After high octane action for six weeks, England lifted the World Cup for the first time in cricketing history. Many expected the World Cup to be the one where batsmen would dominate the bowlers because of the pitches and high-scoring pattern in England in the last four years.
Although few batsmen were on a run-scoring spree, it was the bowlers who called the shots in the tournament. Many low totals were defended successfully during the second half of the tournament. Teams with a strong bowling unit were the ones that qualified for the knockouts.
Successful teams used their resources well in terms of team selection. Many players who were expected to play a supporting role, turned to be the main cast. That X-factor helped teams to win games from losing positions. Let's look at seven such underrated players who did exceedingly well in the 2019 WC.
#7 Hardik Pandya - India
Hardik Pandya's reputation as a batsman is high after his exploits in the Indian Premier League 2019. But with the ball, he was seen as a potential weak link that opposition batsmen might target at. That prompted the team management to play Kedar Jadhav who was the team's sixth bowling option.
But the Baroda all-rounder had an excellent tournament with the ball. In the pressure game against Pakistan, he dismissed the experienced duo of Mohammad Hafeez and Shoaib Malik in two successful deliveries to break the middle order.
Defending a low total against Afghanistan, he provided crucial breakthroughs in the form of Gulbadin Naib and Najibullah Zadran. His best performance came against Bangladesh where he used the conditions well to outsmart the batsmen. On a slow pitch, his off-cutters and slower deliveries deceived the likes of Shakib Al Hasan and Soumya Sarkar.
His effectiveness was so much that the team management played the second half of the WC with only five bowling options in the playing 11