5 ODI teams with best batting lineups ahead of 2019 Cricket World Cup
With the 2019 World Cup just under a year away, ODI teams are busy getting their playing combinations right so as to field in their strongest playing elevens when the showpiece event gets underway in England. While teams shall be looking to strengthen their bowling arsenal in seam-friendly English conditions, they need the firepower in batting to put on commanding totals or chase down daunting targets set by their opponents.
Run-scoring has never been easy in English conditions, so a combination of power hitters and sheet anchors shall be the order of the day. While some ODI teams have a settled lineup with clearly charted roles for each batsman, others are still figuring out to get their batting orders in place.
While teams would look for their prolific run scorers like Virat Kohli, David Warner, Kane Williamson, Hashim Amla and Joe Root to score runs aplenty, it would have to be a collective batting effort by them in order to go the distance and clinch the coveted World Cup.
So let us have a look at the ODI teams which have the best batting line-ups ahead of the World Cup.
Note: I have taken the ODI records for the top five batsmen of each nation for the last three years (June 2015- June 2018) to gauge the performance of the batting lineups
For ranking teams from 1 to 5, I have taken the depth in batting, consistency in run scoring, strike rate and penchant to score hundreds as the major parameters.
India has arguably the best batting lineup in ODI cricket at the moment. Spearheaded by their prolific run-getter Virat Kohli, India have world class batsmen in their ranks who can make the best of bowling attacks look ordinary.
Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma pack a punch with their opening salvo. While the 'Hitman' Rohit flays attacks with his effortless hitting, Dhawan can put the opposition on the defence with his brutal assault. The enormously gifted Rohit can win matches single-handedly by producing some monumental knocks. Meanwhile, Shikhar Dhawan would relish playing at the World Cup as he has tasted success at major tournaments in England.
Skipper Kohli is the lynchpin of the middle order. Consistency is his forte and the master blaster more often than not he takes his team home. A prolific century maker and a master of chases, Kohli has been India’s biggest match-winner with the willow. Kohli’s mental toughness and competitive takes him to a different level.
With the ball seaming around in England, Ajinkya Rahane will look to play the sheet anchor’s role. The technically correct Rahane can wear out quality attacks and also play the stabilizer’s role if wickets fall early. Meanwhile, India has got some gifted stroke-makers in Manish Pandey and the classy KL Rahul who have shown flashes of brilliance in ODIs.
Experienced campaigners Suresh Raina and MS Dhoni are likely to don the role of finishers down the order. The hard-hitting Raina and Dhoni have taken India across the finishing line many a time with their whirlwind cameos. Meanwhile, all-rounder, Hardik Pandya can unleash with his ball striking ability. India has plenty of bench strength with Kedar Jadhav, Dinesh Karthik and Rishabh Pant who all shall push their case for selection.
Indian Batsmen ODI Record (June 2015-June 2018)
Matches 40 Runs 1824 Avg 49.29 SR 99.07 100s 5
Matches 44 Runs 2311 Avg 57.77 SR 96.93 100s 10
Matches 49 Runs 3050 Avg 82.43 SR 97.88 100s 13
Matches 35 Runs 1369 Avg 42.78 SR 80.86 100s 1
Matches 55 Runs 1463 Avg 47.19 SR 84.27 100s 1