Team India has been one of the best cricket teams around the world in the last two years. Thus, it is only just that they were termed the hot favourites ahead of the World Cup 2019. Many backed the ‘Men in Blue’ to easily reach the final and even lift the title for the third time. While it was all going good until the league stages, a few mistakes in the knockout match proved to be costly.
In the semi-final against New Zealand, India lost its top order quite early in the game and thus the middle order was exposed. The batsmen did fight back but their efforts just weren’t enough to take them through. While this ended up being a disappointing campaign, the team can be proud of some of the performances they put up during the course of the tournament. On that note, here is how each of the players in the squad fared in the quadrennial event.
Team India Player Ratings for the World Cup 2019:
Rohit Sharma – 9.5/10
Rohit Sharma. (Photo Source: Twitter)
Indian vice-captain Rohit Sharma was on a whole different level in this tournament. There are hardly two or three matches where he didn’t perform up to the mark. Scoring five centuries and a half-century in 9 innings is not a joke and he lived a dream.
It was an absolute record-breaking tournament for him. Rohit hit 14 sixes and 67 fours in these nine games and scored 648 runs at an average of 81. However, it was a huge disappointment that he couldn’t deliver when it mattered the most.
In the semi-final, he perished early and thus misses out on a perfect 10. His strike rate (98.33) in the tournament was also fabulous. It would have been a fairy tale finish for him had he scored a few more runs in the semis and guided India into the final. Then, he might have even broken Sachin Tendulkar’s record for most runs in a single World Cup edition.
KL Rahul – 7.5/10
KL Rahul. (Photo Source: Twitter)
It wasn’t easy being KL Rahul during the World Cup 2019 and he was tested a lot. First, he was the reserve opener. Then, after the great performance in the warm-up game, he was given the role to bat at number four. But even before he really settled into this position, Shikhar Dhawan got injured. Thus, Rahul was asked to open the innings.
While he was up to the challenge, his strike rates in the tournament were a concern. He mustered 361 runs at an average of 45.12 and strike rate of 77.46. Rahul was one of the three Indian batsmen who got to the triple figures in the tournament and thus he gets 7.5.
He might have got a few more points had he scored his runs at a better strike rate. But that was possibly what the management asked him to do and he did his job really well. However, his travails while facing the moving ball still exist and the talented batsman should look to iron out the flaws as soon as possible to seal his place in the team on a long term basis.
Virat Kohli – 7.5/10
Virat Kohli. (Photo Source: Twitter)
Virat Kohli could be the best batsman in the world at the moment but it is fair to say that his campaign wasn’t as impressive. He became the first captain to score five consecutive half-centuries in a World Cup game. However, for the standards he has set up over the years, it was shocking to see him not get to the triple figures even once.
Kohli scored 443 runs in the tournament out of which 364 runs came when he hit those five half-centuries. On the remaining four instances, he only scored 79 runs and was also unbeaten on 34 in the game against Sri Lanka. Just like in the Champions Trophy 2017 final, he faltered when his team required him the most and got out for only 1 against New Zealand.
He even made some arguable choices as captain. Sending MS Dhoni way too down the order in the semi-final wasn’t acceptable for many. Moreover, he shuffled around with the number four a lot of times. Mohammed Shami was given very few opportunities despite doing well.
Rishabh Pant – 3.5/10
Rishabh Pant. (Photo by Christopher Lee-IDI/IDI via Getty Images)
Rishabh Pant was not preferred when the initial squad for the World Cup was picked. However, Dhawan’s injury turned out to be a blessing in disguise for him. He was slotted into the playing eleven and the management also handed him the massive responsibility of batting at number four.
The inexperience and a not-so-good temperament clearly showed in his batting style. In fact, he got lucky on quite a few instances and thus managed to pile on the runs. In his World Cup debut game, he was fortunate in the initial part of the innings. The nerves, however, settled down once he got off the mark.
He got into the thirties twice and his highest score in the tournament was 48. Pant scored 116 runs in 4 games at an average of 29 and didn’t look completely convincing. Though, he is a work in progress and is expected to improve soon. India should invest more in Pant and groom him properly in the next couple of years with MS Dhoni likely to retire soon.
MS Dhoni – 6/10
MS Dhoni dismissal. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)
In the last few days, there has been a lot of talk about the retirement of MS Dhoni who was the fourth-highest run-scorer for India in the World Cup 2019. Dhoni seemed to be in fine touch but it is the number of dot balls he consumed which irked the fans.
Even after consuming all those deliveries, Dhoni wasn’t able to finish the innings off or get a team over the line on a couple of instances. Clearly, it seemed as if he was overburdened to take up the additional responsibility due to the inexperience of the other batsmen. In the process, the Ranchi cricketer couldn’t express himself and play freely.
Dhoni scored 273 runs in 8 innings at an average of 45.50 and a pretty good strike rate of 87.78. He also registered a couple of half-centuries which are quite decent numbers. Currently, he put his retirement plans on break and is serving the Indian Army.
Hardik Pandya – 7/10
Hardik Pandya of India. (Photo Source: Twitter)
Hardik Pandya was battling a back injury throughout the tournament and did well to push himself to play all the nine games. The all-rounder was used as a floater in the batting line-up and he subjected the opponents to pressure with his aggressive batting. Pandya scored 226 runs at a strike rate of over 112 which was great to watch.
However, he couldn’t play the long innings and thus didn’t go past the 50-run mark even once. With the ball, though, he was quite useful. While he went for a few runs at times, Pandya quickly analysed the conditions and adjusted the areas where he bowled.
Pandya picked up 10 wickets and bowled 79 overs in the 9 matches he played which is quite impressive. One would feel that the team management didn’t use him in the best possible way. Pandya might have been more effective had he come out to bat at number five or six in the semis. He didn’t always reach the expectations batting at four.
Ravindra Jadeja – 7/10
Ravindra Jadeja. (Photo Source: Twitter)
The rating that Ravindra Jadeja got despite playing only two games might surprise some of you. But the fact is that Ravindra Jadeja was one of India’s go-to fielders throughout the tournament. He was often brought in as a substitute for players and did a fabulous job.
Jadeja saved over 40 runs in the field and was undoubtedly the best in the tournament. Moreover, he took some mind-blowing catches which helped the team stay ahead in the game. His knock against New Zealand in the semi-final is something that no one would forget in a long time.
He was the one who kept India alive right till the end with some fabulous batting. It was unfortunate that he got out towards the end after doing a majority of the job and would have been great had he seen the team through. Jadeja scored 77 runs with the bat and picked up two wickets.
Kedar Jadhav – 1/10
Kedar Jadhav. (Photo by Martin Rickett/PA Images via Getty Images)
The tournament didn’t really pan out as per plans for Kedar Jadhav. It was expected that he’d take up the role of the sixth bowler in the team and also play a vital role down the order. But against the moving delivery, Kedar found it really tough.
He batted in five innings and faced a total of 99 balls. However, he could score only 80 runs out of which 52 came in one game. Jadhav’s strike rate of 80 was not really impressive for someone who bats at six or seven. In the game against England, he hardly showed any intent and didn’t try to chase the target down.
Moreover, he remained unbeaten thrice which still kept his average as high as 40. He bowled six overs in all the games that he played but couldn’t pick up any wickets. Since he didn’t have a major role to play in India’s success, he only gets 1/10.
Dinesh Karthik – 1/10
Dinesh Karthik. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)
A lot was expected from Dinesh Karthik in this tournament. After a 15-year-long wait, he finally got to debut in a World Cup game. However, he failed to unleash his full potential which resulted in a huge disappointment.
It was believed that Karthik could take up the role of the finisher and accelerate the innings towards the end. However, that wasn’t really the case. He got to bat in two innings out of three but couldn’t pile on many runs. Karthik only scored 14 runs at an average of 7.
His strike rate of 41.17 isn’t pleasing either. Even though he had a chance to be the nation’s hero in the semis, an excellent catch from James Neesham put a full stop to his World Cup campaign. Looking at the current scenario, it will be quite tough for him to get back into the team.
Kuldeep Yadav – 2/10
Kuldeep Yadav. (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)
After his miserable IPL season, there were a lot of questions surrounding Kuldeep Yadav’s form and his place in the squad. However, the skipper and the management kept enough faith in him and gave him a chance in the starting eleven. Kuldeep was a regular feature in the side for the first few games.
However, his poor performances resulted in the management being forced to sideline him. In the 7 matches that Kuldeep Yadav took the field, he picked up 6 wickets at an average of 56.16 and a strike rate of 67. His economy rate was also high for someone who operates in the middle overs.
The chinaman’s variations weren’t much effective and the batsmen found it easy facing him. Moreover, they tried counterattacking him which put further pressure on the bowler. But the ball that he bowled to dismiss Babar Azam remains to be a memorable one.
Mohammed Shami – 7.5/10
Mohammed Shami. (Photo Source: Twitter)
Despite being in great form, Mohammed Shami was never the first-choice pick in the eleven. This could be one of the biggest tactical blunders from Virat Kohli. Shami got his break when Bhuvneshwar Kumar injured his hamstring.
Right from the first game that he played, he impressed everyone with his wicket-taking ability. Shami was the second-highest wicket-taker for India in the tournament. In only four games that he played, he picked up 14 wickets including two four-wicket hauls and a five-wicket haul.
It was unfortunate to see him warm the bench after Bhuvneshwar returned. Shami’s inability to bowl well at the death was one of his biggest nemesis. Yet, it’d have been great if India went ahead with three pacers in the line-up for a majority of the games.
Jasprit Bumrah – 8.5/10
Jasprit Bumrah. (Photo Source: Twitter)
Jasprit Bumrah, without a second thought, was India’s best bowler in the tournament. He swung the ball both ways, mixed up his lines and lengths and often set up batsmen with great precision. Virat Kohli trusted Bumrah to bowl most of the overs at the death and the bowling spearhead didn’t disappoint.
In the match against Afghanistan, he did a great job in the final few overs and helped India register a memorable win. Bumrah played all the games in the tournament and was the leading wicket-taker for India. He bowled 84 overs in total and picked up 18 wickets at an average of 20.61 and strike rate of 28.
Bumrah also registered one four-wicket haul in the tournament and was quite economical as well. However, there were a few games where the batsmen tried to go after him. Bumrah didn’t have luck on his side on a few occasions but in those matches, he ended up conceding quite a few runs.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar – 6/10
Bhuvneshwar Kumar. (Photo by Henry Browne/Getty Images)
Coming back from various injuries, Bhuvneshwar Kumar wasn’t at his complete best in the World Cup 2019. He bowled well in patches but failed to maintain the consistency. He couldn’t pick up a four-wicket or a five-wicket haul in the tournament but did a fair job.
Bhuvi tested the batsmen by swinging the new ball both the ways. Moreover, he was good at the death as well and thus was preferred over Shami. In the 6 games that he played, Bhuvi picked up 10 wickets.
But, midway through the tournament, he hurt his hamstring but did well to recover in time. These injuries have definitely taken a toll on his body. In a way, it has affected his performance and bowling speeds as well.
Yuzvendra Chahal – 5.5/10
Yuzvendra Chahal. (Photo Source: Twitter)
Oppositions have been particularly wary of Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav in recent times. There has been a lot of analysis going on and the batsmen are much more comfortable facing them now. They are picking up the variations really well and handled Yuzvendra Chahal brilliantly in the tournament.
The leg-spinner was constantly put under pressure as the teams looked to go after him. Thus, Chahal conceded almost 6 runs an over in the World Cup 2019. He picked up 12 wickets at an average and strike rate of almost 37.
It wasn’t the best of tournaments on a personal front for Chahal. He will now need to work on a few aspects of the game to disguise his variations better. Also, he shouldn’t look to attack too much as he has conceded a lot of runs in the process.
Shikhar Dhawan – 7/10
Shikhar Dhawan. (Photo by Henry Browne/Getty Images)
Shikhar Dhawan played just two games in the tournament. Yet, he gets a rating of 7 for his efforts and commitment. After getting out early against South Africa, he more than made up for it in the game against Australia.
Very early in his innings, he was hit on his finger and seemed to be in extreme pain. However, he continued to bat with great grit and determination. Dhawan scored a mind-boggling hundred in that game despite the conditions being slightly tough.
He scored 117 runs in that match and 125 runs overall in the tournament. It was later revealed that he had a fracture in his finger and had to be ruled out which was disappointing. Despite playing just two games, Dhawan finished as the sixth-highest run-scorer for India.
Vijay Shankar – 3/10
Vijay Shankar. (Photo Source: Twitter)
The way Vijay Shankar played in the World Cup 2019 was disappointing. His poor form continued from the IPL and he failed to capitalise on the chances that he got. He was entrusted to bat at the crucial number four position on one or two occasions.
But he struggled against the swinging ball. Shankar often tried to poke at deliveries bowled outside the off-stump. This resulted in outside edges and he wasn’t really decisive with his shots. He might have got a few more games under his belt if not for the toe-crusher in the nets from Jasprit Bumrah.
In the three innings where he batted, Shankar mustered only 58 runs which included the highest score of 29. He bowled really well in the game against Pakistan and picked up two crucial wickets for the team as well. Of the first ball that he bowled in the tournament, he got the better of Imam-ul-Haq.
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