AB de Villiers has unveiled his ‘Team of the Tournament’ following the gripping finale of the 2023 ODI World Cup, where Australia clinched their sixth title by triumphing over India with a six-wicket victory at Ahmedabad’s Narendra Modi Stadium on Sunday.
Throughout the tournament, remarkable individual performances with both bat and ball sparkled, rewriting records such as the fastest World Cup century, the highest team total in World Cup history, and the most five-wicket hauls in a single edition, all thanks to exceptional displays.
The selection for the opening pair was fiercely debated, considering strong contenders like David Warner and Quinton de Kock. However, de Villiers settled on Travis Head and Rohit Sharma to lead the batting lineup.
Despite Head’s shorter stint in the World Cup, his impactful return from a fractured finger included a crucial century in the thrilling encounter against New Zealand. While he encountered a series of low scores towards the end of the league phase, Head compensated with match-winning performances in both the semi-final and final matches.
Rohit Sharma, on the other hand, played a pivotal role in India’s unbeaten run until the final showdown. The skipper showcased dominance against all bowling attacks and consistently provided a strong foundation to the middle order with his aggressive batting style.
Virat Kohli made history by surpassing Sachin Tendulkar’s legendary record for the most runs scored by a player in a single edition of the competition. Kohli’s impressive tally of 765 runs at an astounding average of 95.62 outshone the previous record of 673 runs set in 2003.
The trio of Rachin Ravindra, Shreyas Iyer, and Glenn Maxwell completed AB de Villiers’ Team of the Tournament. Rachin Ravindra left an indelible mark with three centuries, concluding the World Cup as the fourth highest run-scorer. The New Zealand all-rounder initially filled in at No. 3 in place of Kane Williamson and later opened the innings once the skipper returned from injury.
Shreyas Iyer showcased his potential in his debut World Cup campaign by securing consecutive centuries, amassing a total of 530 runs in 11 innings. Meanwhile, Maxwell played a pivotal role in Australia’s title victory, registering centuries against the Netherlands and Afghanistan. Notably, his century against the former became the quickest in the tournament’s history, while his double century against the latter stood as the only instance in a successful run chase.
Apart from Maxwell, de Villiers designated Ravindra Jadeja as the second spin-bowling all-rounder. The Indian left-arm spinner shone in subcontinent conditions, controlling the middle overs while contributing significantly with his exceptional fielding. His five-wicket haul against South Africa in the league stage further solidified his impact.
Regarding the bowling unit, the former Proteas star enlisted Adam Zampa, Dilshan Madushanka, Gerald Coetzee, and Mohammed Shami. Zampa commenced the World Cup with a lukewarm start as Australia suffered initial setbacks. However, he turned the tide, consistently claiming wickets to finish as the tournament’s second-highest wicket-taker with 23 dismissals.
Madushanka emerged as a lone positive for Sri Lanka amidst an otherwise forgettable campaign, securing 21 crucial wickets. Another rising star, Proteas’ Coetzee, showcased spirited bowling performances, clinching 20 wickets throughout the tournament.
Finally, Shami had a remarkable 2023 World Cup, stepping up after Hardik Pandya’s mid-tournament injury. His impactful five-wicket hauls against New Zealand and Sri Lanka in the league stage culminated in a historic seven-wicket haul during the semi-final triumph. Shami surpassed the 50-wicket mark in ODI World Cups, concluding the 2023 edition with an impressive tally of 24 scalps.
AB de Villiers’ 2023 World Cup Team of the Tournament: Travis Head, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Rachin Ravindra, Shreyas Iyer, Glenn Maxwell, Ravindra Jadeja, Adam Zampa, Dilshan Madushanka, Gerald Coetzee, Mohammed Shami.