ICC World Cup 2019: Achievable milestones that can take India to the semi-finals
Before the start of the tournament, some Indian players are approaching rare individual milestones in their careers. If they manage to reach those milestones, the team would surely qualify for the semi-finals.
The format of the tournament permits a minimum of nine and a maximum of 11 matches for the players to enhance their career statistics and reputation.
Here is a list of the approaching milestones for the Indians before the World Cup.
#1 Virat Kohli
Team India depends a lot on the performances of its captain Virat Kohli. India’s fortunes could swim or sink with the batting form of the skipper.
Kohli has scored a total of 10,843 runs in ODIs. There is no doubt in any one’s mind that Kohli would cross 11,000 runs during World Cup. But it is his record in 50-over World Cups which makes interesting reading.
In ODI World Cup matches, Kohli has aggregated 587 runs in 17 innings. If he could cross 1000 runs in World Cup in this year’s edition, it should put his team in a comfortable position. Considering his current form, this is most likely to happen.
# 2 Shikhar Dhawan
Shikhar Dhawan is sitting on 412 World Cup runs in 8 innings. Taking into consideration the fact that he is an opener who would get many overs to bat, there is every likelihood that he could score 588 or more runs to reach 1000 World Cup runs this year. If one were to go by his form in England in the two Champions Trophy tournaments in 2013 and 2017, Dhawan could reach this personal milestone of 1000 World Cup runs with relative ease.
#3 MS Dhoni
MS Dhoni is placed exactly on 10,500 ODI runs. In World Cup matches, he has an aggregate of 507 runs in 17 innings. He is in with a chance to cross the dual milestones of 11,000 career runs as well as the 1000 World Cup runs. If the team management decides to fit MS Dhoni at no.4 or 5 in the batting order, he might reach both the milestones comfortably.
In the absence of a designated no.4 in the batting order, it could be wise to promote the experienced Dhoni to that position to provide some stability to the middle-order.
#4 Hardik Pandya
Hardik Pandya was in tremendous hitting form in the recently concluded IPL tournament. It remains to be seen whether he could translate his consistent striking ability from the T20 format to the 50-over format. He is 269 runs away from completing 1000 ODI runs. He normally bats at no.7 and if he could manage to score those many runs from the position in which he bats, he would have done his bit with the bat for the team.
#5 Jasprit Bumrah
Team India’s main strike bowler Jasprit Bumrah has taken 85 ODI wickets in 49 matches. He has taken exactly 15 wickets in his last 9 matches. At the same rate, he should complete 100 ODI wickets in the forthcoming World Cup. The conditions in England should suit his type of accurate bowling perfectly.
#6 Kuldeep Yadav
Kuldeep Yadav was out of form in the IPL. But that should not affect his ODI performances where he has taken 87 wickets for India in 44 matches at almost two wickets per match.
Kuldeep is a rhythm bowler and in a T20 tournament like the IPL, he can’t have extended spells to settle into a rhythm. But in a 50-over game, Kuldeep could be an attacking option for India in the middle overs. If given enough opportunities in the World Cup, he should go past 100 ODI wickets.