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7 impact players making their World Cup debut


Debutants_World_Cup_2019_ODI_CricketThe World Cup is the biggest stage in the game of cricket. Teams and players from across the globe come together once every four years to fight it out for the coveted trophy. The last edition of the World Cup was staged in Australia and New Zealand, with the Aussies trumping the Kiwis in a one-sided battle in the finals.

With tournament almost here, preparations are in full swing. The key players in the rival team have been shortlisted, with teams chalking out extensive plans to deal with them. Here we look at a few World Cup debutants who will be eager to shine, and who will have a huge role to play in the success of their respective sides.

Rashid Khan: The Afghan leg-spinner is the second highest wicket-taker in ODIs from April 1, 2015. With 125 wickets in 56 innings at a stunning average of 15.33, Khan will be the player to watch out for in the Afghanistan side. Though a majority of his ODI wickets have come against relatively weaker sides, his skills and ability can in no way be doubted.

With the experience of playing in various T20 leagues around the world, Khan has a reputation for his mature bowling, variations and the ability to outwit even the most experienced batters consistently. The 20-year old can bowl in the Powerplays and stall the run-flow upfront, which is enough to create pressure.

Marcus Stoinis: The Australian had a good season in the Big Bash League, where he notched up eight consecutive 30+ scores to equal Shaun Marsh’s record. He followed that up with 140 runs in four innings in the ODIs against India, including a crucial knock of 52 at Nagpur.

Though he was grossly underutilized with the ball in the Indian Premier League, Stoinis had a good season with the bat for RCB, scoring 211 runs at a strike rate of just over 135. His recent run of form, his ability to pick up crucial wickets in the middle overs and his aggressive batting makes him a vital member of the Australian side.

Jason Roy: The Surrey opener played his first ODI against Ireland, just a few weeks after England was knocked out of the 2015 World Cup. He has been a constant in the side since, scoring 2,938 runs in 74 innings - the sixth highest run-getter in the format since the previous World Cup. He is already on the list of the top 20 English run-getters of all time, with his strike rate of 106.29 setting him apart.

The aggressive opener was struggling in the early part of this summer but found his rhythm in the recently-concluded series against Pakistan, where he notched up scores of 87, 76 and 114. Being accustomed to the home conditions will further work in his favour, and the shorter boundaries will suit his style of play as well. If England are to fulfil their dream of being world champions, the form of Roy and his opening partner Jonny Bairstow will be of vital importance.

Jasprit Bumrah: Team India have players like Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kedar Jadhav and Hardik Pandya - all first-timers - in their World Cup squad. But it is Bumrah who will be the ace in the hold for the side. With the skills to bowl in the Powerplay overs and at the death without conceding many runs, Bumrah is a captain’s delight as he nails the yorkers perfectly, generates pace to unsettle the best of batters and troubles them with his variations.

Uncompromising in his accuracy, Bumrah has managed to pick up 85 wickets in 49 games since his debut in 2016. Though this event will favour the batters, bowlers who can keep things tight and regularly pick up wickets will be in vital. Bumrah then, with his uncanny action and economical bowling, will be one of the key players for Team India.

Babar Azam: The ability to walk out onto the field when his team is in a rut and repeatedly score runs means that Azam will be Pakistan’s trump card in the World Cup. 2,739 runs in 62 innings at an average of 51.67 with the help of nine tons and 12 fifties displays the skills that the youngster possesses.
Dispatching the best of bowlers to the boundary ropes consistently is a hallmark of a batter with immense talent, and Azam will be eager to display just that in England. Likely to bat at number 3 for his team, Azam will have the responsibility of playing an anchor, from which he can create a platform for the rest of the batters.

Lungi Ngidi: Bowling at more than 145 kmph consistently has allowed the South African to get noticed in a team that is not short of quality fast bowlers. Bowling at an average of 21.64 in 18 games with 34 wickets, Ngidi’s unerring line and length and his uncomplicated action has ensured that he is one of the toughest bowlers to face currently.

Though he missed the IPL due to an injury, he is expected to be fit for the World Cup, and if he can attain full fitness, he will be a real threat on the seaming conditions of United Kingdom.

Shai Hope: Hope will be a core member of the West Indies’ batting unit, and he will be riding high on confidence after a good outing in the recent tri-series that also featured Bangladesh and Ireland. In five innings, the opener scored 170, 109, 30, 87 and 74 and he will be eager to carry forward that form into the World Cup.
With an effortless pull shot, Hope has been one of the pillars of the batting unit since his debut. In 54 games, he has scored 2247 runs at an average of 51.06 with the help of six hundreds. He will be coming in at number 3 for the Windies in the World Cup, and on grounds with small boundaries, he will be hard to control.

*All stats updated till May 21, 2019.

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