Two-time World Cup Champions India are set to play South Africa in their opening fixture of the 2019 World Cup. The play the Proteas on the 5th of June at the Rose Bowl Cricket Ground in Hampshire. The Men in Blue are regarded as the hot favorites to lift the World Cup along with the hosts England.
If one dwells upon the team on paper, one can find that the Indian team selected for the World Cup is the most balanced side in the competition. The other favorites England have a formidable batting line-up that plays ultra-attacking cricket, however, their bowling leaks away plenty of runs. Australia and New Zealand are the next most balanced side heading in the tournament; however, the Aussie batting attack looks unsettled and relatively unproven after the return of tainted duo David Warner and Steven Smith.
New Zealand, on the other hand, are short of quality spinners and their batting hinges upon the middle-order and if it fails then the whole batting order collapses. Looking at all these points, one can easily say that it is Team India who are the most balanced side heading into the World Cup.
Although the Men in Blue boasts plenty of match-winners in their squad, yet there are two players that need special mention. It is none other than Virat Kohli and Jasprit Bumrah. World Number 1’s in their respective domain, they are the primary reason why India has dominated the game for such a lengthy span of time.
The best modern-day batsman, and arguably the best batsman ever to have played limited overs cricket, Indian captain Virat Kohli leads the batting-order for India. Coming at number-3, he anchors the Indian Innings and helps them post huge totals or chase down gigantic scores. He would play as per the situation. When the team needs rebuilding to be done, he will rotate the strike without taking any risks, but if the team needs quick runs, he can up the ante by playing some aerial shots.
The reason that he has been so dominant in the modern day is because of his ability to play innings as per its requirement without playing any risky shots. The Present ODI World no. 1 batsman has 41 centuries to his name in 219 innings, averaging 59.57. With a high score of 183, Virat has amassed 10843 ODI runs at an S/R of 92.96.
Jasprit Bumrah is arguably the world’s best bowler at the moment. Having dominated in South Africa, England, and Australia, Bumrah will be expected to dominate teams in England and help India lay their hands on the silverware. He often provides breakthroughs in the early part of the innings, while also helps India break partnership during middle-overs. Further, his searing yorkers in the death overs break the opposition’s momentum to score runs freely and thus he, in the process, often lands up with wickets which reduces the batting team to below par total most of the times.
With 85 wickets from 49 innings, Bumrah averages an impressive 22.15 with an inspiring S/R of 29.4. What is most astonishing is that his economy in modern day 50-overs cricket is paltry 4.51 and his best figure is 5/27 which came against Sri Lanka in the year 2017.
These two players are definitely to watch out for when Team India take on the field for the World Cup. If India are to win the match, they would surely need help from both of these two players. However, the rest of the players would also have to play their part if India would have to win the World Cup for the third time.