Former Australian cricketer Dean Jones has died of a heart attack in India, aged 59.
The 2019 ODI World Cup is fast approaching, and every team’s best players are gearing up to perform on the world’s biggest stage.
Each nation has one player whose countries success is dependent on their performance. Here are all the players that mean the most to each country competing in the ultimate 50-over competition.
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Afghanistan: Rashid Khan
Rashid Khan has dazzled Australian audiences in the Big Bash for the Adelaide Strikers, but his performances for Afghanistan in his 52 One Day matches have been far more influential.
Spin always plays a huge role in the middle overs to restrict the run rate and is worth even more when claiming wickets.
Khan’s fast start has placed him second in the ODI bowler’s rankings, with 48 wickets in 2018, and 118 career wickets at an average of 14, an economy of 3.9 and best bowling of 7 for 18. Khan is going to play a huge part if Afghanistan are going to have their most successful World Cup to date.
The 31-year-old is currently ranked as the second best all rounder in all formats. In ODI’s over his career, Shakib has averaged 29 with the ball at an amazing economy of 4.4. With the bat, he averages 35 with a strike rate of 81, along with 40 half centuries to his name.
In 2018, Shakib compiled 497 runs at 38 (five half centuries) with the bat and 21 wickets at 26.8 with the ball. Both averages stronger than averages in his career.
Shakib’s statistics demonstrate he is no superstar with either the bat or ball, but his consistency and ability to play a large role with both makes him so crucial in the success Bangladesh will have this tournament.
England: Jonny Bairstow
England’s last 18 months in the shorter format have been exquisite and their fast starts with the bat have a lot to do with it.
Jonny Bairstow and Jason Roy have smashed bowlers to all parts in the power play in majority of their last ODI matches.
In particular, Bairstow.
The opening bat comes into the World Cup in some extremely strong form. A career average of 48 and strike rate of 105, Bairstow has been momentous in England’s pure dominance in recent matches.
In 2018 Bairstow averaged 5.6 boundaries per game and compiled four centuries, including a 92-ball 139 against Australia. The English will head into the World Cup as firm favourites but will need everyone to perform, most importantly Bairstow at the top.
India: Virat Kohli
Unsurprisingly, the Indian captain is the key to the Indian’s World Cup campaign.
Kohli’s 2018 in ODI cricket was phenomenal, compiling 1202 runs at an average of 134. The recent series in England saw Virat dominate with the red ball and the white ball, familiarising himself with the host nations’ conditions and attack.
The king of the chase played a very lone hand in India’s attempt to dismantle a very strong English side. It may be more important for the players around Kohli to perform, but without Kohli’s dominance India won’t stand a chance.
Currently ranked eighth in the ODI batting rankings, Hope will have to have a big tournament if his nation is to move on from the group stage. In his 43 matches, the 25-year-old has averaged a compact 46 with a strike rate of 72.
But most impressively, in 2018, Hope amassed 875 ODI runs at 67.31, an average 27 better than the next best West Indian.
The West Indies are currently ranked as the second worst team to be participating in the World Cup but can surprise a few nations if Hope can continue his recent form.