As the cricketing world eagerly anticipates the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023, several standout batsmen are poised to make a significant impact on the tournament.
1. Ben Stokes
Among them, Ben Stokes of England stands out as a talismanic all-rounder who recently came out of ODI retirement. Stokes, the architect of England’s 2019 World Cup triumph, has already sent a warning to competitors by smashing a remarkable 182 runs against New Zealand, England’s highest individual score in the format. Operating as a specialist batter, Stokes boasts an impressive ODI average of 40.50 and a strike rate exceeding 96, making him a potent weapon in the middle order.
2. Babar Azam
Babar Azam, the top-ranked ODI batter from Pakistan, remains a key figure in Pakistan’s top order despite a lackluster Asia Cup campaign. His brilliance with the bat reflected in an impressive average of 58.16 in ODIs, positions him as a vital anchor for Pakistan, capable of posting imposing totals.
3. Shubman Gill
Shubman Gill from India emerges as another player to watch, having reached a career-high world number two in the ODI rankings. With stellar performances, including being the leading scorer in the recent Asia Cup, Gill’s partnership with captain Rohit Sharma will be crucial for India as they aim to replicate their 2011 success on home soil.
4. Steve Smith
Australia’s Steve Smith, included in the World Cup squad despite recovering from a wrist injury, adds depth to the lineup. After a comeback that saw a pivotal 74-run contribution, Smith’s return to form is crucial for Australia, especially with concerns about Travis Head’s injury.
5. Kane Williamson
Finally, Kane Williamson, the skipper of New Zealand, returns to action after overcoming an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury. Named the player of the tournament in 2019, Williamson’s presence adds strength to the Kiwi lineup as they aim for redemption following the agonizing loss to England in the final.
These five batters, each with their own unique strengths and contributions, are set to add excitement and drama to the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023, promising fans a thrilling spectacle of top-class cricket.