The ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 is just round the corner and here we take a look at the all time World Cup XI. A perfect team which has players from different countries and have performed brilliantly at the mega level, i.e. the World Cup.

1. Adam Gilchrist (wk): 

Destructive at the top of the order, Adam Gilchrist has featured in and won 3 World Cup’s as a player. He has scored 1085 runs in 3 World Cup’s at a strike rate of 98.01. In his first World Cup in 1999, he didn’t get any success with with the bat, however his 54 off 49 balls at the top in the final sealed the deal for Australia.

In 2003, he walked away in the semi final which proved that cricket is a gentleman’s game and Gilchrist is one of them. He scored a quickfire 57 in the final against India which set the tone for Australia for a mammoth total.

In his final World Cup, in 2007, he is remembered for the highest individual score in a final of a World Cup as he scored 149 off just 104 balls in a 38 over match. He used a ping pong ball which was in his gloves all the time.

2. Sachin Tendulkar:

The master blaster has featured in the maximum World Cup’s a player has ever played in. He is only the second player after Javed Miandad to play 6 World Cup’s. He scored 2278 runs in 6 WC’s at a healthy strike rate of 88.98 with the help of 6 centuries.

In his debut World Cup in 1992, he wasn’t a key element but he got wows along with Brian Lara and Inzamam ul Haq, who were seen as the future of cricket.

In the 1996 World Cup, Sachin was the highest run getter scoring 523 runs without a bat sponsor. In 1999, he scored a century against Kenya just after he came back following the rituals after his fathers death.

The 2003 World Cup is in the minds of many people where Tendulkar scored 673 runs and was adjudged the Man of the tournament. His upper cut six off Shoaib Akhtar and the pull off Caddick are still remembered by the cricketing fans. Tendulkar failed to score in the final as India lost to Australia by 125 runs.

It was a disastrous 2007 World Cup for team India as they went home in the group stages following their defeat to Bangladesh.

And 4 years later, in his last World Cup, Tendulkar’s dream was fulfilled as India lifted the World Cup after 28 years. He scored 482 runs, the 2nd highest run scorer in the tournament after Dilshan.

3. Ricky Ponting (c):

He has won 3 World cup’s and 2 of them as a captain. He is only the second captain after Clive Lloyd to win 2 World Cup’s. He scored 1723 runs in 5 World Cup’s at a strike rate of 79.73. His start to the World Cup campaign wasn’t that great as he managed to score only 229 runs in the 1996 WC.

In the 1999 World Cup, he scored 354 runs at an average of 39 and also won the World Cup as a player. In 2003, he is well known for his 140 off 121 balls in the final against India where Australia posted 359 which is also the highest in a final of a World Cup. He led the team in 2007 too for an impressive win to defend the World Cup title as Australia made history by winning 3 World Cup’s, the most by any team.

4. Vivian Richards:

He is one off those players who one calls a big match player. He played crucial roles in the final of the 1975 and the 1979 World Cup. In the 1975 World Cup, he ran out Alan Turner, Ian Chappell and Greg Chappell. In 1979, he played an even bigger role scoring 138 in the final after his team was down to 99-5. He took the team total to 286-9.

He however failed to do it for three times in a row as in 1983, he was caught by Kapil Dev which proved to be the turning point in the match. Wickets started to fall like nine pins and West Indies lost the match and the World Cup.

5. Steve Waugh:

He featured in 4 World Cup’s and led his team to victory in his final World Cup appearance in 1999. He scored in 978 runs at an average of 48.90.

He bowled his side to a win against India in the 1987 World Cup group stage match where Australia won by 1 run. In the final, he took important wickets of Allan Lamb and the dangerous Phil DeFraites to help Australia win the World Cup. He scored 167 runs and took 11 wickets in that tournament.

He and Australia had a disappointing 1996 World Cup as they got out in the group stages. He was a part of the team which lost the final to Sri Lanka at Lahore.

In 1999, he lead his team to a World Cup victory. He scored 120 runs against South Africa where Herschel Gibbs dropped the World Cup! Later Australia won a one sided final at Lord’s against Pakistan.

6. Shahid Afridi:

He might not have been in the World Cup winning team, but still finds a spot in the XI. His fastest 100 off just 37 balls on his debut World Cup made fans look at him like the next big thing in cricket. He is also known as “BOOM BOOM AFRIDI” with the kind of shots he plays. Wasn’t a memorable 1999, 2003 or 2007 World Cup for him but he came back in the 2011 World Cup as the captain of the Pakistani team and led the team till the semi-final stages where it lost to India. Shahid Afridi finished 2011 World Cup as the highest wicket taker with 21 wickets.

7. Kapil Dev:

The perfect role of an all rounder can be played only by Kapil Dev. He led his team to victory in the 1983 World Cup shocking the World after defeating West Indies in the final. He scored 175 after India were dying at 17-5 against Zimbabwe.

He scored 669 runs at a strike rate of 115.14 in 4 World Cups and picked up 28 wickets.

8. Wasim Akram:

One of the best fast bowlers the game has ever seen, Wasim Akram took 54 wickets in 4 World Cups.

He played a brilliant role in the final of the 1992 World Cup where he scored 33 off 21 and took 3-49 to be adjudged as the man of the match. He captained his side to 1999 WC final where they lost to Australia.

In 2003 WC, he became the fastest to 500 ODI wickets but it wasn’t memorable as Pakistan got out in group stages.

9. Michael Holding:

The whispering death Michael Holding picked up 20 wickets in 2 World Cup’s playing 11 matches. He was a part of the 1989 WC, where he gave only 16 runs in 8 overs. In the 1983 WC, he was the last man to fall before India lifted the trophy.

10. Muttiah Muraitharan:

The Sri Lankan off spinner Muralitharan holds the record for the most wickets by a spinner in World Cups. He took 49 wickets in 5 WC’s he played from 1996-2011. He won 1 World Cup as a player.

11. Glenn McGrath:

71 wickets in his WC career, Glenn McGrath has featured in 4 World Cup’s from 1996-2007 winning 3 as a player.
He picked up the all important wicket of Sachin Tendulkar in the WC final of 2003. He was the man of the tournament in 2007 when Australia lifted the World Cup 3 times in a row.

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    Archit Athani Writer

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