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Cricket World Cup 2023: Sports Gazette’s team of the tournament

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Although India dominated the tournament, Australia surprised the hosts in the final to claim their sixth ODI title. Top-order batters topped the run charts, while seamers had the most success with the ball.

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To hear how we decided our team, head over to Spotify or the Sports Gazette to listen to the podcast.

Here is The One Short Podcast’s 2023 Cricket World Cup team of the tournament.

Rohit Sharma

Starting off with our captain, Rohit had an exceptional tournament with the bat. He scored 597 runs, the second most in the tournament, with an average of 54. He was crucial in taking pressure off the other batters with his explosive starts, which particularly allowed Kohli to shine.

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Perhaps more importantly he led his country, the best team in the tournament, expertly. Always keeping a calm presence despite the pressures of a home tournament.

Travis Head

Just about pipping Quinton de Kock to open the batting with Rohit is Travis Head. His decisive innings of 137 in the final is the main reason for this. He was also excellent in the semi-final with bat and ball, receiving player of the match in both games.

He carried a stumbling Australia to a surprise trophy and therefore gets in our team.

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Virat Kohli

Our player of the tournament, Virat Kohli comfortably walks into the XI at number three. Kohli’s form was always going to have a bearing on India’s success at this World Cup and he did not disappoint. With 765 runs in 11 matches, Kohli broke Sachin Tendulkar’s record (673) for most runs in a men’s ODI World Cup. With a superbly compiled hundred in the semi-final against New Zealand, the 35-year-old secured a record-breaking 50th ODI ton, again surpassing Tendulkar.

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Kohli’s World Cup included six fifties and three hundreds, at a staggering average of 95.62. The World Cup trophy continues to elude Kohli, but after a lean couple of years in international cricket, 2023 saw him stamp his authority as the linchpin of the Indian batting order.

Daryl Mitchell

New Zealand’s sole representative in our team, Mitchell takes the number four spot. Edging out teammate Rachin Ravindra because of his explosive capabilities, Mitchell batted excellently in both fixtures against India, scoring 130 in the groups and 134 in the semis.

With 552 runs in total and an exceptional average of 69, Mitchell is a no brainer.

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KL Rahul

Another player who really came into his own at this World Cup, KL Rahul makes our team as a keeper-batter. While South African star Quinton de Kock made a very strong case to be our wicketkeeper, Rahul’s versatility as a batter and ability to showcase the style of batting needed in the middle-order, along with his impressive wicketkeeping in the World Cup, gave him the edge.

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In India’s tournament opener, he came in at 2-3 and played a resilient knock in a match-winning partnership with Kohli. Also, when required, he scored at a very healthy strike rate. Rahul finished the tournament with 452 runs in 10 innings at 75.33.

Glenn Maxwell

After Maxwell’s heroics against Afghanistan, there is no way we could not select him. Scoring 201* on one leg while perfecting the ‘stand and hit’ technique, was unorthodox, exceptional and decisive in putting Australia into the semi-finals.

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He also scored the fastest century in an ODI World Cup against the Netherlands, smashing his way to 106 off just 40 balls.

He produced fireworks in a tournament where not many others could.

Ravindra Jadeja

Very rarely would a spinner get overshadowed by fast bowlers in India’s team for a home tournament, but such was Mohammad Shami and Jasprit Bumrah’s dominance at this World Cup. However, Jadeja played a crucial part in India’s run to the final. On the bowling front, Jadeja picked up 16 wickets at an average of 25 and an impressive economy rate of just 4.25.

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While his batting did not come to the fore that often, he played a couple of valuable knocks when needed. Jadeja is also undoubtedly among the world’s very best fielders. At number seven, the star all-rounder adds great balance to our team.

Gerald Coetzee

Arguably the break-out star from the tournament, the 23-year-old quick from South Africa impressed massively throughout. Coetzee took 20 wickets at an average under 20 from the eight games he played.

Having started the tournament as South Africa’s fourth-choice seamer, Coetzee’s maturity and potency throughout the middle overs earnt him a place over Lungi Ngidi in the semi-final, where he took 2-47 and looked the best seamer.

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Mohammed Shami

Mohammad Shami ended the World Cup as the leading wicket-taker, having played four games fewer than Adam Zampa in second place. Shami took 24 wickets in just seven games at 10.7.

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If two five-fers (vs Sri Lanka and New Zealand) and a four-fer (vs England) in the league stage were not enough, the 33-year-old produced tournament best bowling figures of 7-57 in the semi-final against New Zealand, in a match which saw almost 730 runs scored. Shami was never a doubt in our team of the tournament.

Adam Zampa

Far-and-away the best spinner on show, Zampa took 23 wickets, including three four-fers in a row. Averaging 22 with the ball, Zampa was critical in controlling the middle overs for the Aussies.

Excluding their opening fixture against India and the semi-final where seamers ran riot, Zampa claimed wickets in each fixture. Zampa’s consistency throughout the tournament was arguably one of the biggest factors for Australia’s World Cup victory.

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Jasprit Bumrah

Returning to international cricket only recently, after surgery and a year-long layoff, Jasprit Bumrah performed like he had never been away. He was lethal with the new ball, ensuring that opposition batters could not dominate in the powerplay, despite the inconsistency of his new ball partner, Mohammed Siraj.

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Bumrah picked up 20 wickets in 11 matches at 18.65 and a tournament best economy rate of 4.06. Bumrah also bowled nine maiden overs and 372 dot balls throughout the World Cup, more than any other bowler.

Notable Mentions

Our four squad players were all unlucky to miss out and inspired great debate on the podcast.

Quinton de Kock was arguably the most unfortunate, as his four centuries in the group stage could not quite topple Head’s performances in the knockout rounds. He scored almost 600 runs but was unable to do it on the big stage.

Rachin Ravindra was another fantastic young gun from the tournament and mostly missed out due to Kohli being Kohli. However, he will almost certainly be involved in other team of the tournaments throughout his career.

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Kiwi all-rounder Mitch Santner pushed Jadeja close to be our number seven. But his 16 wickets and superior batting strike rate was no match for Jadeja’s superior averages and economy.

Having played just six ODIs before the start of the competition, Dilshan Madushanka was yet another surprise star from the tournament. He took 21 wickets with his left-arm pace and the 23-year-old excelled for Sri Lanka in what was an otherwise underwhelming World Cup for the former champions.

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  • Toby Reynolds

    Toby is the cricket editor at the Sports Gazette. For the last three years, he has been a radio host and podcaster at URN. He also enjoys F1, rugby and football. Having written his dissertation on rugby union salary caps, Toby loves to explore tactical trends and use statistics to back up his arguments, as well as trying to disprove the saying that “stats are for prats”.

  • Aayush Majumdar

    Sports journalist from India with over five years of work in the field, Aayush has previously covered ATP events and international cricket series, among other big events. He has a keen interest in cricket, tennis and football, but contributes content across sports. Now living and learning in London, he is co-editor of the Sports Gazette.

  • Michael Thomas

    Sports writer, cricket fan (emphasis on fan, not expert) and self-pitying West Bromwich Albion supporter. Always open to researching and writing about different topics.