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The HoldingWilley 2019 Cricket World Cup XI


World_Cup_2019_HoldingWilley_XI_ODI_CricketIn the 2019 Cricket World Cup, many players got together to help their teams strive for the highest prize on offer in the world of cricket. While a few stars failed to get going, others paved the way for success for their teams.

We look at the best XI of the World Cup.

Openers: Indian opener Rohit Sharma smashed five tons in the 2019 World Cup - the most that any cricketer has scored in a single edition of the tournament. His domination at the top helped his side to top the league stage. In the absence of Shikhar Dhawan, who was ruled out due to injury, Rohit took it upon himself to lead the charge and along with KL Rahul nullified the threat of the rival seamers upfront.

However, he failed in the most crucial game - the semi-final - and India could never recover from the early dismissal of their talisman as the middle order failed to get going. Rohit ended the tournament as the leading run-scorer.

The fact that England lost both the games that Jason Roy missed due to injury signifies how crucial he was in his team’s World Cup winning journey. With a better average and strike rate than Jonny Bairstow, his opening partner, Roy also pips Australian David Warner as the second opener of this side. Though Warner utterly dominated the attacks with the bat, he was not the same aggressive player in the World Cup that he was in the IPL and took some time to get going. Hence, pairing him with Rohit, who also takes a while to settle in, is not the best move. Therefore, Roy gets a look-in.

Rohit Sharma: 9 innings, 648 runs @ 81.00 average, 98.33 SR, 5 hundreds and 1 fifty.

Jason Roy: 7 innings, 443 runs @ 63.28 average, 115.36 SR, 1 hundred and 4 fifties.

Middle order: A number of players did well at numbers three and four in the World Cup, and hence, a few players have to be selected “out of position.” Kane Williamson was the Player of the World Cup and New Zealand’s most influential player with the bat. He absorbed pressure throughout the tournament and improved an inconsistent batting order by anchoring the innings to perfection. He also captains the side.

Joe Root was an assured presence in the middle order and his consistency was crucial to England’s World Cup fortunes. He and Williamson are the must-picks with the Kiwi skipper coming in at three and Root at four.

Number five is a tough call, but Shakib Al Hasan has been chosen here. The number one ODI all-rounder in world cricket had a World Cup to remember as he amassed more than 600 runs and picked up 11 wickets as well. In eight innings, he made only one non-fifty score, and though it is unfair to push him down to five (he batted at three throughout the tournament), he has experience batting down the order, and gets slotted in later to round off the middle order as a result.

The other contenders for the middle order were Virat Kohli, Babar Azam and Nicholas Pooran, but the cricketers chosen in this team had a more telling impact on their respective sides.

Kane Williamson: 9 innings, 578 runs @ 82.57 average, 74.96 SR, 2 hundreds and 2 fifties.

Joe Root: 11 innings, 556 runs @ 61.77 average, 89.53 SR, 2 hundreds and 3 fifties.

Shakib Al Hasan: 8 innings, 606 runs @ 86.57 average, 96.03 SR, 2 hundreds and 5 fifties; 11 wickets @ 36.27 average, 5.39 ER, 1 five-wicket haul.

All-rounder and wicketkeeper: The lower-middle order needs players who can strike it big in the death overs. The players selected should also have the ability to anchor an innings if a number of wickets fall early.

Australia’s Alex Carey is a player who did well in all situations. He was the surprise performer of the tournament, and walks into the team ahead of wicketkeepers Mushfiqur Rahim and Jos Buttler. The former is not the biggest hitter of the ball, while Buttler did not shine throughout the tournament, though he did score a crucial fifty in the final.

The chosen all-rounder is Ben Stokes from England. He was excellent with the bat, guiding England to the title in the finals, and was handy with the ball as well. He also made an impact on the field. And he lends a certain flexibility to the side.

The players who miss out on this spot are James Neesham and Hardik Pandya. While the Kiwi was a front-runner with 232 runs and 15 wickets, he was prone to inconsistency. Pandya, on the other hand, had starts but failed to create a sufficient impact throughout.

Ben Stokes: 10 innings, 465 runs @ 66.42 average, 93.18 SR and 5 fifties; 7 wickets @ 35.14 average and 4.83 ER.

Alex Carey (Wk): 9 innings, 375 runs @ 62.5 average, 104.16 SR and 3 fifties; 18 catches and 2 stumpings.

Bowlers: The fast bowlers had an excellent World Cup, which is why three of them have been chosen in this team. Mitchell Starc dominated the event and, with 27 wickets, broke Glenn McGrath’s record of most wickets taken in a single World Cup. He should be one of the first names to be put down on the sheet.

Three fast bowlers fight for the last two spots, as the eleventh slot goes to a spinner. Lockie Ferguson, Jofra Archer and Jasprit Bumrah all inflicted enough pain on the opposition across the board, but Ferguson, the Kiwi bowler, sits out due to a higher economy rate.

Trent Boult, Matt Henry, Mohammad Amir and Shaheen Afridi were fantastic as well, but miss out due to the brilliance of the picked players.

For the spinner’s role, Imran Tahir is the lone candidate. As the World Cup progressed, the influence of the slower bowlers declined, and as a result they did not feature high in the wicket-taking tally either. Yuzvrendra Chahal was the spinner with the highest wickets, taking 12 across the tournament, but he has been supplanted by the South African simply because of the variety that Tahir provides. He can even bowl in the first powerplay, which tilts the scales in his favour.

Mitchell Starc: 10 innings, 27 wickets @ 18.59 average, 5.43 ER, 2 five-wicket hauls and 2 four-wicket hauls

Jofra Archer: 11 innings, 20 wickets @ 23.05 average and 4.57 ER

Jasprit Bumrah: 9 innings, 18 wickets @ 20.61 average, 4.41 ER and 1 four-wicket haul.

Imran Tahir: 8 innings, 11 wickets @ 34.00 average, 4.92 ER

World Cup 2019 Dream team: Rohit Sharma, Jason Roy, Kane Williamson (C), Joe Root, Shakib Al Hasan, Ben Stokes, Alex Carey (Wk), Mitchell Starc, Jofra Archer, Jasprit Bumrah, Imran Tahir.

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