The ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 might have been dominated by the batsmen with their whirlwind show. But the bowlers, especially the pacers, had their share of success as well. The bowlers enlightened the viewers with some charismatic spells, which got the adrenaline rushing. In order to win games, the bowlers have to support the batsmen, and provide them with a certain cushion. In this edition, we saw some stellar performances with the ball. In this article, we have a look at the top 5 wicket takers in this World Cup. To be among the top 5 wicket takers, the bowlers have to put in the hard yards, and work rigorously. To the complete elation, that’s what they exactly did!
5. Mohammed Shami (17 wickets):
The highly talented Indian pacer is fifth in the tally of the top 5 leading wicket takers. Shami took 17 wickets at an average of 17.29. His economy rate was good as well. An economy rate of 4.81 is phenomenal indeed. Shami’s biggest asset in this World Cup was his accuracy. Very rarely did Shami stray from his line. He made the best use of the conditions and that was backed by his accuracy. Shami delivered for his skipper at every stage. In the mandatory powerplay, Shami did not allow the top order to settle. Nor did he allow the sloggers to get away in the death overs. Shami was wicketless against Australia in the semi final, and India ended up on the losing side. That just shows his importance in the side!
4. Morne Morkel (17 wickets):
The towering South African seamer had an unforgettable World Cup as well, and is fourth on the list of the top 5 wicket takers. Morkel had 17 wickets to his name, at an average of 17.58. Morkel’s main weapon was the sharp bounce which he extracted from the lively decks. With the conditions supporting him, Morkel utilized the benefits completely, and bowled really well. His best figures were 3-34, against Ireland. In the semi final against New Zealand, he was once again on the money and picked up 3 crucial wickets. Morkel though, did not find able support from his other companions in the bowling department. That was a key reason behind South Africa’s elimination.
3. Umesh Yadav (18 wickets):
Personally, Umesh had a sensational World Cup. He commenced the World Cup against Pakistan in grand style, taking 2 wickets in the middle overs. His pace was really impressive, and he often rushed onto the batsmen. The batsmen against him were often left clueless. Yadav made excellent use of the short ball and was hard to negate. The Vidarbha pacer bowled his heart out, and had two four fors to his name. In the quarter final against Bangladesh, Yadav achieved his best figures of 4-31. It would be fair to say that Yadav has improved big time as a bowler, and his accuracy has increased as well. He has a bright future ahead of him.
2. Trent Boult (22 wickets):
Taking 22 wickets in 9 games at an average of 16.86 is no joke! Boult was simply phenomenal for the Kiwis. His partnership with new ball seamer Tim Southee was the high for New Zealand. Bout was miserly as well. The left arm pacer gave away just 4.36 runs per over. His best performance came against Trans Tasman rivals Australia at the Eden Park. Boult went on to take 5 wickets, and won the game for his side. Viewers were simply thrilled by Boult’s speed and guile. His ability to swing the ball is brilliant as well. His main strength is in pitching the ball up in excess of 140 km/hr and get it to move away and take the nicks. That is what Boult exactly did! His skipper, Brendon McCullum showed great faith in him, and often set 4 slips and a gully for him. Safe to say, he didn’t disappoint his captain one bit.
1. Mitchell Starc (22 wickets):
Starc, for his dazzling spectacle with the ball was rightly awarded the Man of the Tournament. Hold onto your breath, and just understand the value of these freakish bowling numbers! 22 wickets in 8 games, at an average of 10.18, and an economy rate 3.5, with a wicket every 17.4 balls! Simply unbelievable! Starc’s main asset was in his reverse swing deliveries in excess of 145km/hr. Against New Zealand at Auckland, Starc got 6-28, his best figures. In that game, he made a mockery of the batsmen. Even proper batsmen, looked like mere tailenders in front of the rampaging Starc. The stumps flew in every direction, while he was bowling. His toe crushing Yorkers were a nightmare for the batsmen. So were his short pitched deliveries. While Starc was bowling, it seemed that he was playing in a different arena altogether.
As a whole, this World Cup was a home for some stellar bowling performances. The sheer display of pace, swing and bounce made it a memorable World Cup for the viewers.
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