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Cricket World Cup 2023

In pictures: The ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup team of the week

My Kolkata picks the 11 players who made the biggest impact during the latest round of World Cup fixtures

By Priyam Marik | Published 03.11.23, 06:59 PM
1/12 The fourth team of the week of the 2023 ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup in India includes the likes of (L-R) Mohammed Shami, Travis Head and Shaheen Shah Afridi

The fourth team of the week of the 2023 ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup in India includes the likes of (L-R) Mohammed Shami, Travis Head and Shaheen Shah Afridi

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2/12 Quinton de Kock (South Africa): One could sense another big knock from de Kock against New Zealand after he managed only 24 against Pakistan. And de Kock, currently scoring runs with greater ease than ever before, did not disappoint. Without ever getting into top gear, he coasted along to his fourth century of this World Cup in Pune, which took him to 545 runs in the tournament. A couple more of these and de Kock will become the first man to cross 700 runs in a single edition of the World Cup, without breaking much of a sweat at that

Quinton de Kock (South Africa): One could sense another big knock from de Kock against New Zealand after he managed only 24 against Pakistan. And de Kock, currently scoring runs with greater ease than ever before, did not disappoint. Without ever getting into top gear, he coasted along to his fourth century of this World Cup in Pune, which took him to 545 runs in the tournament. A couple more of these and de Kock will become the first man to cross 700 runs in a single edition of the World Cup, without breaking much of a sweat at that

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3/12 Travis Head (Australia): Has there been a more impressive World Cup batting debut than the absolute carnage that Head unleashed on the Kiwis in Dharamshala on Saturday? Going all guns blazing with David Warner, Head looked like he could put Australia within touching distance of 500 by bludgeoning the ball in every conceivable direction. Eventually, though, Australia could only reach 388, as Head departed for 109 off 67 balls. His 10 fours and seven sixes featured some of the most heady batting (no pun intended!) seen at the tournament so far

Travis Head (Australia): Has there been a more impressive World Cup batting debut than the absolute carnage that Head unleashed on the Kiwis in Dharamshala on Saturday? Going all guns blazing with David Warner, Head looked like he could put Australia within touching distance of 500 by bludgeoning the ball in every conceivable direction. Eventually, though, Australia could only reach 388, as Head departed for 109 off 67 balls. His 10 fours and seven sixes featured some of the most heady batting (no pun intended!) seen at the tournament so far

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4/12 Rassie van der Dussen (South Africa): After struggling to get going against Pakistan in Chennai, van der Dussen, arguably the most underrated top-order batter in the world right now, took his time against New Zealand in Pune. With de Kock piling on the runs at the other end, the 34-year-old scored well below run-a-ball. But once he had understood the pace of the pitch, there was no stopping him. Even less so after he brought up his 100. A wonderfully paced 133 off 118 saw van der Dussen hit nine fours and five sixes, the bulk of which were classic cricketing shots played within the traditional V between cover and mid-wicket

Rassie van der Dussen (South Africa): After struggling to get going against Pakistan in Chennai, van der Dussen, arguably the most underrated top-order batter in the world right now, took his time against New Zealand in Pune. With de Kock piling on the runs at the other end, the 34-year-old scored well below run-a-ball. But once he had understood the pace of the pitch, there was no stopping him. Even less so after he brought up his 100. A wonderfully paced 133 off 118 saw van der Dussen hit nine fours and five sixes, the bulk of which were classic cricketing shots played within the traditional V between cover and mid-wicket

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5/12 Rachin Ravindra (New Zealand): It is a measure of his talent that even neutrals watching New Zealand chase 358 against South Africa in Pune were dismayed when Ravindra left with only nine runs against his name on Thursday. Just five days earlier, he had been unrelenting against the Aussies, gliding his way to the fastest century by a New Zealand batter in men’s cricket. Even though he perished for the cause, his 116 off 89 was the kind of knock that multiplies one’s fan base overnight

Rachin Ravindra (New Zealand): It is a measure of his talent that even neutrals watching New Zealand chase 358 against South Africa in Pune were dismayed when Ravindra left with only nine runs against his name on Thursday. Just five days earlier, he had been unrelenting against the Aussies, gliding his way to the fastest century by a New Zealand batter in men’s cricket. Even though he perished for the cause, his 116 off 89 was the kind of knock that multiplies one’s fan base overnight

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6/12 Shreyas Iyer (India): With four off 16 against England in Lucknow on Sunday, Iyer was effectively playing for his place in the Indian team against Sri Lanka at the Wankhede on Thursday. But the KKR captain did not let the pressure get to him, utilising an excellent foundation laid by Shubman Gill and Virat Kohli to launch into attack from the get-go. Iyer’s 82 off 56 was packed with six sixes, most of which came straight down the ground. By the time he was dismissed in the 48th over, India were well on their way to 350 and Iyer was back in the good books of Indian fans

Shreyas Iyer (India): With four off 16 against England in Lucknow on Sunday, Iyer was effectively playing for his place in the Indian team against Sri Lanka at the Wankhede on Thursday. But the KKR captain did not let the pressure get to him, utilising an excellent foundation laid by Shubman Gill and Virat Kohli to launch into attack from the get-go. Iyer’s 82 off 56 was packed with six sixes, most of which came straight down the ground. By the time he was dismissed in the 48th over, India were well on their way to 350 and Iyer was back in the good books of Indian fans

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7/12 Azmatullah Omarzai (Afghanistan): Four out of Afghanistan’s top five batters were on song against Sri Lanka in Pune on Monday. But it was Omarzai who was the standout performer with an unbeaten 73 off 63 balls, with six fours and three sixes. When Rahmat Shah got out for 62, it felt as if the Afghans might wobble, but Omarzai batted like he was having a stroll in the park, in tandem with skipper Hashmatullah Shahidi to script another unforgettable day for Afghani cricket

Azmatullah Omarzai (Afghanistan): Four out of Afghanistan’s top five batters were on song against Sri Lanka in Pune on Monday. But it was Omarzai who was the standout performer with an unbeaten 73 off 63 balls, with six fours and three sixes. When Rahmat Shah got out for 62, it felt as if the Afghans might wobble, but Omarzai batted like he was having a stroll in the park, in tandem with skipper Hashmatullah Shahidi to script another unforgettable day for Afghani cricket

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8/12 Shaheen Shah Afridi (Pakistan): After an indifferent start to this World Cup, one of the breakout stars of the last edition has hit his stride. Afridi was crucial in producing a thrilling game between Pakistan and South Africa in Chennai, but it was against Bangladesh in Kolkata that he truly found his groove. A lethal spell with the new ball saw him remove Tanzid Hasan and Najmul Hossain Shanto within the first four overs, the first of which made him the fastest bowler to reach 100 wickets in ODIs. A third wicket followed in the 31st over, as Afridi got rid of in-form Mahmudullah with a delivery that shaped in before leaving the hapless batter. Not unlike Wasim Akram in his heyday

Shaheen Shah Afridi (Pakistan): After an indifferent start to this World Cup, one of the breakout stars of the last edition has hit his stride. Afridi was crucial in producing a thrilling game between Pakistan and South Africa in Chennai, but it was against Bangladesh in Kolkata that he truly found his groove. A lethal spell with the new ball saw him remove Tanzid Hasan and Najmul Hossain Shanto within the first four overs, the first of which made him the fastest bowler to reach 100 wickets in ODIs. A third wicket followed in the 31st over, as Afridi got rid of in-form Mahmudullah with a delivery that shaped in before leaving the hapless batter. Not unlike Wasim Akram in his heyday

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9/12 Paul van Meekeren (Netherlands): With a little bit of help from the pitch and the weather in Kolkata, van Meekeren transformed from a classic utility player into a match winner for the Dutch against Bangladesh on Saturday. His four for 23 will not go down as one of the most spectacular bowling displays of this World Cup, but the spell was a captain’s dream. Van Meekeren chipped away at the Bangladeshi batters without giving them many boundary balls. Both Shakib al Hasan and Mushfiqur Rahim, the veterans who could have seen their nation over the line, were sent packing by van Meekeren as the Dutch registered one of their most famous wins ever

Paul van Meekeren (Netherlands): With a little bit of help from the pitch and the weather in Kolkata, van Meekeren transformed from a classic utility player into a match winner for the Dutch against Bangladesh on Saturday. His four for 23 will not go down as one of the most spectacular bowling displays of this World Cup, but the spell was a captain’s dream. Van Meekeren chipped away at the Bangladeshi batters without giving them many boundary balls. Both Shakib al Hasan and Mushfiqur Rahim, the veterans who could have seen their nation over the line, were sent packing by van Meekeren as the Dutch registered one of their most famous wins ever

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10/12 Keshav Maharaj (South Africa): Having gone wicketless at the MA Chidambaram Stadium against Pakistan, Maharaj made a fantastic comeback against the Kiwis at the MCA Stadium. He forced in-form Daryl Mitchell into a false shot almost immediately after coming into the attack, before Mitchell could make a substantial difference. But the pick of his four wickets for 46 runs in nine overs was the one of James Neesham, where Maharaj was able to get enough purchase from the square to sneak the ball between Neesham’s outstretched bat and pad and send it crashing into the stumps

Keshav Maharaj (South Africa): Having gone wicketless at the MA Chidambaram Stadium against Pakistan, Maharaj made a fantastic comeback against the Kiwis at the MCA Stadium. He forced in-form Daryl Mitchell into a false shot almost immediately after coming into the attack, before Mitchell could make a substantial difference. But the pick of his four wickets for 46 runs in nine overs was the one of James Neesham, where Maharaj was able to get enough purchase from the square to sneak the ball between Neesham’s outstretched bat and pad and send it crashing into the stumps

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11/12 Fazalhaq Farooqi (Afghanistan): Even before Afghanistan’s spin trio could get into the game against Sri Lanka, Farooqi had pegged the Lankans back in Pune with an impressive opening burst that clinched the wicket of Dimuth Karunaratne. But the 23-year-old left-armer was far from done, as he kept frustrating the opposition batters without trying anything outlandish. Three more wickets were added to his kitty, including those of Angelo Mathews and Maheesh Theekshana, as Sri Lanka were bundled out for 241 and Farooqi closed out with man of the match figures of four for 34 in his 10 overs

Fazalhaq Farooqi (Afghanistan): Even before Afghanistan’s spin trio could get into the game against Sri Lanka, Farooqi had pegged the Lankans back in Pune with an impressive opening burst that clinched the wicket of Dimuth Karunaratne. But the 23-year-old left-armer was far from done, as he kept frustrating the opposition batters without trying anything outlandish. Three more wickets were added to his kitty, including those of Angelo Mathews and Maheesh Theekshana, as Sri Lanka were bundled out for 241 and Farooqi closed out with man of the match figures of four for 34 in his 10 overs

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12/12 Mohammed Shami (India): Few things in sport seem more inevitable right now than Shami running into bowl and getting a wicket. As it turned out, the past week saw Shami get nine wickets and produce some of the most awe-inspiring fast bowling the World Cup has ever seen. In Lucknow, Shami was too hot to handle for the English, as four batters from the defending champions fell to India’s veteran pacer, with Ben Stokes, in particular, being tormented before being eliminated. Against Sri Lanka, Shami interrupted the Mohammed Siraj show to get a five-for in no time. The best of his bunch was the one that cleaned up Angleo Mathews as Sri Lanka endured deja vu from the Asia Cup to roll over for just 55 runs

Mohammed Shami (India): Few things in sport seem more inevitable right now than Shami running into bowl and getting a wicket. As it turned out, the past week saw Shami get nine wickets and produce some of the most awe-inspiring fast bowling the World Cup has ever seen. In Lucknow, Shami was too hot to handle for the English, as four batters from the defending champions fell to India’s veteran pacer, with Ben Stokes, in particular, being tormented before being eliminated. Against Sri Lanka, Shami interrupted the Mohammed Siraj show to get a five-for in no time. The best of his bunch was the one that cleaned up Angleo Mathews as Sri Lanka endured deja vu from the Asia Cup to roll over for just 55 runs

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