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Strongest World Cup XI of the 21st Century

Deepak Bisht
CONTRIBUTOR
Top 5 / Top 10
05 Mar 2019, 05:47 IST

No. 4 and 5: AB de Villiers and Andrew Symonds

South Africa v West Indies - 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup
South Africa v West Indies - 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup

AB de Villiers, the Superman of cricket, features at No. 4. In just 22 world cup innings between 2007 to 2015, AB amassed 1207 runs at an average of 63.52 and a smoking strike rate of 117.29. He sits at No. 5 in the list of world cup all-time leading run scorers. His knock of 162* in just 66 deliveries is arguably the best world cup inning ever. He jointly holds the record of most sixes (37) in world cup games with Chris Gayle at the moment.


ICC Cricket World Cup Final - Australia v Sri Lanka
ICC Cricket World Cup Final - Australia v Sri Lanka

Yes, this must be surprising for a lot of you, at least it was for me. But, as I started digging the stats, Andrew Symonds, came out to be the best among those who fit the criteria. He averages a surprising 103 in the world cup. Of the 13 world cup innings he has played in between 2003 and 2007, he stayed not out in 8 of them. He scored 143* in his first world cup inning in 2003. But his best world cup inning of 91* came in the semi-final against Sri Lanka in the same world cup which helped Australia reach the finals. He was eventually awarded the player of the match for his knock.


All-rounder: Yuvraj Singh

Australia v India - 2011 ICC World Cup Quarter-Final
Australia v India - 2011 ICC World Cup Quarter-Final

At No. 6 and as an all-rounder features the Man of the Tournament of the 2011 world cup, Yuvraj Singh. He's the only player in this team to have won a world cup Man of the Tournament award. In his 21 world cup innings between 2003 to 2011, he scored 738 runs at an average of 52.71 and a strike-rate of 90.33. As a bowler, he has picked up 20 wickets at an impressive average of 23.10.


Wicketkeeper/Captain: MS Dhoni

India v Sri Lanka - 2011 ICC World Cup Final
India v Sri Lanka - 2011 ICC World Cup Final

If you would say that MS Dhoni is the best captain of this generation, not many would disagree. And if you would say that MS Dhoni is the best wicketkeeper of this generation, no one would disagree. Often regarded by fans as the flash behind the stumps, Dhoni features as the wicket-keeper in this team.

In the 20 innings he has kept for India, he has effected 32 dismissals (the 3rd most in world cup history). The only other qualifying wicket-keepers who have a better dismissals/inning rate are Brad Haddin and Dinesh Ramdin. But with Dhoni you also get a finisher with a world cup batting average of 42.25 and a captain with a win percentage of 85.29. Couldn't ask for more, right.

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