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.
India captain Virat Kohli was left fuming in the dressing room after he walked off the field after believing to have edged Mohammad Amir behind during the clash against Pakistan in Manchester on Sunday.
India batted first and amid rain interruptions, scored 336-5 with Rohit Sharma smashing 140 and skipper Kohli cracking 77 off 65 balls.
But it could have been more for Kohli as he went after the bowlers in the death overs. With less than three overs to go, Kohli went after Pakistan’s best bowler – Amir – and tried to hook the left-arm pacer.
Kohli walked off thinking he had got a nick behind even as umpire Marais Erasmus was not convinced.
Replays suggested Kohli did not hit the ball with Ultra Edge showing no signs of a nick.
Kohli was clearly unhappy as he saw the replays in the dressing room. He then spent a long time swing his bat around to find signs of any creak in the handle that could have made the sound.
After Kohli, MS Dhoni took the bat and inspected it for any lose joints.
Bangladesh and West Indies will be hoping to reignite their respective 2019 ICC World Cup campaigns when the two sides lock horns at Taunton on Monday.
Both teams started the World Cup with a bang with Windies blowing away Pakistan in their opener while Bangladesh stunned a formidable South Africa side.
However, since then, the two teams have gone off the boil and find themselves with just three points apiece after playing four matches each.
With time running out for both sides to get their semi-final hopes back on track, the stakes at Taunton on Monday couldn’t be higher.
WINDIES LOSING THEIR SHEEN
West Indies were being looked at as dark horses for the World Cup and that view was only reinforced with their thumping seven-wicket win over Pakistan. However, some sloppy cricket has since seen the Caribbean side face defeats against Australia and England with their batsmen being found wanting.
Jason Holder’s men should have beaten the Aussies but some poor shot-making from their batsmen saw that chance squandered. That same lack of application from their batsmen was seen in their comprehensive defeat against England with the likes of Chris Gayle and Andre Russell being guilty of soft dismissals.
Russell has failed to bring his monstrous IPL form with the bat so far and his recurring knee-injuries has seen his bowling output decrease over the course of the World Cup. Gayle, meanwhile, has faded away after an excellent start against Pakistan with the veteran opener yet to play a big innings.
The Caribbean side will need their big-hitters to fire for once if they are to make a late charge for the semi-finals.
TIGERS TAKE COMFORT FROM RECENT RECORD AGAINST WINDIES
Bangladesh’s tournament started promisingly with a victory over the Proteas and they did run New Zealand close before falling to a narrow defeat. While they did get outplayed by hosts England, the Tigers will still believe that they can progress in the World Cup if things go their way in the remaining clashes.
Mashrafe Mortaza’s men will desperately want a win against Windies and they will be buoyed by their recent ODI record against the Caribbean side. Bangladesh have won seven out of the last nine ODI meetings between the two sides with three of those victories coming in their recent tri-series triumph in Ireland.
The side has an experienced core in the form of Mortaza, Shakib Al Hasan, Mushfiqur Rahim, Tamim Iqbal and Mahmudullah. Shakib, in particular, has been in scorching form with the No1 ranked all-rounder has already scored 260 runs in three innings in the World Cup so far while also chipping in with three wickets with the ball.
West Indies: Shai Hope (wk), Chris Gayle, Darren Bravo, Shimron Hetmyer, Nicholas Pooran, Andre Russell, Jason Holder (c), Ashley Nurse, Oshane Thomas, Kemar Roach, Sheldon Cottrell
Bangladesh: Tamim Iqbal, Soumya Sarkar, Shakib Al Hasan, Mushfiqur Rahim (wk), Mohammad Mithun, Mahmudullah, Mosaddek Hossain, Mohammad Saifuddin, Mehidy Hasan, Mashrafe Mortaza (c), Musatifizur Rahman.