Ten top teams will battle it out for cricket’s ultimate prize in England and Wales within few days. From the bigger picture, Bangladesh Post tries to find out some riveting contests between individual players that are going to take place in the upcoming World Cup.
Tamim Iqbal vs Mujeeb ur Rahman
Purely in the context of the match, this is the clash that could perhaps have pivotal impact on the result. Tamim Iqbal is Bangladesh’s ace batsmen. He comes into the tourney on the back of a super form from Ireland tri-series, which Bangladesh won without losing any match. Tamim is a big-match performer and Bangladesh rely heavily on him to build a solid top order foundation.
But to do that, Tamim will have to keep Afghan spinner Mujeeb at bay. The Afghanistan bowler possesses more variations than perhaps any spinner in the modern-day game. He also largely operates in the Powerplay, where he is supremely effective at keeping the runs down. Both had a thrilling fight between each other, in their recent matches.
However, Tamim is well-known, and valued, for his ability to build up momentum early in the innings. This is a battle where both men could practically be trying to spoil what the other will try to do. Which way will it turn? Only time will tell.
Virat Kohli vs Adam Zampa
Indian skipper Virat Kohli is currently the best batsman in the world. There are very few bowlers who can put Kohli in an uncomfortable position, while batting. Australian young leg spinner Adam Zampa is one of them. In their last seven limited-overs meetings, Zampa has dismissed Kohli three times. He has also found different ways to get the better of the Indian skipper each time.
However, in those matches Kohli also hit the leg-spinner all around the pitch. The one aspect of Kohli's batting that works in his favour here is that he rarely sweeps. However, Zampa brings drift, variation, deceptive trajectory, and tricky angles, making this a mouth-watering one-on-one encounter.
Trent Boult vs Chris Gayle
This is another of those riveting subplots. Windies hard-hitter Gayle loves it when he is afforded room outside his off-stump. He can expect to find that against Boult. However, Boult is nothing less. He possesses a lethal outswinger to the left-hander.
Gayle has been in prowling form ever since he began his final run as an ODI cricketer, in the home series against England. But Boult is a master at swinging the ball in both directions, and conditions in England are the perfect complement for his art and charismatic bowling. Therefore, Boult’s fiery pace and Gayle’s hard-hitting makes this a clash, which one cannot miss.
Jasprit Bumrah vs Jos Buttler
The No. 1-ranked ODI bowler in the world versus the closest thing to a 360-degree batsman in ODI cricket today after the great AB de Villiers retired is the battle between Bumrah and Buttler.
Bumrah is almost everything a skipper could ask for at the death overs. He nails inch-perfect yorkers, tricks batsmen with his variations.
Buttler with his unbelievable range of strokes, and ability to quickly make runs, results in breath-taking performances and can shatter bowlers’ confidence into pieces. If these two lock horns, then we all are definitely in for a thrilling contest.