MUMBAI. — The group stages of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 has come to an end and the top eight sides have qualified through to the quarter-finals of the tournament. The Associate nations put up a kind of display unexpected from them. Here is a look at the best XI from the group stages:
1) Tillakaratne Dilshan — The Sri Lankan opener’s exploits in the World Cup has gone rather unnoticed under the shadow of Kumar Sangakkara’s supremacy. The script of the World Cup has been much similar to the story of his career where Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara have outshined him. Dilshan sits pretty at number four in the top run-getters of the world cup so far with two centuries and 395 runs at an average of 79.
2) Shikhar Dhawan — The Indian southpaw has rediscovered his old touch and started the world cup with a bang. His form at top of the order has helped solve a lot of issues with the Indian batting. He started the tournament with a half-century against Pakistan and carried it forward from thereon. In six matches so far, he has scored 333 runs at an average of 66.6.
3) Kumar Sangakkara — Undoubtedly, the best performer of the tournament so far. The Sri Lankan veteran has slammed four back-to-back centuries and looks good for a few more. He hasn’t unleashed a brutal attack, but stabilised Sri Lanka’s innings at a quick pace with elegant stroke-making. On the last leg of his career, Sangakkara is looking as fine a batsman as he has ever been.
4) Mahmudullah — Mahmudullah’s rise to stardom has coincided with Bangladesh’s fine show at the world cup. The right-hander has proved to a critical pivot in a line-up boasting of Tamim Iqbal, Mushfiqur Rahim, Shakib Al Hasan and Soumya Sarkar. His century against England helped them qualify for the quarter-finals. He followed it up with another century in the last group stage match. He is at number five in the highest run-scorers chart with 344 runs in five matches, at an average of 86.
5) BRENDAN TAYLOR — Zimbabwe must have won just one match in the tournament, but their performance was far better than what the tables suggest. They gave a fight to all the sides who took the field against them in the Group B matches and ensured that the battle for victory lasted for long. Much of Zimbabwe’s good show had to do with the wicketkeeper-batsman Brendan Taylor’s form.
6) AB de Villiers — He can use the bat the way he wants to — like an axe, a wand, a swatter. The South African skipper showed glimpses of his brilliance during the competition. He has scored the fastest 150 in One-Day Internationals against West Indies as well as a composed half-century against Pakistan. After the group stage, he has finished as the third highest run-getter with 417 runs in six matches, at an average of 83.40.
7) Glenn Maxwell — Glenn Maxwell has been brutal to say the least. He hasn’t played too many deliveries, but made a huge impact on three of the four occasions he has come out to bat for Australia in this year’s World Cup. In four innings, he has scored 257 runs at an average of 64.25 and a strike-rate of 190.37. Apart from that, he has also picked up three wickets with his off-breaks. ICC Cricket World Cup 2015.
8) Daniel Vettori — With the kind of pace attack New Zealand boast in the tournament, it was unlikely that a spinner would have got to play a major role. However, the veteran left-arm spinner has used all his experience to be one of the most successful bowlers in the ongoing World Cup. He hasn’t let the pressure put on by the new-ball attack off on the opposition. He has maintained a right line and allowed little free scoring opportunities. He has bagged 13 wickets in six innings at an average of 13.69.
9) Mitchell Starc — The left-arm pacer has been in fine form, taking over the mantle of leading Australia’s pace attack in this world cup from Mitchell Johnson. He single-handedly turned the low-scoring match against New Zealand on its head, before Kane Williamson took the home side to a one-wicket win. In five matches, he has picked 16 wickets at an average of 8.40 and an economy of close to three and a half runs per over.
10) Mohammad Shami — The Indian pacer has led the attack well and his return to form has eased a lot of issues for the skipper. He has troubled all oppositions with his pace and bounce. In six matches, he has grabbed 15 wickets at an average of 12.60.
11) Trent Boult — Trent Boult has led the Kiwi attack. The left arm pacer broke into the Kiwis 50-over set-up recently and has been in fine form since then. Sharing the new-ball with Tim Southee he has caused havoc in the opposition ranks with his pace and swing. He has 15 wickets in six matches at an average of 15.60 — India.com