The 13th edition of the ODI Cricket World Cup concluded last Sunday, Nov. 19, with Australia winning their sixth title by beating hosts India in the final in Ahmedabad. India had won 10 consecutive matches prior to the final, but Australia proved to be too strong in the summit clash.
Let us get on with selecting the team of the tournament:
World Cup 2023 Team of the Tournament:
1. Quinton de Kock (Wicketkeeper) (South Africa)
De Kock became the highest run-scorer for the Proteas in a single edition of the World Cup by hitting four centuries. His ability to play lofted shots off his pads remained a treat to watch throughout the tournament.
However, He skied a shot against Australia in the semifinal to be dismissed cheaply in trying conditions for the batters. It remains a pity that this was his last tournament as a player in ODI cricket. He comes into this side as the wicketkeeper.
2. Rohit Sharma (Captain) (India):
Sharma’s role as an opening batter was that of a destroyer, but he still managed to score well over 500 runs at an enviable strike rate. Had he tried to build an innings instead of playing for the team’s sake, he would have probably come close to repeating his amazing feat of scoring five centuries in a World Cup in 2019.
Sharma went after the Australian bowlers in the final, too, but Glenn Maxwell’s intelligent bowling got the better of him ultimately. He also led the India team astutely and will be the skipper of this side.
3. Travis Head (Australia):
Head did not play in the initial matches for Australia, as they made a disappointing start to the tournament. However, a rejuvenated Head made a whirlwind start to his campaign by playing a breezy knock against New Zealand, as the Aussies posted a humungous total.
He then starred in the two knock-out matches, winning the Man of the Match award in both of them. His fantastic 137 gave India no chance in the final and his off-spin bowling and wonderful fielding remain an asset, too.
4. Virat Kohli (India):
Kohli made a record 765 runs in the tournament and also won the Man of the Tournament award. However, much like Sachin Tendulkar in 2003, he had to be content with the Runner-up medal in the end.
Kohli primarily played an anchor man’s role, allowing the other batters to play freely, as India often managed to post an imposing total. He made a half-century in the final, too, but it did not prove to be enough in the end.
5. Daryl Mitchell (New Zealand):
Mitchell remains one of the most consistent batters in white-ball cricket and almost always performs in major tournaments. His valiant ton was not enough to win the semifinal against India, but he managed to prove his class yet again.
Mitchell’s ability to hit his lofted shots down the ground is an enviable one. He is also a decent medium-pace bowler, who can turn his arm over at times.
6. Glenn Maxwell (Australia):
There is probably no batter more destructive than Maxwell in world cricket at the moment. His superhuman knock of 201 not out helped Australia win an unforgettable match against Afghanistan, without which Australia could not have qualified for the semifinals.
Maxwell also clobbered a century off 40 deliveries against the Netherlands and bowled his tidy off-spinners to pick up crucial wickets at times, including in the final.
7. Ravindra Jadeja (India):
Jadeja will be the specialist spinner in this team. He is also probably the best fielder in the world at the moment and a very useful lower-middle-order batter. However, he did not get too many opportunities to bat in the tournament, as India simply did not require their bowlers to contribute with the bat until in the final.
However, Jadeja’s nagging accuracy meant that he had an enviable economy rate as a bowler. He also picked up three wickets against South Africa to help India register a mammoth win.
8. Adam Zampa (Australia):
Zampa’s 23 wickets in the tournament equalled Muttiah Muralitharan’s record for the highest number of scalps in a single World Cup. The young Australian leg-spinner did not turn the ball much, but his accuracy and ability to bowl googlies and flippers helped Australia a lot.
Zampa’s four-wicket haul against Sri Lanka in the group match started the turnaround for the Aussies after the reversal in their first two matches. He bowled with controlled line and length for the most part to finish as the most impactful bowler in the tournament.
9. Mohammed Shami (India):
Shami was the best bowler in the tournament, his below-par performance in the final notwithstanding. He picked up 24 wickets in only six matches, racking up five-wicket hauls for fun.
His ability to bowl consistently with a high-arm action and upright seam made the batters’ job difficult against him. Coming in as the first change he moved the ball enough to help India dominate almost all of their opposition.
10. Josh Hazlewood (Australia):
It was difficult to leave Mitchell Starc out of the team, especially after he picked up three wickets each in the semifinal and final. However, Hazlewood has been the most consistent Aussie pacer in the tournament with 16 scalps.
His spell with the new ball against South Africa in the semifinal was a masterclass in itself and was also probably the best one by any bowler in the tournament. He regularly made the ball seam into the right-handed batters. He then used the reverse swing extremely well in the final to restrict the Indian batters.
11. Jasprit Bumrah (India):
Bumrah does not have a lengthy run-up, but his ability to hit the seam, swing the ball both ways and bowl with superb control makes him one of the most dangerous pacers in world cricket.
Along with Shami, Bumrah was the primary reason why India’s bowling attack looked that good in the World Cup. He picked up 20 wickets in the tournament without conceding too many runs.