Justalkin Episode 71: Jasprit Bumrah, Matt Henry and other players to watch out for this Cricket World Cup
They’re back! The men in blue, the men in yellow, the men in green, the men in red, and the men really in black. This is Justalkin brought to you by in.com. Once in four years, cricket fans get to live their dream when the World Cup happens. The best of the world is at England and Wales right now, and we might’ve thought that there was a slight overdose of cricket after IPL, but oh boy were we wrong! There are also quite a few changes since the last edition. For one thing, the number of teams have come down from 14 to just 10. And the Afghanistan cricket team! I remember how Croatia was the underdog during the FIFA World Cup and everybody who didn’t have their own team was gunning for them! Will Afghanistan be that with cricket this world cup? But wait, most other countries have moved on to other sports. In India, cricket is still bae. And even if you don’t watch it, it doesn’t matter. You’ll know all the highlights because you’ll see memes about every important part of any match.
Most of the teams have seen changes in captaincy - even ours, with Virat Kohli leading the team. It’s weird to see him all grown up and mature, even the incident where he asked fans not to boo Steven Smith when we know he might’ve engaged in it himself a few years back! He and Dhoni are setting new standards for being cricket icons. Let’s take a look at some other players to watch out for this edition of the World Cup.
This guy has had a phenomenal year of international cricket. He comes across as shy when you listen to him in some of the interviews but apparently the guys he’s made friends with on the team have a completely different story to tell about him. Look at his test record - 10 away tests in 2018-2019, and he took 49 wickets in the 10 test matches that he played! When cricketers admire the greats from the past, it’s usually players like Tendulkar, and maybe Virat Kohli now. But Jasprit Bumrah said that when he watched cricket as a kid, he was never a fan of the big hitters, all he had eyes for were the fast bowlers. That already sets him apart.
Some of the players on the team remember living in refugee camps, and now they’re playing one of the biggest tournaments in the world! They wanted to shift home base for a bit and the BCCI made the sports complex in Noida available to them for training. Even with all that, you can see the players haven’t had the chance to train like cricketers from other countries. And still, some of them have made it really big, even when they’re really young. Like Mujeeb-ur-Rahman. All of 18 years old, and still someone you should look out for on the pitch! Kings XI Punjab bought him in the IPL auction last year, and he became the youngest ever player at the IPL! He debuted in international cricket when he wasn’t even 17 years old, and he became the youngest player to take a five-wicket haul in an international ODI! He is also the first male who was born in the 21st century to play international cricket! Incredible!
Most people in our country go: India and Australia match? Bring it on! India and New Zealand matches? Ummm okay. But New Zealand has been a part of the world cup teams for a while now. And one of the players to watch out for this season is Matt Henry, the 28-year-old bowler. Chennai Super Kings has this knack of identifying young players who seem promising, and they picked him in 2014 and 2015, but somehow he didn’t play a match for them at all. Kings XI Punjab picked him up in 2017. He’s played some county cricket as well. And this guy believes that the strength of the New Zealand team lies in its bowling. He says he’s not a raw pace bowler, but considering his previous experience, he says his strength is in his consistency in bowling. More than anything he’s excited to be playing with Tim Southee and Trent Boult. Let's watch out for him and see if he helps to maintain the strong bowling side that New Zealand has worked on.
A familiar name for Indians since we’ve seen him at the IPL. He played for Surisers Hyderabad. This guy holds a record of taking the most number of dismissals in a test match. When England played the poor South Africans in 2016, he took 9 wickets in one match. His dad and half-brother are also cricketers. And you’ll assume that it’s easy to make it on the team but honestly, I think the pressure is even more if your family plays cricket. Imagine what family gatherings would’ve been like for him as a kid. We probably had to deal with “Hey, why don’t you sing Ba Ba Black Sheep for aunty!” For this guy, it would’ve been, “Run over there lad, show them how well you can swing your bat!”
Not a big fan of Rabada either because he never played FOR RCB, he only played AGAINST RCB. All of 24 years old, this South African bowler is a terror when you’re at the crease with your bat. He likes to be called KG. Last year, he became the youngest player to take 150 wickets in test matches. He was 23 years and 50 days. And they love him a lot out there in South Africa. Kagiso Rabada is like the showstopper of the Cricket South Africa dinners. He won six awards in 2016, and then six again in 2018, and I’m pretty sure he’s gonna win a lot of awards after the World Cup this year.
This 22-year-old wonder already has quite a few records to his name. He’s a Guyanese cricketer who plays for West Indies. Hetmyer was on ICC’s list of breakout players to watch out for in 2018. He made it to the top five. Although it’s nowhere close to the IPL in terms of money and coverage, the Caribbean Premier League is a good place to start. That’s where Hetmyer debuted, and he became the youngest batsman to score a century in the CPL! RCB bought him this year at the IPL auction. Hetmyer says his favourite thing to do is to try and hit a six in every ball possible. I think RCB should let him play more.
Quite the star for Pakistan cricket! He was captain of the Under 19 team in the 2012 World Cup, he plays all three formats, and he’s ranked 7th in ICC’s list of top ODI batsmen. He’s also quite cute! If we have Virat Kohli, who can be on fire on the pitch and be equally comfortable in front of the camera, Babar Azam can be that for Pakistan. He looks like a harmless cute little boy but can show some brute strength when needed! He broke Virat Kohli’s record of being the fastest batsman to score 1000 runs in T20 matches in 26 matches! Just one less than Virat Kohli’s 27. when people have compared him to Kohli, he said Kohli is really good and he gets inspired by him. Someone give him an award already!
Mushfiqur Rahim has been playing for a while now, he was also the captain of the team for a bit. And here’s a man with brain and braun - he studied history while he played cricket. He’s also sort of like Dhoni, a wicketkeeper and batsman, and he’s really versatile. But this guy has seen some ups and downs in his career, from playing unexpectedly well to failing when his team most needed him sometimes. In that aspect, I think he’s different from Dhoni because you can always count on the latter! But Rahim still holds a reputation of being one of the hardest working cricketers in Bangladesh. And he says when critics say something about his game he takes it in his stride and tries and works on it. He’s had a 12-year long international career, but he’s still one of the players to watch out for from Bangladesh.
The IPL brings in a lot of excitement every year with some of the most incredible players in one tournament, but nothing can beat the excitement of the World Cup! Let’s hope we see a return of the cup after 2011. All eyes on our men in blue! This is Justalkin brought to you by in.com Read More