Hardik Pandya is likely to be India’s first choice all-rounder in the upcoming Cricket World Cup considering his recent exploits. He was in great form for Mumbai Indians and played a crucial role in their 2019 IPL title win, contributing both with bat and ball. He scored 402 runs at an average of 44.66 and a strike rate of over 190, also picking up 14 wickets. Over the past year or so, Hardik has been very consistent in the role of a genuine all-rounder. He has also changed his stance and now takes a middle and off stump guard which has helped him. The Indian side has been on a quest for a solid bowling all-rounder ever since Kapil Dev hung his boots. Pandya could very well be that player and he has proved in the past to be a clutch player, the best example being the 2017 Champions Trophy where he hit a blazing 76 off 43 balls. Pandya will be expected to dish out something special in the 2019 World Cup and help India clinch the greatest prize in cricket.
New Zealand’s talismanic skipper would be looking to get his team past the line this time around, having lost the final to Australia four years ago. In the series against Sri Lanka, Kane Williamson managed to score 2 fifties in the 3 ODIs. His performances against India in the ODI and T20I series in January were also remarkable and were displays of superb batting skills. He has an illustrious career where he has scored over 5000 runs in ODIs at an average of over 46 and is considered to be one of the finest batsmen of the modern era. With form on his side and favorable batting conditions in England, Williamson will be looking forward to topping the World Cup 2019 Points table with the Kiwis and could potentially go on to become the highest run-getter at the tournament.
The allrounder from Jamaica was impeccable for Kolkata Knight Riders in the IPL 2019. Although he has played only a single ODI since 2015 – in July 2018 against Bangladesh – his explosive hitting prowess is hard to ignore, even in the 50 over format. He is also a handy bowler and managed to pick up 11 wickets in 14 matches in the 2019 IPL season. He and his side will be looking to repeat their success of 2015 Twenty20 World Cup in this World Cup and hope to bring the Cup back to the Caribbean after 40 years.
The Afghan leg-break bowler has become a renowned cricketer at the age of just 20 and is certain to provide the X-factor for Afghanistan. A master of googly, Rashid has deceived even some of the finest batsmen with his bowling. He has a stunning economy rate of just under 4 runs per over and has picked over 110 wickets in ODI cricket.
The youngster is also working on his batting skills and trying to develop himself into an all-rounder. He has performed exceptionally well in T20 leagues like IPl and BIG Bash and would be one of the defining factors behind where Afghanistan could finish on the World Cup Points table.
Adam Zampa has a round arm leg-break action and is often compared to the legendary Aussie spinner Shane Warne. He may be lacking in experience in ODI cricket but his technique has helped him immensely. He tosses the ball above the eye-line making it tough for the batsman to judge the line and length of the ball and has cracked through the defence of the likes of Virat Kohli with his leg-break and googly. The batting-friendly pitches in England will pose a great challenge for a spinner like him and it would be interesting to see how he deals with this challenge and help Australia clinch their sixth World Cup title.