The cricket’s biggest carnival, ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 is all set to begin from May 30. The World Cup action will kick start in style with hosts England taking on South Africa at The Oval.
With favorable conditions, fan support and stunning performances, England is the team to beat. All 10 teams will face each other in the league stage and 4 teams will make it to the semis. All the teams have to put their best foot forward as they cannot afford to lose their momentum in the middle of the tournament. Hence, the teams would be relying some of the best players to show some stealer performances for the side and have a positive effect on the result.
Here we take a look at players who can prove to be the X-factor for their teams:
Hardik Pandya (India)
The Indian all-rounder has been in stellar form since the start of the Indian Premier League (IPL). Pandya played a big role in Mumbai Indians’ march to the title and now, coming to CWC, Men in Blue would be expecting him to replicate the same at the mega stage as he’s a player who can change the game with bat and ball. Pandya would be crucial to take wickets in the middle overs.
Jos Buttler (England)
A bunch of critics would agree to the fact that hosts England has the best chance of winning the World Cup. This would be probably the strongest English batting side fans have ever witnessed in a long time. The hosts have big and effective names like Jonny Bairstow, Ben Stokes, Eoin Morgan, Jos Buttler, and Joe Root. The English vice-captain would be center of attention and can wreak havoc on the opposition bowling line. Buttler gives England the “best chance they have ever had”.
David Warner (Australia)
Warner, who has returned to national side after a year’s ban due to ball-tampering, is well-equipped to win matches single-handedly. Warner was center of attention after his stealer batting in this year Indian Premier League (IPL). Warner finished as the highest run-getter of IPL as he amazed 692 runs in 12 games with an average of 69.20 and strike-rate of 143.86. Warner’s presence at the top-order means Australia have one of the most threatening and experienced batting line-ups.
Rashid Khan (Afghanistan)
The young Afghan spinner will be team’s go-to-man when it comes to picking wickets in the middle overs. His variations make him one of the most deadly bowlers in the world. He can bamboozle the batsmen with his leg-breaks and googlies. The youngster has displayed great character and skills to succeed in such pressure situations and hence will be the one to look out for.
Tamim Iqbal (Bangladesh)
Bangladesh feels that it is their best chance to get their hands on the World Cup as their side has a good blend of experience and young blood. And to do so, Tamim Iqbal could be the X-factor to turn things. Iqbal provides a good start and plays a crucial role when it comes to putting a good score or chasing. Tamim is Bangladesh’s highest run-scorer in ODIs and is their go-to-man.
Kusal Perera (Sri Lanka)
The Sri Lankan side is going through a rough face. Putting aside their form and win/loss record, Kusal Perera has been very impressive for the Islanders. Coming to the World Cup, the Islanders would look to pull things back on track in the World Cup and Perera’s service could prove crucial for them. The batsman can hit really big shots and scores quickly and is also good when it comes to chasing totals.
Kagiso Rabada (South Africa)
The Proteas would be highly relying on the young pacer to pick early wickets and give the side a breakthrough. Rabada is lethal in power plays as well as in death overs. His presence makes the Proteas bowling attack stronger and could be a game changer for his team.
Ross Taylor (New Zealand)
The Kiwi veteran holds the key for the 2015 runner-ups in the middle-order. Taylor will be playing his 4th and probably the last World Cup would be looking to do better this time and help the team to win their first-ever ICC World Cup. Taylor has been in good form from since last few ODIs and is winning matches for his side. With teams scoring more than 300 runs in almost every game, Taylor’s performance will be crucial in doing so for the Black Caps.
Babar Azam (Pakistan)
Azam is one of the reasons that have made Pakistan’s batting line-up one of the strongest. Azam’s form will be crucial for Pakistan’s success in the tournament. Batting at No 3, Azam provides stability as he can play both, pace and spin quite well. He is an explosive opening batsman and loves scoring big runs. Zaman is the only Pakistani batsman to score an ODI double-hundred.
Andre Russell (West Indies)
Andre Russell’s presence is enough to send chills to bowlers. Russell earlier lit up the IPL 2019 with his big shots and would be hoping to carry the form for his nation in the World Cup. Russell’s form would be even more important as he will be responsible to finish the games while chasing and contribute in team’s total while batting first.