Top 5 batsmen with highest batting strike rates in World Cups

Deepak Panda

AB de Villiers during his innings against UAE in world cup 2015 K

The twelfth edition of the ICC Cricket World Cup is less than four months away and teams are busy preparing for the biggest event in cricket. Most of the top teams look quite settled while a few teams are still looking to fill a few slots to get the combinations right.

Like all the previous versions of the tournament, the upcoming edition of the marquee event is all set to see many records being made and broken. In the era of T20 cricket, the batting strike rates in 50 overs cricket has witnessed a rise too.

Talking about batting strike rates in World Cups, a total of 15 players have a strike rate above 100. Among the current lot, David Warner (120.20) tops the list, followed by Paul Stirling (110.10) and Suresh Raina (107.50). However, only one among the current lot makes it to the all-time top five of the list.

On that note, let us take a look at the five batsmen with highest batting strike rates in World Cups (criteria- minimum 5 matches or 250 balls faced):

5. Kapil Dev (115.14)

Kapil Dev Kapil Dev during his knock of 175* against Zimbabwe in 1983

The World Cup winning skipper from India, Kapil Dev stands fifth in the list with a blazing strike rate of 115.14, undoubtedly the highest among players of his era. India's first ODI centurion, the Haryana Hurricane was a part of 4 World Cups (1979, 1983, 1987 and 1992). He led India to their maiden title in 1983 and to the semifinals in the 1987 edition of the tournament.

The destructive all-rounder, remembered for his scintillating knock of 175* against Zimbabwe, featured in 26 World Cup games. He has an aggregate of 669 runs from 24 innings at an average of 37.6 and strike rate of 115.14. He has 1 hundred and 1 fifty to his name with a highest score of undefeated 175 runs.

4. AB de Villiers (117.29)

AB de Villiers during his blitzkrieg knock of 162* against West Indies in 2015

One of the most loved cricketers around the world, AB de Villiers is a perfect blend of skills and hard work. The immensely talented South African has the ability to hit all around the park and was hence called Mr. 360 by fans all around the world. AB was part of 3 World Cups (2007, 2011 and 2015), and led South Africa to the semifinals in the 2015 edition of the tournament.

The former Proteas skipper who retired from international cricket in 2018, scored 1207 runs from 22 innings at an average of 63.52 and a strike rate of 117.29. He has 4 hundreds and 6 fifties to his name including a highest score of undefeated 162 runs against West Indies.

3. David Warner (120.20)

Warner during his 178 against Afghanistan in 2015 World Cup

The Aussie opener, currently serving a ban of 12 months for being involved in a ball-tampering saga, tops the list among the current crop of players with a strike rate of 120.20.

David Warner was a part of the 2015 World Cup winning Australian team and played a key role in their victory. One of the most devastating openers at the moment, Warner will be playing his second world cup after completing his suspension.

In 8 World Cup matches, the southpaw has accumulated 345 runs at an average of 49.28 and a strike rate of 120.20. He has a solitary hundred to his name - a merciless knock of 178 against Afghanistan. His 178 remains the highest individual score by an Australian in World Cups.

2. Brendon McCullum (120.84)

McCullum was at his devastating best during World Cup 2015

The former Kiwi skipper, Brendon McCullum has played a key role in revolutionizing modern day batting with his pyrotechnics. The destructive batsman who retired from international cricket in 2016, was a part of 4 World Cups (2003, 2007, 2011 and 2015), and led his side to their first-ever appearance in the finals. He has 34 World Cup games under his belt.

McCullum aggregated 742 runs from 27 World Cup innings at an average of 33.72 and a strike rate of 120.84. Starting his career as a lower order batsman, McCullum's style of batting made him an obvious choice for the opening slot during the latter half of his career. He has 1 hundred and 6 fifties to his name in World Cups, with a highest of 101.

1. Lance Klusener (121.17)

Klusener was in terrific form during World Cup 1999

One of the best finishers in limited overs cricket, the former Proteas all-rounder is remembered for all-round performance in the 1999 edition of the World Cup. He was a part of two World Cups (1999 and 2003). For his all-round performance, Klusener was adjudged as the player of the tournament in the 1999 World Cup.

In 14 World Cup games, Klusener scored 372 runs at an average of 124.00 and a strike rate of 121.17. He remains the only player to have both average and strike rate above 100. Klusener has 3 fifties to his name in World Cups with a best of 57.

Honourable mentions - Shahid Afridi (112.45), John Davison (110.38), Paul Stirling (110.10), Shane Watson (108.06) and Suresh Raina (107.50) occupy the next five positions in the list.