ICC Cricket World Cup 2019: India's three most crucial players
With the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 less than a year away, every team has started preparation ahead of time. India is being considered as one of the top favorites to lift the title mainly due to their consistent performance in the ODIs in the recent past. Also, since the 2015 world cup India have lost just four bilateral series. Out of these four series too, three were lost in away tours against Bangladesh (2-1), Australia (4-1) and England (2-1). They lost just one series on their home soil against South Africa in 2015 (3-2).
In 2017, India defeated South Africa on their home soil by 5-1. In the Champions Trophy 2017 in England, they reached the finals undefeated but unfortunately lost to Pakistan in the finals. The Men in Blue recently won the Asia Cup 2018- a feat looking even more impressive as Virat Kohli missed the tournament. Currently, India is ranked number two in ODIs after England. Ravi Shastri's team have been playing some very ruthless cricket and have been clinical in almost all departments.
Cricket is a team sport and every individual contributes to the team victory. Each member of the playing eleven has an important role to play for the team to do well. But at times there are individuals who are very consistent with their performance and can singlehandedly lead their team to victory in a match. These players are key for the team as their absence hurts much more than any other player. The current Indian team also features such players who are key to India's fortunes in the 2019 world cup:
#1 Virat Kohli
The biggest player of the Indian side is their captain Virat Kohli. India has had three great captains in Azharuddin, Sourav Ganguly, and MS Dhoni in the last 20 years and all three have a brilliant record as captains.
Mohammad Azharuddin captained in 174 ODIs and India won 90 of those games. Under Ganguly's captaincy, India won 76 games from 146 ODIs. Dhoni has the best record as captain winning 110 games from 200 ODIs. Virat Kohli has an even better winning percentage than these three. India has won 40 games out of the 53 ODIs played under his captaincy.
But India will need Virat 'the batsman' more than 'the captain' in the upcoming world cup. He has been in phenomenal form over the past few years. Although, 2015 was not his best year wherein he scored just 623 runs at an average of 36.64 in the 20 matches he played. But after that, he has been just brilliant with the bat. In 2016 he scored 739 from just 10 games at an average of more than 92. In 2017 he scored 1460 runs at an average of 76.84. This year he has scored 889 runs at an unbelievable average of 127. He has scored 13 hundreds in the last three years. He is currently ranked number one in the ODI batsmen list.