World Cup 2019: Jos Buttler predicts England's biggest game-changer for the tournament

England are considered favourites in the World Cup 2019.

Jos Buttler
Jos Buttler. (Photo Source: Twitter)

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England have undergone a sea change in One-Day Internationals since their humiliating exit from the 2015 World Cup in Australia and New Zealand. They have won the most number of games in these four years and have also belted the most number of 300-plus scores. In their recent ODI series against Pakistan, they scored a minimum of 340 runs in all the games to win the series 4-0.

England’s victory in this series saw their three ‘Js’ – Jason Roy, Jos Buttler and Jonny Bairstow – chipping in with big knocks on various occasions. Roy was picked as the man of the match even as all the three batsmen scored three-figure knocks in this series. However, Buttler feels none of the three names mentioned above will be England’s biggest game-changer in the ICC World Cup starting May 30. He instead feels the candidate is ace all-rounder Ben Stokes.

Stokes playing his first World Cup eight years after ODI debut

The 27-year-old Stokes has fast emerged as one of England’s top cricketers in recent years. With over 2,000 runs and 60 wickets in the 50-over format, he is being looked up to as one of the all-rounders who could leave a deep impact on the tournament. Eoin Morgan’s side though has a number of match-winners but Buttler, who shares a close rapport with Stokes, believes that the latter could be way above the rest this time. This will also be Stokes’ maiden World Cup even though he has been playing ODI cricket since 2011.

“Ben is the biggest key player really for England. He balances the side brilliantly in the way he can bat and bowl and has a great influence on the whole team. He is one of the best all-rounders in the world and I am looking forward to him showing that with some quality performances in the World Cup,” cited reports quoting Buttler as saying.

Ben Stokes scored 129 runs in the recent series against Pakistan and belted an unbeaten 71 in the fourth match in Nottingham. With the ball, though, Stokes was not as effective and failed to claim a single scalp.

Buttler also praised Steve Smith and Indian captain Virat Kohli as amazing batters and said it was great learning for him while sharing the dressing room with the Australian in the Indian Premier League in which both play for Rajasthan Royals.

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