Ahead of the second semi-final between England and Australia at Edgbaston I selected my own team of the tournament in what has been an absorbing competition. No place for Indian skipper Virat Kohli who, arguably, underachieved when push came to shove but who has made the cut?
1. Rohit Sharma (India)
Had his fair share of luck at the beginning of a number of his innings, but five centuries and 648 runs speak volumes. One of the most graceful batsmen of this or any other generation although he was unable to get India across the line when it mattered against the Black Caps.
2. David Warner (Australia)
The stats from the recent Indian Premier League suggested Warner was back to his best after returning from exile, although he was not at his most fluent in the early games. Was given the backing of skipper Aaron Finch to carry on at his own pace when some were expressing their concern at his modest strike rate. That is no longer an issue for the leading run scorer in the competition.
3. Kane Williamson (c) (New Zealand)
Has led his New Zealand side into Sunday’s Final against the odds and his 548 runs at an average of over 90 has been pivotal. His 67 against India in those almost sub-continent conditions at Old Trafford showed he had the cricketing brain to identify that even the much-vaunted Indian batting would struggle on that difficult surface.
4. Babar Azam (Pakistan)
I remember watching Babar Azam in South Africa last winter and felt then that he had the ability and class to become a world class player. I feel the Pakistani batsman has come of age this World Cup. Babar is only 24 and we are going to hear so much more of this rare talent, although he must convert more starts into hundreds if he is to fulfil his undoubted potential.
5. Shakib Al Hasan (Bangladesh)
The leading all-rounder of the tournament and, while he only picked up 11 wickets with his slow left arm bowling, his economy rate of 5.39 runs per over was excellent given this was a World Cup dominated by the quicks. To score over 600 runs at a strike rate of almost a run a ball was a wonderful achievement for the Bangladeshi talisman and his performances with bat and ball ensure he is one of the first on the team sheet.
6. Ben Stokes (England)
Our second batting all-rounder narrowly edges out Hardik Pandya for a spot at number six. At the time of writing Stokes tops the England bowling averages with an economy rate of 4.65 and a batting average of over 54. His fielding isn’t bad either!
7. Alex Carey (Australia)
It hasn’t been a great World Cup for his rivals for the wicketkeeping slot. Despite a hundred against Pakistan it hasn’t been a great tournament so far for Jos Buttler, Quinton de Kock failed to fire in a spluttering South Africa side and MS Dhoni is past his best whether he is wearing batting or wicketkeeping gloves.
Carey meanwhile has been outstanding for the Baggy Greens with most dismissals in the tournament and an average with the bat of over 65 and a strike-rate of 113.
8. Jofra Archer (England)
Has given hosts England the X Factor with his pace and aggression with the new ball and I feel he will have a big part to play in the forthcoming Ashes series. The five Tests come thick and fast beginning at Edgbaston on the 1st August and ending at the Oval on the 12th September – I wonder if Jimmy Anderson and Stuart Broad can play 25 days of Test cricket, and the number of overs that will involve, at this stage of their respective careers.
9. Mitchell Starc (Australia)
The leading wicket-taker in the competition and has carried the Australia attack with Pat Cummins not at his very best over the last month. There were at least three outstanding left arm quicks in the tournament but Starc’s numbers give him the nod over Trent Boult and Mohammad Amir.
10. Jasprit Bumrah (India)
Eighteen wickets and a run rate of less than 4.5 per over, despite invariably bowling at the death, makes Bumrah a candidate for player of the tournament although that accolade probably went west when New Zealand won a classic semi-final played out over a 28-hour period under leaden Manchester skies midweek.
11. Imran Tahir (South Africa)
Forty-year-old Imran Tahir retired from the 50-over game at the end of the tournament, but he bowled tremendously well throughout the competition and his wild post-wicket celebrations will be one of the indelible images of the 2019 World Cup.
Others who made the 15-man squad: