The ongoing ODI series between England and Pakistan has been a real run-feast. In the three matches so far, scores of 340-plus has been achieved by both the teams in all the six innings. The pitches have been ridiculously flat in the series with batsmen making merry and bowlers struggling to contain the flurry of fours and sixes.
Since the series is being held in England, it does give us a fair idea now about the kind of pitches that will be on offer in the ICC World Cup 2019 which begins from later this month. It is all but certain that we will get a slew of massive team totals being achieved in the World Cup now. The surfaces would be ripe for batting, and no total can be considered safe. It won’t be surprising if the highest ever team total in ODI history is also achieved in the tournament.
England fast bowler, Mark Wood, believes that England is likely to become the first ever team in ODI history to post a total of 500 in this World Cup. “That  is a realistic target for our one-day team,” Wood told BBC Sport. “It’s almost normal to get 350; 400 is easily gettable. We truly believe that we can chase down high scores, no matter what the opposition get,” Wood was quoted as saying by the BBC recently.
Wood’s assessment isn’t too far off. England currently holds the record for the highest ever team total in ODIs – 481-6 v Australia at Trent Bridge in 2018. They have possibly the most potent and most threatening batting lineup in the world at present with the likes of Jason Roy, Jonny Bairstow, Eoin Morgan, Ben Stokes, Moeen Ali, Joe Root and Jos Buttler forming the core. This is a formidable batting unit which is in form, and it won’t be surprising if they smash their way to a total of 500 in 50 overs.
There are a few other teams in the tournament who can achieve this target as well courtesy the presence of some great batting goliaths in their lineups. India has a stunning top three in Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, and Virat Kohli. West Indies has some savage big-hitters in Chris Gayle and Andre Russell. Australia is another team which is teeming with batting might. With the return of David Warner and Steve Smith, Australia’s batting unit looks tremendous now with Aaron Finch, Usman Khwaja, and Glen Maxwell all in form.
Flat pitches, small boundaries and powerful batsmen with heavy bats – the ICC World Cup 2019 will certainly be a run feast. Even if the coveted total of 500 is not breached, we can expect some genuinely colossal scores being attained by the teams and a relentless barrage of fours and sixes.
Whether or not such run galas will be a good thing for cricket is a question for another day. For now, we must brace ourselves for the most extravagant batting display we have ever witnessed in a World Cup.