The 2023 World Cup may not have featured too many thrillers but there was no dearth of extraordinary individual performances.
Virat Kohli and Rachin Ravindra both broke Sachin Tendulkar’s all-time records while Pat Cummins became the fifth Australia captain to lift the World Cup.
The 2023 World Cup may not have featured too many close games but there was no dearth of extraordinary individual performances with bat, ball and in the field. A number of tournament records were broken and there were also a few all-time ODI records that got taken down. Picking the eleven best players of this tournament to form a super-team of sorts is not the easiest of tasks and it is bound to lead to a number of deserving candidates being left out. However, there have been a few standouts among all the exceptional performances in this tournament and so it is only fair that they get recognised. Here is the team of the tournament for the 2023 World Cup according to us here at Hindustan Times Digital.
1. Rohit Sharma (India)
The second-highest run scorer of the tournament behind the record-breaking Virat Kohli, Rohit’s aggressive approach was instrumental in India going on a run of 10 wins in 10 matches before their defeat to Australia in the final. Rohit scored 597 runs in 11 matches at an average of 54.27 and strike rate of 125.94. He hit three half-centuries and a century, which was a whirlwind 84-ball 131 against Afghanistan that helped India chase down a target of 273 with as many as 15 overs to spare.
2. Quinton de Kock (South Africa)
To say De Kock has ended his ODI career on a high would be an understatement. He helmed the overperforming South African batting unit, which ultimately fell short in the semi-final against eventual champions Australia. De Kock ended as the third highest scorer in the tournament with 594 runs at an average of 59.40 and strike rate of 107.02. He also scored four centuries, which is tied with Kumar Sangakkara’s record for most in a single World Cup, only behind the five scored by Rohit in the 2019 edition. Additionally, de Kock was the most successful wicketkeeper in the tournament with having accounted for 20 dismissals, three more than second-placed KL Rahul, and so he is fittingly the wicketkeeper in this XI.
3. Virat Kohli (India)
There have been quite a few great performances in this World Cup by No.3 batters but none can hold a candle really to what Kohli has done. He broke the record for most runs in a single World Cup and became the first man to 50 ODI centuries as well, famously surpassing Sachin Tendulkar on both occasions. Kohli scored a whopping 765 runs at an incredible average of 95.62 and a strike rate of 90.31. He scored three centuries and six half-centuries, which means that he didn’t cross 50 runs in just two of the 11 matches he played.
4. Rachin Ravindra (New Zealand)
So good was Ravindra in his debut World Cup campaign that it is hard not to put him in the squad despite the fact that he had played either as an opener or at one-down. He shattered Tendulkar’s record for most World Cup runs by a player aged 25 or less, ending the tournament with 578 runs at an average of 64.22 and strike rate of 106.44. He scored three centuries and two half-centuries. Moreover, he is a genuine spin-bowling option and took five wickets as well.
5. Shreyas Iyer (India)
Iyer played as a No.4 and some may have argued for Rahul or Heinrich Klaasen to be in this position but it is hard to look past 530 runs at an average of 66.25 and strike rate of 113.24. Iyer scored two centuries and three half-centuries in the tournament.
6. Glenn Maxwell (Australia)
The 2023 World Cup might just be remembered as a tournament in which Glenn Maxwell did the kind of magical things that has been expected of him throughout his career. Maxwell scored 400 runs at an average of 66.66 and an eye-watering strike rate of 150.37. He scored two centuries, the first of which was a 44-ball 106 against Netherlands that was touted as the best innings of the tournament at the time. He followed that up by playing arguably the greatest innings in the history of cricket, smashing an unbeaten 201 off 128 balls and leading Australia to a target of 292 against Afghanistan despite being 91/7 at one point and despite not being able to move his feet at all in the last quarter of that knock due to cramps. Moreover, he took six wickets and was instrumental with the ball in Australia’s victories in the semi-final and final. One of the most extraordinary individual performances of all time in a World Cup.
. Azmatullah Omarzai (Afghanistan)
Many would have expected Rashid Khan or Mujeeb-ur-Rahman to be the standout player for Afghanistan before the start of the tournament but it was 23-year-old all-rounder Omarzai who was the backbone of their greatest World Cup run thus far. Omarzai scored 353 runs at an average of 70.60 and strike rate of 97.78 with three half-centuries. He was stranded on 97 in Afghanistan’s last match of the tournament against South Africa, almost single-handedly taking them to a competitive total of 244. He also took seven wickets at an average of 36.57.
8. Pat Cummins (Australia)
The man who lifted the trophy in the end, Cummins’ status as a bona fide legend of Australian cricket has been established this year as he led them to victories in the World Test Championship, the World Cup and retaining the Ashes in England. All the while turning in typically clinical performances with the ball and with the bat as well. Cummins took 15 wickets at an average of 34.33. He also scored 128 runs, even finishing off the chase for Australia in the semi-final with Mitchell Starc. Cummins was standing at the other end when Maxwell played the innings of his lifetime against Afghanistan, staying unbeaten on 12 off 68 and being part of a record eighth wicket stand of 202 runs in just 170 balls. As a captain, Cummins rallied his troops after they suffered heavy defeats in the first two matches and kept India guessing throughout the middle overs of the final with his field placements and bowling changes. Hence, he pips Rohit in being captain of this XI.
9. Mohammed Shami (India)
It is extraordinary to think Shami couldn’t find a place in the Indian side in their first four matches considering what he has gone and done after Hardik Pandya’s injury. He is the highest wicket-taker in this tournament with 24 scalps at a scarcely believable average of 10.40. In the seven matches he played, he took a five- wicket-haul in three and a four-fer in one.
10. Jasprit Bumrah (India)
He may not have the screaming five-wicket hauls in this tournament but it is his average, and visuals of his performances, that show just how lethal he was in this tournament and why it is that he is often considered the best in the world regardless of the format. Bumrah is the fourth-highest wicket-taker in this tournament, Dilshan Madushanka took 21 wickets while he took 20. But he averaged 18.65 in 11 matches, which meant that he put the pressure from one end apart from taking wickets.
11. Adam Zampa (Australia)
It can be said that Australia’s fortunes started turning around in this tournament when Zampa found his groove. He went for 0/53 against India and 1/70 against South Africa, in Australia’s disastrous first two games of the tournament. But after that, he went on a run of three consecutive matches in which he picked four wickets. He may not have been the most effective in the semi-final or the final but by then, Australia had become an unstoppable force. Zampa ended the tournament as their highest wicket-taker, and second highest overall, with 23 scalps at an average of 22.39.
HT’s World Cup 2023 team of the tournament: Rohit Sharma, Quinton de Kock (WK), Virat Kohli, Rachin Ravindra, Shreyas Iyer, Glenn Maxwell, Azmatullah Omarzai, Pat Cummins (C), Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, Adam Zampa