With England and New Zealand in the finals of the 12th edition of the championship, the cricketing world is on the brink of crowning a new champion. Both the teams beat World Cup winning teams in their respective semi-finals. It will be a cracker of a contest on the 14th of July at the home of cricket, Lord’s. While the Brits will be trying to write a fairytale the Kiwis wouldn’t want to lose their second consecutive World Cup final.
It has been a memorable World Cup for all the participants involved in the tournament. The batsmen had their share of fun with centuries to their name and the bowlers enjoyed their time when the pitches assisted them. As usual, there were some stars who tasted great success and some others who had a disappointing campaign.
Here is the list of one player from each team who was hit and flop:
Hit – Mohammad Nabi
The Asian team which was expected to provide surprises in the 2019 World Cup stunned themselves with the issues surrounding their side. Afghanistan finished with a wooden spoon as they floundered under pressure on multiple occasions. They did make headlines but it turned out to be in wrong columns except for Mohammad Nabi who tried his best to save the grace.
Though the former skipper didn’t set the stage on fire, Nabi was able to create opportunities for his side. He picked up 10 wickets including a memorable 4-fer against Sri Lanka where he outfoxed quality players of spin. His best performance came against India as he bowled an economical spell of 2/33 and stroked a half-century which almost helped the team pull off a heist. Nabi didn’t get enough support from his fellow cricketers.
Flop – Rashid Khan
The leg-spinner was the biggest bust of the series for the Afghan team. Before the start of the tournament he had racked up impressive numbers but when it mattered Rashid was not to able create the same magic. The youngster just scaled 6 wickets in 9 games and also bowled the most expensive spell in the World Cup against Brits. In the end, Rashid Khan‘s performance was one of the reasons why the Kabuli Pulao was undercooked.
Hit – David Warner
In this World Cup, the defending champions had a lot of questions to answer and they did it by their actions on the field. Aaron Finch-led side reached the semi-finals and stayed true to their reputation in the mega events. The batting mantle was carried by the skipper along with the star of the team, David Warner who announced his return to internationals in style.
The left-hander justified the faith shown by the Australian selectors. Warner gathered 647 runs in the tournament at an average of 72. His aggressive approach helped the team in getting brisk starts. David stroked 3 centuries and particularly his knock of 166 against Bangladesh proved his hunger for success.
Flop – Glenn Maxwell
While the top-order of Australia was having a gala time, the middle-order including Glenn Maxwell failed to convert the good work done by them. The X-factor of Men in Yellow spent most of his time in the dressing room. His longest stay on the field with the bat was against Sri Lanka where he faced 25 balls for his 46.
Apart from that Maxwell was dismissed 8 times in the space of 83 deliveries which is not acceptable from a player who has played more than 100 ODIs. The Big Show even skipped the IPL for the preparations of the championship but his journey turned out to be a no-show.
Hit – Shakib Al Hasan
The Bangla tigers can be extremely proud of their show in the 2019 World Cup as the team played consistent cricket throughout the series. The side stood up against the well-established names of world cricket and always kept their opposition in check. Though the luck didn’t favour the Asian team they gave whole-hearted efforts every time mainly Shakib Al Hasan who seemed to be playing on a different level.
The all-rounder was the shining star with his versatile performances. His promotion in the batting order was a great move by the management as he piled over 600 runs. Shakib’s unbeaten 124 against the Windies allowed the team to chase down their highest total in ODIs. Along with his batting heroics, Shakib also scalped 11 wickets with his left-arm spin.
Flop – Mashrafe Mortaza
It can be said that Shakib carried the team on his shoulders but the same cannot be said about the captain of the side Mashrafe Mortaza. Playing his 4th championship, Mashrafe’s own form was a matter of concern. As a senior bowler of the team, it was his duty to guide the inexperienced bowling unit.
He looked like a pale shadow of himself and even the numbers suggest the same. The Narail express bowled a total of 56 overs in 8 games and picked only a single wicket. His economy rate of 6.45 proves the point that Mortaza didn’t lead by example.
4) South Africa
Hit – Rassie van der Dussen
Fortunes of the South African team take a nosedive in ICC events and it was no different in this showdown. Considered as one of the front runners to win the title, the Faf Du Plessis-led side didn’t bother to show up until the last game of the tournament. Still, there were some positives for the team and one of them was Rassie van der Dussen’s batting exploits at the biggest stage.
In the absence of AB De Villiers, the Proteas were always going to struggle with their low-grade ammunition in the middle order. As it turned out Dussen tried his best to fill up the void scoring 311 runs in 6 innings. In the game against Australia, the right-hander made a run a ball 95 which paved the way for the team’s third win in their sojourn. He made most of his opportunities unlike the senior members of the team.
Flop – Quinton de Kock
Quinton de Kock is one of the batting pillars of the side in white ball cricket and his record is praiseworthy. He is trusted as a reliable source at the top of the order but in this World Cup, De Kock frequently threw away his wicket at the wrong time. Though he gathered over 300 runs in 9 games, the keeper-batsman failed to provide the assuredness to the team. Like many of the South African players, the left-hander was not able to raise his game when it was most needed.
5) Sri Lanka
Hit – Lasith Malinga
The Lankan Lions never looked the team who has made two World Cup finals in this century. Apart from their surprise win against hosts, England their bad rut of form continued in white ball cricket. It seems that the young crop of players is not ready to take up the responsibility of the side. Even the senior players were inconsistent in their trade except for Lasith Malinga who again proved his worth.
The champion fast bowler defied all the odds and led the bowling unit of Sri Lanka. At the age of 35, he has lost his pace but he is still deceiving the opposition batsmen with his bag of tricks. With 13 wickets in 7 games, he was the leading wicket-taker for the island nation in this edition. His 4-wicket haul was the reason why the Lankan side beat Brits in the group encounter.
Flop – Kusal Mendis
Malinga did all in his hand to propel the side but the batting unit including Kusal Mendis never stood up for the team. Touted as the next big thing in Sri Lankan cricket Mendis has not lived up to his billing. The youngster has the ability to play all the shots in the book but his batting indecisiveness has cost him heavily.
This time he has just scored 143 runs in 7 outings and it is not enough for a player who plies his trade in the top four. Mendis has a habit of throwing away his starts and the pattern has continued in this edition with not a single half-century to his name. He was not able to rotate the strike which hampered the innings of other batters.
6) New Zealand
Hit – Kane Williamson
Black Caps are just one step away from creating history. As usual, the dark horses have punched above their weight and for the second consecutive time, they will be playing a World Cup final. The bowlers have been excellent with their ferocity which has helped them cover their batting frailties. The top order except Kane Williamson has been going through a rough patch.
The New Zealand skipper has held the fort on a regular basis and has already accumulated 548 runs in 8 innings. He has scored some tough runs including two game-changing centuries against South Africa and West Indies. Along with his batting, his captaincy has also been top notch as he has defined the role of each player in the squad. One of them is Tom Latham who is yet to respond to Captain Kane’s call.
Flop – Tom Latham
The left-hander is a good batsman against spinners and that’s why he was given a role in the middle-order. Till now he has only made 108 runs in 8 outings which has been a sign of worry for the team management. Though his work behind the stumps is reasonable Latham has not been able to cope up with the pressure of the big tournament. Now the keeper-batsman will have only one opportunity to make up for the losses.
Hit – Mohammad Amir
As usual, the Men in Green stayed true to their unpredictable tag in their World Cup campaign. At first, the team looked out of sorts but then in the second half of the tournament, the side picked up the pace with some impressive wins. The batting unit was led by youngsters Babar Azam and Imam ul Haq but it was Mohammad Amir’s bowling which made the difference in crucial encounters.
The left arm pacer was a last-minute pick by the Pakistan selectors and in the end, it turned to be a good decision. In 2019 World Cup, Amir was lethal with the new ball as well as with the old ball. His death bowling in the game against England was a decisive factor in turning the tide towards his camp. He took a total of 17 wickets in 8 games with an economy rate of 4.90. Unlike Amir, Pakistan’s opener, Fakhar Zaman was not having a good time in the English summer.
Flop – Fakhar Zaman
Zaman was keen to repeat his 2017 Champions Trophy heroics but he failed miserably. The southpaw was struggling to up the ante in each of his innings and perished attempting big shots. He gathered 186 runs in 8 innings and was not consistent enough in providing the team with good starts. In the tie against India, he threw away his wicket after scoring 62 which triggered a collapse. As a result, the team lost by a big margin and haunted them in their qualification scenario.
Hit – Jason Roy
Eoin Morgan-led side is on the verge of etching their names in the history books. They were the tournament favourites and deserve all the accolades for playing the inspiring brand of cricket. While the bowling attack led by Jofra Archer has done its part the famed batting unit has been exceptional throughout the tournament. Especially Jason Roy who is in red hot form from the start of the year.
The explosive opener adds a different dimension to the English side. His pairing with Johnny Bairstow at the top has been a winning formula in this edition as they have already had 4-century partnerships between them. Particularly Roy who takes on best of the bowling attacks and stamp his authority. He has accumulated 426 runs in 7 outings including a glittering 156 against Bangladesh.
Flop – James Vince
On the other hand, the reserve opener James Vince has not found success in his limited chances. The right-hander was added to the squad when Alex Hales was dropped from the team owing to drug charges. He got his opportunity when Roy was sidelined with a hamstring injury.
Vince played 3 ties and added only 40 runs to his tally. His strike rate of 78 in powerplays didn’t help the cause of the team when they were looking for quick starts. Vince was not as effective as he was for Hampshire in the domestic circuit and seemed completely out of place.
Hit – Rohit Sharma
Finishing at the top of the points table the Men in Blue were unstoppable in the group stages but then faltered in the pressure game against Black Caps. Even though there were certain weaknesses in the side, India was expected to go all the way. The envious top-order again showed its class with consistent performances. Among them, Rohit Sharma stood tall with his batting in its pristine form.
The Mumbaikar had a dream run in the 2019 World Cup. He set the tone for the rest of the tournament by stroking a ton in the inaugural tie against South Africa. Then it became difficult for the opposition to break his batting spell and he piled on 648 runs in 9 innings including 5 World Cup centuries. Rohit Sharma almost made up for the absence of Shikhar Dhawan and guided the side to the knock-out stages.
Flop – Kuldeep Yadav
On the other side, India’s bowling unit was also in its elements barring Kuldeep Yadav. Before the start of the series, the chinaman was considered the trump card of the Indian team. He was anticipated to lead the bowling charts with his wicket-taking skills. Unfortunately, Kuldeep could not sustain the pressure of big games and only managed 6 wickets in 7 games.
It can be said that the youngster was found out when the batsmen started attacking him. He remained wicketless on two occasions and lacked control in middle-overs which hindered the team’s bowling plans.
10) West Indies
Hit – Sheldon Cottrell
The Caribbean team continued its hit and miss affair in white ball cricket. On paper, Jason Holder’s side was strong enough to beat the best of the teams. The power-packed batting unit had its moments but was unable to close off games in tight situations. The pace battery also made its presence felt but at times remained erratic. Only Sheldon Cottrell brought some respectability to the bowling unit.
The speedster was one of the positives for the island nation in a rather dull campaign. Cottrell picked up 12 wickets in 9 games and often provided the skipper with a breakthrough in powerplay overs. Apart from his bowling, the pacer was very efficient with his skills on the field as nobody can forget his stunning piece of fielding when he caught Steve Smith on the boundary. Cottrell played the game with the presence of mind which his fellow cricketer, Andre Russell failed to do.
Flop – Andre Russell
The all-rounder was picked in the squad because of his good returns in IPL. Russell played 4 games in which he scaled 5 wickets and looked threatening each time when the ball was handed to him. While in his batting the striker was never able to curb his instincts and play according to the situation.
In the game against Australia, he threw away his wicket when the team needed him to play a supporting role to the skipper. He made a total of 36 runs in 3 outings and became a liability for the side due to his injury concerns.
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