From Mohammed Shami to Jasprit Bumrah, to Gerald Coetzee and Adam Zampa - the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 saw every bowler come to party. Here we look at the top bowlers from the tournament that were the cynosure of everyone's eyes
Despite the Cricket World Cup 2023 being dominated with the bat, there were some notable bowling performances that caught everyone's eye. Prior to the start, many predicted that bowlers will be dominated by the batters due to the placid nature of the Indian pitches. However, Indian bowlers as well as other notable stars proved that theory wrong with their performances. (As It Happened | Scorecard | Pics | Full Coverage)
Here we look at the top bowlers from the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 tournament that dominated the news with the ball -
1) Mohammed Shami (India, 24 Wickets)
Indian management had to think close and hard about replacing Hardik Pandya, a decent bowler and an attacking batter down the order, with someone who could provide them with wickets at crucial intervals. Enter Mohammed Shami - the right-arm pacer got his opportunity during India's match against New Zealand in Dharamsala and he grabbed it with both hands. A fifer in the game and Shami did not look back since. Twelve wickets against the same opposition (Blackcaps) in the tournament speaks volumes of the bowler as a whole. Shami ended the tournament with 24 scalps to his name at an average of 10.71.
2) Dilshan Madhushanka (Sri Lanka, 21 wickets)
Despite Sri Lankan facing turmoil back home, one of the brightest talent to emerge from their dismal World Cup was left-arm pacer Dilshan Madhushanka. One of his highlights of the tournament would be the delivery that dismissed Indian skipper Rohit Sharma in Mumbai. Madhushanka managed to scalp 21 wickets at an average of 25 despite other bowlers failing around him. Sri Lanka might have been caught on the wrong end of the cricketing spectrum but Madhushanka's performance should give their fans a little bit of hope amidst all the doom and gloom.
3) Gerald Coetzee (South Africa, 20 wickets)
South Africa's Gerald Coetzee came in as a replacement for their injured pacer Anrich Nortje, but the former did not put a foot wrong his performance as the wickets column are a proof of it. Coetzee's heroic effort in the semi-final against Australia where he managed to scalp the wickets of Steve Smith and Josh Inglis were praiseworthy. Despite the Proteas going out in yet another ICC knockout game, they shouldn't be despondent over it and should try to build around a talent like Coetzee who almost heroically took them to the World Cup finals.
4) Bas de Leede (Netherlands, 16 wickets)
Dutch all-rounder Bas de Leede manages to feature on the list of highest wicket-takers in the Cricket World Cup 2023 despite the Dutch managing two wins in the tournament. For a associate nation cricketer to scalp 16 wickets at an average of 30.44 in the list that features Shaheen Shah Afridi, Jasprit Bumrah and Adam Zampa amongst others, De Leede's performance speaks volumes.
5) Marco Jansen (South Africa, 17 wickets)
Another Proteas star who had a splendid Cricket World Cup 2023 is none other than the tall and lanky Marco Jansen. Seventeen wickets at an average of 26.47 in the tournament is quite commendable along with some runs down the order too! Jansen's partnership alongside the centurion Heinrich Klaasen in their mammoth win over England in Mumbai was an eye-catching one. Furthermore, Jansen earned praise from 1992 World Cup winner and bowling icon Wasim Akram. “If I have to pick one on present form, I’ll definitely definitely go for South Africa’s Jansen. It’s a complete package. He gets you wickets with the new ball; he’s got pace, 140-plus on a regular basis; he is tall, gets extra bounce, and then he can bat. He’s a very good batter at number seven, number eight, good power hitter, and he’s having a great tournament apart from one or two games maybe,” Akram was quoted speaking on Club Prairie Fire podcast.
6) Adam Zampa (Australia, 23 Wickets)
Australian bowlers might not have hit the heights in the Cricket World Cup 2023 but one bowler who was a standout was spinner Adam Zampa. The spinner plucked 23 wickets and was always amongst the wickets even in high-scoring games. Zampa's guile and spin variations were better suited to the Indian conditions and the Aussie made the most of it as he managed to take three four-wicket hauls in the tournament. Zampa scalped just one wicket in the final as he finished with 23 wickets to his name at an average of 22.39.
7) Jasprit Bumrah (India, 20 wickets)
Another Indian pacer who terrorised opposition batters is Jasprit Bumrah. The 29-year-old, who missed key tournaments last year, notably the Asia Cup and T20 World Cup, made up for his absence with all-out attack. Despite Mohammed Shami taking in all the plaudits for this performances, Bumrah's opening burst should not be forgotten as it sets up the tone for the Indian bowlers later in the innings. Bumrah might not have won India the final but his comeback to the team must give Indian management much hope in future tournaments and series.
8) Mitchell Santner (New Zealand, 16 wickets)
The Blackcaps might have been beaten fair and square in the semi-final to India but that shouldn't take away the sheen from their bowling performances in this tournament. Mitchell Santner's 16 wickets at an average of 28.06 was the bright spark in what was a decent tournament for the Black Caps.
9) Shaheen Afridi (Pakistan, 18 wickets)
Pakistan's World Cup was an underwhelming one as it led to Babar Azam resigning from the captaincy post from all formats as well as Inzamam-ul-Haq's resignation as the chief selector. However, if one have to look back at their performances, Shaheen Shah Afridi's 18 wickets could be counted as a great achievement given the repercussions their national cricket team faced post their exit from the marquee tournament.
10) Keshav Maharaj (South Africa, 15 wickets)
South African spinner Keshav Maharaj scalped 15 wickets in the tournament at an average of 24.67 as his team made an heartbreaking exit from the tournament to Australia in the semis. Despite the exit, Maharaj's performance in the event was quite a satisfactory one that included one four-fer and also managed to take the crown of being the number one ODI bowler in the ICC Rankings dated November 2, 2023.
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