The World Cup is a tournament where big match players stand up for their teams. Even in this edition stars like Rohit Sharma, Mitchell Starc and Shakib Al Hasan have raised to the occasion. The cricketing fraternity has showered praises on the gallantry efforts of these cricketers. Along with them, there are certain individuals who have also received a lot of flak for their below-par outings.
The important factor surrounding these players is their current form which sometimes plays hide and seek with the best of the cricketers. There are times when a player goes through a good patch before an important series but then the things start to head in the wrong direction in the nick of time. It happens because of performance pressure and mental fatigue which needs to be addressed ahead of a big tournament otherwise it can hamper the entire team in a negative manner.
Here is the list of 5 in-form players who were biggest flops in the 2019 World Cup
1. Rashid Khan – Afghanistan
The Afghanistan team was not able to weave the magic in the 2019 World Cup as most of their magicians flattered to deceive the audience. One of them was Rashid Khan whose tricks got revealed at the wrong time. The leg-spin protege was expected to be the trump card for the Asian side with his hot run of form in white ball cricket. He was the highest wicket-taker in ODIs after the 2015 edition with 125 wickets.
Unfortunately, the stage fright got the better of him as the tweaker just scaled 6 wickets in the entire tournament. Rashid got whacked to all parts of the ground and his famed variations were not threatening for the opposition. He conceded runs at a rate of 5.79 and his strike rate was 71.83 which are not the numbers generated by a top-ranked bowler. Especially in the game against England, the spin wizard looked completely clueless as he bowled the most expensive spell of a World Cup tie with the figures of 0/110 in 9 overs.
2. Chris Gayle – West Indies
Very few people can hit the ball as hard as Christopher Henry Gayle and his power game was going to decide the fortunes of Windies in this World Cup. The left-hander was the leader of the pack which contained stars like Shimron Hetmyer and Andre Russell. Just before the tournament, Gayle found his lost mojo in the 50 over format in the series against Brits where he crunched two jaw-dropping tons. Even in IPL 2019, he piled up 490 runs in 13 games while playing for the Punjab franchise.
The Party Man of the Caribbean team set the tone with a quick-fire half-century against Pakistan but then the host disappeared from the limelight. Gayle ended up with 242 runs in 9 games which is not acceptable from a player who has represented the nation in 5 World Cups. He failed to provide the side with brisk starts which put his opening partners under pressure in powerplays. This time the Universe Boss left the office very early which is quite odd.
3. Yuzvendra Chahal – India
India finished on top of the points table with some astounding efforts from their top-order batsmen and all-around performance from their bowling unit. The leg-spin duo of Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal were supposed to provide the skipper with required control in middle-overs. In the last couple of years, both the tweakers have been important weapons of Virat Kohli’s arsenal. Even the numbers suggest the same as they scalped 103 wickets in 28 games when they have played together in the lead up to 2019 World Cup.
England is one of the places where slow bowlers can struggle to get enough purchase of the surfaces. The Indian spinners have also found it difficult as they have accounted for just 18 wickets in 15 games. Especially Yuzvendra Chahal who has been inconsistent with his line and lengths and has been leaking runs frequently. Against the hosts, England he bowled the expensive spell of his ODI career as his figures read 0/88. Though he has scalped 12 wickets his economy rate of 5.97 is the worst for him in a 50 over series where he has played more than one game.
4. Kagiso Rabada – South Africa
Once again the Proteas have underperformed in an ICC event and now will return to the drawing board for planning their next expedition. The side was touted one of the favorites to lift the trophy ahead of the tournament because of their envious pace bowling attack. With Kagiso Rabada as their spearhead, the African nation had the most exciting fast bowling prospect of recent times. The youngster was going through a purple patch in white ball cricket as he picked up 25 wickets in 12 games in IPL 2019.
As it turned out the speedster hit the accelerator pedal too early in his race and ran out of gas in the important lap. In the absence of Dale Steyn, Rabada needed to bring his A game for the Faf Du Plessis-led side to have a crack at the knock-out stages. KG bowled a couple of fearsome spells but was off-color in the rest of the games. He picked up 11 wickets in 9 ties but remained wicketless on two occasions which is the not the kind of record a team expects from a star performer. Again it can be considered a classic case of a South African player failing to deliver at the biggest stage.
5. Tamim Iqbal – Bangladesh
Barring a couple of encounters, the Bangla tigers played some exciting cricket throughout the tournament. It was their best chance to crack the championship code as the squad had a proper mix of experience and exuberance. The team needed good starts and the onus was on Tamim Iqbal to lay the platform for a solid middle-order including Shakib Al Hasan and Mushfiqur Rahim. Last year the left-hander averaged 85 in ODIs and he also piled up 176 runs at the start of 2019 in the nation’s first tri-series victory.
The Asian team had their moments in the 2019 World Cup which was shaped by their star all-rounder, Shakib but his efforts needed a push from a veteran like Tamim Iqbal. The experienced campaigner was to able to gather only 235 runs in 8 outings. Even his strike rate of 71 didn’t help the cause when the side was chasing mammoth totals. Particularly his approach against Australia and India when the side was hunting a score of over 300 was baffling. In the end, the team fell short by small margins as Tamim never shouldered the responsibility of guiding the team home.
These players were expected to keep their sides in the ascendancy but their soggy performances have cost their teams heavily.
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