Ahead of the first semi-finals of the Cricket World Cup on the 9th of July, FOX Sports Asia looks at five of the best batsmen in the tournament so far.
5. Jonny Bairstow
Top Score: 111
Despite the fact that Joe Root has scored more runs, Bairstow’s knocks have proved more crucial – none more so than his last two. 106 and 111 runs respectively against India and New Zealand firmly put England in the driver’s seat and in control of their own destiny, when at one point they seemed in danger of missing out.
The best players thrive in the highest of pressure situations and Bairstow is one shining example.
4. Babar Azam
Top Score: 101*
After being ridiculed by their own fans after their loss against India, Pakistan have shown great character and steel – pushing the Kiwis and England all the way before eventually finishing 5th.
Babar Azam has been the key cog in their wheel – often standing tall when others around him have been faltering, and had a fitting end to the tournament – taking home the record for Pakistan’s top scorer in a single edition of the tournament after breaking Javed Miandad’s record of 437.
3. David Warner
Top Score: 166
After a stellar comeback in the IPL where he finished with 692 runs at an average of 69.20 in only 12 games, Warner has picked up right where he left off with Australia. After a steady start – Steve Waugh quipped early on in the tournament how Warner ‘hadn’t taken his Ferrari for a spin’ – he has moved up the runs ladder and has been key to Australia’s rise to top of the pile.
In fact, his 166 off Bangladesh made him the first man ever to grab two 150+ scores in World Cup history (he scored 178 against Afghanistan back in 2015.)
2. Shakib Al Hasan
Top Score: 124*
His status back home in Bangladesh was never in doubt but Shakib Al Hasan has also taken the world by storm in this edition of the cup. Not only is he the first player to score 600 runs and take 10 wickets in a World Cup, but also only the third player ever to pass the 600 runs margin in a single edition of the competition – the other two being Tendulkar and Hayden.
It’s a fitting testament to his undoubted ability that despite not making the semi-finals, his 124* off 99 balls to chase a total of 321 against the Windies will arguably be remembered as this year’s finest innings.
1. Rohit Sharma
Top Score: 140
What more can anyone say about the man? With 4 centuries to his name, Rohit Sharma is two clear of any other batsman in the tournament. Moreover, he now holds the joint-record for the highest number of centuries in a single edition of the tournament, together with Kumar Sangakkara, who managed four as well back in 2015.
A stunning average of 90.66 is second only to Kane Williamson and if the ‘hitman’ manages another century he will equal another record – the most number of centuries in World Cups(cumulative) – currently held by Sachin Tendulkar with 6 centuries to his name.
(Stats updated till Pakistan vs Bangladesh match)