10 unsung World Cup Heroes
These players contributed immensely to their teams' victories but have not been acknowledged as much as they should be.
It’s true that there is no “I” in a team. However, there come so many occasions when the team’s success in a match relies on a particular player or two. In 43 years of the ICC Cricket World Cup history, there have been so many players who have produced such marvellous performances that they deserve to be called “World Cup Heroes.”
Many such heroes are still fondly remembered by cricket fans. However, there are some players whose World Cup performances haven’t stood the test of time and they are not appreciated as much as they should be. Here are 10 unsung World Cup Heroes.
#10 James Faulkner
When Australia’s 2015 World Cup win is remembered, the names that generally come to our minds are Mitchell Starc, Steve Smith, David Warner, etc. However, one name that deserves to be amongst the biggest contributors to Australia’s win is James Faulkner.
Faulkner did not play Australia’s first three matches of the tournament against England, Bangladesh and New Zealand. He made his World Cup debut against Afghanistan where he had a rather forgettable outing, scoring just 7 with the bat and going wicket-less in his four overs.
In Australia’s next match against Sri Lanka, Faulkner took three wickets with the ball and this performance cemented his place in Australia’s playing XI. The all-rounder, however, saved his best for the knockout stages.
In the quarter-final, Faulkner bowled an economical spell of 1/31 in 7.5 overs. In the semi-final against India, Faulkner smashed 21 of just 12 deliveries with the bat and took three wickets with the ball which made up for his economy rate of 6.55.
The then 24-year old produced his best bowling performance of the competition in the final against New Zealand. After losing three early wickets, New Zealand were looking in a good position thanks to the 111-run partnership between Ross Taylor and Grant Elliot. Then Faulkner came in and broke the partnership by dismissing Taylor. This triggered a collapse of the Kiwi batting. He later dismissed Corey Anderson before bagging the much-needed wicket of Grant Elliott. New Zealand were dismissed for 184 and Australia comfortably chased down the target with 16.5 overs to spare.
Faulkner finished with figures of 3/36 and was adjudged the Man of the Match. He was Australia’s 3rd highest wicket-taker of the competition with 10 wickets at an economy rate of 4.70.