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The World Cup XI

Patriot’s dream team drawn from the best ODI players of the world would look something like this

Cricket’s biggest carnival — the ICC World Cup — concluded on July 14 as England lifted the coveted trophy for the first time after perhaps the most thrilling ODI match in history. Now, as the tournament comes to a close, we pick the best 11 players to form our team of the tournament.

Rohit Sharma (India)

India finished first at the end of the group stage, and the credit largely goes to Rohit Sharma. Arguably the best batsman in the tournament, Sharma has scored 648 runs from nine matches – at a colossal average of 92.42. He has scored a record five centuries in the tournament – thus breaking Kumar Sangakkara’s 2015 record of four hundreds in a single World Cup.

Sharma also equaled the great Sachin Tendulkar’s record of six World Cup centuries, in just his second tournament. Be it his explosive centuries vs Pakistan and Bangladesh, or his controlled 122 vs South Africa — his signature lazy elegance has provided a much-needed stability to the Indian batting order which has propelled them to be one of the best teams in the tournament

Joe Root (England)

With the England lineup full of explosive batsmen like Johnny Bairstow, Jason Roy and Jos Buttler, Joe Root is a complete contrast — calm, composed and happy to knock the ball around for singles and doubles. However, he has been the best batsman for the hosts, scoring 556 runs at an average of 61.7- scoring three fifties and two hundreds.

Root’s role for England is exactly what
he will perform for this team. His ability to knock the ball around and score singles, without absorbing too many dot balls. He will be the glue that will hold the batting line up together.

Kane Williamson (c) (New Zealand)

While the New Zealand top order have been inconsistent in scoring runs, it has been Kiwi captain Kane Williamson who has held the innings together, batting all through the overs and scoring important knocks. Williamson has scored 578 important runs, which includes two match-saving centuries vs West Indies and South Africa at an average of 82. Even in the semifinal, his 67 proved crucial in posting 240, a score which India failed to chase down. He had such an impact on this Kiwi side, that he was adjudged man of the tournament.

As captain, there has been none better in this tournament than this man. The way he marshalled his troops, made his bowling changes and set the right field, propelled underdogs New Zealand into the World Cup finals, defending two low totals vs India in the semis and England in the final. Thus an ideal captain for this side and a great batsman in the middle order.

David Warner (Australia)

Returning to the squad after the sandpaper gate controversy, this World Cup was a test for David Warner, and he passed it with flying colours. In nine matches, Warner amassed a huge 647 runs, with an excellent average of 71.88. He has scored three hundreds and three fifties. The biggest plus for Warner has been the ability to bat through the innings, thus giving Australia a solid base to get huge scores. Warner also holds the record for the highest individual score of the tournament with a 166 vs Bangladesh.

With Rohit Sharma, Warner will form a solid opening partnership for the ages. Together they can provide a solid start to the team.

Shakib Al Hasan (Bangladesh)

Though Williamson received the Man of the Tournament award, many argue that the rightful winner should have been Bangladesh’s greatest player of all time. The No. 1 ranked all-rounder in the world, Shakib has scored 606 runs from eight matches, at a stupendous average of 82, with two centuries and five fifties. In fact, Shakib’s lowest score in the World Cup has been 41.

Add to this superlative batting performance, he has also scalped 11 wickets with the ball in hand, including a 5/29 vs Afghanistan. In that match, he became the second player after Yuvraj Singh to score a fifty and take a 5-for in the same match.

In fact, Shakib is the first player ever to score 600 runs and take 11 wickets in the World Cup. With his strong batting and deceptive left arm bowling, Shakib adds much needed balance to this team.

Ben Stokes (England)

If we rewind the clock three years back to the T20 World Cup final at Eden Gardens, Kolkata, we all remember Carlos Brathwaite’s four consecutive sixes to win the trophy vs England. The bowler who faced the wrath of Brathwaite was Ben Stokes. And when England lifted the trophy this time, it was Stokes who was declared Man of the Match in the final for his match saving 84. What a turn of fortunes!

Stokes has had a phenomenal World Cup 2019. Batting at the lower order he has scored 465 runs from 11 innings with an average of 67. With crucial 70’s and 80’s he has always looked to save the English batting from a collapse, and his innings in the final, after the eventual champions were in trouble, was a thing to behold.

In the lower order, Stokes has the ability to bat through the innings with the tailenders, and with the ball too he will come in handy, and will prove a useful sixth bowler.

Mitchell Starc (Australia)

One of the greatest moment of this World Cup was the extraordinary in swing yorker that rattled the stumps of Ben Stokes, who was taking the game away from Australia when the two teams met at Lord’s. The man who bowled that magic delivery was Mitchell Starc, who returned from injury to spearhead the rejuvenated Australian team’s bowling attack.

Starc had a fantastic World Cup, as he scalped 27 wickets, thus beating Glenn McGrath’s previous 2007 record of most wickets in a single World Cup tournament. Starc’s ability to bowl Yorkers at 90+ miles per hour proves dangerous especially in the death overs. With two five wicket hauls vs New Zealand and West Indies, and two fours vs Sri Lanka and an all-important match vs England, this left arm quickie will be a perfect fit in this bowling attack.

Alex Carey (wk) (Australia)

Everyone raised eyebrows when Australia came to the World Cup without a back-up keeper in their squad, and also questioned Alex Carey’s inclusion in the squad, when Matthew Wade had been in good form in the domestic circuit. But Carey answered all his critic emphatically.

Coming in at No. 7, Carey played the role of a finisher perfectly, having scored crucial runs, including three fifties vs South Africa, India and New Zealand, giving the innings a solid finish. In fact, Carey has the second best batting average (66) in the Aussie squad after David Warner.

Carey has been sensational behind the stumps as well, registering 20 dismissals (18 catches, 2 stumpings), the highest among all wicketkeepers in the tournament. Thus, he makes the cut to this side due to his great showing as a keeper batsman.

Jasprit Bumrah (India)

18 wickets from nine matches at an average of 20.6 and an economy of 4.41 – these staggering numbers prove what a phenomenal World Cup Jasprit Bumrah had.

Be it providing a solid start in the first powerplay with the ball, checking the run flow in the middle overs or bowling at the death — Virat Kohli has always handed Bumrah the ball no matter whatever the situation demands. This exact quality of the current world No. 1 bowler is what has set him apart from his contemporaries, and added potency to the impressive Indian bowling attack.

Jofra Archer (England)

Jofra Archer made his ODI debut vs Ireland on 3rd May 2019, just a month prior to the start of the World Cup, and he made such an impact on the series vs Ireland and Pakistan that he was brought in to the World Cup squad in place of David Willey. And boy, did he make an impact in the tournament.

Archer picked up 20 wickets in 11 matches at an average of 24.5 and an economy of 4.77. Picking up wickets at crucial junctures, bowling at the death, and consistently hitting speeds above 140 km/hr – Archer displayed all the qualities a pace attack spearhead should possess.

Archer also proved to be one of England’s heroes in the final as he bowled that crucial Super Over vs New Zealand and restricted them.

Trent Boult (New Zealand)

This place could have easily gone to Boult’s teammate Lockie Ferguson, considering the tournament he has had, but his inclusion here is solely because of the fact that he has been the backbone of the Kiwi bowling attack.

Boult’s figures are impressive in itself, picking up 17 wickets from 10 matches at an average of 28 and an economy of 4.83. But what the stats don’t reflect is the fact that Boult chipped in with those tight overs and stemmed the run flow, allowing his teammates Ferguson and Matt Henry to chip in with wickets.