The 2019 Cricket World Cup warm-up games are already underway, with the tournament starting on Thursday when England take on South Africa. The next month or so will see the world’s best players competing against each other for the sport’s biggest prize. There’ll be so many top crickets playing on English and Welsh soil, but who are the best of the best? We’ve created a combined XI, made up of one player from nine of the competing teams and two players from the remaining side. Here’s who made our World Cup XI:
Aaron Finch - Australia
Australian captain Aaron Finch will open the batting. He’s a ferocious batsman who can attack bowlers in the opening overs.
Rohit Sharma - India
Indian star Rohit Sharma will open the batting with Finch. He holds the record for the highest ever ODI score and is a fearsome batsman for bowlers to face.
Virat Kohli - India
The best ODI player in the world, and arguably, the best there’s ever been. He’ll be the glue in the batting innings as the other players look to tee off. Kohli will captain our side too and as you can see, India are the team from whom we’ve taken two players.
Babar Azam - Pakistan
Pakistan batsman Babar Azam averages over 50 in ODIs, with nine centuries to his name. He’s a great player to come in at number four
Shakib Al Hasan - Bangladesh
Coming in at number five is Shakib Al Hasan of Bangladesh. Our first all-rounder is an excellent batsman and a more than capable spin bowler.
Jos Buttler - England
If there’s a more exciting player in the world than Jos Buttler, then we don’t know who he is. Coming in at number six, Buttler can take the game away from the opposition. He’s more than handy behind the stumps too.
Andre Russell - West Indies
Andre Russell’s ODI record is actually a bit mediocre but he is the ultimate modern day player. He bowls fast and he whacks the ball out of the park. Coming it at number seven, he’s a great option to have.
Rashid Khan - Afghanistan
Our main spinner is Afghanistan’s Rashid Khan. He has 125 ODI wickets at an average of just 15. He’s a decent enough batsman too.
Kagiso Rabada - South Africa
Every ODI team needs a pace bowler and our’s is South Africa star Kagiso Rabada. The 23-year-old is already a superstar and looks to have a long and prosperous career ahead of him.
Lasith Malinga - Sri Lanka
He may be 35-years-old but Lasith Malinga is still a great death bowler, as he proved in the recent IPL final. His job will be to take early wickets then finish off the innings with his array of yorkers and slower balls.
Trent Boult - New Zealand
Ranked as the number two bowler in the world, Trent Boult offers some variation with his left-arm action.