As we get nearer to the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019, one thing that’s going on in the mind is how will the bowlers shape up. The bowling in the 2019 World Cup needs to be mixed with variety and accuracy to stop the batsmen from making inroads. With pitches expected to assist batting, the task for the majority of bowlers will be important.
Bowling has become difficult in the 50-over format with pitches being flat and the ICC’s rule of two new balls. The recent ODI series between England and Pakistan gave us the indication of what to expect. It’s more of whose bowling has that extra bit of edge to seal those vital moments.
It will be an interesting phase ahead as teams will need to put in the required work in their bowling department. Ahead of the 2019 World Cup, we look at the bowling of each side and rate them accordingly.
Spin-shy WI have focused more on pace
Windies have backed the pace-bowling department with senior guns Kemar Roach and Shannon Gabriel. The two leading pacers have the character to stand up. Roach will be making his third World Cup appearance. The 31-year-old Gabriel is more of a Test specialist, but he has been backed to provide the impetus.
Besides these two, the presence of Oshane Thomas and Sheldon Cottrell bring forward the blend of youth.
Both these players generate pace and can use the short balls well. Jason Holder, Carlos Brathwaite and Andre Russell are the three pace-bowling all-rounders. Ashley Nurse is the frontline spinner. Fabian Allen provides the much-needed support.
The pace-bowling quartet is heavy and articulated, but the spin department is where there is lack of steel and experience.
Windies get a rating of 7/10.
England bowlers have a strong understanding
England bowlers have a great sense of understanding and that bodes well for skipper Eoin Morgan. The Three Lions managed to do enough against Pakistan in the recently concluded ODI series. Despite giving away scored of 300, England’s bowlers managed to hold on and get the side past the line.
The pace options for England looks solid. Liam Plunkett, Mark Wood, Jofra Archer and Tom Curran are the four frontline names. Chris Woakes has delivered the goods. There is Ben Stokes as well as an utility all-rounder. Spinner Adil Rashid, in particular, has been in his own league. Moeen Ali and Liam Dawson come in as able support cast.
England are the in-form unit and their bowling gets a rating of 9/10.
Pace-heavy Australia have a sound touch
Imagine Mitchell Starc keeping to his standards that saw him come out with flying colours in 2015. The left-arm pacer will be raring to have a crack. Pat Cummins and Nathan Coulter-Nile are two experienced guns, who offer aplenty. Cummins in partcilar will look to extract the bounce.
Jason Behrendorff and Kane Richardson are there in as well and this is a strong bowling unit on offer. Marcus Stoinis comes in as the pace-bowling all-rounder. In spin, Adam Zampa and Nathan Lyon have what it takes to get wickets. Zampa in particular looks set to have a strong show ahead of him.
Then there is Glenn Maxwell, who can chip in with his off-spin. Australia could make things count with the bowling.
They get a rating of 9/10.
India’s bowling resources offer pedigree
India look well settled here with the resources in the kitty. One night feel the side is one pacer short. India have gone for more depth in spin and batting.
The three genuine pacers in the form ion Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami and Bhuvneshwar Kumar all keep their places. India’s main strength is spin. We might see two front-line pacers, two spinners and Pandya as the third pacer being handled the responsibility to bowl 50 overs.
Kedar Jadhav can be the sixth bowler. Also with Ravindra Jadeja in the mix, the spin show can always be rotated.
Being one quality pacer short, India get a rating of 8.5/10.
Pakistan need to pull up their socks
After the recent 0-4 thrashing handed by England, the Pakistani cricket team was forced to change their bowling plans. Their bowlers failed to contain England despite the batsmen scoring 300-plus runs to give them comfort. The selectors roped in Mohammed Amir and Wahab Riaz to give more direction in their bowling.
That saw all-rounder Faheem Ashraf and pacer Junaid Khan being axed. For Pakistan, Shaheen Afridi is their main prospect in making inroads. Hasan Ali is a strong option as well. Shadab Khan and Imad Wasim hold the substance in spin department. Pakistan need to work towards their bowling and will hope Riaz and Amir rescue them in the CWC 19.
Pakistan get a rating of 6/10.
SA have a lethal bowling quartet
South African skipper Faf du Plessis will have a lot of options to choose from, with all of Kagiso Rabada, Andile Phehlukwayo, Lungi Ngidi, Dale Steyn, Chris Morris and Pretorius in the mix.
Rabada and Steyn are the go to bowlers and the leaders of this unit. Their form and experience can guide SA in going long and strong. Ngidi and the pace-bowling all-rounders add variable support and present a strong case. The spin department will be headed by 40-year-old wrist-spinner Imran Tahir. The ace spinner will look to continue with his fine form. Tabraiz Shamsi lends support.
SA have a lethal attack on offer and get a rating of 9/10.
New Zealand have a nice flair
The Black Caps have a solid bowling line-up at their disposal. The conditions in England and Wales will be supportive of their gameplay and one expects the bowlers to join the party. Trent Boult, who is a master of swing bowling, could be the one to light up the show for the Kiwis.
Tim Southee was superb in the previous edition of the World Cup. Lockie Ferguson brings great pace on offer. He has the tendency to go for runs, but the right-arm fast bowler can give you wickets. Matt Henry is the fourth pacer of the side.
Ish Sodhi is experienced and will be effective with his leg-spin on offer. Left-arm spinner Santner will lead the line. The versatile all-rounder is quite a utility player in the ranks for NZ. The Kiwis also have Neesham and Grandhomme on offer.
Altogether, NZ have the right blend and get a rating of 8/10.
How do Lanka, Afghanistan and Bangladesh rate?
Lasith Malinga is the major hope for Sri Lanka in the 2019 World Cup. The right-arm fast bowler is one of the best in the world and the entire team is depending on his services. He will look to extract the confidence in seam-friendly conditions. 32-year-old Suranga Lakmal and Nuwan Pradeep are two premium pacers.
Isuru Udana, Angelo Mathews and Thisara Perera are pace-bowling all-rounders. Vandersay comes in as the only specialist spin-bowler in this side. Jeevan and Siriwardana are spin-bowling all-rounders in the Lankan squad.
Lanka have a big pool to choose from, but the quality is somehow missing and they get a rating of 6/10.
For the Tigers, Mashrafe Mortaza will be key with his variations on offer. He will look to build pressure by containing batsmen with accuracy. Joining him as the principle pacer is left-arm fast bowler Mustafizur Rahman, who has had some fitness concerns in the lead up to the squad announcement.
There is the experience Rubel Hossain. Jayed and Mohammad Saifuddin will be tested immensely in the big stage. Shakib Al Hasan is their principle spinner. Mehidy Hasan Miraz is in there as well.
Bangladesh lack serious depth and there is some inexperience doing the rounds. They get 5/10 rating.
Afghanistan will rely on their powerful performer Rashid Khan. The youngster can bowl in any given surface and there are wickets guaranteed. Mujeeb Ur Rahman and Mohammad Nabi offer support in spin. Afghans have real quality in this quartet. Their main test will be the pace attack.
In Dawlat Zadran, Aftab Alam, and skipper Naib, the Asian side has a decent pace attack to complement their slower bowlers. The only surprise inclusion in the side was that of veteran paceman Hamid Hassan.
Afghanistan have a decent feel in their bowling and get a rating of 6.5/10.