The 12th edition of the ICC Cricket World Cup gets underway in less than 10 days. The hosts of the tournament, England, are famous for bowling friendly and swinging pitches. But looking at the number of runs scored in the recently concluded England vs Pakistan series and the overall state of Cricket, we will not be surprised to see batsmen bossing bowlers once again.
2015 World Cup broke a bunch of records with most team totals over 300, most centuries and most sixes than any other World Cup. And not to forget – TWO double centuries in the very same World Cup!
But four years have passed since then! Which batsmen will take the tournament by storm this time? Looking at the performances in the last four years, some expected names are in the ring for the honour of the ‘top-scorer’.
Here are the top 10 in-form batsmen since the 2015 World Cup who have scored the most runs in ODI :
10Faf du Plessis (South Africa):
Inns 57 | Runs 2777 | Avg 60.36 | 100s 7
Since their heartbreak in the 2015 World Cup semi-final, South Africa have had their ups and downs in ODI cricket. But the Proteas can always rely on their skipper, Faf du Plessis to deliver at No. 3. The 34-year old has played some exceptional inning in the last four years, 133 against India, 125 against Australia and an extraordinary 185 against Sri Lanka. De Plessis also played a crucial role in South Africa’s series wins against India and Australia away from home.
9Shikhar Dhawan (India):
Inns 67 | Runs 2848 | Avg 45.2 | 100s 8
Shikhar Dhawan and ICC competitions are made for each other. The southpaw has been India’s top scorer in 2013 and 2017 Champions Trophy and 2015 World Cup. Dhawan was also in great form in the last four years, averaging 45. He scored centuries against the likes of South Africa, Australia and Sri Lanka during that time. The 33-year old hasn’t been at his best in 2019 but with the ICC competition in England coming up, expect that to change very soon.
8Kane Williamson (New Zealand):
Inns 64 | Runs 2868 | Avg 47.01 | 100s 5
Five centuries in 64 innings is a below average stat for someone like Kane Williamson. But the Blackcaps skipper has scored 21 half centuries during the same time, providing stability to the middle order more often than not. With his class and technique, Williamson is more than capable of setting the stage on fire in England. But the skipper needs support from his teammates, to avoid the repetition of the 2017 Champions Trophy where NZ did not win a single game despite Kane’s 244 runs in 3 innings.
7Ross Taylor (New Zealand):
Inns 56 | Runs 2892 | Avg 68.85 | 100s 8
Talking about Williamson getting support from his team, Ross Taylor has been New Zealand’s best batsman since the 2015 World Cup. The 35-year is the most experienced player in the squad and will be playing his 4th World Cup.
Taylor has also played some outstanding innings in the last four years, scoring 4 centuries against England, and one each against Zimbabwe, Australia, South Africa and Sri Lanka. His 181 against England in March 2018 was one of the best in ODI Cricket as New Zealand chased England’s 335 with 3 balls and 5 wickets left.
6Jason Roy (England):
Inns 74 | Runs 2938 | Avg 40.8 | 100s 8
There is a reason why England are the top contenders to win the World Cup this year and by the time you finish this article, you will know the reason behind it. Roy debuted after England’s horrific 2015 campaign and has made the opener’s spot his own in that time. Off the top 10 run getters since the 2015 World Cup, Jason Roy has the highest strike rate of 106. His innings of 162 against Sri Lanka in 2016 and 180 against Australia in 2018 were two exceptional innings where he helped England to chase 300+ targets with ease. Even in the recently concluded series against Pakistan, Roy scored 277 runs in just 3 innings.
5Quinton de Kock (South Africa):
Inns 62 | Runs 2971 | Avg 50.35 | 100s 8
There is a reason why 26-year old De Kock is vice-captain of the team which has the likes of Amla, Duminy and Miller in it. The southpaw has been South Africa’s best batsman in the last four years without any doubt. Since the 2015 World Cup, De Kock has scored 300+ runs in 5-match series against top teams like India, England, Australia and Sri Lanka. With the strike rate of 100 and an average of 50, the opener is not just getting South Africa off to a flying start but he is also setting the stage nicely for the middle order.
4Eoin Morgan (England):
Inns 75 | Runs 3039 | Avg 46.75 | 100s 5
Eoin Morgan was hastily named England’s captain just before the 2015 World Cup and could not help his team to the knockout stages. But in the last four years, the skipper has completely transformed his side in ODIs, making them one of the strongest contenders for the competition. England’s all-time top scorer in ODIs is also leading from the front with 3000+ runs in the last four years.
3Joe Root (England):
Inns 74 | Runs 3498 | Avg 58.3 | 100s 10
Great players can perform at the highest level regardless of anything – Formats, leadership or not, does not make any difference to them. And that is exactly the case with Joe Root. England’s test skipper focuses solely on his No. 3 position in ODIs and it has worked pretty well for him so far. After scoring 202 runs in the 2015 World Cup, Root has been the backbone of England’s batting line-up. The 28-year old, is without a doubt, a contender for the top-scorer of the World Cup.
2Rohit Sharma (India):
Inns 71 | Runs 3790 | Avg 61.12 | 100s 15
The likes of QdK and Jason Roy have been in great form in the last four years. But none of them even come close to Rohit Sharma when it comes to being the best ODI opener in recent times. With the average of 61 and 15 centuries, the Hitman is simply unstoppable once he gets going. Rohit has scored a century against every possible team in the last four years – Australia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, New Zealand, England, Pakistan and West Indies. And let’s not forget his 208 off 153 balls against Sri Lanka also came during this period. And just like his opening partner Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit also loves ICC tournaments. Be scared everyone, be very scared!
1Virat Kohli (India):
Inns 69 | Runs 4306 | Avg 78.29 | 100s 19
Was there ever a doubt about the batsman at the No. 1 position in this list? Virat Run Machine Kohli is arguably the best batsman right now. He is the only player to have scored 4000+ runs since the 2015 World Cup. And with 19 centuries during that period, Kohli has scored more 100s than most of the players manage in their entire career. India’s No. 3 is the most important player for 2-time World Champions if they wish to make this campaign a successful one. Kohli will also be captaining the side for the first time in the World Cup and will look to lead from front as he has done throughout his career.