Top picks for potential leading wicket-taker in 2019 World cup

We take a look at five bowlers who can steal the limelight at the mega event

Top picks for potential leading wicket-taker in 2019 World cup PHOTO: AFP

Cricket has been increasingly skewed in favour of the batsmen, in the recent past, due to variety of factors including size of bats, short boundaries and batting-friendly pitches, but that does not mean the bowlers can no longer have an impact on the outcome of a match.

Ahead of the 2019 International Cricket Council (ICC) World Cup in England and Wales, we take a look at five bowlers who stand a good chance of becoming the top wicket-takers during the tournament.

Jasprit Bumrah

India is, hands down, one of the top contenders to lift this year's World Cup and one player that will be key to their chances is pacer Jasprit Bumrah.

The number one ODI fast-bowler in the world, Bumrah, is a genuine wicket-taker, with the ability to make the most of the conditions on offer. He bowls an accurate line and length, which makes it difficult to score against him even on flat surfaces, while also making good use of his pace. The right-arm pacer is also proficient in the art of setting up a batsman — which is of great importance in modern-day cricket.

If India goes deep in the tournament, Bumrah is likely to be right up there in terms of highest wicket-takers.

Trent Boult

New Zealand were the runner-ups in the 2015 edition of the World Cup, which they jointly hosted with eventual winners Australia, with left-arm quick Trent Boult playing a major role in side's trip to the final. Boult was the joint highest wicket-taker in the event, with 22 wickets in nine matches.

Boult has an easily repeatable action, largely thanks to work done with former fast-bowler Shane Bond during the early days of his playing career, which helps him bowl at a good pace consistently. While his accurate wrist position enables him to move the ball both ways.

As we near the mega event, the Kiwis will once again look towards their star fast-bowler to come up with the goods in the bowling department.

Kuldeep Yadav

‘Chinaman’ are a rarity in modern day cricket and India’s Kuldeep Yadav is one that stands out when you talk about this particular domain.

Since making his debut against West Indies in June, 2017, Yadav has quickly established himself as one of the key bowlers in the Indian lineup. He already has 87 wickets in 44 games, at an impressive average of 21.74 and a frugal economy rate of 4.93.

Yadav has a clever head on his shoulders and he bowls with an attacking mindset, which has made him one of Virat Kohli’s go to bowlers in pressure situations.

 It’s not just that Yadav is good only on sub-continent tracks but he also repeatedly troubled batsmen outside Asia as well.  With pitches expected to become slower as the tournament progresses, Yadav will be a more than handy bowler for the 2011 champions.

Kagiso Rabada

Kagiso Rabada is perhaps one of the best young fast-bowlers in the world right now, with a great skill set at his disposal. The tall South African combines his pace and line and length along with an aggressive mentality to trouble the batsmen.

Rabada has 106 wickets in 66 ODIs and an economy rate of 4.98 — an impressive achievement considering he bowls, both, with the new ball and at the death.

Despite only being 23, Rabada has quickly climbed the ladder and is now ranked as the fifth-best bowler in the world. Although there are some injury concerns but it is likely that one of Proteas’ premier pacers will be fit in time for the World Cup.

If South Africa goes all the way during the mega event, Rabada will have a major say in how things pan out.   

Hasan Ali

Hasan Ali will probably be Pakistan's best bet when it comes to taking wickets, during the upcoming mega event.

Ali was Pakistan's star performer during their triumphant Champions Trophy campaign in 2017 — where he bagged 13 wickets and the player of the tournament award.

Although he has not been up to the mark with the ball, in the recent past, but his prior experience of playing in England can quickly get him into the groove.

This World Cup, perhaps, will be one of the rare occasions when Pakistan will enter a tournament with more question marks over their bowling, than there are over their batting. Bearing this in mind, Pakistan would be keen to see their talented right-arm pacer come good with the ball and add stability to their bowling armoury.