The World Cup 2019 produced a brand new World Cup champion as hosts England lifted the trophy for the first-ever time in cricket history, beating New Zealand by a 'superior boundary count' in the summit clash of the competition.
All through the World Cup, numerous records were broken by several players. While Rohit Sharma broke Kumar Sangakkara’s record of most centuries in a single edition of the tournament, Mitchell Starc broke compatriot Glenn McGrath’s record of most number of wickets in a single edition of the World Cup.
Starc also became the first bowler in the history of the game to take three 5-wicket hauls in World Cups. Tom Latham equalled Adam Gilchrist’s record of most dismissals by a wicket-keeper in a single World Cup. Yuvraj Singh's record of being the only player to score a half-century and take five wickets in a single World Cup found a new holder as Bangladesh all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan achieved the feat.
There were many remarkable performances in all departments as the tournament, barring a few lopsided encounters and washed out matches produced an equitable battle between bat and ball. Here is a look at the best player from each department at the end of the World Cup.
Best Batsman: Rohit Sharma (India)
The fact that both the highest run-scorer and wicket-taker did not feature in the summit clash exhibited why cricket is a team sport, and individual performances matter only up to a certain extent. Indian opener Rohit Sharma produced some of his best-ever batting performances, and yet India could fell short in the semifinal against New Zealand and crashed out of the tournament.
The 32-year-old from Maharashtra went on a rampage to break various seemingly unbreakable records that were held by legends of the game. He became the first player in the history of the sport to score five centuries in a single World Cup edition.
He also equalled Sachin Tendulkar’s record of six World Cup tons. In 9 matches, Rohit notched up 648 runs at a staggering average of 81. He also maintained a healthy strike rate of just over 98.
His 113-ball 140 against arch-rivals Pakistan was one of his best knocks while a crucial century against South Africa, on a pitch that was favouring the pacers all throughout was one of his standout knocks.
Best Bowler: Mitchell Starc
As expected by many, the pitches in England suited pace bowling and under overcast conditions, the pacers enjoyed a terrific tournament, considering the fact that there was no spinner who featured in the list of the 'Top 10 wicket-takers' list at the end of the tournament.
Mitchell Starc finished as the leading wicket-taker from the tournament, with a total of 27 wickets from just 10 matches in this edition of the World Cup, six more wickets than his nearest competitor in New Zealand’s Lockie Ferguson.
The 29-year-old lad from New South Wales proved why he is rated highly as one of the best fast bowlers in the tournament with two five-wicket hauls and an equal number of four-wicket hauls. He made batting seem difficult for some of the best batsmen with some serious pace and accurate line and length.
Starc's 5/26 against a strong New Zealand side was one of the standout performances from the pacer, apart from his 5/46 against West Indies. One of Australia's best bowlers in recent times, Starc's fine form was one of the bright sparks in Australia's World Cup campaign.
#3 All-rounder: Shakib Al Hasan
Bangladesh's veteran all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan has been a top-quality cricketer ever since he made his debut, and his impeccable consistency is extremely difficult to match. Now in his thirties, the man from Jessore is enjoying the form of his life. The Bangla Tigers have made great progress in cricket over the past decade, and Al Hasan played a major role in their rise.
Modern-day cricket is packed up batting and bowling all-rounders, but the 32-year-old is one of the rarer players who are equally good in both the departments. He amassed 606 runs in the recently concluded competition, at an astonishing average of 86. His ODI career strike rate is 82, but it skyrocketed to 96 in this World Cup. Besides being his country’s leading run-scorer, he also was Bangladesh’s best spinner, with 11 wickets in 8 matches. He also maintained an economy rate of just over 5 runs per over.
#4 Wicket-keeper: Alex Carey
Many Australian fans expressed their anger when they saw the 15-men squad. Their argument was simple – Matthew Wade deserved a place ahead of inexperienced Alex Carey. Wade, the veteran World Cup-winning keeper who is in his 30s, has in big stages for his country. Having represented his nation over 90 times in ODIs, Wade is regarded as a reliable cricketer throughout the nation. On the contrary, Carey is a relatively unknown commodity, having played only 19 ODIs before the World Cup. But Carey grabbed the opportunity with both hands and has been the find of the World Cup.
The 27-year-old from Loxton scored 375 runs in this World Cup, at an impressive average of 62. His average is second-highest amongst his teammates. He was also the fourth-highest run-scorer for his team, above many renowned superstars like Usman Khawaja and Glenn Maxwell. Carey was equally good behind the stumps, if not better. He took 18 catches and was responsible for a couple of stumpings. His nifty glove-work was a highlight throughout the tournament.