HomeAnalysisICC Cricket World Cup 2019: Rating the openers from...

ICC Cricket World Cup 2019: Rating the openers from each side

- Advertisement -

The ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 is around two weeks away and the excitement is building among the fans across the globe with each passing day.
The 2019 World Cup will be a mega platform to showcase talent and building consistency in ranks. Batting in particular is an important phase of the game and the openers in particular will be counted upon.
Over the decades, teams that have won the Cricket World Cup, have been blessed by their openers in particular. They face the new ball and often set the tone of the innings.
They also get to face the maximum deliveries and provide a base for the side to build upon. A strong start is desirable and it’s something sides will be looking to build upon.
The 2019 World Cup promises to set the fireworks from the openers, as each team is blessed with desirable names in their ranks. Here we rate the opening combinations of each team participating in the CWC 19 based on what they will offer and the efforts the players have put in recent past.

India have quality in opening department

Indian cricket team

- Advertisement -

India’s two main options in the opening lies with pioneers Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan. They have been the source of inspiration for many years now. The two understand their games well and there is a basic sort of comfort all around. Both Rohit and Dhawan have a staggering 4,586 partnership runs between them.

They have hit 15 hundreds and 13 fifties together at an average just under 45. There’s quality on offer here. Both have the strength in playing the role as attackers and also as anchormen.
Rohit and Shikhar are the go to openers and their understanding and maturity is what India will look up to. Both have the authority to command the situation. Both the players had a successful year in ODIs in 2018. Providing depth is the in-form KL Rahul.

The Karnataka batsman hasn’t played much ODIs though (14), but this is the right time to invest in him as he is the in-form batsman. India get a 9/10 rating. That’s simply because of the numbers and quality they bring on the table.

Australia can rotate when required

Usman Khawaja raises his bat after a ton against India in ODIs. (Image: Twitter @BCCI)

The Aussies have been remarkably boosted with the return of David Warner. The defending champions have a selection headache in terms of opening combination.
Usman Khawaja and skipper Aaron Finch have been solid together after scoring the runs against Pakistan in the 5-0 series whitewash earlier this year.
Warner, who made a return after 12 months, bagged the Orange Cap in the 12th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL). His return means that the Aussies will have to change the dynamics a bit.
What we feel strongly is that all three of Finch, Khawaja and Warner will feature in the starting line-up and perhaps the skipper will drop down to accommodate Warner.
Warner and Finch have also enjoyed a solid run in the past and scored 2,126 partnership runs with five hundred under their belt. Australia get 9/10 rating, They have three in-form batsmen and can be rotated at ease.

England can provide the sparks

The English team will be relying on openers Jason Roy and Jonny Bairstow to provide the ultimate joy atop and are both aggressive with their intent.

They deserve a special mention for being the best in business going into the World Cup. They had a terrific 2018 and amassed 1,025 and 894 runs respectively. The aggression provided by the two players makes England dominate the show from the word go.

All will depend on Roy and Bairstow’s fine understanding. The two players have thrived at home and they know the conditions in and out. They can unsettle bowlers at ease. That’s where the strength lies.
With Alex Hales being sacked, England may look upto James Vince as the third opener likely. The absence of Hales will bother England and Vince has big shoes to fill in. England get 8/10 rating.

South Africa need to be consistent

SA
SA need a to find answers. They have the quality in the form of Quinton de Kock.
The southpaw is currently enjoying a strong form with the bat. He was on top gear against Sri Lanka in the ODIs this year. De Kock churned out his most productive ODI bilateral series ever. He slammed one century and three fifties in five innings.
De Kock will be one assured opener and it remains to be seen whom South Africa choose to partner him with at the top.
Hashim Amla has been an accomplished senior player for South Africa in ODIs. He has scored 7,910 runs in ODIs at an average of just under 50. However, the classy batsman has struggled for form lately.
Aiden Markram is the third name in the list. He has played 18 ODIs for the Proteas and has a poor average of 29.58. He is yet to hit a ton. SA need to be consistent and identify the right combination. They get a 7/10 rating.

Windies will rely on Gayle power


Chris Gayle and Evin Lewis are the obvious choices for the opening role for WI. The veteran Gayle is the key man once again at the top of the order.
The 39-year-old peaked during the 2-2 ODI series against England this year. He was breathtaking and gave a glimpse of what’s to come after averaging 106 across the five games.
Gayle is West Indies’ most experienced player with 289 ODI caps to his name. Going with an in-form Gayle means a lot for West Indies.
Lewis needs to show his prowess after being entrusted for the role. They have Nicholas Pooran as back-up. Both these players have the promise, but can they be the ideal partners for Gayle? WI get a rating of 6/10 for being over reliable on Gayle.

Pakistan can turn on the heat


Imam-ul-Haq is Pakistan’s main asset in the opening department. The southpaw will need to be consistent. He has been a consistent force for the side.
His principle role will be to play as an anchor and bind the side. Joining him upfront is the explosive Fakhar Zaman. He can be inconsistent at times, but he presents an aggressive nature and could bolster the side in getting those brisk starts at the beginning.
Recently, he slammed a ton against England in the ongoing ODIs. He will need to handle the responsibility well.
The Asian team has the back-up in Abid Ali, who doesn’t have experience under his belt. But he has the temperament as seen against Australia in his debut match. Mohammad Hafeez can open as well if required. Pakistan have variety on offer and get 7/10 rating.

New Zealand have to change things around

Martin Guptill
Guptill is NZ’s main option – image source: Zee News

For NZ, Colin Munro and Martin Guptill are the household names. They will be the main openers and both provide the base of getting off to brisk starts. They can take the game away in a flash and that can set the tempo for the Kiwis. Although, both these players can be guilty of being inconsistent at times.
Guptill, who scored 423 runs in ODIs last year, was wayward against India at the start of 2019. He got back to form against Bangladesh and scripted two successive centuries. He has the desired quality to come strong. Munro will need to play smart cricket and make his presence count.
Wicket-keeper batsman Tom Blundell is be the back-up, but is yet to play an ODI. With inconsistency and an inexperienced name as back-up, NZ get a rating of 5/10.

Bangladesh have worries to deal with


The opening pair has been an area of concern for Bangladesh. Besides Tamim Iqbal, the person to accompany him upfront has lacked the cutting edge. Both  Soumya Sarkar and Liton Das have been in and out.
Both batsmen have intermittently held the role, but neither has shown the quality to say, I earn this spot. It remains to be seen who gets the nod to join Tamim up the order. Bangladesh may be tempted to start with Das, who barring 121 against India in the Asia Cup 2018 final, hasn’t produced much substance.
If he fails, then the Tigers will promote Soumya up the order to bat alongside Tamim. They get a rating of 4/10.

Afghanistan have promise on offer


Afghanistan have a promising opening combination. In Mohammad Shahzad, they already have an opener, who has the desired knowledge and experience. His boundary-hitting abilities could be the way for the side to go out and attack. The 31-year-old has scored 2,562 runs from 79 ODIs that includes five hundreds and 13 fifties.
He will be well supported by Hazratullah Zazai. If they decide to pair Zazai and Shahzad, there could be fireworks. The two can take bowlers to the cleaners in matter of no time.
They also have Noor Ali Zadran, who can be an able customer against the new ball. He has 47 ODIs under his belt. Facing top quality attacks can be immensely testing for them. Afghanistan get 6/10 for their promise.

Sri Lanka can struggle in CWC 19

Skipper Dimuth Karunaratne is a notable Test player and he has played just 17 ODIs up till now. So this will be a big test for the player to come in and mold himself to the demands of 50-over cricket. He will not get the time to settle in as this is the World Cup and teams will be coming hard at each other.

21-year-old opening batsman Avishka Fernando keeps his place. He is likely to be the back-up. He has played just 5 ODIs and scored 71 runs. He was recently seen against South Africa. Thirimanne last played an ODI in 2017. He is most likely to open the batting. The left-handed batsman has the desired experience.

With not such big names and gaps in their careers, Lanka get a rating of 3/10.

- Advertisement -

15 Highly Educated Cricketers Of All Time

Cricket is a game of passion and dedication. A sport in which one involves themselves in camps and practice since early childhood. Due to...

Do we often under-appreciate Andy Flower? What’s his legacy?

There's a hint of sadness in noting that Zimbabwe has never been a dominant power in world cricket. But nothing could be sadder than...

Why are more and more MotoGP riders using the Noson nasal dilator?

Introduction MotoGP riders or athletes are physically fit and healthy individuals and their muscles are continuously functioning and used during the performance. As a fan...

How Come UFC Fighters Have Cauliflower Ears But Boxers Don’t?

The UFC has come a long way since its early days, wherein the fights seemed like modern-day gladiators due to its brutality and inconsistent...

5 spinners who can be India’s potential finger-spinners

The Indian cricket team has always been proud of its ability to produce world-class batsmen and similarly potent spinners. Though in recent times, the...

IPL 2018: The beautiful Sawai Mansingh Stadium, Jaipur

Being seated in the Sawai Mansingh stadium brings a different world, a world of difference away from the palpable excitement of watching truly India’s...

Top 5 Left Wingers In The World, Based On 2019-20 Season

Owing to the fact that football has evolved a lot since its inception and the tactics have changed a lot, the role of wingers...

The astonishing decline of Mario Balotelli

There was a time when Mario Balotelli was on top of the world.  The Italian talisman had scored two goals in the Euro 2012 semi-finals,...

What can be expected from the 2018 Azerbaijan Grand Prix?

Heat in the air and heat inside the car- that's been the story of the Azerbaijan Grand prix. As F1 parks itself at Baku...

How Suresh Raina Batted India Into The Finals of 2011 World Cup

Its been 9 years, since India won the Cricket World Cup defeating Sri Lanka on 2 April, 2011. The images and visuals of...

IPL 2018: The best from the West Indies

When one of nature's treacherous attacks on mankind- earthquakes- strike, their impact is measured on Richter's scale. When West Indians strike in a tournament...

Ajax XI if they didn’t sell their star players

Based in Amsterdam, AFC Ajax, who incidentally draw their name from the legendary Greek hero of the same name, are the most successful club...

Age Fraud in Indian Cricket: Are players really to be blamed?

There have been times while watching a cricket match when we tend to hear commentators comment on cricketers’ age. We as fans have many...

Big change for India Women’s cricket as BCCI looks to finalise bowling coach soon

We are not even at the halfway stage of the 2018 cricketing season. It clearly seems there's no stopping India's women's cricket team. The...

5 famous players to play for both Leeds United and Liverpool

Leeds United are back in the Premier League after 16 years and will play Liverpool at Anfield on Saturday in their very first match...

- Advertisement -

- Advertisement -