begun and all the cricketing nations will look forward to the performance of their respective teams in the next few months — we bring to you a special analysis of the Top 5 batsmen we must watch out for, in this mega event.
The opportunity to hold the WC affair this time came to the sub-continent after almost 15 years. India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka would be the main venues where all the matches would be held. So keeping in mind the conditions, batsmen will play a vital role. The pitches which are known as dead pitches have nothing to help the bowlers (especially the fast bowlers) but have a lot for the batsmen. So we can easily predict some boom-bam show and experience a lot of runs being piled up. The first 10 overs, known as Â the power play overs, can be the best time for the team to score as many runs as possible. The openers in this case will be the flag bearers as they are the ones playing through these important overs.
So our first batsman in this list would be an opener:
- Hashim Amla (South Africa): This Indian descent playing for the Proteas will be an opener to watch out for. Though in his early days Amla was considered to be a test player, with the passage of time he emerged as a successful icebreaker in the shorter form of the game. Though he has never been a part of a world cup squad before, his astounding form in recent ODI series makes him a part of this list. His calmness on and off-the-field helps him and his team in the middle and sets them apart from the others. As an opener he has a tremendous average of around 70 in the first 10 overs. His average in the subcontinent is also something that can prove out to be dangerous for the opponents. So, if South Africa is able to perform well in this event then Hashim Amla would definitely play a significant role in the success and help them remove the chokers tag that follows them.
- Virat Kohli (India): The young Indian lad is ready to make a mark in this biggest cricketing event. In the recently concluded series this spectacular cricketer has left the stage on fire and shut the mouth of the people who were criticizing him and never thought that he would emerge as a Mr. Dependable in ODIs. He was the second highest scorer in the last season at an average of around 48 and the same is the situation this season, he averages around 47 this year too. Though this is his debut world cup but his performance at the Under 19 world cup, (that India won under his captaincy) was something that brought him here.
- Kumar SangakkaraÂ (Sri Lanka): This experienced left hander has always been a reliable player. Though people still argue that he is a better test player but his understanding and his familiarity with this form of the game makes him a high quality batsman. He, unlike many other players, has never let captaincy affect his batting average and averages around 40 as a captain. This Lankan batsman would have an advantage of playing in home conditions and also has scored 9 out of his 19 centuries in the subcontinent. He is somebody on whom the Sri Lankan team can surely depend.
- Ross Taylor (New Zealand): Though this time The Black Caps are not amongst the favorites to win the world cup but this player is surely a part of this list. Taylor has always proved to be a gem in both the short forms of cricket. His average is around 36 but at the same time he has the ability to hold the innings and also play those biggies whenever needed. His cuts and drives which prove to be dangerous for any bowling side can be his USP during the next few days. He would surely have an edge while facing the pace attack. So if New Zealand can help itself move forward in the tournament then Ross would definitely play a pivotal role.
- Shane Watson (Australia) : This broad chested batsman is known for his aggressive batting style. As an opener he can be destructive in the first 10 overs of power play where a lot of runs can be scored on the pitches of the subcontinent. He would take the advantage of the so called dead pitches and try and score as many runs as possible for the defending champions. Watson who won the Allen Border medal this year has a career average of around 40 and averages much better in world cup. So the Aussies can always rely on him for performance.
Though cricket has become a very unpredictable game but the above mentioned 5 names are expected to do well in this tournament. Rest is for you all to look out for during the next 42 days, when the excitement would be at its best in the Indian Sub continent. All the Best to all the Teams!!!
Who are your top 5 players of this world cup season? Do comment in the section below.
The writer is the Assistant Editor of Youth Ki Awaaz.