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Friday, Aug 16, 2019

ICC World Cup Team of the Tournament: Men who ruled the roost

Here is the team of tournament according to us. It is not just the numbers but the impact that these players have had in matches their respective teams have won, that was taken into account to form the list.

cricket Updated: Jul 15, 2019 13:26 IST
Arnab Sen
Arnab Sen
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Mitchell Starc and Rohit Sharma make it
Mitchell Starc and Rohit Sharma make it(AFP)
         

The curtains have come down on the ICC Cricket World Cup and we have a new world champion. For the first time since Sri Lanka stunned the cricketing world and turned the sport’s hierarchy upside down in 1996, cricket has a new world champion. While England and New Zealand made it to the summit clash with stellar performances in the semi-final, teams like India and Australia lit up the tournament with some consistent display. The likes of Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka too threw their hat in the last 4 race and had some stand out performers who enthralled the fans with their gladiatorial performances on the greens. The pitches on offer right throughout the tournament ensured even contest between bat and ball which ensured great competition and made the matches compelling viewing.

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Here is the team of tournament according to us. It is not just the numbers but the impact that these players have had in matches their respective teams have won, that was taken into account to form the list.

TOP ORDER

1) Rohit Sharma (VC): A record breaking tournament for the Indian vice-captain. Four out of his five centuries came in matches the team won and his innings in each of those matches was the centre piece of India’s efforts. With 648 runs from 9 matches at and average in excess of 80, Rohit had the tournament of his life.

2) David Warner: The southpaw had a point to prove and he looked in the zone from the first match itself as he scored an unbeaten 89 against the tricky Afghans. He braved the boos from the crowd to put in one match winning performance after another. Three centuries followed and Warner was the reason many believed Australia could pull off a 6th triumph, alas it wasn’t to be.

3) Babar Azam: The young Pakistani talisman came of age at the global stage, scoring impactful runs for his team and the Men in Green fought tooth and nail to seal a semi-final berth after a poor start to the tournament. Azam had four scores of fifty plus, including an unbeaten century against New Zealand, all of which resulted in victory for his team. The youngster scored 474 runs in 8 innings, the most by a Pakistani in a single World Cup edition.

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MIDDLE ORDER

4)Kane Williamson (C): The man the entire cricketing world is currently in love with. Both industrious & lucid as a batsman and canny in his role as a skipper, Williamson held his team’s batting unit together with two centuries and two half-centuries. Williamson’s ability to understand match situations and lead from the front was on display in the crucial semi-final win against India.

5) Shakib-al-Hasan: The man who kept Bangladesh breathing till the end, Shakib proved yet again why he is considered one of the finest all-rounders ODI cricket has ever seen. With 606 runs and 11 wickets from 8 matches, the southpaw had a tournament to remember. With the kind of form he was in with the bat, one wonders why he had to convince his teammates to bat up the order.

6) Ben Stokes: England’s ‘Man Friday’ wasn’t needed to bowl a lot in the tournament but Stokes still managed to pick 7 wickets at an economy of 4.72. He though was the impact player with the bat in the middle overs, whenever the top order failed to provide the early firepower. His superhuman performance in the final will surely go down as one of the most memorable performances in a World Cup final. With 468 runs at an average of above 50, Stokes is the finisher in this team, he was the man who dragged England over the line and ensured they were crowned World Champions

7) Jos Buttler: Before we write about Jos Buttler, we need to mention the phenomenal Alex Carey and his performance which ensured his stocks have skyrocketed. However, he was tipped by Jos Buttler, another man with nerves of steel in the England batting order. In the finals, he walked out when England slumped to 86 for 4 and like a morning stroll, took control of the match. His innings of 59 was the main reason why England bounced back into recognition and then his boundary off the final ball of the superover powered England to 15 runs. Also, he was there in the thick of things when he collected the throw by Jason Roy and smashed down the stumps as England became World Champions.

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THE BOWLERS

8) Mitchell Starc: Staying true to his status as one of the best pacers in the business currently, Starc rocked his opponents with his toe crushing yorkers and short ones. His ability to swing the ball at pace had most batsmen floundering and that ability saw him break compatriot Glenn McGrath’s record of most wickets in a single World Cup. Finished with a tally of 27 scalps, which included two fifers and two 4-fors, the only column Starc would have wanted to do better is economy, as he gave away 5.43 runs per over.

9) Jofra Archer: There was huge suspense in the run up to the tournament as Archer was not named in England’s preliminary squad as the paceman had been widely tipped to be the spearhead of the hosts’ pace attack at the tournament after getting his British citizenship fast tracked. But a great show against Pakistan just before the tournament ensured the Barbados-born was named in the final squad and there was no looking back thereafter. Archer terrorised batsmen with pace and bounce and ended the tournament as England’s highest taker with 20 scalps. And well, the young man rocked up to bowl the superover and ensured his stopped the Kiwi batsman on exactly 15 runs.

10) Lockie Ferguson: The surprise package of the tournament, Ferguson stole the headlines early in the tournament as the Kiwis were on a roll, winning five out of their first six matches. A hit the deck bowler, Ferguson surprised batsmen with his pace and ended the tournament with 21 wickets at an average of 19.47.

11) Jasprit Bumrah: The numero uno tag sits pretty on the Indian pace spearhead as he put on a show of accuracy, almost giving away nothing to the batsmen with his impeccable line and length. Bumrah picked up 18 wickets in 9 matches at an economy of 4.41 runs per over.

First Published: Jul 15, 2019 10:28 IST

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