At the end of the day though, on November 19, there will be only one captain left holding the coveted trophy. Who will that skipper be?
The TOI Sports Desk here takes a look at three captains who are all extraordinary leaders who you need to watch out for in the 13th edition of the ODI World Cup:
Rohit Sharma: India’s Captain Marvel in the ODI World Cup
Rohit Sharma, a cricketing luminary, ascends to the zenith of leadership, conducting a symphony of strokes and strategic brilliance as he steers the Indian cricket team through the thrilling voyage of the ODI World Cup.
In unveiling the story of Rohit Sharma, one must pay homage to the numerical marvels that underscore his cricketing wizardry. In an awe-inspiring tally of 243 innings, Sharma has amassed a staggering 10,112 runs, gracing the sport with a stellar average of 48.85 and a commanding strike rate of 90.52. These numbers, alongside his
formidable count of 30 centuries and 52 half-centuries, illuminate his unique capacity to transform beginnings into monumental innings.
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The annals of Cricket World Cups resonate with Sharma’s legendary contributions. In the 2015 tournament staged in Australia, he emerged as the linchpin of India’s campaign. His blade carved 330 runs, inclusive of a breathtaking century against Bangladesh, a testament to his virtuosity.
Fast forward to the 2019 World Cup in England and Wales, where Sharma was entrusted with the vice-captaincy mantle. Here, he seized the spotlight with authority, crafting centuries against formidable adversaries, including Pakistan, England, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. His colossal tally of 648 runs not only crowned him the
tournament’s leading run-scorer but also earned him the coveted ICC Golden Bat accolade.
Sharma’s cricketing mettle transcends the World Cup stage. Since his initiation into international cricket in 2007, he has consistently wielded his virtuoso in the realm of one-day cricket. A maiden ODI half-century against Pakistan in November 2007 marked the inception of an illustrious journey. His luminary performance in the 2007–08
Commonwealth Bank Series in Australia reinforced his status as a rising cricketing luminary.
Sharma’s eminence in cricket finds manifestation in records etched in history. He wears the crown for the highest individual score in an ODI, an astronomical 264 runs. A solitary name graces the record books for notching up three double-centuries in ODIs—a distinction Sharma’s genius alone claims. His record five centuries in a single Cricket World Cup voyage culminated in the prestigious ICC Men’s ODI Cricketer of the Year award in 2019.
The turning point perhaps in his ODI career was when he was pushed up the order to open the innings in 2012.
The mantle of captaincy finds an adept bearer in Sharma, as he charts the Indian team’s course to triumph. His strategic acumen has steered India to victories, including the 2018 and 2023 Asia Cups in the ODI format and the 2018 Nidahas Trophy in the T20I arena. Sharma’s captaincy is interlaced with a fortunate charm, further elevating
India need Rohit to fire on all cylinders in this World Cup.
Australia’s ODI World Cup hopes rest on Pat Cummins‘ shoulders
Pat Cummins, Australia’s frontline fast bowler, is stepping into a new role as the captain of the ODI team for the upcoming World Cup in India. This transition from being a premier fast bowler to a captain adds an intriguing layer to his cricketing journey.
Cummins’ career statistics provide a clear picture of his bowling prowess. He has featured in 77 ODI innings, amassing an impressive 126 wickets at an average of 27.99. His knack for striking at a rate of 32.1 and maintaining an economical bowling rate of 5.23 underscores his effectiveness as a wicket-taking bowler.
In his relatively short stint as a captain, Cummins has already achieved significant milestones. He led Australia to Ashes and Test Championship victories in 2023, showcasing his leadership skills and
ability to inspire his team to success.
Cummins’ reputation as a fast bowler is built on two foundational strengths: sheer pace and unerring accuracy. Batsmen worldwide have grappled with his deliveries, often left in a quandary against his fiery pace and pinpoint precision. Cummins’ consistency in delivering match-winning performances has firmly etched his name in Australian
However, Cummins’ cricketing journey has been marred by recurring injuries that have punctuated his career. His absence from crucial matches due to various injuries has disrupted his rhythm and raised legitimate concerns about his fitness leading up to the high-pressure ODI World Cup in India. Nevertheless, Cummins’ resilience and ability
to rebound from personal setbacks serve as a wellspring of inspiration, potentially galvanizing his teammates.
The role of an ODI captain, especially for a fast bowler, presents a complex set of challenges. The limited-overs format demands astute tactical acumen and the ability to navigate through various match scenarios. Cummins’ ascent to captaincy requires him to strike a delicate balance between shouldering the responsibilities of leadership and delivering pivotal performances as a frontline bowler.
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Despite these inherent challenges, Cummins brings a refreshing energy to the team, and his infectious positivity serves as a catalyst for enhanced team performance. His natural ability to connect with teammates and motivate them could be a cornerstone of Australia’s success in the upcoming tournament.
Jos Buttler, England cricket’s innovator-in-chief
Jos Buttler, England’s dynamic limited-overs captain, is set to shine in the upcoming ODI World Cup in India. Known for his aggressive batting style, Buttler’s international journey began in 2011. He played a pivotal role in England’s 2019 Cricket World Cup triumph and captained them to victory in the 2022 ICC T20 World Cup, making him a
player to watch in the ODI World Cup.
Buttler’s cricketing prowess is evident in his ODI stats: 4,823 runs in 142 innings, 211 catches, 35 stumpings, 11 centuries, and 25 fifties, with a remarkable average of 41.57 and a striking strike rate
of 118.00. His highest ODI score is 162. Buttler’s ability goes beyond batting; he’s an exceptional wicket-keeper and fielder. His impressive career also includes winning medals with England in the 2019 and 2022 World Cups.
His playing style, characterized by innovation and aggression, makes him a vital asset in limited-overs cricket. Buttler effortlessly adapts to various formats, showcasing versatility and utility. Beyond his batting prowess, he excels in fielding and wicket-keeping, adding flair to every match.
As England’s limited-overs captain, Buttler has proven his leadership abilities. Under his guidance, England clinched the 2022 T20 World Cup, displaying innovative strategies and adaptability. This success establishes him as a player to watch in the ODI World Cup.
Buttler’s history in past ODI World Cups, especially his role in England’s 2019 victory, solidifies his reputation in high-stakes tournaments. In the 2019 tournament, he contributed significantly with 309 runs, including two half-centuries. As England’s captain and a dependable batter in the upcoming ODI World Cup, Buttler’s innovative
and aggressive batting, combined with his fielding and wicket-keeping skills, make him invaluable.
Watch out for Buttler as he continues to dazzle on the cricketing stage.