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Our judgments on the best player, match, and moment of the Cricket World Cup awards.

Best player

Mark Ramprakash Rachin Ravindra (New Zealand) was outstanding in the tournament’s opening game and his level barely dropped. He’s a wonderfully talented left-hander, aesthetically very good to watch, who hits the ball with elegant power and has a good head on his shoulders. Throw into the mix some probing left-arm spin and you’ve got a serious talent with a bright future.

Barney Ronay praises Mohammed Shami from India for his impressive performance on a team that is already dominating the field. Shami’s fast-medium bowling style has become a force to be reckoned with.

The International Cricket Council has reaffirmed that batting is the key factor in the game by selecting Virat Kohli from India. However, even though Kohli has scored a significant number of runs, Shami – who is known for his exceptional precision in seam bowling akin to that of Savile Row tailors – was likely the standout player throughout the tournament.

Virat Kohli on his way to his record-breaking 50th ODI century against New Zealand

Azmatullah Omarzai was a key player in transforming Afghanistan’s cricket team from being focused on spin bowling and lacking in batting skills. He was able to successfully attack strong bowling, maintain a high scoring rate, remain composed under pressure, and bowl challenging overs with impressive swing.

Simon Burnton has observed that in previous World Cups, openers have had an average score of over 50. However, this has never been achieved at the same pace as Rohit Sharma from India has displayed in this particular tournament. In each game, Sharma has consistently set the tone for India with great strength and composure, allowing his fellow batters to achieve remarkable feats.

Tanya Aldred Kohli managed to relieve the pressure, even with 48 life-size cutouts trailing him to Eden Gardens and 49 to Bengaluru. He outdid the Kiwis in the semi-finals and scored another 50 in the final, but ultimately fell to the captain of the tournament, Pat Cummins.

Best match

MR There have been lots of good games but Afghanistan against Australia was surely the most eventful, with the rank outsiders getting themselves into a position from which they probably win easily 99 times out of 100 only for the innings of the tournament from Glenn Maxwell to snatch victory from their grasp.

The semi-final between Australia and South Africa was not very competitive in the end and lacked excitement, but it showcased the captivating nature of a low-scoring 50-over knockout game with players fighting for victory until the very end.

Maxwell channeled his inner Undertaker in Mumbai, emerging from a state of constricted rigidity to dominate Afghanistan with an extraordinary ODI performance. Despite not always appearing confident, Australia was invigorated and began to envision success.

Glenn Maxwell thrashes a shot against Afghanistan

Australia and New Zealand played a high-scoring match, highlighted by David Warner and Travis Head’s aggressive performance against New Zealand’s opening bowlers. The match also showcased the determination and skill of Ravindra and James Neesham in the chase.

The match between SB South Africa and Pakistan was the first truly exciting game of the tournament. South Africa successfully chased a score of 271 with only one wicket remaining. Tabraiz Shamsi, who ultimately scored the winning runs, miraculously escaped a very close lbw decision when the team still needed eight runs to win.

TA South Africa v Pakistan: a slow‑burn thriller. Had ebb and flow, Shaheen Shah Afridi in full stride, brilliance from Mohammad Wasim and South Africa nine down with 11 needed.

Best moment

I was fortunate to witness MR Kohli achieve his 50th ODI century in the semi-final match against New Zealand. He then paid homage to the legendary Sachin Tendulkar, who retired with a total of 49 centuries. Having had the opportunity to play against Tendulkar and witness his incredible career, it was truly special to see Kohli follow in his footsteps and even surpass him, making it a historic moment.

The Afghanistan team’s victory over the world champions is a momentous event in the history of cricket, bringing pure delight to both players and fans.

Rashid Khan celebrates dismissing Liam Livingstone

The most amusing moment was when Angelo Mathews was timed out. Shakib Al Hasan showed no reaction, leading to a discussion about the “Spirit of Cricket”. Officials defended their time-keeping and Mathews shared proof on social media to dispute it. How absurd this sport can be.

Maxwell, the renowned athlete, was lying flat on his back in Mumbai due to cramps before making an incredible double century, scoring around 60 runs. A truly remarkable display of talent.

Some players from India may have been too focused on achieving personal milestones, which is not typically encouraged. However, when Virat Kohli hit a six to score his first century of the tournament and secure a win against Bangladesh in Pune, it was quite impressive.

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In the semi-final match, TA David Miller scored his hundred by powerfully hitting a six off Cummins. This impressive performance helped to stabilize South Africa’s innings, even though they eventually lost the game.

The 50-overs World Cup is expected to …

Keep going, MR. Due to the absence of regular 50-over series, some believe that we can simply forego these matches and focus on occasional tournaments. However, it is evident that T20s will continue to reign as the primary format. Despite Test cricket declining in popularity outside of the top three nations, I believe ODIs will still hold the second spot, and the importance of the World Cup will remain.

BR … be remembered fondly in books.

AM … live on, given broadcast deals are signed up until 2031. And it should. With the global landscape splitting off in two directions, it provides a stage for the best red- and white-ball players to come together and compete.

Fans watch the World Cup final on a big screen in Prayagraj.

GL … keep on going for now because India will want to win another before it gets mothballed for good. The frustration over this loss, of all of them, will go deep and last long.

SB … need teams to take it seriously. It’s a great format. But unless staged just before World Cups bilateral ODI series make little sense, and I fear as attention returns to T20s the 50-over game will atrophy quietly in the shadows. Ill-prepared teams make for shambolic and unpredictable tournaments (potentially quite fun, in a dirty way).

The TA continues to persist, despite being caught between the popularity of T20 matches and the traditional Test matches. However, its structure must be altered. The current round-robin format may be visually appealing, but it drags on for an excessively long duration.

In 2027 England will …

The MR team does not have any players who have won the World Cup before, and their team is completely different. I do not anticipate them to be considered as top contenders. It’s not because they lack talented players, but the overall attitude towards the 50-over game in this country has been proven to be lacking.

BR … stride into a bold new future under captain Moeen Ali, led by Jonny Bairstow and Wayne Larkins at the top, reinventing the game once again under super-cool-guy head coach Salt Bae.

In the future, we will have the opportunity to experience the beautiful golf courses of southern Africa, as well as the more authentic pitches in between matches. However, due to the expected changes in players and the decrease in ODIs, building a team that can compete for titles will not be an easy task.

GL … revolutionise world cricket with cybernetic AI implants before Australia win the World Cup anyway with Nathan Bracken, Stuart Clark and Doug Bollinger.

SB … have a decent squad and be due to play 16 ODIs between July 2026 and January 2027, including three away at World Cup co-hosts South Africa (where they’ll also play three Tests and three T20s that winter), and thus look in danger of turning up in decent nick. It’s the hope that kills you, etc.

In the upcoming season, the TA will gradually phase out most players who were given full central contracts this year. Zak Crawley will lead the team to the semi-finals, but ultimately they will suffer a defeat to Pakistan, who will go on to win the tournament.

Source: theguardian.com