Hyderabad: The ICC Men's World Cup will begin on May 30. Hosts England will take on South Africa at the Kia Oval in London.
Ten participating team will have to sweat it out to win the most coveted title in the world of cricket. This year, the number of participating team has been reduced to 10 from 14. All the league matches will be wrapped up by July 6 and the finals will be played on July 14 at Lords.
The teams could make changes in the squad only till May 23 and henceforth make the announcement for the final squad.
On a closer observation, if the WI-Ire-Ban series and Eng-Pak series are any indication, then it seems that it is going to be a batsmen World cup this time. The pitches and the conditions seem to be likely favouring the batsmen this World Cup.
With just three days to the World Cup, here are the top batsmen to watch out for:
Virat Kohli (India)
Virat holds the record for being the highest run-churner in ODI cricket as well as the highest number of ODI centuries since the last World Cup with 19 ODI tons. He has in his kitty a mind-boggling average of 78.29 runs per innings for his 4,306 runs in the period.
Although his IPL show was definitely not his best, but his hunger for runs makes him the most competent batsmen for the ICC World Cup.
Rohit Sharma (India)
He ranks behind Kohl in the batting metrics. Since the last World Cup, he has held on to the record of a tally of 130 sixes from 71 ODI innings. He is also the second highest run-scorer with 3,790 runs along with 15 centuries. Not just that, his three double hundreds in the ODI just adds weightage to the fearsome batsman.
Kane Williamson (New Zealand)
Whether it is Test, ODIs or even T20s, if you are taking of batting, Kate Williamson's name is bound to come. The New Zealand skipper stands at number seven in the list of highest run-scorers since the last World Cup. The Black Caps are relying heavily on his expertise with the bat.
Steve Smith (Australia)
Smith is the undisputed leader in the batting arena but it came under threat after the Sandpaper saga rocked the Australian world resulting in a one-year ban for him along with his fellow accused David Warner. But this World Cup, we can expect some exciting match from Smith as this would be his comeback into the cricket world.
In fact, he showed a bit of his comeback, in the IPL stint with Rajasthan Royals. He did not come out in form in the initial matches but buckled up in the later matches.
Joe Root (England)
He is undoubtedly the best batsman. His 288 runs from 69 ODI innings since England’s ignominious exit from the World Cup 2015 have only put him on front foot and kept him in the lead from Kohli and Rohit.
His average of nearly 60 in the above-mentioned period shouts out his importance in the English batting line-up.
Chris Gayle (West Indies)
The spunky batsman who will make his last World Cup appearance and we are expecting it to be a memorable one. With just 20 ODI appearances in the past four years, Chris Gayle has shown his unhappiness with the West Indian Cricket administration. Bit in that small shows too, Gayle has left his imprint and a major chunk of his tally of 920 runs in past four years has come in the recent ODI series against England where he top-scored with 424 runs at an average of 106. Not just this, in the IPL too he plundered 444 runs in his first 10 games at an average close to 50 and a strike-rate of 162.
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