With less than a month to go for the 2015 ICC Cricket world Cup set to start, we list out a line-up of the best performers in the history of the tournament, the legends of the World Cup. The 11th edition of the World Cup is set to take place in Australia, for the second time after 1992. The players are chosen purely on the basis of their performance in the world Cup and not their reputation or the overall impact in limited overs cricket. There have been some one-tournament wonders and a few who rose to prominence through their performance in 50-over cricket’s biggest extravagance. Also Read: ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 Schedule: Complete Fixtures & Time Table of all Cricket World Cup 2015 Matches
Here is the legendary ICC World Cup Playing XI
Sachin Tendulkar: There will little argument to the debate as to who has single-handedly made the biggest impact in the World Cup’s history. Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar marked the biggest stage of them all in cricket to dominate and mark his greatness. Like most records in 50 overs cricket, Tendulkar has to his name most matches, most runs and most centuries. In six editions of the tournament he has played in, he has amassed 2278 runs at an average of 56.95, finishing as the highest run getter in 1996 and 2003, apart from finishing second on the run-charts in 2011, helping India to its second World Cup win. S
Sourav Ganguly: Sourav Ganguly is the ideal foil to Sachin Tendulkar, being limited-over cricket’s most successful pair. Even though the pair has opened just four times in three World Cups, they’ve had tremendous success individually. Apart from back-to-back Man of the Match awards in 1999, Ganguly slammed three tons in India’s run to the final in the 2003 edition of the World Cup. He has scored over a 1000 runs in 21 matches at an average of 55.88. He stands only behind Sachin Tendulkar and Ricky Ponting in the list of most centuries in a World Cup with four to his name, including the brilliant 183 against Sri Lanka in Taunton.
Viv Richards: Few could match the swagger of the big West Indian. Viv Richards played a key role in West Indies’ twin World Cup wins of 1975 and 1979. He effected three crucial run outs in the first final against Australia, while in 1979, he scored a brilliant century against England. Later in 1987, he scored a blistering 181 against Sri Lanka to put his name alongside the legends of the tournament. In 23 matches, he has scored over 1000 runs at a phenomenal average of 63.31
Rahul Dravid: The Bangalore batsman remains one of the most underrated performers of the World Cup. He has scored runs heavily, kept wickets for India in their fabulous run during the 2003 World Cup and been a part of numerous crucial partnerships in the tournament. He has scored at an average of over 60 in 22 matches and also has 17 catches to his name.
AB de Villiers: His selection ahead of Adam Gilchrist comes after great deliberation, but the South African wicket-keeper batsman has performed terrifically in the two editions of the World Cup. He has smashed three centuries in 15 matches at an average of 51.78 and a superb strike-rate of 104.31. Gilchrist on the other hand averages in mid-30s even as he helped his side to a win in all three World Cups, scoring two fifties and a superlative 149 in the finals.
Yuvraj Singh: Much of Yuvraj Singh’s World Cup record is boosted by his sensational show in the 2011 edition, where he was named the Man of the Tournament as he helped India win the World Cup after a gap of 28 years. Battling ill-health, he scored crucial runs and picked 17 wickets through the tournament. In 23 matches, he has scored 738 runs at an average of 52.71. With the ball, he has bagged 20 wickets at brilliant average of 23.1. However, despite a lot of call for his exclusion, he has been left out from India’s squad as they look to defend the title Down Under.
Lance Klusener: Possibly, very few could vouch of having a World Cup as successful as ‘Zulu’ did. Lance Klusener dominated with both bat and ball in the 1999 World Cup, before a moment of nervousness ended their World Cup dream. He couldn’t replicate that success in 2003 as South Africa went out of the first round in the tournament they hosted. Nonetheless, in 14 matches, he has bagged 22 wickets and scored at a mind-boggling average of 124.
Shane Warne The Australian spin wizard often saves his best for the big occasions. Be it against old foes England in the ashes or the World Cup. Unfortunately, for all the success that he has achieved on a cricket field, he managed to represent Australia in just two editions of the world Cup – 1996 and 1999. In the latter tournament, he was instrumental in leading Australia to win with back-to-back Man of the Match performances In the semi-final against South Africa and final against Pakistan with four-wicket hauls in each match. Overall in just 17 matches he bagged 32 wickets.
Brett Lee The speedster was one of the most consistent performers for Australia across three editions of the tournament. In 2003 especially, he led the pace attack well alongside Glenn McGrath. Being a part of the most dominant cricketing side of the world, he faced just one defeat in 17 matches that he played, scalping 35 victims at a measly average of less than 18.
Muttiah Muralitharan: The Sri Lankan off-spinner is the tournament’s second highest wicket-taker with 68 wickets to his name in 40 matches. Even as much is made about Arjuna Ranatunga’s captaincy, power-hitting during field restrictions and Arvinda De Silva’s batting, Muralitharan’s efforts are often overlooked in Sri Lanka’s successful World Cup campaign of 1996. He was part of four World Cups -Winner once, runner-up twice and a semi-finalist once; a phenomenal record for any player to boast of.
Glenn McGrath: The Australian pace spearhead during their most dominant days in world cricket was a part of four World Cup squads an each time the side managed to reach the final. He is currently the highest wicket-taker in the tournament’s history with 71 wickets in 39 matches. Few bowlers have been as consistent as the ‘Piegon’ in the biggest cricket tournament.
|AB de Villiers|