Ahead of the semi-finals, former cricketing legends Matthew Hayden and Anil Kumble sat down for ESPNcricinfo and picked their best XI from the league stage of the World Cup 2023.
India, South Africa, Australia, and New Zealand have qualified for the semis. So it’s no surprise that Hayden and Kumble have picked all the XI players in their side from these four teams – these teams have been a cut above the rest.
There was a slight contest toward the end between Pakistan and New Zealand, but the former fell short by a distance. No Pakistani player could really take the tournament by storm, and hence, it’s not a surprise that Matthew Hayden and Anil Kumble didn’t pick even a single Pakistani player in their XI.
“QDK for me has been the standout player. Rohit Sharma for obvious reasons. Those two inside the powerplay have been dynamic,” Matthew Hayden said on ESPNcricinfo.
Kumble said: “He is certainly the breakout young player of this World Cup. I am sure I would certainly go for Rachin Ravindra, whether you put him at no. 3 or no. 4, it doesn’t matter.”
For the lower middle order batters, Matthew Hayden and Anil Kumble opted to have the two most destructive finishers in the tournament: Glenn Maxwell and Heinrich Klaasen. Maxwell has a strike rate of 152 and Klaasen of 140.
“Maxwell and Klaasen for me. The reason why, when you look at those stats again, I am going on strike rate,” Hayden mentioned.
Ravindra Jadeja and Marco Jansen were picked as the two all-rounders, while the rest of the three bowlers – Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, and Adam Zampa – seemed locked in already.
Kumble gave a huge praise to Zampa: “He is the reason why Australia have qualified for the semis.” On Jadeja, Kumble said that the all-rounder has been “instrumental” with both bat and ball. Hayden and Kumble also mentioned Dilshan Madushanka, who has been very impressive with his 21 wickets.
Matthew Hayden and Anil Kumble’s World Cup 2023 XI:
Quinton de Kock (wk), Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Rachin Ravindra, Heinrich Klassen, Glenn Maxwell, Ravindra Jadeja, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, Marco Jansen and Adam Zampa