ICC World Cup 2019 is around the corner and we look at the 10 players, from each of the participating countries, who have that 'X-factor'. Watch out for these 10 players in England and Wales in the quadrennial showpiece event
The most awaited and prestigious tournament in cricket is just around the corner and the excitement among fans for the ICC World Cup 2019 is increasing with every passing day. All the teams have finalised their squads and the practice games will help them in deciding the best playing XI as well.
Here, we will have a look at 'X-factor' players from each side and how their form will be crucial for their team's progress in the World Cup 2019. Let's have a look.
India: Jasprit Bumrah
Jasprit Bumrah is, arguably, the best fast bowler in the world, across all three formats of the game. It can be easily said that on high scoring pitches in England, Bumrah will be India's most lethal weapon with the ball and the kind of form he has displayed in the last one-and-half years, the unorthodox speedster will be the biggest challenge for the opposition batsmen.
In the recently concluded season of the Indian Premier League (IPL), Bumrah was at the top of his game and he made some of the best batters in the tournament look ordinary with his bowling. He played all the 16 games for Mumbai Indians (MI) and took 19 wickets at an economy of 6.63, which is excellent in T20 cricket.
In the ICC World Cup 2019, Bumrah will be India's X-factor and there are high chances he will be the best bowler of the tournament.
England: Jason Roy
Jason Roy is one of the most exciting batsmen to watch in One Day International (ODI) cricket. He hits the ball as cleanly as anyone can and has the potential to destroy any bowling attack in world cricket, on his day. England is hosting the World Cup and they are one of the favourites to lift the trophy because of their balanced squad and recently adopted the aggressive brand of playing ODI cricket. There are many match-winners in their side but considering the kind of form Roy in the ongoing series against Pakistan, he will be England's X-factor in the World Cup.
Also read: All the 10 squads for World Cup 2019
On good batting wickets, if Roy bats for the first 15 overs, there are high chances that he will set a solid platform and set his team up for a huge total.
Australia: David Warner
David Warner will be making a comeback to international cricket after a long time, but he is full of confidence after a successful IPL 2019 campaign, in which he was the proud holder of 'Orange Cap' for scoring the most number of runs.
Warner is still one of the most destructive batsmen in the world and he has a good record in ODI cricket, in England. On good batting pitches in England, Warner can set the tempo upfront with his aggressive batting in the World Cup 2019.
Pakistan: Fakhar Zaman
Fakhar Zaman is a very aggressive young batsman and he has a good record in ODI cricket in England. He has played 35 ODIs for Pakistan and scored 1,642 runs at a healthy average of 52.96, including four hundreds.
Opposition teams will need to be wary of his batting prowess and ability to score big hundreds.
West Indies: Andre Russell
The big Jamaican all-rounder was unstoppable in IPL 2019. He smashed 52 sixes in the tournament and made almost every bowling look ordinary when he was batting in the middle. His ability to hit the ball straight and clean makes him a very difficult bowler to bowl at and teams will have to come up with special plans to stop him on the flat pitches in England.
In World Cup 2019, all eyes will be, once again, on Russell, and he will be the X-factor of West Indies team.
Afghanistan: Rashid Khan
Rashid Khan is one of the most exciting and loved young players in world cricket. The pocket-sized magician from Afghanistan has 118 wickets to his name in 51 ODIs at a strike rate of 22.23 and a stunning economy rate of 3.91.
In World Cup 2019, the people of Afghanistan will be right behind Rashid as he is the most popular Afghan cricketer in the world, and it will be a great opportunity for him to showcase his skills in the most popular and watched cricket tournament in the world.
Bangladesh: Mushfiqur Rahim
Mushfiqur Rahim is one of Bangladesh's greatest players ever and he has scored overall 5,346 runs in ODIs at an average of 34.71. In World Cup 2019, Rahim will be the backbone of Bangladesh's batting and his form with the bat will be a huge factor in deciding how far Bangladesh will go in the tournament.
South Africa: Imran Tahir
Imran Tahir will be playing the last World Cup of his career and would be looking to enthrall the audience one last time, with his bowling and celebrations. He had a successful campaign in IPL 2019 in which he took the most number of wickets and won the 'Purple Cap' award.
In World Cup 2019, Tahir will be South Africa's X-factor and batsmen would have to very careful against while lining him up. And, do watch out for his 'marathon' celebrations.
New Zealand: Martin Guptill
New Zealand isn't the most strong side in the tournament but they play together as a unit and do well in ICC tournaments. Kiwis have a good bowling attack but if we talk about the X-factor, their stylish opener Martin Guptill is the one to watch out for.
Martin Guptill has played 14 ODIs in England, wherein he has scored 652 runs, averaging 54.33, his highest score being an unbeaten 189 against England. The stylish opener was instrumental in taking New Zealand to the final of the ICC World Cup 2015 and their fans would be hoping for a similar effort from him this time as well.
Sri Lanka: Lasith Malinga
Sri Lanka is going through a very lean patch and many pundits have predicted an early exit for them in the World Cup 2019. However, if we have to pick one 'X-factor' player from Sri Lanka then it would be 'old but strong' horse Lasith Malinga. The stylish speedster impressed one and all with his skills and temperament in the final of IPL 2019. He will be the leader of Sri Lanka's bowling attack in the World Cup 2019 and on his day, he can still turn the game around in a matter of a few overs with his unorthodox bowling and experience.
Last Updated 6:10 PM IST