The World Cup trophy was not meant to be his, but India’s ‘Captain Fearless’ Rohit Sharma gave everything on the field and so did Mohammed Shami, who set the record for most fifers in the tournament’s history. India’s World Cup dream also had Virat Kohli creating history with his 765 runs and notching up the 50th century to finish as the Player of the Tournament, but there were remarkable performers from the other teams as well. South Africa once again crashed in the semifinal stage but looked formidable yet again, courtesy aggressive batters such as Quinton de Kock and Heinrich Klaasen and for New Zealand, the young Rachin Ravindra made it a tournament to remember.
As the new cycle begins for the 2027 edition, here is a look at the top performers of the recently-concluded quadrennial event:
Rohit Sharma: His journey in 50-overs World Cup may have ended with India’s crushing defeat in Ahmedabad, but he can always look back at his own performance and feel nothing but proud about how he delivered.
Fearless with the bat and never for once putting a price on his wicket, Rohit rocketed past the ideals of Mumbai’s school of batting, banishing the very principles he came from to set an unprecedented example for any Indian skipper.
Striking at 125.94, Rohit’s 597 runs in 11 matches at 54.27 are now the most for any captain across the 13 editions of one-day World Cups.
He demolished Pakistan with a belligerent 86, raked up 136 against the Netherlands but what made India the beast they were in this World Cup were largely due to Rohit’s early onslaughts.
The numbers will show Rohit making many rapid 40s, but almost each of those knocks took the wind away from the opposition bowling attacks, which in return could not stop the Indian batters’ juggernaut.
Mohammed Shami:He came into the scheme of things only when India were forced to shift to plan B following Hardik Pandya’s exit. But ‘Special Shami’, who missed four games, took up the challenge to emerge as the best bowler in the competition. He delivered with 24 wickets in only seven outings at 12.20.
The batters appeared sitting ducks against the ‘Amroha Express’, who derailed the best of their plans with his precision and impeccable seam presentation off the surface or in the air — so what if he lacks express pace in his repertoire.
The pain of doing everything within his power yet losing the final may linger on in time to come, but Shami will cherish this World Cup which firmly established him as one of the finest at the grandest stage.
Rachin Ravindra:The Kiwi star-in-making was undoubtedly the ‘find of the tournament’. At the age of 23, the curly-haired truly enjoyed his homecoming in India and went about in his first global competition as if he knew his way around these lanes for ages.
Ravindra’s fledgling career has witnessed him striking not one but three centuries at the biggest stage, amassing 578 runs in 10 matches at 64.22 with two fifties as well.
He began with a splendid 123 not out in the World Cup opener against England in Ahmedabad, a game in which Ravindra was picked ahead of the in-form Will Young and asked to open and went on to pile on tons against Australia (116) and Pakistan (108).
Quinton de Kock:The Proteas wicketkeeper-batter’s last hurrah in 50-overs cricket was his best run ever in the format. With four centuries yielding 594 runs in 10 matches at 59.40, de Kock set the record for most runs for a South African batter at World Cup stage.
Aggressive, unrelenting and at times ruthless in ripping apart bowling attacks, de Kock’s golden run with the bat carried South Africa into the semifinals. His 174 against Bangladesh in Mumbai is now the second highest individual total for a South African batter in World Cups.
Adam Zampa:Not the biggest attraction in a star-studded Australian line-up but certainly the most effective.
For a leg-spinner who considers himself as the ‘least skilful’ compared to his peers on the block, Zampa’s 23 wickets in 11 outings proved how meticulous he had been in his research before games and execution of his plans.
Statistically, his best spell came against the Netherlands (4/8) and he also took four-fors against Pakistan (4/53) and Sri Lanka (4/47). His 3/21 against old rivals England delivered Australia a win to remember when they were collectively rusty but still doing enough to conjure wins.
One of the hardest working players on the block, if not naturally talented, Zampa’s feats helped him carve a niche of his own.
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