Cricket World Cup is less than a year away and the hype for the event is unimaginable. All ten teams have already started their preparations for the mega event which is scheduled to be held in England from 30th June 2019.
“Batsmen win you games, bowlers win you tournaments”, the famous statement reflects on the importance of bowlers at the grandest stage of all. Reducing the opposition to a low total is the most important thing in a high-pressure game when bowlers fail to perform this action, teams often end up on the losing side.
In the 2017 Champions Trophy final, the Men in Blue were hammered as Pakistan posted 338 in their allotted 50 overs. India’s bowlers failed and the batsmen succumbed to pressure as they handed an easy win to the arch-rivals. On the other hand, the Kangaroos restricted New Zealand to a low score in the 2015 World Cup final, their triumph in the tournament showed the bowling capability of the side.
2019 will be no different, overcast weather, looming clouds and England’s swinging conditions will benefit the pacers. A few bowlers have the ability to pose a threat to the batsmen, on this note, let us take a look at 5.
#5 Mitchell Starc (Australia)
One of the most feared fast bowlers in the world, Australia’s Mitchell Starc breathes fire as he runs in to bowl. Starc was instrumental in Australia’s World Cup victory in 2015, due to his exploits he was named the man of the tournament. Starc scalped 22 wickets with best figures of 6 for 28 against the New Zealand side.
Lately, the southpaw has faced a lot of injuries.
Starc has featured in 72 ODIs in which he has picked up 141 wickets at a strike rate of 25.5. His economy rate of 4.93 is nominal for a bowler who bowls at the crunch stages of the innings. He will be lethal in bowler-friendly English conditions, the speedster will look to guide Australia to another world title as they take the field in England next year.
#4 Adil Rashid (England)
England’s premier spinner Adil Rashid was in the news earlier this year when he dismissed KL Rahul on a magical delivery when the ball pitched outside the leg stump and went onto hit the off stump. The leg-spinner also dismissed Virat Kohli plenty of times in the series, his wicket-taking ability in limited overs cricket earned him a test call-up.
In the test arena, Rashid looked promising as he spun a web around the batsmen, his ability in limited overs cricket makes him a deadly choice for the World Cup next year.
Rashid has picked up 119 wickets in 78 ODIs, out of those 119 wickets, 63 have come at home. He will have the home advantage when he features in the World Cup next year.
#3 Kagiso Rabada (South Africa)
South African speedster Kagiso Rabada came into the limelight after he helped South Africa to glory in the 2014 edition of the U19 World Cup. Rabada matched fire with fire as he bowled his heart out in the U19 World Cup, soon after, he made a permanent place for himself in South Africa’s test and one-day line-ups.
Rabada displays quick pace along with impeccable accuracy, he moves the ball upfront and bowls deadly Yorkers at the back-end of the innings. The 23-year-old has picked up 86 wickets in 54 ODIs with the best figures of 6 for 16. He will lead South Africa’s bowling attack in the World Cup next year.
He has played 5 ODIs in England in which he has picked 8 wickets. With the red ball, Rabada has scalped 16 wickets at a strike rate of around 50. He will be the main man for the Proteas when they take the field against England in their opening World Cup encounter.
#2 Rashid Khan (Afghanistan)
Afghanistan’s teenage sensation Rashid Khan has garnered the attention of the cricketing world in the last year and a half. Rashid was the first Afghanistan player to play in the IPL.
He showed his caliber right away as he created trouble for the batsmen. His variations troubled the batsmen as they failed to negotiate the teenager. Later, he led Afghanistan in the World Cup Qualifiers where his side won the tournament under his leadership.
He came to the fore as a T20 specialist but Rashid has proved himself in ODIs as well. With 118 wickets in 52 games, he is the spearhead of Afghanistan’s bowling attack. He will look to surprise the batsmen in the World Cup next year.
#1 Jasprit Bumrah (India)
The Men in Blue were never famous for their pace bowling unit. In recent years, bowlers like Jasprit Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar Kumar have emerged to make this bowling unit a lethal one.
After his brilliance in limited overs cricket, Bumrah made his debut in test cricket where he performed considerably well. In 44 ODIs, Bumrah has picked up 78 wickets with a miserly economy rate of 4.44. The 24-year-old often bowls at the beginning and back-end of the innings. He restricts the flow of runs with his variations in the death overs.
His accurate yorkers are tough to get away and his change of pace comes as a surprise to the batsmen. Jasprit Bumrah will be a vital cog for India when they travel to England next year for the World Cup.