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Kiwis dominate World Cup Best XI; no Indians yet!

By Harish Kotian/
March 02, 2015 16:35 IST
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Some of the game's leading players have left their mark on the World Cup. Check out who they are in Harish Kotian/'s World Cup Best XI.

The ICC World Cup, which kicked off on February 14, took a day's break after 23 matches on the trot.

Among the batsmen, the likes of A B de Villiers, Brendon McCullum and Chris Gayle blazed their way into the record books, while on the bowling front Tim Southee, Trent Boult and Daniel Vettori dominated, making key contributions in helping New Zealand stay unbeaten after four straight victories.

Defending champions India is the other unbeaten team in the tournament, with three straight victories, but none of their players find a place in the Best World Cup XI from the first two weeks.

Check out's Best XI after 23 matches.

1. Chris Gayle

Chris Gayle

Can there be a World XI in limited-overs cricket that does not have that mighty West Indian, Christopher Henry Gayle?

After a quiet start to the tournament, the Jamaican announced himself with a blazing 215 from 147 balls, the first-ever double century in World Cup history.

He is second on the list of top run scorers with a tally of 258 runs, having hit 17 sixes and 13 fours in four matches so far.

2. Brendon McCullum

Brendon McCullum

If there is any player who has looked as threatening -- if not more -- as Gayle, it has to be Brendon McCullum.

The New Zealander was not only aggressive with the bat, but his positive captaincy made New Zealand virtually unbeatable in the first weeks of the tournament.

McCullum hit three fifties in four games for a tally of 207, at an amazing strike rate of 188.

His explosive batting has made New Zealand a leading contender for the title.

3. Kumar Sangakkara (w/k)

Kumar Sangakkara

Kumar Sangakkara is the leading run-getter in the World Cup with 268 runs, at an average of 134, having hit back-to-back centuries.

One of the most consistent batsmen in all formats in recent years, Sangakkara turned the England match on its head with a cracking innings of 117 from 86 balls.

4. Tillakaratne Dilshan

Tillakaratne Dilshan

It would be hard to ignore Tillakaratne Dilshan, who is the number one ranked all-rounder, having scored 229 runs and taken three wickets till date.

Though he opens the batting for Sri Lanka, it will be hard for Dilshan to dislodge Gayle, McCullum and Sangakkara on their current form, but he is still capable of excelling in the middle order. His bowling is a big bonus for any team he plays in.

5. A B de Villiers (captain)

A B de Villiers

A B de Villiers's sensational hitting against the West Indies has become one of the major talking points of the World Cup.

South Africa's captain struck a career-best 162 not out from just 66 balls in a sensational display of batting, hitting 17 fours and eight sixes in his explosive innings, to steer South Africa to a stunning 408 for five.

The 31 year old, who holds the record for the fastest-ever ODI hundred off just 31 balls, notched the second quickest century in any World Cup with his 52-ball knock. He missed bettering the 50-ball hundred by Ireland's Kevin O'Brien, against England in the 2011 edition, by just two balls.

He reached the 150 mark in a world record 64 balls -- 19 balls better than the previous record held by Shane Watson, against Bangladesh in Dhaka in 2011.

He now owns the records for the fastest 50, 100 and 150 in the 50-over game and second fastest century in World Cup history.

He is sixth in the list of leading run-getters in the ongoing edition with 217 runs.

6. David Miller

David Miller

David Miller is a dangerous batsman lower down the order and can be unstoppable in the death overs as Zimbabwe found out during their match in Hamilton.

After a struggling start, he turned around South Africa's innings with a blazing innings of 138 from 92 balls, inclusive of seven fours and nine sixes.

He was involved in a world record stand of 256 from 178 balls for the fifth wicket with J P Duminy, who made 115.

7. Imran Tahir

Imran Tahir

South Africa's leg-spinner is enjoying a good run in the World Cup.

The 35 year old, who was born in Pakistan, is the tournament's leading spinner with nine wickets from three games and a best of 5-45 against the West Indies.

8. Daniel Vettori

Daniel Vettori

Veteran Daniel Vettori has also left his mark with good performances in the first four games, from which he has eight wickets and a stunning economy rate of 3.33.

He bowled crucial spells against Australia and Sri Lanka and played a big role in the middle overs in not only drying up the runs, but making crucial breakthroughs.

9. Tim Southee

Tim Southee

New Zealand pacer Tim Southee is the leading bowler of the tournament till date with 13 wickets in four games.

He single-handedly destroyed England, taking 7-33 in Wellington, the best figures by a New Zealand bowler in the ODIs.

Southee has made most of bowling in home conditions and proved to be quite a handful with. Except for the Australia game, where he was taken for runs, he has emerged one of the top bowlers in the tournament.

10. Trent Boult

Trent Boult

Left-arm pacer Trent Boult is gaining a reputation as one of the best fast bowlers in the world.

Australia will certainly testify to that after his five for 27 played a big part in their collapse in Auckland where they were bowled out for a paltry 151 in 32.2 overs.

He is second on the wicket-taking list in the World Cup with 10 wickets from four matches.

11. Mitchell Starc

Mitchell Starc

Mitchell Starc nearly took Australia home in the thrilling match in Auckland.

New Zealand looked set to cruise home at 131 for four in the 20th over, with another 21 runs needed for victory, before Starc changed the script temporarily.

He took a career-best 6 for 28 with some deadly yorkers to lead Australia's sensational fightback before Kane Williamson guided New Zealand to a close one-wicket victory.

The ones who missed out:

Shaiman Anwar of the United Arab Emirates, with 208 runs from three matches including the first-ever century for his country in the World Cup; India's Shikhar Dhawan, with 224 runs including a century and a fifty; Sri Lanka opener Lahiru Thirimanne, with 256 runs, inclusive of two fifties and a century, just missed out on making the eleven.

On the bowling front, Ravichandran Ashwin (8 wickets from 4 games), Afghanistan pacer Shapoor Zadran (7 wickets from 3 games), Scotland fast bowler Josh Davey (9 wickets from 3 games) and Jerome Taylor of West Indies (9 wickets from 4 games) were the other top performers.

Photographs: Getty Images

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