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ICC Cricket World Cup: A look at India’s top performers in tournament history

First Published: 29th September, 2023 16:24 IST

Legacies of veterans like Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli and Ravichandran Ashwin, playing their third or fourth WC in their mid/late 30s will be determined in this tournament

The ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 in India is just a few days away from starting officially. With the tournament taking place in familiar subcontinent conditions, the Indian team will be under a lot of scrutiny. Legacies of veterans like Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli and Ravichandran Ashwin, playing their third or fourth WC in their mid/late 30s will be determined in this tournament, as fans will hope that they perform well in home conditions to help India lift the trophy. On the other hand, exciting talents like Shubman Gill, Shreyas Iyer, Suryakumar Yadav and Mohammed Siraj will be playing in the tournament for the first time. 

During the span of these one and a half months, a lot of legends will solidify their names in history while many exciting stars will launch themselves into superstardom. The difference between writing history and dissapointment would be just one knock, one bowling spell or an outstanding piece of fielding, as it has been for years at this marquee event. As the tournament draws closer, let us look at some Indian stars who have etched their name in history books with their performances:

  1. Sachin Tendulkar

The Indian batting maestro is the leading run-scorer in WC history. In 45 matches and 44 innings, he scored 2,278 runs at an average of 56.95 and a strike rate of 88.98. He scored six centuries and 15 half-centuries in his WC career, with the best score of 152. He also has the most centuries in World Cup history. He had the most runs in the 1996 and 2003 editions of the tournament with 523 runs and 673 runs respectively. Tendulkar’s 673 runs in 2003 is the highest number of runs scored by a batter in a single edition of the tournament. 

2) Virat Kohli

The man who took the baton from Sachin Tendulkar and carried forward his legacy with a very similar consistency, delightful strokeplay and emotive connection with millions of fans has a lot to do in this tournament. Be it breaking Sachin’s record of 49 ODI centuries, being the chase master he is or breaking the knockouts curse by scoring a match-winning knock, a lot is being expected from Virat playing in front of his home crowd. 

In 26 matches, he has scored 1,030 runs at an average of 46.81 and a strike rate of 86.70. He has two centuries and six fifties in 26 innings, with the best score of 107. He is India’s second-highest run-scorer in tournament history.

3) Sourav Ganguly

Popularly known as ‘Dada’, this legendary left-hander bossed his opponents in the World Cups with his captaincy and his classy, effortless off-side strokes. In 21 matches, he scored 1,006 runs at an average of 55.58, with four centuries and three fifties in 21 innings, with the best score of 183. He is India’s third-highest run-scorer in WC history. 

4) Rohit Sharma

The ‘Hitman’ of Team India orders hits out his opponents out of the park like no other. The man known for his classy pull shot has made a lot of impact in the two World Cups he played. In the first, he had a crucial role with Shikhar Dhawan to take India to the semis. In 2019, he ended up as the leading run-scorer and also the only player to hit five centuries in a single edition of WC. In 17 WC matches, he has scored 978 runs at an average of 65.20 and a strike rate of 95.97. He has scored six centuries and three fifties in 17 innings, with the best score of 140. His tally of 648 runs with five centuries and a fifty in nine games in 2019 is considered as one of the best performances in a global cricket tournament ever. 

5) Zaheer Khan

The services of this India left-arm pacer are missed dearly as he provided heavy variation to the side with his bowling. In 23 WC matches, he has taken 44 wickets at an average of 20.22 and best bowling figures of 4/42. He won the World Cup with India in 2011 and finished as joint-highest wicket-taker with 21 scalps. He is India’s highest wicket-taker in WC history and sixth overall. 

6) Javagal Srinath

India’s partner in pace with the likes of Venkatesh Prasad, Zaheer Khan etc, Srinath also delivered well in World Cups. He took 44 wickets in 34 matches at an average of 27.81. His best bowling figures are 4/30 in World Cups. He was a part of India’s runners-up finishing 2003 WC team, taking 16 scalps in 11 matches. He is India’s second-highest wicket-taker in WCs and joint-sixth overall. 

7) Mohammed Shami

Having made his World Cup debut in 2015, he has been one of India’s top performers at the tournament. He is eyeing the WC records of two legends mentioned above him as in just 11 matches, he has 31 wickets at an average of 15.70 and the best bowling figures of 5/69. He is only the second Indian to have a World Cup hat-trick to his name. His seam position, pace and intensity make him a difficult bowler to play. 

8) Anil Kumble

This tall spinner is among the most successful spinners in World Cup history. In 18 matches, he has taken 31 wickets at an average of 22.83, with the best figures of 4/32. (ANI)

Also Read: Asian Games: Palak gets record-breaking gold, Esha wins silver in women’s 10 m air pistol final

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