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Cricket World Cup: Power Hitters

It can be predicted without a doubt that the World Cup that starts on May 30 will be a high-scoring affair.

Agencies|
May 15, 2019, 11.52 PM IST
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Agencies
Agenc
Almost all teams will rely on their power hitters to come to their own and score big in the prestigious quadrennial event.
With just 14 days remaining for the start of the much-awaited 2019 World Cup, all the participating teams are busy getting their combinations right and are preparing themselves mentally and physically for the showpiece event. It can be predicted without a doubt that the World Cup that starts on May 30 will be a high-scoring affair where teams would be posting gigantic totals on batting-friendly England pitches in the second half of summer. Thus, almost all teams will rely on their power hitters to come to their own and score big in the prestigious quadrennial event. A look at the top 5 power hitters who could play crucial roles in the showpiece event and take centre-stage:

JOS BUTTLER (England)
Jason Roy a couple of days back said this batsman can demoralise teammates with his hitting abilities which sums it all. Buttler has been one of the most destructive batsmen at the death in recent times. Since the 2015 World Cup, he strikes at 181.2 in the last 10 overs, more than any player in the final phase of an innings. In the second ODI against Pakistan, Buttler scored century of just 50 balls. In fact two of the fastest centuries for England have been scored by Buttler. He has a 360 degree hitting zone and that makes him a difficult customer for bowlers.

JONNY BAIRSTOW (England)
The wicket keeper-batsman from England has been in ominous form in the last two years. Bairstow not only has the ability to play big shots, but he also knows how to rotate strike and keep the scoreboard ticking. His power hitting was in full display during the IPL where he scored 442 runs in 10 matches for Sunrisers Hyderabad. In 62 ODIs he has played so far for England, Bairstow has scored 2297 runs at a strike rate of over 106.

ANDRE RUSSELL (West Indies)
Andre Russell is one of the hardest hitters of the ball among the contemporary batsmen. Like Virender Sehwag and Adam Gilchrist, Russell can inflict fear in any bowler. His ability to hit the ball a long way is not an unheard story anymore. In the just concluded IPL, Russell was in tremendous form as he single handedly won many games for Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR). He amassed 510 runs in the 14 matches at a breath-taking strike rate of 204. For sure, all teams will make special plans for Russell when they face the West Indies in the World Cup.

HARDIK PANDYA (India)
Hardik is the seaming all-rounder India had been looking for ages. Not only can he bowl those crucial overs in the middle overs and pick wickets, he can hit the ball really hard and score maximums on any ground across the world. Although he hasn’t featured in many successful chases, but his 76 off 46 against Pakistan in Champions Trophy final and a match-winning 83 off 66 against Australia in Chennai are some of the highlights of his career so far. His recent form has been outstanding as he scored 402 runs in the 16 matches he played for Mumbai Indians in this edition of the IPL. Also, he has now added M.S. Dhoni’s famous helicopter shot to his arsenal, thus bringing more variety to his batting. The 25-year-old, who has an overall strike rate of 116 in ODIs, has matured enough to understand what the situation demands of him and has been a regular fixture in all formats for India.

DAVID WARNER (Australia)
The swashbuckling Australian opener has been on a roll ever since he has returned to international cricket post serving his one-year ban for ball tampering. Warner won the Orange Cap in IPL 2019, scoring 692 runs in the 12 matches he played for the Sunrisers. Short in stature, this big hitting Aussie has the ability to make any bowler have a run for his money. He, along with Steve Smith, will be one of Australia’s main weapon when they begin their title defence in England.

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