ICC World Cup’s 12th edition of the cricket world cup 2019 will be held in England and Wales from 30th May to 14th July 2019. The 10 teams playing are South Africa, West Indies, Pakistan, New Zealand, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Australia, India, Bangladesh and England. This season will also see David Warner and Steve Smith’s return to the Australian team after their one-year suspension for ball tampering. But cricket has always been close to Indian fans especially after the Indian team has proved its mettle in the game by winning the cup twice, 1983 and 2011.
The competition is intense with teams having incorporated various strategies. The mix and match of bowlers, batsmen and all-rounders will make all the difference, along with good captaincy. Having multiple all-rounders will give the captain a few extra bowling options and he can also increase the intensity of the batting line-up. Even former West Indian cricketer Clive Lloyd believes that all-rounders will play a major role in the 12th edition of the World Cup. 4 players who could hopefully make the game for their teams are:
- Shakib Al-Hasan
This 32-year-old Bangladeshi player has been part of 3 world cups, with over 5600 ODI runs 248 wickets to his name. A left-hand batsman and a left-arm orthodox spin bowler, he has been the leading performer for the team and has consistently maintained the no.1 rank as an all-rounder in all formats. The experience of seasoned players like him, along with the excitement of the new players may just give them an upper hand in the tournament.
- Ben Stokes
This smart English cricketer who is an all-rounder, he is one of the best seam bowlers of the team. His last minute strokes and sweeps are the one thing he is famous for, apart from his fierce bowling. With 2217 ODI runs and 63 wickets, his game has definitely improved from the time he played his first World cup match in 2011. Even though he wasn’t in the best form this last year, there are hopes of a strong comeback this season and with the help of his much-needed contributions, he may be the one to lead his team to victory on their own soil.
- Andre Russell
He has always been a one-man show who has carried his team to success on numerous occasions. His 2011 World cup debut against Ireland impressed a lot of people. With 998 ODI runs and 65 wickets in his pocket, this West Indian all-rounder is sure to see his team through during tough situations as we were all witness to his humongous strike rate of 205 in the 12th edition of IPL, 2019. If he plays with the same fire, West Indies has a pretty good chance of winning the trophy this year.
- Hardik Pandya
With an impressive 731 ODI runs and 44 wickets, this young all-rounder has surely made heads turn, starting with his debut in ODI 2016. He has been the centre of a backlash in the media in recent times but the Indian team’s focus is on his fitness and form. He played a critical role in Mumbai Indians success in the latest IPL edition and the team hopes to see the same energy in his game this world cup season too.