The 2019 World Cup is into its third week – and thankfully over the past couple of days there’s been more runs than rain in England.
There are four new entries in our latest power rankings, where we’ve analysed performances up to and including the mega India v Pakistan clash on June 16.
1. ROHIT SHARMA (India, up two spots)
Forget King Kohli – how about royal Rohit? Sharma is outshining the rest of the Indian batting line-up and his captain won’t mind one bit as India cruise towards the semi-finals. It may ‘only’ have been against a weak Pakistan side, but with one billion pairs of eyes reportedly watching on, Sharma eased to a daddy hundred. That’s 319 runs from three 2019 World Cup innings.
2. SHAKIB AL HASAN (Bangladesh, down one spot)
Rain thwarted Shakib from adding to his already ample statistics since the last version of these power rankings, but he only slips one spot. It should not be forgotten just how impressive the 32-year-old has been through three completed games, easily the pick of the all-rounders thus far. Bangladesh will need him at his best against West Indies on Monday if they are to have any hope of qualifying.
3. JOE ROOT (England, new entry)
Another ‘all-rounder’ jumps straight in at three. England have jettisoned Moeen Ali and at least part of that decision is down to Root’s off-spin capabilities, having broken the back of the West Indies’ innings with the key wickets of Shimron Hetmyer and skipper Jason Holder. He then proceeded to caress it to all parts for an unbeaten 100, his second century of the tournament, opening in place of the injured Jason Roy. Some player.
ROOOOOOOOT!— Cricket World Cup (@cricketworldcup) June 14, 2019
Joe Root becomes the first Englishman to score three World Cup hundreds 👏 pic.twitter.com/TTfMjEwEMS
4. JOFRA ARCHER (England, up two spots)
Here’s what you could have had, West Indies. The Barbados-born pace ace was a tad expensive in his opening spell against Chris Gayle, but returned to find the edge of an impressive Nicholas Pooran. He then shooed the tail out of the Ageas Bowl to compile figures of 3-30, uncannily adding to his previous 3-29 and 3-27. Aside from one blip against Pakistan, he’s been everything England could have wished for so far.
5. PAT CUMMINS (Australia, up three spots)
Snap. England have Archer, but Australia have a fit Pat Cummins. The lanky fast bowler has arguably been the most consistent bowler of the tournament at the halfway point of the league stage, only yielding 5.5 runs an over to India in his ‘worst’ performance over five matches. The 26-year-old’s 2-38 helped curtail Sri Lanka, whom at one point were on target for Australia’s 337.
6. MOHAMMAD AMIR (Pakistan, new entry)
Pakistan have been woeful, yet Amir has been wonderful. In some quarters the seamer was considered lucky to have even made the World Cup squad with form and fitness both eluding him, but wickets have not been in short supply thus far. Though his efforts have only led to one victory – over England no less – it is simply unfair to penalise him on the basis of defeats. He just keeps on producing. At Old Trafford, the 26-year-old followed up his first-ever five-wicket haul versus Australia with 3-47 against India. His economy rate was 4.7 – for perspective, Hasan Ali went for 9.3 a pop.
7. AARON FINCH (Australia, new entry)
Finch thrashes his way onto these rankings thanks to his merciless 153 against Sri Lanka, toppling Ricky Ponting (140) for the highest score by an Australian captain at a World Cup. Nor has he been a one-hit wonder – with most of the attention on his opening partner, the redeemed David Warner, Finch had quietly compiled two half-centuries before the explosion that saw him leap up to the top of the tournament’s run rankings.
8. MITCHELL STARC (Australia, new entry)
Starc has also been unlucky to miss out on these rankings – not any longer given his status as the World Cup’s top wicket-taker. Since being punished by India, the speedster has bounced back suitably and was the main plotter of Sri Lanka’s downfall on Saturday. Just as things looked like they were getting away from the Aussies, Starc uprooted the dangerous Kusal Perera’s middle stump on the way to 4-55. Along with Amir, he has snared a tournament-high 13 wickets.
9. LOCKIE FERGUSON (New Zealand, down five spots)
Poor old Lockie plummets simply because he was not granted the opportunity to test his mettle against India thanks to the rain. Ferguson is both rapid and a results man – the two do not necessarily come hand-in-hand – but whereas some of the other bowlers have ticked off good performances against better quality opposition, the Kiwi has only come up against Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Afghanistan thus far. If the real South Africa turn up on Wednesday, the game will be a decent yardstick.
10. JASON ROY (England, down eight spots)
Roy clings on to his place in the top 10 – he did slam 153 past Bangladesh after all- but sadly, his hamstring is sure to let him down in the coming week. The explosive opener has been ruled out of England’s next two games against Afghanistan and Sri Lanka after tweaking his leg in the victory versus the West Indies. Happily for the hosts, he is hoping to be back for an extremely tasty clash with Australia at Lord’s on June 25.
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