Cricket Opinion

What Makes Ben Stokes One of England’s Greatest Ever All-Rounders?

The world of English cricket has seen many marvellous talents over the years but, following his incredible test-winning innings at Headingley to level The Ashes, you have to ask the question of whether Ben Stokes is England’s greatest ever all-rounder. After producing a once-in-a-lifetime display in which he hit 135 not out, it would certainly be impossible to not put the 28-year-old’s name in the conversation.

As a result of that, we’re going to take a look at what makes Ben Stokes so special, along with also considering whether he is the greatest all-rounder to ever grace English cricket.

What’s Special About Stokes?

DSC04088” (CC BY 2.0) by Ben Sutherland

Prior to his England debut in 2011, Stokes was catching the eye at youth level after hitting an 88-ball century against India in the 2010 Under-19s World Cup. Since then, and many years on, the all-rounder has continued to develop his game and, as a result, has since become an integral part of the England setup. However, what stands out most about the Englishman’s Headingley innings, and his batting in general, is his new-found ability to judge scenarios.

In his first 73 balls at the crease, he scored just three runs. Yet as the anticipation and pressure began to build, so did Stokes’ determination to win as he hit home 74 runs in his final 45 balls. The control of his display was there for all to see as it took him 83 balls to reach double figures, which is the slowest since Ian Salisbury in Calcutta some 26 years ago. Following his recent heroics, the Christchurch-born star has climbed to number two in the ICC Test all-rounder rankings and because of that good form, and although England failed to reclaim The Ashes, they are now 6/4 with cricket betting to win the fifth Test at The Oval.  

Where Does He Rank Among the All-Time Greats?

Ben Stokes strides on his way back to hi” (CC BY 2.0) by Ben Sutherland

There can be no doubts that English cricket fans have been able to witness some phenomenal all-rounders with the likes of Sir Ian Botham and Andrew Flintoff gracing the field in years gone by. Although their impacts on the sport will never be forgotten, there’s an argument to be made that Headingley has seen Stokes match, if not surpass, the legacy of those before him. Even though he may not statistically reach the same levels as those before him, no other all-rounder has delivered match-winning performances in games of such high importance.

While the 28-year-old demonstrated his batting prowess in his second international Test match by scoring a century in Perth back in 2013, Stokes’ fielding ability is also vital to his success in the modern game. Although Botham and Flintoff were both better bowlers, England’s latest cricketing hero has the edge in the fielding department. While it may be his batting that has most recently caught the eye, it mustn’t be forgotten that Stokes has amassed a total of 329 catches throughout his international career.

A Legacy-Defining Summer

It’s without debate that world-class all-rounders have been hard to come by within English cricket, but Botham, Flintoff, and Stokes have all produced unforgettable moments. While the debate will go on about the greatest ever, the magnitude of the 28-year-old’s most inspiring performances certainly places him in good stead to claim that title.

The Ashes

Talk to include Jofra Archer in the Ashes squad is dangerously premature

Jofra Archer’s inclusion in the England World Cup squad has been incredibly fast-tracked after making his debut in May 2019 to then being thrust into the heat of battle against South Africa for England’s first World Cup game. It certainly has been a whirlwind ride for the 24-year-old but one that he has handled well, all things considered.

As far as the watching media and England supporters go, there is no question that Jofra Archer should be selected for the upcoming 2019 Ashes contest in England. This is despite only playing six ODI’s for England and never having bowled a ball in anger with the red Duke at international level. Now, whilst Archer is a talent and you can see why people like Nasser Hussain were calling for England to pick him for the World Cup back in February 2019, could the English media be doing what they are sometimes guilty of and hyping up a player beyond their actual abilities?

England are in desperate need of authentic fast bowlers after years of military medium has seen them bullied in the Ashes series, particularly away from home. The need to fight fire with fire is a very pressing one but at international level, throwing it down at over 90mph is still no guarantee for success, especially in the test arena. A look at Archer’s World Cup so far shows he has taken wickets but on closer inspection, how formidable have the opposition been?

Archer went well during England’s imposing win against an out-of-sorts South Africa by taking three wickets but then went the distance against Pakistan, ending with figures of 0/79. Three more wickets would follow against Bangladesh but then again, even with Bangladesh becoming a stronger force in world cricket, they still have a batting line up ready to be knocked over cheaply.

What may also be important to keep in mind is that Archer is still somewhat of an unknown quantity having just burst onto the scene. When teams have a bit longer to suss him out they could find the going a fair bit easier but on the other hand, they may not and still battle, the point is, it is far too early to include him in the Ashes squad as we don’t know yet either way.

With just James Anderson and Stuart Broad spearheading the attack, England are still the favourites at 3/4 in cricket betting to win the Ashes so there really is no need to disrupt this bowling partnership who have proved so effectively in England conditions. These elder statesmen use the conditions to get the best out of their line and length and the rewards speak for themselves.

The sensible option may be to hold Jofra Archer back in order to fine-tune his skills in time for the return Ashes series in Australia.

Speak to many of the lightning-quick bowlers who have failed on the international stage that now sit on the scrap heap, they will tell you that the faster you bowl, the quicker you can also go to the boundary. Archer could lose England a test match in one session should he lose his radar against some very uncompromising Australian batsmen.

At this stage, Archer doesn’t offer international cricket anything that would make him a world beater apart from pace. The only thing that can turn him into one of the world’s most feared bowlers is experience and time, if England throw him into the test arena too soon he may never recover.

Cricket Betting

Analysis and Preview of Cricket World Cup 2019 teams and Betting

This year’s Cricket World Cup, the 12th edition of this tournament, is scheduled between May 30 and July 14. The competition is held after every four years. Ideally, ten teams will compete with a total of 45 matches being played in England while the finals will be held at Lord’s ground.

It is confirmed that the 2019 world cup will use the round-robin format tournament where every team will face each of the nine only once. At the end of the qualification stage, the top four teams will proceed to knockouts in which the first team will play the fourth, and the second team plays the third one. Finally, the winners in the two matches will face each other in the world cup finals on 14th July. From the start of the tournament, betting companies such as bet365 with odds of 8.00 for South Africa, will offer live betting and competitive odds on their markets. If one is not able to watch television, Bet365 offers online streaming of live games. This, however, requires that one fund a sports account or places a bet in the past 24 hours. Also, England has been assigned odds of 3.75 by Unibet, making it a potential winner.

Qualifying teams to the Tournament


The team plays as the hosts and has been preparing for this tournament since the 2015 campaign disaster. Therefore, the team has the best chance to win since it last lost to Pakistan in the 1992 World Cup. In an interview with BBC sport, Morgan says they are prepared enough from the performances that the team has done at home in the past two years. The team playing on the home grounds is a plus, leave alone the captaincy of Morgan Eoin attacker as well as the best and aggressive all-rounders such as Stokes Ben. Currently, England may be predicted to go home with the trophy at odds of 17/20, having, of the last 16 series of ODI, won 12 of them.

West Indies:

The team for the 2019 tournament has shown substantial signs of revival in the past years. However, it is ODI series has not been best despite the dominance of players. It should be noted that early this year, the team won against England 2-1 at home as well as drawing 2-2 with it. Betters on this team may find betting odds of 5/2 necessary.


Of late, Afghanistan’s ability to climb the international ladder is remarkable. The team also boasts of an impressive track record, most recently, in India, the team drew a series 2-2- on Ireland. Coupled with the rising superstars, and if the impact that Khan Rashid is the thing to go by, Afghanistan may surprise many in the tournament. A price of 30/1 may be put on the team.


India is considered having been the most dominant team of the ODI series on both away, and home grounds despite its 2-3 lose to Australia on home grounds. Of the previous 16 series, India backed home 13 of them. The team that features Dohni and Kohli is a threat and especially from the fact that Kohli has gone behind enemy lines in preparation for clash with England. The team is favorite in joint second and may back up the trophy with the odds of 11/10.


Bangladesh has played well in the past two years since it has won 2-0 against West Indies and drawn against Sri Lanka and Australia at home. Also, in the year 218, it won against West Indies and Zimbabwe. Just like Afghanistan, Bangladesh best betting odds may stand at 30/1.

South Africa

South Africa has joined the tournament after winning 13 of the 17 series away and home. The team has however played in England two times. This means its players will have unfamiliar conditions to tackle for their first time. South Africa currently stands to win at 7/2 odds.

Sri Lanka

The team is a surprise winner for the 1995 World Cup. Sri Lanka’s team is ideally up to and down. It has won against South Africa, Bangladesh, West Indies, and Zimbabwe. The best odds bookmarkers have put on it is 16/1.


Since it last reached the World Cup finals in the year 1999, the team has lost and won ODI series equally. For instance, in the last 18 months, Pakistan has lost to New Zealand, South Africa, and Australia although they later won in 2017 in England, it is rated at odds of 4/1 in this year’s World Cup. Furthermore, the fact that one can go for the free spins as well as no deposit free bet bonus offers gamblers a better chance to win big.

It can be argued that since its 2015 win of the World Cup, its form in the 50-over match is worse except for the few past months when it won against India 3-2 and 5-0 against Pakistan. Currently, the team stands at 11/10 of the odds to win the tournament again.

New Zealand

To be sincere, the best team to watch in the current world cricket is New Zealand. The team plays an exciting way and with a genuine spirit of sporting. The team plays in the English-style of conditions although it has not played in England since the year 2015. Bookmarkers suggest a 15/4 odds on New Zealand, do not be surprised.


Cricket World Cup: England begin bid to win the tournament for the first time. (n.d.). Retrieved from

ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 Preview. (2019, May 28). Retrieved from

McCarthy, C. (2019, May 23). 2019 Cricket World Cup betting preview. Retrieved from

Cricket World Cup

Who will score most runs at the Cricket World Cup?

Virat Kohli

A mixed bag for Kohli leading into the World Cup. India’s form heading into the competition hasn’t been their finest but on paper, the side is arguably the most dangerous. An amazing 3-2 comeback series win by Australia proved this side had weaknesses and Kohli and co will need to overcome their recent battles to make it deep into the competition. Kohli is the clear favourite to finish the World Cup as the tournaments leading runs scorer (and deserving so) at $8.50, but his form tally will certainly depend on those around him in the top of the order to last out 50 overs. The World’s No.1 batsman will have both the weight and support of 1.3 billion people, and we expect him to deliver.

Jonny Bairstow

Home crowd advantage? Check. Top of the order? Check. Red-hot form? Check. Jonny Bairstow is just the underdog backing you need heading into the World Cup. A standout 128 runs from 93 balls in a high-scoring victory over Pakistan in Bristol is certainly hard to ignore coming into the competition. We’re expecting Bairstow to lift his 47.53 batting average by the end of the tournament and likely place himself on the podium for the top runners table. Bairstow sits as a second-overall favourite with a value of $10 to take out the honours. If he’s your man, be sure to use pointsbet 2019 for the best odds for the big hitter!

Kane Williamson

The 2019 World Cup will be New Zealand’s first under the reigns of Kane Williamson, and we expect him to lead with bat-in-hand. At a price of $17, Williamson is a top option with value-for-money. Heavily backed to sit atop the Kiwis’ run tally and outscore 2015’s leading runs champion Martin Guptill, Williamson will be expected to last 20-30 overs at the crease, guaranteeing a few half centuries at least.

David Warner

Warner will be one of the most watched batsmen in the competition as he returns from a 12-month ban for the sandpaper ball-tampering incident. While his time at the crease at an international level has stopped, the runs haven’t. Since returning to the Australian side, Warner picked up where he left off with record numbers at the top of Australia’s order as well as an impressive Indian Premier League for the Sunrisers. Expect Warner to start the tournament off with a bang, so jumping on his value at $11 now before it drops might be a smart call.

Jason Roy

Averaging 92.3 runs across his ODI series against Pakistan, Jason Roy is arguably the most in-form batter heading into the World Cup. His runs streak and a home backyard tournament certainly mix well for the 28-year-old who’s priced at $11 to finish as the leading runs scorer. The Three Lions will certainly look to impress at home and finish deep into the competition, and with more games to play, the more time at the crease for Jason Roy.

Cricket World Cup

2019 ICC World Cup preview

The 2019 ICC World Cup is set to be hosted by England and Wales from May 30 to July 14.

England will go into the tournament favourites, with the last two winners, Australia and India, claiming the trophy on their home soil. After failing to reach the knockout stages in 2015, Eoin Morgan’s side will be keen to avenge that performance. If you believe they can, make sure to place a bet with a bet365.

England have proven their ability to hit massive scores in recent times, breezing into the mid 300s. Teams they have defeated at home in the last 18 months include Pakistan, Ireland, India, Australia and West Indies.

Led by opener batsmen Jason Roy and Jonny Bairstow, the duo has helped launch the sides massive score totals with electrifying starts. Morgan’s leadership cannot be understated, who can also hit massive scores with the bat and commands the field as well as any.

“Every captain sitting here would lose their left leg to play in a World Cup final at the home of cricket,” Morgan told Hindustan Times.

“It’s something every one of us would have dreamed of as a kid. We are as best prepared as we can be. We just want to play that first game now,” Morgan added.

Throw in the X-factor of young pace bowler Jofra Archer and you have the makings of a side with practically no weaknesses.

India press their own strong case to lift the trophy in the middle of July.

They are phenomenally led with the both the bat and ball, boasting one of the fiercest attacks ever seen. Sometimes criticized for relying too heavily on their top three batsman – Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan and Virat Kohli, they can hit some massive scores when the trio are on.

On the other side, they are led by the world’s number one bowler – Jasprit Bumrah, with supporting attack from Mohammed Shami and Bhuvneshwar Kumar plus the craft of spinners Kuldeep Yadav and leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal.

Like England, there is basically no holes in this side and will be very tough to beat on their day.

Australia should never be counted out despite going through somewhat of a transitional period over the last year.

Boosted by the returns of Steve Smith and David Warner, who are coming off strong IPL campaigns, this team has the potential to really come together. Despite going into the tournament as the fifth-ranked ODI side, their depth and talent is as good as anyone’s.

If the likes of Usman Khawaja, Aaron Finch, Smith and Warner have a good series and Pat Cummins and Mitchell Starc restrict the anticipated big batting totals, they could be a force. Not to mention the edge Nathan Lyon can provide if the pitch turns.

Australia will head to England under duress and might receive a not-so-friendly welcoming from the rival crowd. But they are out to defend their title.

Cricket News

Ravi Ashwin and his Mankad Tactics

Former England captain Kevin Pietersen said that India’s senior off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin will not get much support for the controversial outing in the IPL match.

Pieterson told the Star Sports Select Dagbout show, “Whatever happened, I do not think much of it will be looked upon favourably.”  Ashwin will always be responsible because it is such a big topic and will be discussed for a long time. However, according to the ICC rules 41.16, the player can be dismissed in such a manner and accordingly, there is no need to warn the batsman as it has done in earlier cases like this.

Twitter Users say that Ashwin has Embarrassed their Country

Captain Ravichandran Ashwin of Kings XI Punjab ran out Jose Butler in a controversial manner. In the match played at Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur, Punjab won by 14 runs, even though the best cricket betting sites in Australia had Rajasthan Royals as favourites. The match was extremely exciting, but Ashwin has given room for controversy.

This is the first time in the IPL when a player has been run out by Mankad style.

On the other hand, India’s great spinner Irapalli Prasanna defended Ravichandran Ashwin, saying that Jos Buttler’s out-of-form match in the IPL was under the rules of the game. The 78-year-old experienced cricketer from Bangalore said, “In my opinion, he is still India’s best spinner. Whatever he did, he was within the rules. Jose Butler is a star player, but he can’t start running before the ball is thrown, this is unfair.” World’s best batsman, Virat Kohli, has refused to comment.

India’s Ravichandran Ashwin celebrates after taking the wicket of England’s Ben Stokes for 30 runs during play on the third day of the fourth Test cricket match between England and India at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton, south-west England on September 1, 2018. (Photo by Glyn KIRK / AFP / Getty Images )

The Law-Making Body of Cricket said that Ashwin’s Dismissal of Butler Was Not Contrary to the Game Spirit

The MCC has issued a statement on its website regarding this situation. It states that “In relation to the said incident, it is necessary to understand it in detail in order to test the words of the rules. The Mankad rule is essential.” Although, this Mankad incident has separated the cricket world.

There is nothing in the rule that mentions the bowler should give warning to the non-striker who left the crease before throwing the ball. Running out the non-striker is not against the spirit of cricket. Former Australian fast bowler Shaun Tait and former Indian captain Kapil Dev have both justified Ashwin’s method of run out.

The Rajasthan Royals were chasing a target of 185 runs in the match. England’s youngster Jos Buttler was playing with 69 runs from 43 balls at the time when Ashwin dismissed him from the marking without warning, on the 13th over. If the batsman standing on the other end of the pitch, comes out of his crease, before the ball leaves the hand of the bowler, then he can be run out via Mankad. According to the rules of the game, batsmen can be run out in this style, but such wickets are considered to be against the spirit of cricket. Thus, leading to split opinions and a sharp debate between Butler and Ashwin.

Such Runout in the Name of Venu Mankad is called ‘Mankading’

As already mentioned, this kind of runout is called ‘Mankading’ after the name of former Indian captain Venu Mankad. The Indian team was on a tour of Australia in 1947. Mankad was a famous bowler, and during this time Australian batsman Bill Brown crossed the crease. Mankad had him run out. Mankad also had to face criticism. However, Don Bradman, who was then captain of Australia, had defended him. He said that he was unable to understand why this was happening. The rules of cricket are clear. Until the ball is thrown, the non-striking batsman standing must stay in his crease.

Cricket News

Proteas dated approach to ODI selection will cost them winning the World Cup

Whenever South Africa play an ODI game that isn’t at an actual World Cup, we are told that they are tinkering with selection in pursuit of the perfect starting lineup. Star players are sent away on holiday and youngsters arrive in abundance to see if they can cut it at international level. Cricket South Africa shouldn’t be criticised for blooding youngsters but rather that they don’t play any of their seasoned stars and arrive at a World Cup without them being in any form.

Since Dale Steyn made his debut for South Africa back on a windy day in Port Elizabeth in 2004, he has only managed to rack up a miserly 124 ODI games over the 15 years that have followed. Despite being seen as the key to the Proteas success at the World Cup, the South African selectors have chosen to rest their country’s best ever fast bowler and in the process, reduced his skills with the white ball given he has only played a fraction of the 50-over format during the course of his career.

With the World Cup only a few months away, the same blueprint is being followed again as Quinton de Kock and Dale Steyn were rested for the first couple of games against Pakistan in January. This dated model is without a doubt hurting South Africa and prohibiting the starting eleven from finding any rhythm together.

Most of the youngsters used in the series against Pakistan won’t be boarding the plane bound for London in May and instead, the old guard will be asked to come back from time off to win the country a first ever World Cup. It seems any progressive thinking left the South African setup when Graeme Smith retired now that the Proteas are returning to old ways that have paid no dividends on the World Cup stage since their return from isolation in 1992.

As a cricketing nation, South Africa probably have the best strength in depth around the world with an abundance of world-class talent waiting in the wings but it is how that talent is introduced to international cricket that is hurting the country’s World Cup prospects.

South Africa go into the World Cup with the chances of them winning at their longest ever odds at 8/1 in cricket betting. Despite all the ‘tinkering’, the side will look very similar to the one that competed at the World Cup in 2015 which is odd seeing as a lot of them haven’t played much ODI cricket since Grant Elliot hoisted Dale Steyn over long on for six to send the Proteas crashing out of yet another World Cup semifinal.

There has been a feeling of doom around the Proteas since AB de Villiers’ retirement but it’s worth remembering that every World Cup South Africa have gone into they have been backed as the favourites. Now that they aren’t, could flying under the radar actually help given that the spotlight seems to shine a bit too bright for the Proteas’ liking when it’s on them?

Support of the national side in will begin to reach fever pitch as the World Cup in England draws ever nearer but the fear is there could be more upcoming heartbreak for the passionate people of the rainbow nation. There’s still time to go however and a lot can happen in the next 90 days, but there’s no time to waste for the Proteas if they are to finally exorcise their World Cup demons.

Cricket Opinion

Greatest cricketing nicknames of all time

BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA: Australian batsman Ricky Ponting celebrates scoring his century against the West Indies on the first day of the first Test Match being played at the Gabba, in Brisbane 03 November 2005. Batting first, Australia is 215-4 at tea. AFP PHOTO/William WEST/Getty Images

There’s something about cricketers that makes it next to impossible for them to use each other’s real names. Yet while simply adding “y” or “ers” to a name is commonplace (Smithy, Tuffers and so on) some truly imaginative nicknames have emerged in the middle over the years. Here are some that are certain to raise a smile.

Ashley Giles

There were those who said Ashley Giles’ long career as England’s number one spinner said more about the paucity of alternative talent than anything else. Yet while he never pretended to be anything other than a reliable, solid off break bowler, his habit of picking up extraordinary nicknames was legendary. When his county team Warwickshire ordered promotional memorabilia with the words King of Spin for his benefit year, a mistake by the printers resulted in him being hailed the King of Spain. Of course, the nickname stuck, only to be surpassed by veteran broadcaster Henry Blofeld comparing his appearance to that of a wheelie bin.

Ricky Ponting

Punter Ponting is not just great alliteration, but also refers to the former skipper’s love of a wager. Cricket and sports betting are topics that do not always go hand in hand, but Ponting, along with contemporaries like Shane Warne and Mark Waugh, steered clear of his own sport and would favour avenues like unibet au to back the horses or the greyhounds.

Harbhajan Singh

As the lone Sikh in the India team at the turn of the millennium, turban-wearing Harbhajan Singh was an unmistakable figure out in the middle. But it was during Australia’s tour to India in 2001 that he acquired his nickname. In the second test, Singh destroyed Australia almost single handed, taking 13 wickets, and he went still better with 15 in the third test. Australian newspapers reported on how he had “terminated” the Australia innings time and again, and the name Turbanator soon followed.

Mark Waugh

If he’d been born into any other family, Mark Waugh’s record of 8,000 test runs at an average of over 40 would leave him with nothing more to prove. But of course, the comparisons with twin brother Steve are inevitable. When he greeted England’s James Ormand at the crease with the words “What are you doing here? There’s no way you’re good enough to play test cricket,” Ormand’s reply of “At least I’m the best player in my family” had both teams in stitches. Mark’s family circumstances also led to the intriguing and politically-edged nickname Afghan – or “the forgotten Waugh.”

Trevor Bailey

Modern day cricket enthusiasts will remember Trevor Bailey’s gravelly tones as a guest commentator and summariser on the radio in the 1990s. But back in the 1950s, he was known as Barnacle Bailey for his immense stickability out in the middle. The all-rounder was an immovable object in England’s middle order, and got his team out of many a tight spot with a solid and resolute forward defence. In the 1958/59 Ashes series, he blocked his way into history with a 357 minute half-century, the slowest ever in first class cricket.

Cricket News

Three young starlets who could make a name for themselves at the Cricket World Cup

(Image via

The 2019 Cricket World Cup will be on everyone’s lips in the New Year as attention turns to one of the biggest sporting events in the calendar and the world’s best sides travel to England and Wales to fight it out for the most prestigious trophy in the game of cricket.

It will be the first World Cup to be contested without all of the Test playing nations being present. The format will be a single group of ten teams, with each side playing the other nine sides, and the top four teams progressing to the knockout stages.

With the abundance of quality sure to be on show in the UK and a number of young stars looking to lay down their respective markers in the world game, below are a few rising talents to keep an eye out on in the lead up to the World Cup and during the competition itself.

Mujeeb Ur Rahman – Afghanistan

At the tender age of just 17 years old, Ur Rahman is regarded as one of the brightest prospects in cricket currently and is expected to increase his stock further from 30 May to 14 July 2019, which is when the tournament is scheduled to take place. At the age of just 16 years and 325 days, the Afghan spinner became the youngest player to take a five-wicket haul in a One Day International match, eclipsing the likes of Waqar Younis, Wasim Akram and team-mate Rashid Khan in doing so.

Just like the newly formed team he’s playing for, Mujeeb Ur Rahman is soaring to the top of the game and with conditions predicted to suit him in the UK, him and his Afghanistan team-mates could be the surprise package of the World Cup. Odds on them winning the competition at 100/1 (bet365) represents amazing value for a dangerous, relatively unknown quantity on the world stage, although reaching the knockout stages will surely be their main target.

Rovman Powell – West Indies

A player who is really expected to kick on in his career, Rovman Powell is someone the West Indies will be looking to up their levels in England and Wales as they aim to reign supreme and become the world’s best side. Having had a stop-start time in the last year or so and having really failed to deliver on a consistent basis, Powell hasn’t really lived up to his billing but the feeling amongst the cricket world is that he’s slowly but surely coming to the fore. At the age of 24, the all-rounder is approaching make or break time and expected to deliver in 2019, should he make the final squad of course.

As for the Windies themselves, odds on them winning the competition are currently priced at 20/1 (skybet) which is decent value for such a prestigious cricketing nation. A number of bookies offers are available too, making it all the more worthwhile when you place a bet.

Rishabh Pant – India

(Image via

Currently priced at 3/1 (bet365) to win the World Cup, Pant’s India are arguably the team to beat ahead of the competition. Alongside hosts England, priced at 5/2, and the always capable Australia at 5/1, India possess a huge amount of quality and tournament know-how.

Pant, who’s only 21, opened the batting for India at the 2016 Under 19 World Cup, where he registered a record-breaking half-century against Nepal in Bangladesh before notching a century against Namibia. Pant’s emergence is certainly worth monitoring in what promises to be an India side more than up for the challenge in 2019.

Cricket Opinion

Who Are The Three Leading Batsmen In The World Right Now?

It’s been another fantastic year for cricket fans with so many great moments from around the globe in the three formats of the globe. As we edge towards the end of 2018, here is a list of who we believe are the three leading batsmen in the world at the moment.

Virat Kohli

It is very difficult to argue against Virat Kohli being the number one batsman in the world today. The Indian excels in limited overs cricket and equally in the Test game where he has helped lead his country to the number one spot in the ICC world rankings. Kohli currently has an impressive average of 54.47 in Test cricket with over 6300 runs. He has broken so many individual milestones with India and in world cricket. The 2017 ICC Cricketer of the Year could be on course for winning the award for the third time in his career in 2018. India are set to face Australia in a Test series next year where his side are $2.50 in the cricket betting to come out on top as the visitors.

Steve Smith

The inclusion of Steve Smith on this list is sure to divide opinion as the Australian was banned for a year in March due to his involvement in ball tampering in a game between Australia and South African earlier in 2018. Smith accepted his part in that incident and the charge given to him. Once he serves his ban, the former Australian captain will hopefully be able to move on and show the world how good of a batsman he is. The 29-year-old currently averages 61.37 in the Test game and 41.84 in one day cricket for his country. Australia will be turning to Smith to play his part in trying to help his side win an Ashes series in England for the first time since 2001 when the Baggy Green tour there in 2019.

Kane Williamson

Kane Williamson has been New Zealand’s leading player for a number of years now and in that time that Kiwi batsman has consistently been at the top end of the ICC Leading Test batsman rankings. In his 65 matches so far in Test cricket, Williamson has scored over 5300 runs with an average of 50.35. The innings which stands out the most is his 242 not out against Sri Lanka in 2015 where his side declared on 524-5 otherwise he could have extended that score even further. Back in March, Williamson broke the record for the most centuries score in Test cricket by a Kiwi when he secured the 18 th of his career. Just a few months ago he went over 10,000 first-class runs when playing for Yorkshire in the County Championship in England. At the age of just 28, the New Zealand batsman has many more years ahead of him in the game, therefore he is sure to go on to further records.

All three players will be looking to continue to impress in 2019 in a year which features the ICC World Cup in England.