As the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 is set to kick off in India, the cricketing world is abuzz with anticipation. With the tournament taking place in familiar subcontinent conditions, the Indian cricket team finds itself under a spotlight, carrying the hopes and dreams of millions of fans. Veterans like Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, and Ravichandran Ashwin, playing in their third or fourth World Cup in their mid-to-late 30s, are looking to leave their mark, while young talents like Shubman Gill, Shreyas Iyer, Suryakumar Yadav, and Mohammed Siraj will experience the grandeur of the tournament for the first time.
Over the course of the next six weeks, legends will cement their names in history, and rising stars will ascend to superstardom. The line between creating history and facing disappointment can be as thin as one exceptional innings, one memorable bowling spell, or an extraordinary fielding effort, as has been witnessed throughout the history of this marquee event.
As the tournament draws closer, let’s take a closer look at some of the Indian cricket stars who have left an indelible mark on the World Cup through their exceptional performances:
Also See: India Cricket Schedule 2024
1. Sachin Tendulkar: The Master Blaster
The Indian batting maestro is the leading run-scorer in World Cup history, having amassed 2,278 runs in 45 matches and 44 innings. His remarkable average of 56.95 and a strike rate of 88.98 reflect his consistency and ability to dominate the biggest stage. Sachin Tendulkar boasts six centuries and 15 half-centuries in his World Cup career, with his highest score being 152. Moreover, he holds the record for the most centuries in World Cup history. In both the 1996 and 2003 editions, Tendulkar topped the run-scoring charts with 523 and 673 runs, respectively. His 673 runs in 2003 remain the highest total by a batter in a single edition of the tournament.
2. Virat Kohli: The Modern Maestro
Virat Kohli, often regarded as the heir to Sachin Tendulkar’s legacy, has continued the tradition of batting excellence. In 26 World Cup matches, Kohli has accumulated 1,030 runs at an average of 46.81 and a strike rate of 86.70. He has two centuries and six half-centuries to his name, with a highest score of 107. As India’s second-highest run-scorer in World Cup history, Kohli’s performance in front of his home crowd will be closely watched as he aims to break records and lead India to victory.
3. Sourav Ganguly: The ‘Dada’ of Indian Cricket
Sourav Ganguly, affectionately known as ‘Dada,’ made his mark in World Cups with his elegant left-handed strokes and astute captaincy. In 21 matches, Ganguly scored 1,006 runs at an impressive average of 55.58. He registered four centuries and three half-centuries, with a highest score of 183. Ganguly stands as India’s third-highest run-scorer in World Cup history, leaving a lasting legacy.
4. Rohit Sharma: The Hitman
Rohit Sharma, often referred to as the ‘Hitman,’ has been a force to reckon with in the two World Cups he has played. In 17 World Cup matches, he has accumulated 978 runs at a remarkable average of 65.20 and a strike rate of 95.97. Rohit has recorded six centuries and three half-centuries, with a highest score of 140. His performance in the 2019 World Cup, where he amassed 648 runs with five centuries and a half-century in just nine games, remains one of the most outstanding displays in a global cricket tournament.
5. Zaheer Khan: The Swing Magician
Zaheer Khan, the left-arm pace sensation, played a pivotal role in India’s bowling attack. In 23 World Cup matches, he captured 44 wickets at an average of 20.22, with the best bowling figures of 4/42. Zaheer was part of the World Cup-winning Indian team in 2011 and shared the honor of being the joint-highest wicket-taker with 21 scalps. He remains India’s highest wicket-taker in World Cup history and ranks sixth overall.
6. Javagal Srinath: The Pacer Extraordinaire
Javagal Srinath, a key component of India’s pace battery alongside Venkatesh Prasad and Zaheer Khan, delivered consistently in World Cups. With 44 wickets in 34 matches at an average of 27.81, Srinath was a vital asset for the team. His best bowling figures in World Cups stand at 4/30. Srinath played a crucial role in India’s runner-up finish in the 2003 World Cup, amassing 16 wickets in 11 matches. He is India’s second-highest wicket-taker in World Cups and ranks joint-sixth overall.
7. Mohammed Shami: The Wicket-Taking Machine
Mohammed Shami, who made his World Cup debut in 2015, has emerged as one of India’s top performers in the tournament. With 31 wickets in just 11 matches at an astonishing average of 15.70, Shami has established himself as a wicket-taking machine. His best bowling figures of 5/69 and a World Cup hat-trick to his name showcase his prowess as a potent bowler. Shami’s seam position, pace, and intensity make him a formidable force in the bowling department.
8. Anil Kumble: The Spin Wizard
Anil Kumble, the tall spinner renowned for his accuracy and variations, ranks amongthe most successful spinners in World Cup history. In 18 matches, Kumble claimed 31 wickets at an average of 22.83, with his best figures being 4/32. His ability to control the game and provide crucial breakthroughs made him a vital asset in India’s World Cup campaigns.*
As the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 unfolds, these Indian cricket legends and emerging stars will aim to etch their names in the annals of cricket history once again. Whether it’s with the bat, ball, or on the field, the quest for glory continues, and fans around the world eagerly await the next chapter of cricketing excellence on the grandest stage of them all.