World Cup 2023: From Babar Azam to Jos Buttler, top players who flopped in showpiece event

World Cup 2023: From Babar Azam to Jos Buttler, top players who flopped in showpiece event

Nov 20, 2023 - 17:30
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World Cup 2023: From Babar Azam to Jos Buttler, top players who flopped in showpiece event

He just-concluded 2023 Cricket World Cup produced some stellar individual performances with both the bat and ball. There were close finishes, game-changing bowling spells and catches those won matches.

World Cup 2023: News | Schedule | Results | Points table

The World Cup had it all. Top established stars like Virat Kohli and Glenn Maxwell broke records, whereas we also witnessed the arrival of players like Rachin Ravindra and Travis Head at the big stage.

Also read: Rohit Sharma’s India didn’t win World Cup, but captain’s blueprint is the way forward

However, it was not always the stars that made the headlines. There were a few players who flopped as well in the showpiece event. With the 13th edition of the ODI World Cup done and dusted, let’s now take a look at some top flops from the event:

Babar Azam (Pakistan)

Babar Azam had a difficult outing as Pakistan skipper in the 2023 World Cup. He failed to lead his team to the semi-finals, with the Men in Green eventually finishing fifth with just eight points.

The aftermath of that had av major impact on Pakistan cricket, with Babar stepping down as skipper across all formats.

More so, Babar did not have the best of performances with the bat as well. Babar managed 320 runs from nine matches at an average of 40, but his strike rate of below 100 across matches came under scrutiny.

He scored four fifties and not even a single century this tournament, which has led to further imbalance in the Pakistan batting lineup.

Jos Buttler (England)

England came into the World Cup as defending champions and a lot was riding on captain Jos Buttler. However, Buttler struggled with the bat big time. The highest score for the 33-year-old this World Cup was 43 against New Zealand in the opening match of the tournament, and things have gone downhill for Buttler ever since.

Jos Buttler managed just 138 runs from nine matches. AP

His next best score was 27 runs against Pakistan in England’s final game, and also endured four single-figure dismissals in these nine games.

Shakib Al Hasan (Bangladesh)

Much was expected from Bangladesh skipper Shakib Al Hasan. Shakib had finished with 606 runs in the 2019 edition of the Cricket World Cup in England, but failed to replicate that similar kind of form this time around.

Shakib could not even score half of what he did in 2019, managing just 186 runs from seven matches at an average of 26.57.

Add to this, he had a tournament to forget for reasons apart from his batting or captaincy. In particular, the way he dealt with the “Timed Out” dismissal of Angelo Mathews when Bangladesh took on Sri Lanka in Delhi.

Shakib was eventually ruled out of Bangladesh’s final group game against Australia with a finger injury, that eventually meant Najmul Hossain Shanto led the team in his place.

Kagiso Rabada (South Africa)

In the absence of the injured Anrich Nortje, Kagiso Rabada was expected to lead the South African pace attack. While Rabada is pretty familiar with Indian conditions thanks to his IPL experience, the 28-year-old had a much below par performance with the ball, scalping just 13 wickets from nine games.

Although Rabada would start strongly, picking seven wickets from the first three games, he would only manage to take another six wickets from the next six games, while also struggling in the powerplay against Australia in the semi-final, where he would get hit for a few sixes by David Warner and later Travis Head.

Maheesh Theekshana (Sri Lanka)

Maheesh Theekshana came into the World Cup following a productive run in the Asia Cup, having taken nine wickets from four games.

However, Theekshana failed to find his rhythm in the World Cup, scalping just six wickets from eight games. And expensive figures of 0/55 and 0/67 against Afghanistan and India respectively did not help the off-spinners’ case.

To add to these woes, Theekshana also missed having Wanindu Hasaranga as a spin-bowling partner in the middle overs, with Theekshana himself having said that bowling without the 26-year-old was challenging.

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