With the 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup now in its midway tenure, the spectators and the fans have well and truly gotten a glimpse of what lies ahead; apart from the rain of course. In what was predicted to be a run-fest by most of the experts and former players alike, this World Cup in England has mostly highlighted batsmen’s inability to work under pressure.
In the midst, however, we all have been a bystander to several brilliant individual performances. Right from Jason Roy’s knocks to Mohammad Amir’s excellency, this World Cup hasn’t shied away from delivering some of the best figures of all time. And with that being said, here we look at the top five standout performers thus far in this edition.
SHAKIB AL HASAN
Speaking of hits, it would be harsh to not mention the best all-rounder the world is witnessing at the moment. Despite coming off the back of an injury-hit tenure, the 32-year-old has taken the World Cup by storm, scoring fifty-plus runs in every game he has played thus far.
Shakib might as well turn out to be one of the Man of the tournament candidates in this WC, he's doing a job exactly like Yuvi did for India in 2011 WC,but the bigger question remains if he can push Bangladesh that far like 2011 India. #ShakibAlHasan #RiseOfTheTigers #CWC19— Udit (@udit_buch) June 18, 2019
Starting right from his 75-run knock against South Africa in Bangladesh’s tournament opener, Shakib continued his form by scoring 64 and picking 2/47 against New Zealand, albeit in a losing cause. Thereafter, the all-rounder went on to score a massive 121 against one of the fiercest bowling attacks, England. And against West Indies at Taunton on June 17, he bettered his tally by scoring an unbeaten 124 and picking 2 wickets for 54. In the midst of it all, he became the fastest player to score 6000 runs and pick 250 plus wickets, thus, entering the league of elites which includes the likes of Sanath Jayasuriya and Jacques Kallis.
Speaking of Asian dominance, a certain Mohammad Amir has stood out with his amazing spells in a rather underwhelming tenure for Pakistan. His figures of 13 wickets in four games while conceding a mere 170 runs is the best return amongst those who have picked 10 or plus wickets in this World Cup. In fact, his bowling average of 13.07 is only bettered by New Zealand’s Jimmy Neesham (12.66), considering the bowlers who have played four matches.
Amir’s best performance in the World Cup came against Australia on June 12 in Taunton. Maintaining an economy of just 3.00, the pacer ended with an impressive five-wicket haul while conceding just 30 runs in 10 overs. Even during the high-profile clash against India, the 27-year-old notched up impressive figures of 10-1-47-3.
Joe Root’s reputation of being an anchorman to becoming a power hitter for England has well and truly been defined at the World Cup. Starting off with a half-century against South Africa in England’s tournament opener, the 30-year-old has managed to outclass every single opponent thus far (barring the Bangla Tigers of course). En route, he has achieved several records, which includes becoming the first player to score three World Cup tons for England.
Furthermore, following his antics against West Indies in Southampton on June 14, he became only the second player to score a ton, pick two wickets and get two catches in the same game after Sri Lanka’s Aravinda de Silva. You see, there are so many records we can talk about here.
The reputation of being India’s ‘Hitman’ has once again been perfectly personified by World’s No. 2 ODI batsman. A solitary half-century and two tons in three World Cup fixtures are a perfect testament to how important this man has been for India in their undefeated campaign thus far. Furthermore, his average of 159.50 after just three games is the best in this year’s World Cup so far. Now with Shikhar Dhawan ruled out for the rest of the campaign, the onus will be on Rohit once again to give India a perfect start, something they are best known for, in the remaining fixtures.
This Kane Williamson led New Zealand have been heavily reliant on their pace battery at the World Cup. And you just cannot argue over their reliance anyway. The way their contingent has been performing of late is sure to bring the worst nightmare for even the best batsmen in the world.
And one amongst the lot is a man with a twirled moustache, Lockie Ferguson. Picking wickets for fun while delivering the balls at a smashing pace has been Ferguson’s USP in this World Cup. Starting off with a three-wick haul against Sri Lanka in the Kiwi’s tournament opener, the 28-year-old continued his rich vein of form with figures of 4/37 against Afghanistan and 3/59 against South Africa. In a tournament where the likes of Jofra Archer and Jasprit Bumrah have gathered all the attention, a certain Lockie Ferguson has shown his class as well.
Feature image courtesy: AFP / Saeed Khan