The best batters in world cricket will be on display for the upcoming Twenty20 World Cup. Notoriously single-minded, focused, and stats-driven sporting specimens, each of them will have a selfish streak aiming to top the run-scoring ranks come the end of the tournament.
Picking the top batsman at any World Cup is a tricky endeavour - the form book can go out of the window in tournaments such as these, where the moment matters more than any before it.
We're at hand to help you pick your way through the top run-scorer cricket betting market in our full breakdown below!
Before you follow up on our cricket predictions, it could be worth understanding what has happened before in this market. Previous highest run scorer totals give you some idea as to the evolution of the game since the competition’s debut back in 2007, and the totals players should aim for to be in with a shout of finishing as the tournament’s top batsman.
They are as follows:
2007 - Matthew Hayden (265 runs in six matches)
2009 - Tillakaratne Dilshan (317 runs from seven matches)
2010 - Mahela Jayawardena (302 runs from six matches)
2012 - Shane Watson (249 runs from six matches)
2014 - Virat Kohli (319 runs from six matches)
2016 - Tamim Iqbal (295 runs from six matches)
2021 - Babar Azam (303 runs from six matches)
As you can see, any total below 300 is unlikely to be enough - averages will need to be high, but in the fast-paced, high-adrenaline T20 environment, personal milestones must be balanced alongside the success of their team and their teammates.
Which players are best primed to battle for the top run scorer mantle? We have gone to the trouble of picking our top batsman prediction while throwing in some value shouts for each way backers!
Our best bet in this market is with Jos Buttler - England’s skipper and aggressive opener that has recovered from injury woes in time to lead his team into battle Down Under.
The primary reason we’re picking Buttler is because of the phenomenal form he’s shown throughout the year. He won the Orange Cap with the Rajasthan Royals in the Indian Premier League earlier in the year and has looked good for England in patches. In 2021, he averaged 65.44 at a strike rate of 143.30 - astonishing figures for an opening batsman in this format.
England are one of the favourites for the tournament - with good reason - and are expected to go deep in the tournament. He should have at least six matches to get competitive with any individual rivals.
He’s an unbelievable talent and could give you great value for your money at odds of 11.
The shorter odds of David Warner will still attract money - he’s Australia’s most accomplished Twenty20 batter, but we fancy the bigger price of the Baggy Greens’ skipper Aaron Finch as our next best bet.
Leading your team out on home turf could inspire the best out of Finch, who recently retired from ODI cricket to pour all his focus on T20 duties. What he lacks in the nous of a cricket-smart David Warner, he makes up for in brutish force.
He is likely to open for the Baggy Greens throughout the tournament, which means he will have plenty of opportunities to get involved with the top run-scoring conversation.
He has been in good form so far this calendar year, registering over 390 runs from 15 matches at the time of writing, with a strike rate of 124.05.
Odds of 20/1 feels pretty generous for the hosts’ skipper - backing Finch each way as the top run scorer is our next-best bet
He’s as big a price as he is for good reason - many oddsmakers do not have South Africa advancing beyond the group stage. Indeed, our team agrees! On paper, the Proteas don’t look strong enough to launch a sustained tilt at the World Cup title.
However, they have some eye-catching results behind them this year - including a series draw with India at the beginning of 2022 and a victory over England in the summer. Could they surprise a few onlookers this year?
If they do, there’s a good chance the resolute and resourceful Markram would have been at the centre of it! The middle-order finisher was named in the 2021 ICC Men's T20I Team of the Year after an amazing run of form last year.
He’s a mainstay of this South African line-up, and we think he could be worth a bet at the odds.
It would be remiss to finish this article without mentioning the two in-form players in world cricket right now - Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan. Pakistan’s opening duo are in blinding form, and it’s no surprise to see both leading the betting for the top batsman market.
We're offering odds of 8.0 on both players to finish top run scorer in the tournament - it’s fair value, but too skinny in a tournament with so much volatility.