With the 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup finally reaching its penultimate round, the semi-finals, fans have been at the receiving end of some extravagant moments over the month. Right from Mitchell Starc’s artistry with the ball to Rohit Sharma treating the spectators to mere perfection, this tournament has well and truly delivered what was promised.
In the midst, however, several disappointments have overshadowed the positives of the tournament. For the starters, the chagrin West Indies suffered after beating Pakistan in their opening fixture certainly wasn’t what the fans had hoped. Unvaryingly, many veterans have fallen flat as well. That being said, here is Stumped’s Worst XI from the league phase:
Note: At least one player has been picked from each country.
Openers: Chris Gayle (West Indies), Martin Guptill (New Zealand)
Arriving on the back of total domination of England bowlers during the latter’s tour of West Indies earlier this year, a lot was expected of the self-proclaimed ‘Universal Boss.’ A career spanning 20 long years, however, ended in a total catastrophe. 242 runs in nine games (eight innings) at 30.25, which included just two half-centuries, summed the all-rounder’s final World Cup of his career. The southpaw was majorly inclined towards getting a loud cheer from the audience rather than actually speaking when it mattered the most.
Martin Guptill, on the other hand, was a mere disappointment as well. Apart from his unbeaten 73 off 51 deliveries in New Zealand’s tournament opener against Sri Lanka, the 32-year-old did nothing to give his side a worthy start ever since. A figure of 166 runs in eight innings sums up how his tournament became nothing but a damp squib.
Number 3: Hashim Amla (South Africa)
Even though he has wished to continue, there is absolutely no denying the fact that this was Hashim Amla’s final World Cup appearance. Thus, not just South Africa, but even the neutrals had hoped for a better tenure. As it turned out though, he returned with a figure of 203 runs in seven innings, registering just 16 fours in the midst, as South Africa once again failed to assert their authority in an ICC tournament.
Number 4: Kusal Mendis (Sri Lanka)
Arriving on the back of a decent blend of youth to that of experienced campaigners, Sri Lanka’s Kusal Mendis was expected to his lead his batting contingent, which was struggling for grip in the middle. Following a decent start – 37 against South Africa and 24 against Australia – the 24-year-old failed to provide anything worthy. In seven innings he has played in the tournament, Mendis has scored mere 143 at a lowly 20.42. His 68-ball 46 is his only positive highlight of the tournament.
Number 5: MS Dhoni (India)
Former captain, MS Dhoni has been a subject of massive backlash from the fans, especially after his substandard performance at the World Cup. Sure he has been India’s only glaring light in their shaky middle order, but the 38-year-old hasn’t really lived up to the expectations, and the fact that he has scored mere 223 runs in seven innings, which includes a solidary half-century, is a perfect testament of it. And not to forget the countless dot balls. It has been said before, but maybe the time has come for him to hand the battalion to someone else.
Numbers 6: Glenn Maxwell (Australia)
Coming on the back of dismantling the Pakistan bowling attack just before the World Cup, Australian all-rounder Glenn Maxwell was supposed to back his team in case of top-order collapse. And although the Aussies hardly came at the receiving end of such misfortune, he failed bitterly whenever given the stage. After nine innings, the 30-year-old has scored just 155 runs at 22.14. Even with the ball, he has failed to scalp even a single wicket.
Number 7: Rashid Khan (Afghanistan)
Afghanistan’s very own, Rashid Khan has done little justice to live up the hype which surrounded him ahead of the World Cup. Following a decent return in the Indian T20 League, the 20-year-old was expected to set the tournament ablaze. He rather delivered a subpar performance with both bat and surprisingly with the ball. His only highlight, however unfortunate it is, remains conceding 110 in nine overs against England. He has travelled back home with just six wickets in eight innings, with a personal best tally of 2/17. Furthermore, his bowling average of 69.33 is worst amongst the bowlers who have picked at least five wickets in the tournament.
Number 8: Mashrafe Mortaza (Bangladesh)
While he was expected to lead a rejuvenated Bangladesh unit right from the front, captain Mashrafe Mortaza fell flat in his attempts to an extent that solidary wicket against England where he conceded 68 runs, in Cardiff, on June 8 remains his only high of the tournament.
Number 9: Adil Rashid (England)
Having entered the tournament as England’s front-line spinner with a hope of bamboozling his opponent, 31-year-old Adil Rashid has rather failed to deliver what was promised. A return of just eight wickets in nine games, and a bowling average of 54.12 particularly remains a below-par repay for a bowler of his standard.
Number 10: Hasan Ali (Pakistan)
Hasan Ali was decoded by England during the Pakistan series just before the World Cup. Yet playing him at such grand tournament was arguably the biggest risk the Men in Green took. And it took them four matches to figure out Ali wasn’t performing the way he was expected to. An average, economy and strike rate of 128.00, 7.75 and 99.0 respectively was registered by the bowler after scalping just two wickets in his kitty.
Number 11: Kagiso Rabada (South Africa)
Having picked 25 wickets in 12 Indian T20 League games just ahead of the World Cup, Rabada was expected to dazzle even the best batsmen in England. A truly disappointing tenure for South Africa, however, saw the 24-year-old falling from the grace to an extent that he only managed 11 wickets in eight innings, recording a personal best of 3/56 at an average and strike rate of 36.09 and 42.5 respectively.