All-rounders difference between good teams and the best, says Nikunj Rathi

Citing the performances of Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Andre Russell and Shakib Al Hasan, Nikunj Rathi believes all-rounders could make all the difference as teams vie for a spot in the top four in the World Cup.

All rounders CWC 19

All-rounders will play important roles in this edition of the World Cup.   -  Getty Images

This World Cup has very strong teams going head to head. I would say India and hosts England are the favourites, keeping the obvious parameters in mind.

Like in the IPL, M.S. Dhoni has a huge part to play in our fortunes. His cricketing acumen and his experience will bring a lot to the Indian drawing board. This is besides his brilliance behind the stumps.

Shikhar Dhawan's record in ICC tournaments is encouraging considering we're playing in conditions as testing as England's. With Rohit, we know we have our opening partnership sorted.

At the end of the day though, I feel it comes down to performances from all-rounders to swing fortunes in the way of their respective teams.

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Ben Stokes is an asset for England. He had his ups and downs in the IPL but has been clinical for England. He also adds depth to the batting line up.

Andre Russell is West Indies' trump card. If his IPL carnage is anything to go by, teams will want to have strategies to tackle him when they take on the West Indies in games through the tournament.

India has a rich all-rounder pool with the likes of Ravindra Jadeja, Kedar Jadhav and Hardik Pandya.

Jadeja and Pandya are going to be crucial for India, considering one has experience of the conditions and the other just had a brilliant IPL outing this year.

Bangladesh's Shakib Al Hasan is also a potential match winner. He's handy with bat and ball and has climbed up to the top of the ICC rankings for those very abilities.

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England has a strong chance this time. Lead by someone as composed as Eoin Morgan and with the likes of Joffra Archer and Chris Woakes in the side, you cannot write them off.

Having said that, a side we should be wary of is Australia. With David Warner and Steve Smith back in the side, they are a force to reckon with.

West Indies is another side, running on the brute force of Russelll and Chris Gayle.

The ECB has changed scoreboards to accommodate team scores over 500 and that says something about the expected nature of the matches and the firepower of the batsmen from each country. If batsmen come in without shrugging off their IPL cloaks, as spectators, we are all in for a good time.

As much as we talk about the batsmen and this being a batsman's World Cup, I think bowlers will be the difference between good teams and ones that move ahead to the semis. I am excited to see what pace bowlers, especially Jasprit Bumrah, bring to the field through this tournament.


Nikunj Rathi   -  Special arrangement


Nikunj is a visual communication student at D.G. Vaishnav College, Chennai.

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