In celebration of Sunday evening’s final between India and Australia, Fox Cricket has attempted to put together an all-time XI for Men’s World Cups.
For this team, players who helped their nation win a title, or several titles, were given extra weighting, but individual performances in World Cups were still prioritised.
The World Cup final between India and Australia gets underway at Ahmedabad’s Narendra Modi Stadium on Sunday, with the first ball scheduled for 7.30pm AEDT.
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Brendon Julian previews Aus v Sth Africa | 07:10
2278 runs at 56.95 with six hundreds
HS 152 vs NAM, 2003
The Little Master is perhaps the first name on the team list.
The leading run-scorer in World Cup history, Tendulkar lifted the World Cup in 2011 on his sixth attempt. He was player of the tournament in 2003, where he broke the record for most runs in a World Cup campaign with 673 in 11 knocks.
The elegant right-hander was also the leading run-scorer of the 1996 tournament, when India was knocked out in the semi-finals.
1528 runs at 61.12 with seven hundreds
HS 140 vs PAK, 2019
Sharma was the leading run-scorer of the 2019 World Cup in England, but couldn’t deliver for his nation in the semi-final against New Zealand at Old Trafford.
However, the powerful right-hander redeemed himself four years later, leading India towards a World Cup final on home soil.
No cricketer has more World Cup hundreds, while he’s on the verge of becoming India’s third title-winning captain.
RICKY PONTING (C)
1743 runs at 45.86 with five hundreds
HS 140* vs IND, 2003
Ponting was central to Australia’s three-peat at the turn of the century, leading the team to two titles in 2003 and 2007.
The Tasmanian blasted an unbeaten century in the 2003 final against India, steering Australia towards the highest team total in World Cup finals.
He’s one of two captains to lift the World Cup trophy on multiple occasions, alongside West Indies legend Clive Lloyd.
Aussies book final with India after win | 04:43
1741 runs at 60.03 with five hundreds
HS 117 vs NZ, 2023
A few weeks ago, this spot would have been occupied by South Africa’s AB de Villiers.
However, King Kohli forced his way into the starting XI by shattering the record for most runs in a World Cup campaign earlier this week.
He featured in the triumphant 2011 campaign as a rising star. Twelve years later, he’s an undisputed great of the sport.
India KO feisty Kiwis to reach final | 03:56
1013 runs at 63.31 with three hundreds
HS 181 vs SL, 1987
Sir Viv was the first genuine one-day cricket legend, dominating the format during its inception in the late 1970s.
He smacked a century in the 1979 final against England at Lord’s, winning two titles for the West Indies.
Richards also blasted an absurd 181 against Sri Lanka in 1987, the highest individual score from the first five editions of the World Cup.
KUMAR SANGAKKARA (WK)
1532 runs at 56.74 with five hundreds
HS 124 vs SCO, 2015
Sangakkara dons the gloves for this team, narrowly beating out Australia’s Adam Gilchrist for the honour.
The wicketkeeper featured in back-to-back World Cup titles in 2007 and 2011, but couldn’t get Sri Lanka over the line on both occasions.
He famously scored four consecutive hundreds during the 2015 World Cup in Australia, and remains the only cricketer to achieve the astounding feat.
55 wickets at 23.83 with three four-wicket hauls
BB 5-28 vs NAM, 2003
The Sultan of Swing did magical things with the white ball, shattering stumps for fun throughout the 1990’s.
He was the leading wicket-taker of the 1992 World Cup in Australia when Pakistan’s ‘Cornered Tigers’ won the nation’s maiden title.
Akram also made several handy cameos with the bat, most notably his 33 (18) against England in the 1992 final at the MCG.
62 wickets at 19.33 with six four-wicket hauls
BB 6-28 vs NZ, 2015
Starc was the leading wicket-taker in consecutive World Cups, guiding Australia towards a title in 2015.
The left-armer’s dismissal of New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum remains the defining moment of his stellar career.
He holds the record for most wickets in a tournament, 27 scalps in 2019, and will be looking to end his World Cup career on a high in Ahmedabad this weekend.
32 wickets at 19.50 with four four-wicket haul
BB 4-29 vs RSA, 1999
The King of Spin only featured in two World Cup campaigns, but he certainly left his mark.
Warne claimed four-wicket hauls in the semi-final and final of the unforgettable 1999 World Cup in England, helping Australia secure its second title.
His delivery to dismiss South African opener Herschelle Gibbs at Edgbaston in 1999 might be the greatest in World Cups.
Shami’s superb seven wicket haul in Semi | 01:35
71 wickets at 18.19 with two four-wicket hauls
BB 7-15 vs NAM, 2003
Pigeon ended his international career on a high, named Player of the Tournament after helping Australia win a third-consecutive World Cup in his 2007 swan song.
McGrath is the leading wicket-taker in the marquee tournament’s history, while his Namibian demolition in 2003 remains the best bowling performance in World Cups.
His World Cup economy rate of 3.96 highlights his relentless consistency with the ball.
68 wickets at 19.63 with four four-wicket hauls
BB 4-19 vs IRE, 2007
Muralitharan featured in two World Cup finals, but unfortunately didn’t take a wicket in either.
However, he remains the leading wicket-taker among spinners in World Cups, partnering Shane Warne in this starting XI.
The Sri Lankan had a superb campaign in the West Indies in 2007, snaring 23 scalps 15.26. No spinner has taken more wickets in a World Cup campaign.
12TH MAN — AB DE VILLIERS
1207 runs at 63.52 with four hundreds
HS 162* vs WI, 2015
Mr 360 is bitterly unlucky not to crack into this team, particularly considering his superb World Cup strike rate of 117.29.
His unbeaten 162 against the West Indies in Sydney remains one of the most explosive knocks in ODIs.
However, Virat Kohli’s epic 2023 campaign was just enough to push de Villiers out of the starting XI.