The 2019 Cricket World Cup, after seven exhilarating weeks, is now over, with England, by the closest of margins, and in a game that will never be forgotten, winning the tournament with New Zealand the luckless runners up.
All ten countries that participated though will look back with pride on a competition that was filled with drama, excitement, passion, intensity and a superb standard of one day cricket that has to go down as the best World Cup ever.
Here, we nominate our ‘Team of the Tournament’. An exceptionally difficult task with so many standout players and performances….but an XI that we feel deserve to be included nonetheless. We have picked players to fit in with their ‘usual’ batting position, and kept a balance (where possible!).
OPENING BATSMEN : Selected : Jason Roy (ENG) & Rohit Sharma (IND)
Combine an explosive power hitter with a technically superb run getter, and we feel you have the best of both worlds in an opening duo. Sharma (above) was the top scorer at this years World Cup, accumulating 648 runs at an average of 81 and scoring five centuries along the way. His inclusion, we feel, is automatic. Roy formed part of an outstanding opening combo with Jonny Bairstow, who had to be considered with many others, but it was Roy whom England missed so badly in the middle part of the group stages. His return – and runs – were pivotal to England’s rediscovery of form and ultimate victory. Its a shame one of these aren’t left handed – but we would send them out to bat against any attack in any condition and be very confident of a healthy partnership.
Honourable Mentions : Jonny Bairstow (Eng), David Warner (Aus), Aaron Finch (Aus)
BATSMEN NUMBERS 3 – 6 : Selected : Shakib Al Hasan (BAN), Kane Williamson (NZ), Ben Stokes (ENG), James Neesham (NZ)
So much talent to choose from – so few places to offer. Here, we have to acknowledge that we have an eye on bowling options also – but even so, purely from a batting perspective, all are deserving. Al Hasan (above) was superb for Bangladesh coming in first wicket down – he scored 606 runs at the highest average achieved of ALL World Cup batsmen – 86.57. His low score was 41 – and that was the only time he didn’t score a half century or better. Outstanding. Kane Williamson was selected as tournament MVP – not just for his batting (578 runs at 82.57) but his inspirational captaincy – and he would be our skipper also.
Theres not much we can say about Ben Stokes that hasn’t been said. A batting average of 66.42 more than respectable at #5 in itself – but throw in his wickets and outstanding work in the field – and he is an auto pick. James Neesham may raise a few eyebrows in at #6 – but, again, he is a superb all rounder – capable of quick, soul destroying runs when needed, a tournament High Score of 97 not out, excellent with the ball and in the field also. He was so close to winning the World Cup for his country in that final.
Honourable Mentions : Joe Root (Eng), Virat Kohli (Ind), Babar Azam (Pak), Eoin Morgan (Eng), Liton Das (Ban)
WICKETKEEPER/BAT : Selected : M S Dhoni (IND)
Dhoni, despite his advancing years, continues to excel with the willow and gloves, notwithstanding a keen eye and tactical astuteness from behind the wickets in imparting advice to his captain and bowlers alike. Some crucial mid innings runs and one of the best finishers in the game, Dhoni just gets the nod from a ruck of other glovesmen whom looked destined to take the mantle of the Indian great – but not just yet.
Honourable Mentions : Jos Buttler (Eng), Alex Carey (Aus), Tim Latham (NZ), Shai Hope (WI)
BOWLERS 8-11 : Selected : Liam Plunkett (ENG, Jofra Archer (ENG), Jasprit Bumrah (IND), Mitchell Starc (AUS)
Yes…we are going for a pure pace and seam attack, with this fab four being supported by Stokes, Al Hasan and Neesham. It has not been a World Cup for spinners, although the likes of Santner (NZ) and Tahir (SA) have been superb for their respective countries.
But we feel we cannot leave any of these out. In Mitchell Starc (above) we have the World Cup leading wicket taker (27) and arguably the best opening/death bowler around – Bumrah only conceding an average of 4 an hour from a few short of 100 overs bowled on many bat friendly pitches…and taking 18 wickets along the way….the raw pace and precision of prodigious rookie Jofra Archer, who took 20 wickets at just 4.5 an over – and then Liam Plunkett – decent with the bat in at #8, but the best wicket taker in the middle overs bar none – and one who keeps the squeeze on the opposition where the opening duo left off.
This quartet, with the options available from the all rounders already in the team, would strike fear into the most potent of batting line ups. They have all had a fabulous World Cup and are hugely deserving to have a place here.
Honourable Mentions : Chris Woakes (England), Trent Boult (NZ), Mohammad Amir (Pak), Lasith Malinga (SL), Lockie Ferguson (NZ)
So there it is….our who and why into what makes the Sportsweek.co.uk 2019 Cricket World Cup ‘Team of the Tournament’ – if you disagree, let us know why…..and who!!!
- Jason ROY (England)
- Rohit SHARMA (India)
- Shakib AL HASAN (Bangladesh)
- Kane WILLIAMSON (New Zealand – Captain)
- Ben STOKES (England)
- James NEESHAM (New Zealand)
- M S DHONI (India – Wicketkeeper)
- Liam PLUNKETT (England)
- Jofra ARCHER (England)
- Jasprit BUMRAH (India)
- Mitchell STARC (Australia)