9th of March 2015, the world saw a distraught Morgan, and his men exit from the World Cup, suffering an exhilarating defeat at the hands of a budding Bangladeshi side. So much agony. So much criticism to take. There were too many questions to be answered. A total revamp was required.
Fast forward to the 14th of July 2019, a side which saw itself incompetent and unable to qualify for the knock out stage in the previous edition of the World Cup, saw itself crowned as the world champions. The resurrection of English cricket is a separate tale to be told!
England started their 2019 World Cup (2019 CWC) campaign with the ‘favorites’ tag and didn’t fail to do justice to it. Not so smooth was their ride in the nine league games that they played, but was good enough for a top 3 finish which saw them book a semifinal birth, a feat for which they had been yearning for 27 long years.
The 46-day long cricket carnival was not just a test of skill, but also character, grit, and emotions. While the Englishmen passed the tests collectively, the other teams were not able to do it all at once. However, there were players from each side who collectively can form a great camaraderie to give some tough fight against the reigning champions.
We go back to day 1 of the mega event and trace our path to the finals, and handpick 11 men who could form an indispensable side to counter the world champions England.
The Conquerors XI :
Jason Roy, Jonny Bairstow, Joe Root, Eoin Morgan(c), Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler (wk), Chris Woakes, Liam Plunkett, Jofra Archer, Adil Rashid, Mark Wood.
The Rest of the World XI:
Rohit Sharma – The highest run-getter
Rohit Sharma was in the form of his life at the 2019 World Cup in which he amassed 648 runs in 9 games at a staggering average of 81.00 and a strike rate of 98.33. He became the first batsman to score five centuries in a World Cup.
The highest run-scorer of the 2019 Cricket World Cup, started his world cup campaign with a ton against South Africa and made it a habit to score tons throughout the tournament. Five tons and a fifty to his name, in which one ton came against the champions, Rohit stood tall among all batters at the main event and guided his team to a semifinal spot in this process.
— Star Sports (@StarSportsIndia) July 6, 2020
The southpaw hailing from Australia had to seek redemption after his return from serving a ban. He wouldn’t have dreamt of a bigger stage than the World Cup to gain his reputation back.
647 runs in 10 games at an excellent average of 71.88, Warner was Australia’s highest run-getter in the World Cup and the second-highest run-scorer of the 2019 World Cup. Mammoth hundreds and crucial fifties from Warner helped Australia reach till the semifinals of the mega event.
Warner’s ability to score at a quick rate from the initial phase of the game will complement Rohit’s way of slowly building his innings and accelerating later.
#3 – Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli might have not got a ton to his name like most other batters in the tournament, but was unbelievably consistent. A series of scores such as 82, 77, 67, 72, 66 in five consecutive games saw Virat pile up 443 runs at an average of 55.38 and a strike rate of 94.04.
Virat has set high standards for himself in ODI cricket and might have looked like he hadn’t met that standard in the World Cup. But it would be apt to say that Virat’s efforts have been overshadowed by the incredible performances of Rohit Sharma.
Virat Kohli once set, turns out to be one of the most destructive batsmen. Hence, the team will want Virat Kohli to play the most number of balls in a game and will play him at three for the same reason.
#4 – Babar Azam
Babar Azam is considered as one of the best players of spin bowling in modern-day cricket and will be the perfect fit to play at number four in this star-studded side. The number three ranked ODI batsman has scored 474 runs in eight games at an average of 67.71 and a strike rate of 87.61 in the 2019 World Cup.
Babar has been exceptional when it comes to playing against quality sides. He absorbs all the pressure from his teammates and tries to win games single-handedly for his team which is evident from his score of 63 against England and 101 against New Zealand.
#5 – Kane Williamson (C) – The player of the tournament
More than the runs that Kane Williamson scored, it was the way in which he led his side brought him all glory. The cricketing fraternity will remember Kane Williamson as the man who smiled even after being denied the coveted silverware in a tournament in which his side didn’t lose in the final.
Kane the batsman scored 578 runs in 10 games at the 2019 World Cup at an astounding average of 82.57. More than the two tons that Kane has to his name, it will be his knock of 67 against India in the semifinal that will carry more value.
Kane batting at number 5 might come out as a surprise as he has played as a number 3 batsman throughout the World Cup. But Kane has got great adaptability. He can assist the top four batsmen when things go smoothly by giving them the strike at the crucial times and at the same time, he can save the team from batting collapses.
— Cricket World Cup (@cricketworldcup) July 14, 2019
#6 – Shakib Al Hasan
It would be an understatement to say that Shakib had shone like a diamond in the World Cup. So much responsibility to shoulder and Shakib delivered way more than what his side would have expected of him.
606 runs in 8 games at an average of 86.57 and strike rate of 96.03 which included five fifties and two tons of which one ton came against England. He also impressed with the ball where he picked 11 wickets in eight games which includes a five-wicket haul. He will serve as the lone spinner for this side.
Shakib now has seven fifty-plus scores at #CWC19
— ICC (@ICC) July 5, 2019
#7 – Alex Carey (Wicket Keeper)
Struck on the helmet by an awful bouncer. Wounded Jaw and taped head. The world saw a young man rise above all this and strive towards contributing to the team. Alex Carey will hold a special place in every Aussie’s heart for his undying effort in the semifinal against England. Carey scored a fighting 46 in the semifinal to help Australia get to a respectable total in which Australia eventually lost.
Carey scored 375 runs in 10 innings at an average of 62.50 and a commendable strike rate of 104.45. His ability to pace his innings as per the requirement, his string of match-winning knocks, and his impressive glove work make him stand out among all the keepers in this tournament and Alex Carey will don the keeper’s glove in this side.
#8 – Mitchell Starc – The highest wicket-taker
Mitchell Starc, one of the most accurate and skillful bowlers in one day cricket has got a strong connection with the World Cup. Mitchell Starc has been the highest wicket-taker in two consecutive World Cups (2015 and 2019) picking 22 and 27 wickets respectively.
Starc has been the stand out bowler in the 2019 World Cup picking 27 wickets at an average of 18.59 and a strike rate of 20.51. He picked a four-wicket haul against the winners England and a five-wicket haul against the runners New Zealand showing the world that he is one of the best when it comes to delivering at the biggest stage against quality teams.
Starc’s control with the new ball and his ability to pin the batsmen’s toe with his yorkers at the death overs is undoubted.
#9– Lockie Ferguson
Lockie Ferguson, at the end of the 2019 World Cup, established himself as one of the best middle overs bowlers in ODI cricket at present. Ferguson stands second in the list of the highest wicket-takers in the 2019 World Cup, picking up 21 wickets in nine games at an average of 19.47, an economy of 4.88, and a strike rate of 23.90.
Whenever there was a need for a wicket, Ferguson was Kane’s go-to man at the World Cup. Ferguson in the final against England bowled a match-defining spell where he returned with stunning figures of 3 for 50 in the ten overs that he bowled.
#10 – Mohammad Shami
Mohammad Shami might have played just four games in the World Cup, but the impact that he has had in his short stint has been incredible. Shami picked up 14 wickets at an average of 13.78 and a strike rate of 15.07 conceding just under 6 runs.
Shami was brilliant against the reigning champions in the league game. He picked up five wickets which included the scalps of their main batsmen Bairstow, Root, Morgan, and Buttler. It is also noteworthy that Shami has a World Cup hattrick to his name.
Shami’s seam presentation and his ability to control the new ball makes him an ideal new ball bowler.
Mohammed Shami completes his five-for ✋
It’s his first five-wicket haul in ODIs 👏
He now has 13 wickets in three games at #CWC19
— Cricket World Cup (@cricketworldcup) June 30, 2019
#11 – Jasprit Bumrah
Jasprit Bumrah entered the tournament with so much expectation set on him. Not the way Bumrah would have liked to bid farewell to his World Cup campaign, but he can take full pride in the way he has contributed to his team. The highest wicket-taker for India in the 2019 World Cup is regarded as one of the best death bowlers in limited-over Internationals in modern-day cricket.
Bumrah picked 18 wickets in ten games at an average of 20.61 and a strike rate of 28 with a miserly economy of 4.41. Bumrah’s biggest strength is to contain runs from one end and build pressure over the batsmen. This massively helps the other bowlers in this team to get wickets.
The pace battery looks lethal with the likes of Starc, Shami, Ferguson, and Bumrah and is good enough to run through the English batting lineup.
The Combined XI :
Rohit and Warner set to open the innings, followed by three solid batsmen in Virat, Babar, and Kane. Shakib will serve as the lone spin bowling all-rounder and Alex Carey will don the keeper’s glove. Both Shakib and Carey play a major role in the middle order. Four pacers Starc, Shami, Ferguson, and Bumrah are lined up next to cause havoc. The most eminent leader of the set Kane Williamson will lead this side!
The Conquerors vs The Rest of the World. That would be a cracking contest!