The 2019 World Cup ended with a bang as England lifted their maiden 50-over world crown following a sensational super over in the Lord’s final.
After a month-and-a-half of high-quality cricket on challenging pitches, we have a new world champion.
The standard of cricket in this edition was of the highest order – none more so than the final that New Zealand came agonisingly close to winning, twice.
Only the best batsmen and bowlers makde a mark. With the tournament now over, we attempt to create the 2019 CWC Dream XI.
Here are our picks.
Jason Roy (ENGLAND)
Matches: 8, Runs: 443, 100s/50s: 1/4, Avg: 63.28
England truly realised Roy;s value when he got injured during the league phase, which coincided with their failure to chase down 233 against Sri Lanka and 286 against Australia.
But the moment Roy came back, all was good again. Four century stands for the first wicket with Jonny Bairstow was largely the reason for their dominance, especially their emphatic eight-wicket win over Australia in the semi-final.
Rohit Sharma (INDIA)
Matches: 9, Runs: 648, 100s/50s: 5/1, Avg: 81
A staggering performance from the India opener who easily overshadowed the king of ODI batting – Virat Kohli. Rohit had two fruitful partnerships at the top of the order with Shikhar Dhawan and then KL Rahul.
Rohit did well to negotiate the new ball against some quality opposition and was rewarded with a record five tons in one World Cup. Sadly, fell for one in a low scoring chase against New Zealand.
Shakib Al Hasan (BANGLADESH)
Matches: 8, Runs: 606, 100s/50s: 2/5, Wickets: 11
It will difficult for any player to have a more fruitful outing in a World Cup than the Bangladesh star man. Shakib spent one month during the IPL preparing for the World Cup, getting as fit as possible.
When the big moment came, Shakib was on top of his game. Batting at number three, he held the Tigers’ batting together with an incredible seven scores of fifty or more. With the ball, he was equally deadly, bowling 74 overs at an economy of 5.3. Easily the MVP of the tournament.
Joe Root (ENGLAND)
Matches: 11, Runs: 556, 100s/50s: 2/3, Avg: 61.7
In a side filled with big hitters all the way down to number nine, Root is the one man who holds it all together. More than 550 runs from 11 outings shows how crucial a proper batsman is to even the most explosive batting line-up in history.
As if that wasn’t enough, he even bowled 10 overs and picked up two wickets in the tournament with his wily off-spin. Along with Kane Williamson, the most versatile batsman in all conditions and formats.
Kane Williamson (c) (New Zealand)
Matches: 10, Runs: 578, 100s/50s: 2/2, Avg: 82.57
Arguably the best batsman in the game at the moment. Walking in at one or two down for next to nothing almost every single match, Kane single-handedly dragged the Blackcaps into the semi-finals and, nearly, to world glory.
His unbeaten ton in a tense chase against South Africa and a patient 67 off 95 balls in the semi-final against India summarised his ability to gauge the conditions and match situation better than anyone else in the game. Maximising every available resource in the squad is a typically Kiwi attribute and no-one does it better than Williamson.
Ben Stokes (ENGLAND)
Matches: 11, Runs: 465, Avg: 66.42, Wickets: 7
With the bat and ball, Stokes delivered whenever the team has needed him. His miserly bowling left a lasting impact in the middle overs. Stokes bowled just over 50 overs in the tournament and maintained an economy of 4.83, which was bettered only by Jofra Archer in the England side.
One of the most memorable moments came in the field, with his stunning one-handed catch behind him against the Proteas.
But it was with the bat that he lifted the title for England, his incredible unbeaten 84 and then heroics in the super over at Lord’s on Sunday great redemption for the heartbreaking four sixes in the World T20 final loss to the West Iindies in 2016. There is nothing he can’t do and Stokes did it all at the 2019 CWC.
Alex Carey (AUSTRALIA)
Matches: 10, Runs: 375, 50s: 3, Catches/Stumpings: 18/2
The most impressive keeper in the tournament by far. Carey showed great courage down the order with the bat, rescuing Australia with crucial runs at a strike rate of 104.
Not only was Carey safe as houses with the gloves, Australia were always in the game as long as he was out there. Even against England in the semi-final, it was his century stand with Steve Smith that kept the Aussies in the game. One for the future in all formats.
Jofra Archer (ENGLAND)
Matches: 11, Wickets: 20, Best: 3-27, Econ: 4.57
Now we know why England altered their qualification process to fast-track Barbadian Archer’s availability for the World Cup. Bowling with top pace through 10 overs, Archer proved to be so good, teams just tried to play him out.
Was entrusted with bowling the super over as England defended 15, which he managed under intense pressure. With a top speed of 154kph, Archer not only pegged back opposition batting, he routinely pinged batsmen on the helmet.
The 24-year-old is not only the find of the tournament, he should walk into the England Test team for the Ashes.
Jasprit Bumrah (INDIA)
Matches: 9, Wickets: 18, Best: 4-55, Econ: 4.41
The right arm-quick was as impressive as Archer in the tournament, with batsmen trying to not give him a wicket. Bumrah gave it his all in England and it is a shame he doesn’t have a world title to show for his efforts.
He won seemingly lost matches at the death – notably against Afghanistan and Bangladesh. His yorkers became even more lethal as Bumrah was as valuable, maybe even more, than Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma to the team.
Shaheen Afridi (PAKISTAN)
Matches: 5, Wickets: 16, Best: 6-35, Econ: 4.96
For some reason, Shaheen didn’t play all of Pakistan’s matches in the tournament. Maybe if the team management had shown more faith in him than Hasan Ali, the Men in Green would have won at least one more match and qualified for the semis.
In five matches, the young left-arm quick proved his class by snaring 16 scalps including a five-for at Lord’s. Maybe by the next World Cup, he will become an unstoppable force.
Mitchell Starc (AUSTRALIA)
Matches: 10, Wickets: 27, Best: 5-26, Econ: 5.43
The swing, pace and snarl was back. Australia allowed Starc to miss fixtures just so that he was fighting fit to last a month at the World Cup. And after the league stage, it became clear why.
Starc topped 150kph every match and was a treat to watch with the new and old ball alike. Not only was he the highest wicket taker of the tournament, Starc also benefited from following the traditional form of quick bowling – fast and straight.
12th man: Ravindra Jadeja
New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson had no complaints on the manner in which England beat New Zealand to the 2019 World Cup trophy at Lord’s.
A super over followed a tied game but a tie in that too handed the hosts the trophy by virtue of scoring more boundaries.
Williamson had absolutely no problem with a game of such high magnitude being decided in such a way.
“I suppose you never thought you’d have to ask that question and I never thought I’d have to answer it,” he said after the game.
“You know, it just is what it is really, the rules are there at the start. No-one probably thought that we would have to sort of resort to some of that stuff, but yeah, very tough to swallow.”
Liam Plunkett has become England’s lucky charm – and even when they looked dead and buried the veteran seamer knew they were destined for glory.
England are world champions for the first time in the history of the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup – after a thrilling final victory over New Zealand at Lord’s.
Ben Stokes’ heroics rescued a chase that looked all but over and then performed more miracles in the super over alongside Jos Buttler.
The Blackcaps then fell agonisingly short in response, and Plunkett ends this World Cup unbeaten – England’s three group-stage losses happened with Plunkett left out of the XI.
And after a four-year journey under captain Eoin Morgan that has taken them to the top of the world – the 34-year-old believes destiny has played its part.
“The old lucky charm thing, I was riding with it. I was hoping the coach thinks that so I can get a game,” he said.
“What a day, it’s been a long journey. I played against Ross Taylor in the first World Cup I played, and now in the blink of an eye I am playing him at Lord’s.
“I don’t believe in the stars and all that stuff, but it was the first time that I felt: ‘This is meant to be.’
“We have played together as a group for the last four years and we have played difference countries and we have dominated teams.
“I just felt we did deserve it as a bunch of guys.
“We are good mates but we also work hard. Everyone else does but I felt it was meant to be. Especially when those overthrows went, that changed the tide.”
Plunkett was selected way back for the 2007 World Cup as a young tyro, but has since had to bide his time with long spells in the international wilderness.
But after this watershed moment on free-to-air TV he hopes the first Ashes winning team of 2005 that inspired a nation have been replicated 14 years on.
He added: “The last four years playing for England was the best time of my life.
“Even if we didn’t win the World Cup it would have still be a journey. We have been amazing, we have changed the culture of cricket in England.
“People expect us to win which is a lot different from a few years back.
“To watch guys like Jos, freaks like Jofra step up to the plate, it’s amazing for me to just watch it.
“What a day, it has changed the history of English cricket and everyone got to watch that. I hope everyone gets involved and loves it like when we won the Ashes. It was a special day.”
Plunkett has chipped in with big wickets all tournament – he dismissed Chris Gayle, Virat Kohli and Quinton de Kock to name but three – but he got the biggest fish of all on Sunday.
Kiwi skipper Kane Williamson nicked off to Buttler as England tightened the screw, and Plunkett was delighted to return to England’s side at just the right time.
“Kane is a massive player and to get a crucial wicket is what I do pride myself on so it was nice to get that,” he added.
“As soon as I came up the hill (from the Nursery End) I felt comfortable attacking the crease, it felt a lot better.
“To get that wicket and close up and not go for many wickets. I was satisfied but I knew the job was half done.
“You cannot be too bitter (if you are out the team), you can be bitter and upset inside that you are not playing. Especially if you feel like you are doing well. But look at TC (Tom Curran), he has done nothing wrong, his stats have been class.
“You can be disappointed but you have to turn up and keep training. And when you get the nod, you have got perform.”