ICC World Cup 2019: Ranking the openers of each team
With the IPL done and dusted, the entire cricketing fraternity is awaiting the start of the most prestigious tournament in cricket, the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019. The tournament is scheduled to get underway on May 30 with a fixture between hosts England and South Africa.
The teams are set to submit their final squads on or before May 23 after which the practice matches will take place. This edition is set to be even bigger than its predecessors and is set to have a huge opening.
Similarly, the teams will want their openers to fire because in England which is home to a few of the greatest batting tracks in the world, a good start is essential.
On that note, let's take a look at the openers of each team and rank them.
Opening Choices- Hazratullah Zazai, Mohammad Shahzad and Noor Ali Zadran
Afghanistan are clearly the minnows when it comes to batting orders in this World Cup and staying in line with this, their opening batsmen are the least powerful among all the other teams.
These players certainly have the prowess and ability to make big scores but consistency and composure comes begging. Young Hazratullah Zazai can really take the opponent for a toss if he learns how to stay at the crease for a longer time than the power play.
Mohammad Shahzad meanwhile will be the one who Afghanistan will look upon to provide a great start and make a big score but the big keeper-batsman certainly has his weaknesses. Noor Ali Zadran too is an experienced player though he is a very slow scorer and isn’t one who you want chasing big scores.
All in all, Afghanistan have talent and ability but they have very limited experience and they have to mature remarkably if they want to successfully deal with opposition bowling attacks.
#9 Sri Lanka
Opening Choices- Dimuth Karunaratne, Avishka Fernando, Kusal Mendis and Lahiru Thirimanne
Sri Lanka’s WC squad received a lot of flak one it was announced and a major reason for this was leaving out many experienced players who had done no wrong. Upul Tharanga and Dinesh Chandimal are the most notable omissions while Niroshan Dickwella is missed too.
Dimuth Karunaratne’s shock appointment as captain is another bad choice. In fact, both their first-choice openers, Dimuth and Fernando average less than 20 in ODIs and Karunaratne has not played an ODI in nearly 4 years.
They however, have some backup opening options in Kusal Mendis, Lahiru Thirimanne and even Kusal Perera who are quality players and this gives the side some breathing spae even if the regular openers fail.
However, Sri Lanka’s openers need to pull out a really big surprise if they want to compete with the other teams in the World Cup.
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