WHEN England were knocked out in the group stage of the 2015 World Cup, they were in a bad place. Their highest run scorer, Ian Bell, was 27th on the list of the tournament’s top run-getters. Shaiman Anwar of the UAE scored more runs and had a superior average than his by miles. No disrespect to Shaiman and the UAE, but that’s not the place you want to be if you want to win a title.

The 2019 edition of the 50-over World Cup told a different story. This time around, England had four batters in the top 10. Three of them averaged north of 50 and Johnny Bairstow, who had a great campaign, averaged 48.36. Let’s take a look at who is the best bet on scoring the most runs for the defending champions. Odds are provided by the top cricket betting sites. Odds are subject to change.

🏏Check our guide to ICC Cricket World Cup betting odds🏏

Joe Root – 13/5 (bet365)

A lot is spoken about when it comes to Jason Roy and Johnny Bairstow’s opening pair. They consistently gave England good starts. But not enough is said about Joe Root, who was the point man in England’s engine room. Root took control of the middle overs, where he averaged 68 runs at a healthy strike rate of 89.87. Johnny Bairstow, who scored the second-most runs in the middle overs for England, scored 94 runs less than Root.

Root finished the tournament with 556 runs at an average of 61.77 and a strike rate of 89.53. He had five scores of 50 or more runs, two of which he converted to triple figures.

During the World Cup cycle, England tried a number of combinations in their team, and when Root played, he wasn’t at his best. He averaged 27.86 in 16 innings. But, he looks to have rediscovered his touch with an impressive 77 off 86 in England’s opener at this year’s World Cup. 

🏏Bet on Joe Root at odds 13/8 with bet365🏏

Johnny Bairstow – 4/1 (Ladbrokes)

The Yorkshire-man was responsible for England’s numerous great starts during the 2019 World Cup by bossing the powerplay where he amassed 218 runs in 11 innings at an average of 72.67 and a strike rate of 82.26. Bairstow finished the 2019 showcase as England’s second-highest run-scorer after Joe Root.

As in 2019, Bairstow’s ability to give England good starts will go a long way in ensuring their success. In the 2019 to 2023 cycle, Bairstow has the third-most runs for England among the batters at the World Cup. He has 792 runs in 21 games at an average of 37.71 and a strike rate of 103.39. Top-order batters have a better shot at becoming leading run-scorers and given his talents and record, Bairstow is well-placed to lead the charts for England.

🏏Bet on Johnny Bairstow at odds 4/1 with Ladbrokes🏏

Jos Buttler – 12/1 (bet365)

The England captain and wicketkeeper is chasing his second 50-over World Cup title in a land he is familiar with.  Buttler is one of the most coveted players in the IPL, with good reason. Buttler 37.92 at a strike rate of 148.32. But, this is not T20. It’s ODI cricket. 

In ODIs, Buttler’s recent record is not shabby either. He scored 312 runs in nine innings at an average of 34.66 and a strike rate of 122.83, coming in at number six. During the 2019 to 2023 World Cup cycle, Buttler has the second-most runs for England with 980 runs in innings at a strike rate of 111.24 for an average of 44.55. He has struck the most sixes for England in the period.

Despite being a middle-order batter, Buttler’s power and consistency put him in a position to be able to be England’s top run-scorer.

🏏Place a bet on Jos Buttler at odds 12/1 with bet365🏏

Dawid Malan – 8/5 (bet365)

In 2020, Dawid Malan was touted as the perfect replacement for Jason Roy, should the need arise. Being next in line meant that he had to prove his worth each time he was handed an opportunity. Malan gave his best at each turn. The result has been a phenomenal run for England.

During the 2019 to 2023 World Cup cycle, Malan was the leading run-scorer for England with 1022 runs in 20 innings for an average of 63,88 at a strike rate of 96.6. The opener is not as explosive as Jason Roy in the powerplay, he picks up the pace as the innings progresses rather than attacking from ball one. Malan’s stability and consistency allows other batters to bat with freedom around him.

Malan also has one of the best conversion rates in ODI cricket. He has scored 50 or more runs 10 times and has converted five of those into triple-figure scores. His highest score over the past three years was 134. During the 2023 tournament, Malan is perfectly positioned to be England’s leading run-scorer.

🏏Back Dawid Malan as the top batsman at odds 8/5 with bet365🏏

📺 How to watch the 2023 Cricket World Cup

  • Location: India
  • Date: The competition starts on Thursday, October 5th with champions England taking on New Zealand. The final is on Sunday, November 19th.
  • Time: Most of the group fixtures start at 8.30am (GMT) with some taking place at the earlier time of 5.00am (GMT).
  • TV: Viewers in the United Kingdom will be able to watch all of the World Cup action on Sky Sports, with extensive coverage throughout the tournament. Subscribers can stream matches via Sky Go.

More on the Cricket World Cup from Jarrod Kimber

  • Cricket World Cup: Odds and boosts for England to win
  • I asked AI to help me predict the winner of the Cricket World Cup
  • Cricket World Cup: What are England's chances

About the author

Jarrod Kimber

With over 10 years of experience in the sports media industry, I am a passionate and versatile media entrepreneur and sports analyst. I also founded Good Areas, a network of podcasts, YouTube channels, and emailers that focus on how fans like sport, and that tell stories beyond the mainstream.

Find Jarrod on:

  • YouTube: @JarrodKimberYT
  • X: @ajarrodkimber
  • Instagram: @ajarrodkimber
  • LinkedIn: Jarrod Kimber

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