Coral’s Cricket World Cup Team of the Tournament starting XI
Australia beat fellow co-hosts New Zealand comfortably by seven wickets in the final at the famous Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), so, following the end of a remarkable World Cup, Coral writers pick our Team of the Tournament.
The competition had it all; records broken, colossal scores smashed, hat-tricks achieved, giants flopping, but here is our pick of the bunch…
Opener: Martin Guptill (New Zealand)
After hitting the most amount of runs of the World Cup (547 from nine innings) and getting the highest total (237 not out) against the West Indies, Guptill is our first pick to open. Unfortunately for him and New Zealand, he could manage just 15 in the final.
Opener: Brendon McCullum (New Zealand)
Black caps captain McCullum also flopped in the final, but was crucial to his nation’s unbeaten run the showdown at the MCG. His four 50s got New Zealand off to a great start in those matches.
Batsman: Kumar Sangakkara (Sri Lanka)
Legendary batsman Sangakkara, 37, was the leading run scorer up until the final, despite Sri Lanka being knocked out in the quarters. He got four consecutive centuries and averaged 108.20 from his seven innings.
Batsman: Steve Smith (Australia)
The Baggy Greens shared the runs amongst their batsmen throughout the World Cup, but rising star Smith shone the brightest. He hit a crucial unbeaten 56 in the final, following his 105 in the semi against India, and managed a total of 402 runs for the tournament.
Bastman: AB de Villiers (South Africa)
South Africa failed once again to get to a World Cup final, but passionate captain De Villiers gave it. The Proteas came agonisingly close to beating New Zealand in the semis, but De Villiers can still hold his head high by smashing 482 runs at an average of 96.40.
Wicketkeeper: Brendan Taylor (Zimbabwe)
Taylor is the only player to make this team whose side went out at the group stage. But the wicketkeeper-batsman was outstanding, and carried Zimbabwe as much as he could, by smashing successive centuries against Ireland and India, to finish with 433 runs from just six innings. It is a shame that the 29-year-old has now effectively ended his international career by signing as a Kolpak player for Nottinghamshire.
All-rounder: Corey Anderson (New Zealand)
Anderson is one of the few players from the tournament to really shine with both bat and ball, and his 231 runs and 14 wickets leading up to the final were hugely important for the Kiwis.
All-rounder: James Faulkner (Australia)
Faulkner was a magician with the ball from his devastating slower deliveries, and he completely destroyed New Zealand in the final to gain Man of the Match too. The 24-year-old took 10 wickets for the tournament, and was decent with the bat as well.
Bowler: Mitchell Starc (Australia)
Starc was undoubtedly the best bowler of the World Cup, as he took the joint-highest amount of wickets (22) with an incredible average of just 10.18 from eight innings.
Bowler: Mohammed Shami (India)
India had a terrific tournament, and they were unbeaten up until their last four thrashing at the hands of Australia, who took their title. Shami was brilliant with the ball, especially against Pakistan, West Indies and Ireland, and he can be proud with his 17 wickets (average 17.29) from seven innings.
Bowler: Trent Boult (New Zealand)
Boult was Starc’s nearest challenger in the bowling department, also gaining 22 wickets (average 16.86) but he played a match more – as Australia’s group game with Bangladesh was called off. He threatened to stop Australia’s chase in the final by getting the early wicket of Aaron Finch for a duck, but was unable to take anymore dismissals.