Cricket betting: 5 players to watch at the World Cup
Adam Drury picks out three batsmen, an all-rounder and a bowler who could be household names by the end of this summer's Cricket World Cup.
Babar Azam (Pakistan)
Babar to win player of the tournament
Babar was a big positive in Pakistan’s 4-0 series defeat in England this month, hitting 115 and 80 in the last two matches.
The 24-year-old averages 51.67 since making his ODI debut in May 2015, and is able to combine explosive spells with anchoring the innings from No.3 in the Pakistan batting order.
Having posted a score of 40+ in eight of his last 12 innings, he is a solid bet to make an impact on this competition.
Shimron Hetmyer (Windies)
Hetmyer to win player of the tournament
Hetmyer has had a quiet time of things since his sensational hundred against England at Bridgetown in February, falling particularly short of expectations in the IPL.
The 22-year-old’s talent cannot be doubted, though. He has hit four centuries in just 25 ODIs across a range of conditions, all of which have come at comfortably quicker than a run a ball.
He is unlikely to perform consistently, but could well deliver one or two inspired performances. His endearing habit of batting in a wide-brim hat should mean he doesn’t go unnoticed.
Ross Taylor (New Zealand)
Taylor to win player of the tournament
Only Virat Kohli has a better ODI average than Taylor since the start of New Zealand’s home series with Australia in January 2017.
In that time, only Kohli and Rohit Sharma – who have both played several more innings – have passed 50 more often. In 41 innings, the New Zealander has been dismissed in single figures just four times, passing 40 on 25 occasions.
In contrast to Hetmyer, Taylor is understated and relies on consistency, but can still make a big impact on this tournament.
Jimmy Neesham (New Zealand)
Neesham to win player of the tournament
Neesham didn’t make an ODI appearance between the 2017 Champions Trophy and January 2019, but has since sealed his place in New Zealand’s starting XI.
The all-rounder has been particularly impactful with the bat, passing 35 in five of his six innings this calendar year, including a 47* from just 13 deliveries (featuring six sixes) against Sri Lanka in January.
Nobody has scored 100+ runs at a better strike-rate in 2019, so he has to be a contender in the ‘Most Sixes’ market at .
As if all that wasn’t enough, he’s also taken 10 wickets in eight matches this year.
Lungi Ngidi (South Africa)
Ngidi to win player of the tournament
Kagiso Rabada and Dale Steyn are the headline seamers in South Africa’s team, allowing Ngidi to creep under the radar. But that won’t last long.
The 23-year-old has taken 34 wickets in 18 ODIs since making his debut in February 2018, a tally bettered by just six bowlers in the same period.
His strike rate since debuting is better than any other seamer from teams ranked inside the top seven, so don’t expect him to be a secret by the end of this competition.
Bet on any of the 150 players involved to win Player Of The Tournament on Betway's cricket betting page.