World Cup 2015: top 10 batsmen to look out for
JANNATUL NAYEM PIEAL
Since 2011, when the last time the grandest event of cricket was held, the cricket-world has seen a lot of changes. But one thing that has never changed is the successive improvement of batting. Rather in last 4 years, tons of development happened with the most celebrated department of the game. Statisticians were all the way busy in writing and rewriting records one after another related to batting. Double tons in ODIs have been scored not once but twice, and that also been produced by the same willower. The record of fastest 100 has been broken twice while the record for the fastest 50 has also been reestablished as well. Scoring 300 runs has become an everyday’s incident. They are also being chased down in a more incessant fashion than ever. Overall Cricket has become such a game where batsmen are the real conquerors. So, as another world cup is drawing nearer, it’s now a burning question that which batsmen are likely to conquer the world in the 11th edition of World Cup Cricket. Let’s see on which batsmen we can set our stake.
1. AB De Villiers (South Africa) : The SA skipper’s magnificent 149-run knock against the West Indies, where he broke the record for fastest fifty and the fastest ton in ODIs is just a reminder of why he is considered as the best batsman of current time. De Villiers has been one of the very few players in recent years who didn’t shone out for a limited period of time only but have been performing better in a regular basis. But he is yet to perform something extra ordinary in the ICC events to break his team’s ‘big tournament’ jinx. However, he is currently topping the ranking of best batsmen in ODIs. He is in a magical form and if he can take that into the World Cup, perhaps this time he and his team will be able to achieve something that they have never tasted before!
2. Hashim Amla (South Africa) : We were discussing a little earlier about since 2011, how many changes been taken place in the game of cricket. It’s Hashim Amla whom we can give one of the top places there. In last few years, he has transformed himself from a ‘pure test batsman’ to a complete batsman across all formats of the game. He is the fastest man to reach 2000, 3000, 4000 and 5000 runs in ODIs and he also became the quickest to reach 18 ODI centuries during his unbeaten 153-run knock in second ODI against the West Indies. Besides having these individual records, he is also the backbone of South African batting order without whom they can’t be completed as far a ‘stability’ is concerned. As a result, the hunt for success by the Proteas are totally depending on him along with AB de Villiers.
3. Virat Kohli (India) : Team India have been struggling all the way since they landed to Australia. Although they had a powerful batting line up playing consistently in their home soil, they have been proved to be nothing but flop in the overseas condition. But as always, Virat Kohli has been the exception. He is one player who can single-handedly turn a game on its head. He is also the ranked number 2 ODI batsman of current time. So Team India have to depend on him to come out from the nightmare they are going through right now. Only if Virat can shine in the World Cup, Team India will have some hope remaining to retain the glory they achieved four years back.
4. Kumar Sangakkara (Sri Lanka) : He is such a player for whom, spending words is not necessarily important. Performance will always advocate for him. So if anyone disagrees with his addition to this list, he better goes to cricinfo.com and find out through statistics that how destructive form Sangakkara has been in of late in New Zealand. He helped Sri Lanka to win World T20 last year and will also be the most key player in their mission to win the title of 50-overs format.
5. Chris Gayle (West Indies) : One of the most feared batsmen all over the world, Gayle, on his day, can tear apart any kind of bowling attack and turn the match in his team’s favour. His hobby is to destroy his opponents. And as he was unhappy with the exclusion of Kieron Pollard and Dwayne Bravo from West Indies’ World Cup squad, he might vent his anger out on the opponent bowlers. And if he really does so, it won’t be much of a surprise to see West Indies gaining the global crown for the 3rd time.
6. Mushfiqur Rahim (Bangladesh) : Mushfiqur Rahim, former ODI skipper of Bangladesh, is one of the best technical batsmen across the world. Not only he is the backbone of Bangladesh batting line up, he is also considered as one of the finest batsmen of today by many. However he is yet to receive worldwide recognition as he is playing for a so called ‘minnow’ team. But nothing could be a bigger platform for him than the World Cup being held in Australia and New Zealand to show the world who he is and what he is capable of. He has been in a golden touch for last few years. And if that continues, he will be the one in Bangladeshi batting who will take his team to not only a ‘reputable’ but also a ‘winning’ total.
7. David Warner (Australia) : As the presence of Australian squad’s most experience batsman Michael Clarke is yet to be confirmed, Warner is seemingly the most experience among others. He has an explosive batting style which will give his team to gain a huge advantage over the opponent teams. Although he sometimes misses to maintain his behavior, he never misses to hit a hittable delivery. With that to his pocket, he might be ‘one of the eleven’ Australian in the field to win the World Cup on March 29!
8. Misbah-ul-Haq (Pakistan) : Maybe people use to call him a ‘test batsman’, but it’s a fact that he is the highest rated Pakistani batsman in ODI rankings ordered by ICC. You can hardly put any question on his ability. He is experienced, he is consistent. He has record of doing extra ordinary things in big stages. And as this year’s World Cup might be the last mega event of his career, he will definitely be eyeing on doing something bigger and better than anything he had done before.
9. Brendon McCullum (New Zealand) : This big-hitter has nothing to prove the world as his credibility has already been proved to all. Still he has taken it as an ‘assignment’ to prove the world what he is capable of. No wonder, he is doing awesome with that. He has been in glorious form in recent serieses against Pakistan and Sri Lanka. The way he demolished the sub-continent bowlers give a firm message of how he will act in the World Cup. So although he is not the best batsman of his team according to the papers, he is the most deserving one of his team to get into this list.
10. Eoin Morgan (England) : The dark-horse of the list. He could be a dark-horse of the upcoming tournament as well. He has an added pressure on his head to act as the captain of England. But if he can overcome the challenge of becoming an English captain and scores the same way he has been scoring in recent years, then England might have a chance to go for glory and win their first ODI World Cup after being in the finals for the most times.