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Cummins, Not Rohit, Will Lead My Team

November 25, 2023 11:29 IST
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IMAGE: Australia Captain Pat Cummins holds aloft the World Cup after beating India in the final in Ahmedabad on Sunday, November 19, 2023. Photograph: Andrew Boyers/Reuters

India will rue another loss in a knockout game at an ICC event but they will cherish the world class performances from Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli and Mohammed Shami.

Young Kiwi Rachin Ravindra left quite an impression in his maiden World Cup and so did South Africa's young pacer Gerald Coetzee.

Check out my World Cup Dream XI:

Rohit Sharma

Photograph: BCCI/X

Rohit did everything possible with the bat and as captain, but his team fell short at the final hurdle.

Rohit set the tone for India with the bat. As an opener, he took the attacking route right from the word go, smashing 597 runs in 11 games at a strike rate of 125, including a tournament high of 31 sixes.

He would have finished with a much higher tally of runs if not for his selfless approach, getting out in the 40s five times -- not worrying about landmarks but only scoring quickly for the team.

Travis Head

Photograph: Andrew Boyers/Reuters

Head smashed a match-winning century against India in the final to power Australia to their sixth World Cup title.

Head came to the party when it really mattered -- winning the man of the match in both the semis and final, only the fourth cricketer to do so (Mohinder Amarnath in 1994, Aravinda da Silva in 1996 and Shane Warne in 1999 were the others).

The Aussie left-hander starred with a 48-ball 62 against South Africa on a turning pitch in a low-scoring semi-final at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata before he followed it up with a magnificent 137 from 120 balls against India in the final.

Australia's brave decision to include Head in the World Cup squad despite a fractured hand paid off handsomely. He missed the first five games because of the injury before making a smashing comeback with a blistering century (109 from 67 balls) against New Zealand.

He finished with 329 runs in six games at a strike rate of 54.

Virat Kohli

Photograph: Adnan Abidi/Reuters

Kohli scored a record-breaking 765 runs in World Cup 2023 -- the most ever by a player in the history of the event.

He surpassed the previous record held by Sachin Tendulkar (673 in 2003), hitting three centuries and six fifties in 11 innings at an average of 95.

Kohli also hit a world record 50th century in ODIs during the World Cup, against going past his idol Tendulkar's record.

Rachin Ravindra

Photograph: Black Caps/X


Playing in his first World Cup Rachin, whose parents were born in India, was New Zealand's highest run-getter with 578 runs with three centuries and two fifties.

His unbeaten 123 powered the Kiwis to victory against England in the tournament opener before his 116 nearly took them home when chasing a mammoth 389 against Australia.

Quinton de Kock

Photograph: Francis Mascarenhas/Reuters

De Kock bowed out of 50-overs cricket with a power-packed performance with the bat in World Cup 2023.

He smashed hs way to four centuries in the World Cup, hitting 594 runs -- the third highest in the tournament after Kohli and Rohit.

The South African wicketkeeper-batter, who retired from 50-overs cricket after the World Cup, started off with two centuries in a row against Sri Lanka and Australia, before hitting two more against Bangladesh and New Zealand.

He was quite reliable with the gloves as well, accounting for 20 dismissals including 19 catches and one stumping.

Glenn Maxwell

Photograph: Francis Mascarenhas/Reuters

Maxwell's double century against Afghanistan will stay in cricketing memory for a long, long, time.

Maxwell, batting literally on one leg because of cramps, blasted a sensational 201 not out from 128 balls to power Australia to an unlikely three wicket victory against Afghanistan, when they looked all set for defeat at one stage.

Maxwell's incredible knock at the Wankhede comprised of 10 sixes and 21 fours and is the first double century in a run chase in ODIs.

That innings was instrumental in giving Australia the belief that they could win from virtually any situation.

Maxwell also bagged another record to his name when he blasted a 40-ball century against The Netherlands for the fastest century in the World Cup. He tallied 400 runs in nine games at a strike rate of 150.

He picked up six wickets in World Cup 2023, sending down 68.3 overs in nine games.

Pat Cummins (captain)

Photograph: Francis Mascarenhas/Reuters

Cummins emerged as a true leader in World Cup 2023 as he inspired Australia to one of its most famous triumphs.

Australia began with two defeats in a row before producing a stunning comeback with nine wins in a row to bag their sixth ODI World Cup.

Cummins left many surprised with his decision to bowl first in the final, but he had full faith in his team to throw the pitch out of the equation.

He led from the front with the ball in the final with excellent figures of 2/34, getting the big wickets of Kohli and Shreyas Iyer.

He also played a vital role with the bat in the game against Afghanistan. Cummins made 12 from 68 balls but played his role to perfection to hold one end up while Maxwell attacked from the other. The duo posted an unbeaten stand of 202 runs to take Australia to victory after they were reeling on 91/7 at one stage.

Cummins' quickfire cameo of 37 from 14 balls against New Zealand came in quite handy in a high-scoring game which Australia won by just five runs despite scoring a huge 388.

Adam Zampa

Photograph: ICC/X

Zampa was the only specialist spinner in Australia's squad.

He enjoyed a dream showing with the ball in the World Cup with a rich haul of 23 wickets from 11 games -- the most by a spinner and the second highest behind Mohammed Shami.

Zampa struggled in the first two games which Australia lost before he stormed back in style with four-wicket hauls in three successive matches against Sri Lanka, Pakistan and The Netherlands to get his team back on track.

Keshav Maharaj

Photograph: Adnan Abidi/Reuters

In a team more famous for its fast bowlers, Maharaj left a mark with his consistent performances with the ball for South Africa.

He picked up 15 wickets at an impressive economy rate of 4.15 -- the best economy rate among the top spinners in the World Cup 2023.

His most memorable moment in World Cup 2023 was with the bat when he scored the match-winning boundary against Pakistan when South Africa, chasing 271 for victory, survived a late batting collapse to sneak home by one wicket.

Mohammed Shami

Photograph: Adnan Abidi/Reuters

Easily the best player of World Cup 2023.

Shami struggled to break into the playing XI till Hardik Pandya's freak injury finally saw him get a chance to prove himself and there was no looking back.

Shami took apart almost every batting line-up that he came up against. He started with a five wicket against New Zealand before picking 4/22 against England followed by another five wicket haul against Sri Lanka.

He bagged his career-best figures of 7/57 against New Zealand in the semis to finish with a haul of 24 wickets from seven matches at an average of 10.

Shami is India's most successful bowler in World Cups with 55 wickets and overall joint fifth with Pakistan pace great Wasim Akram.

Gerald Coetzee

Photograph: Andrew Boyers/Reuters

Coetzee is another young player who impressed at World Cup 2023.

The 23-year-old Proteas pace bowler was lively with the ball and quite effective in the middle overs. He took at least a wicket in each of the eight games he played to finish with 20 wickets at an average of 19.

Such was his impact that he was chosen ahead of the experienced Lungi Ngidi for the semi-final against Australia.

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