We are halfway through the league stage of the 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup and the points table has gradually begun to take shape with the usual suspects in India, England, New Zealand and Australia leading the way. Several consistent performers like Joe Root, Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli, amongst others, have stamped their authority at the global competition, but a few expected big guns have failed to deliver thus far.
Here we take a look at the top five flops of this edition till the midway stage.
The 31-year-old West Indian superstar came into the tournament with a lot of expectations, given his tremendous showings in the Indian T20 League. The beginning was quite spectacular as he ripped through Pakistan’s Fakhar Zaman and Haris Sohail in a real statement of purpose and power in his first overs in the World Cup. However, soon enough, his lingering knee problem started to wade in and prematurely ended his innings. While he tried to fight through the pain against Australia, England and Bangladesh, the discomfort was far too much to hide and perhaps, in his best interest, he should take a break.
after all Shoaib Malik scored more commercial airtime on our TV screens than runs on the board for this world cup.— Umar Farooq Kalson (@kalson) June 16, 2019
The veteran all-rounder has been the backbone of the Pakistani middle-order over the past couple of seasons. The 37-year-old had a good Asia Cup in 2018 and performed well in the tour to South Africa as well, getting the reputation of being Pakistan’s crisis man in case of a top-order collapse. However, come the World Cup, Malik has fallen horribly out of form, with scores of 8, 0 and 0 in the three games he has played until now. He’s also been extremely ineffective with the ball in hand, picking up only one wicket so far.
We’ve just heard that Rashid Khan has scored Afghanistan’s first century of the #CWC19! Wow! 110 from 56 balls. The most runs ever scored by a bowler in the World Cup or something. Well batted young man. #ENGvAFG #AFGvENG pic.twitter.com/3vklzCeIJt— Iceland Cricket (@icelandcricket) June 18, 2019
After great success in the Indian T20 league, a lot was expected of Afghanistan’s star leg spinner, Rashid Khan. Prior to the start of the tournament, he sat third in the ODI ranking for bowlers, with several opposition teams struggling to pick his spin and variations. Khan, though, has tanked at the grandest stage, creating a horrible record of having the most expensive bowling figures at a World Cup, when he was smashed for 110 runs against England. The 20-year-old has managed to pick up just three wickets in his five games and has an economy rate north of seven runs an over. The Afghan sensation would be hoping for a better showing in the second half of the league stage.
Interesting that both Chris Gayle and Andre Russell who didn’t play in recent tri series in Ireland, were both out for ducks. #BANvWI— Saber H Chowdhury (@saberhc) June 17, 2019
The ‘Universe Boss’ was the second highest run-getter for the Punjab team at the 2019 Indian T20 League and before that, had a splendid home series against England, where he averaged a whopping 106. Gayle has scored two fifties and two centuries thus far in the calendar year but has struggled to make that form count come the World Cup. He’s got only one fifty so far, which came in the opening game against Pakistan but since then, has been quite poor, with his 14-ball duck against Bangladesh on June 17 being a testament of the same.
ANGELO MATHEWS— Sam Landsberger 🗯 (@SamLandsberger) June 15, 2019
0 (9) vs New Zealand
0 (2) vs Afghanistan
9 (11) vs Australia
3/9 (22 balls).
Not a great #CWC19.
Sri Lanka have been in a period of transition since the past couple of years and weren’t the favourites to get to the semi-finals of the World Cup this time around. Nevertheless, they have a good blend of youth and experience in their mix with most of their veteran stars like Lasith Malinga and Dimuth Karunaratne rolling back the years. Angelo Mathews though has been a disappointment for the Lankan Lions, struggling with both bat and ball. The 32-year-old’s highest score in the competition so far has been nine, with two zeroes as well to his name. Mathews has failed to resurrect the Sri Lankan innings from difficult positions, something he did with ease a few years back.
Feature image courtesy: AFP Photo/ Dibyangshu Sarkar