Some say that this World Cup will belong to batsmen who will help their teams score in access of 350 runs in an innings. Others think that batsmen will better strike rate will dominate the mega event as it’s all about scoring quick runs in less time. I, on the other hand, believe that if you have a couple of wicket-taking bowlers in the side, even 275 would be a good total to defend. We at The News Tribe decided to jolt down half a dozen such bowlers who might trouble batsmen with the variety, take wickets with their ingenuity and win matches for their country despite all odds. Let’s analyze these bowlers who might do the trick for the team, and entertain the crowd by taking wickets when the going gets tough.
Chris Woakes (England)
Who better can achieve the best results than a bowler who is in form and knows all the venues like the back of his hand? The way English medium pacer Chris Woakes bowled in the last match of the ODI series against Pakistan, opposing teams should be careful, in fact, be very careful while facing him.
The 30-year old already has taken 126 wickets in 88 ODIs with 6/45 being his best figures; his wonderful strike rate of a wicket on every 33rd ball compensates for a high average of 31 runs per wicket and an economy rate that is just below run a ball. With the new ball in his hand, he is not less than any bowler in the world, and in recent matches he has shown that he can handle the old ball and make it do things that are too hard for late order batsmen to understand.
Imran Tahir (South Africa)
He has nothing to lose but everything to gain, and that’s what makes Imran Tahir the most dangerous bowler in the world. The 40-year old has already announced his retirement from the game and wants to end it on a memorable note, like winning the World Cup for his adopted country.
For someone who made his ODI debut at the age of 32, Imran Tahir has been phenomenal in the shorter version of the game. In his 98 ODIs, he has taken over 162 wickets at an astonishing strike rate of a wicket every 32nd ball. His average of 24 runs per wicket and less than 5 runs per over economy rate is only believable when one watches him bowl like a possessed individual. Be it any kind of surface or any country, this Pakistan-born leg-spinner finds a way to trouble the batsmen and deserves a befitting farewell from international Cricket for making his impossible dream of playing international cricket come true.
Jasprit Bumrah (India)
Ever since he bowled that fateful (for Pakistan) no-ball in the final of the ICC Champions Trophy in 2017 that cost India the match and the trophy, Jasprit Bumrah has been trying to redeem himself in the eyes of his fans.
He has improved his record a lot and his wicket-tally of 85 in 49 matches is amongst the best in the world. His strike rate of 30 balls between wickets, an average of 22 runs per wicket and economy rate of 4.51 per 6 balls makes him a potent weapon in the Indian artillery. With conditions suiting his kind of bowling, the 25-year old might surprise the opposition with his improved accuracy and ability to break partnerships. If India manages to do well in the mega-event, it would be because of Jasprit Bumrah leading the attack.
Pat Cummins (Australia)
Anyone who has taken 17 wickets in 6 matches this year will be considered a threat in the World Cup and for Australia, Pat Cummins will play that role.
The injury-prone pacer is back in the squad and would be looking to improve his record by instilling fear in the batsmen and bowling as per his Captain’s guidelines. He has taken 82 wickets in 48 ODIs for Australia at a strike rate of a wicket after every 31 balls, an economy rate of 5 runs per over and an average of nearly 27 runs per wicket. With Mitchell Starc back in the team and some newcomers also trying their hand at spin, Cummins might be the best option to lead the attack. He was devastating against India early this year and just imagine how much destruction he will unleash in favorable conditions.
Rashid Khan (Afghanistan)
Not since South Africa’s Imran Tahir has a leg-break googly bowler been so near-perfect for his team, and a destroyer for the others.
Aged just 20, Rashid Khan started young and developed himself into a world-class bowler who can read the batsmen’s mind while delivering the ball. He has every kind of delivery in his arsenal which he uses intelligently, and at the right time. In his 58 ODIs for Afghanistan so far, the youngster has taken over 125 wickets with 7 wickets for 18 runs being his best figures. He has a strike rate of 23.1 which is considered excellent in modern day cricket while averages 15 runs per wicket that is simply outstanding. His economy rate of 3.91 runs per 6 balls is amongst the best in the world, and if Afghanistan manages to cause a few upsets in the mega event, it will be because of this youngster who has matured into the near-perfect cricketer.
Trent Boult (New Zealand)
For the last 7 years, Trent Boult has been spearheading the Kiwi attack and was instrumental in their reaching the final of the World Cup four years back.
The 29-year old left arm pacer ended the event as joint-highest wicket-taker with Mitchell Starc (22 wickets) and would be aiming to repeat the same kind of performance this time around. He also boasts of an impressive record – 147 wickets in 79 matches, strike rate of 29.1 balls between wickets, 5 runs per every 6 balls and an average of nearly 25 runs per wicket – which is better than many pacers in the world at the moment. He may not have played County Cricket in England but he knows how to make the ball talk, and would be hoping to strike a ‘boult’ into his opponents.