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BettingPro's 5 Batsmen to watch at the 2019 Cricket World Cup

Ben Darvill 17 May 2019
The ICC World Cup Trophy (credit:JULIAN SMITH/AAP/PA Images)

BettingPro has picked out their ‘one’s to watch’ with the bat for the 2019 Cricket World Cup, with some of the biggest talent with willow in hand that the game has ever seen adorning a sparkling roster of cricketing talent that will appear in England this summer. 

Jos Buttler - England 

Possibly the most explosive player in world cricket right now and England’s vice-captain is first on most lists when it comes to players to watch. Buttler is the cherry on top of the cake that is England’s batting lineup, with his power supplemented perfectly by the middle-order that is made up of Joe Root, Eoin Morgan, Ben Stokes and Moeen Ali. Buttler comes into this World Cup having proved himself time and time again with an impressive 295 4’s and 115 6’s in 129 matches. An average of 42.13 may not be as high as some other players on this list, but the rest of these batsmen are often able to come in earlier in the innings, allowing them to soak up more deliveries and build an innings. For Buttler, he is often tasked with coming in with the innings well under way be it with England well on top or under the cosh. This is why his average is so impressive then, as he is usually someone tasked with immediately hitting the boundaries, something he does so often. In conjunction with this comes his growing maturity, with his century against Australia in the fifth and final ODI last year one which he ground out after England had fallen apart, leading them to victory with a supreme score that displayed both his awesome hitting and his intelligence. His performance against Pakistan in the second ODI in the build up to the World Cup put all of his hitting ability on show as he accelerated ridiculously quickly with the bat to get England to a big score. The problem bowlers across the world will have against Buttler is the fact you cannot seemingly bowl anywhere to him without the batsman still being able to smash the ball for six, as shown in his recent innings against Pakistan as he shone. If England are to win the World Cup this year, we think Buttler will be a huge part of this. 

Ross Taylor - New Zealand 

What a year Ross Taylor is having with the bat right now. The New Zealand star continues to prove that he is as important to the Black Caps as captain Kane Williamson is with a string of impressive innings. The middle-order batsman just cannot stop scoring runs at the moment, and his average of 48.35 in ODI cricket shows how consistent he is. While he may not be as explosive as the likes of Buttler, Chris Gayle or David Warner, Taylor is able to find the gaps in the field with incredible ease, and with 665 4’s in 218 matches, he has displayed on more than one occasion that the pressures of limited overs cricket does not stop him from keeping the scoreboard ticking over. What is most impressive about Taylor though is his conversion rate, with 203 innings resulting in 47 half-centuries and 20 centuries for his country. Last year, Taylor enjoyed the best year of his career as his scored 639 runs in 10 ODI innings for New Zealand at an average of 91.29, which has, incredibly, meant 2019 has seen something of a dip in his form, with 593 runs coming from 11 innings at an average of 74.13, which is still outrageously good. If Taylor can continue to score runs so consistently, teams will find New Zealand a very difficult proposition to stop. 

Virat Kohli - India 

The world’s best player and the captain of an Indian side that has so much expectation behind it. The cricket mad nation were left slightly underwhelmed by Kohli in the Indian Premier League this season, with his score of 464 runs in 14 innings hardly the ‘Kohli-like’ performances we have become so accustomed to seeing, with Kohli doubling this tally back in 2016. However, despite Kohli’s quiet IPL and his apparent struggles in England, he is still the man many come to see when India play. Across the last four years, Kohli has averaged 92.38 in 2016, 76.84 in 2017, 133.56 in 2018, and 55.55 in 2019, with this year far from over as far as ODI cricket goes. What is most impressive about Kohli when looking at the stats along with his average is actually his conversion rate, with the batsman actually notching more 100’s (nine) than 50’s (four) in the least two years, while he has 18 centuries and 16 half-centuries in games for India since 2016. Clearly, Kohli has consistently been incredible over the last few years, and he shows no signs of slowing down. The question this summer will revolve around whether Kohli can banish the apparent demons that haunt him on England’s grassy pitches, although he will draw on the fact he starred for India against the Three Lions in their 50 over series back in 2018 as he scored a total of 191 runs at an average of 63.67. Kohli’s ability to split the field, fire the ball over the rope and take quick singles due to his speed and athleticism make him incredibly difficult to stop, and once he gets his eye in, he becomes near-unstoppable. 

David Warner - Australia 

What can be said of David Warner? He did not endear himself to the cricketing world last year as he was embroiled in a ball tampering scandal with Australia as he, Steve Smith and Cameron Bancroft were banned for their part in using a foreign object to tamper with the cricket ball. This, coupled with his already fiery personality, means he is not for everyone, with some viewers that are not fans of Australia taking a disliking to him. However, if we are only talking about batting talent and the ability to score runs, then he has to feature on this list. The 2019 IPL gave Warner an immediate chance to get back to scoring runs, and how he took that chance, smashing 692 runs at an average of 69.20 for Sunrisers Hyderabad. Last year, Warner was unable to really swell his ODI runs scoring as he only managed to notch 35 runs in five innings after he was denied the chance to play any further part in Australia’s year due to his ban. Prior to this though, Warner had averaged no less than 54.33 in his previous three years, while he peaked at 63.09 in 2016 as he recorded seven 100’s and four 50’s. Going forward, Australia will pin a lot of their hopes on him as he provides a huge amount of quick scoring solidity at the top of the order, although Usman Khawaja and Aaron Finch will feel they have done enough to keep their places in the team in Warner’s absence. Despite this, when Warner is put in a team, he scores runs. His ability to fire the ball over the opposition is incredible, while he is comfortable against both seam and spin, with this vital in English conditions that can aid the bowlers massively.

Andre Russell - West Indies 

What a few months Andre Russell is having in limited overs cricket, with the West Indies’ batsman in outstanding form in 2019. Once a player that was very much in the shadow of Chris Gayle, the all-rounder has actually outshone his compatriot in a season if incredible power in the Indian Premier League this year. 510 runs in 14 innings have come at an average of 56.66, which is made all the more impressive when considering his position in the team. Like Buttler, Russell plays further down the order, and when he comes in, he is usually tasked with teeing off immediately, thus allowing his side to see their run rate accelerated massively. This does not often allow Russell anytime to get his eye in, but this has rarely stopped him. An outrageous strike rate of 204.81 along with 31 4’s and a ridiculous 52 6’s in the 2019 IPL shows his hitting ability, and when an opposing team has given him an inch, he has hit them a mile. Perhaps ODI cricket has not been where he has exploded into life this year, but his exploits in the IPL show his worth, and he will definitely look to improve upon his average of 28.51 for the Windies this summer. His ability is something that sees him just edge out Chris Gayle on our list, although they will likely not look to outdo one another, rather putting their supreme hitting to good use to combine for the flailing Windies this summer.

Want more 2019 Cricket World Cup Betting Tips? Follow the whole of the Cricket World Cup across May, June and July with us here at BettingPro.

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BettingPro's 5 Batsmen to watch at the 2019 Cricket World Cup

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