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From zero to hero: Top cricketers who made their mark in ODI World Cups

The 2023 World Cup to be played in India is less than a month away and all teams are gearing up to deliver their best to pull off the coveted trophy. The upcoming marquee event will be an opportunity for some players to showcase their best and become extraordinary figures in One-Day International (ODI) cricket.

In the past, there have been players who were ordinary names but they performed exceptionally in an ODI World Cup edition and became illustrious names in the international circuit. Ahead of the 2023 World Cup, it’s time to remember the players who rocked the ODI tournament with their influential performances and emerged as exceptional talents in international cricket.

Here are the top five players who made their mark in ODI World Cups

5. Jofra Archer, 2019

From zero to hero Top cricketers who made their mark in ODI World Cups
Jofra Archer

Jofra Archer (Photo Source: twitter)

Jofra Archer broke into ODI cricket just a few days ahead of the 2019 World Cup. Ahead of the tournament in England and Wales, Archer wasn’t a known figure in international cricket as he had played only three one-day matches. In the World Cup at home, he got the responsibility to reinforce England’s pace attack along with Mark Wood and Chris Woakes.

England won their maiden title under the captaincy of Eoin Morgan and Archer played an instrumental role in this victory. The speedster bagged 20 wickets in 11 matches at an economy of 4.57 and ended up as the third-leading wicket-taker in the competition, following New Zealand’s Lockie Ferguson and Australia’s Mitchell Starc.

In the inaugural contest against South Africa, he gave a positive start to his team with the ball. The pacer took 3/27 figures in his seven overs and guided his team to a comprehensive 104-run win. In the final game against New Zealand, he defended 15 runs for his side successfully against James Neesham and Martin Guptill.

4. Tim Southee, 2011

From zero to hero Top cricketers who made their mark in ODI World Cups
Tim Southee

Tim Southee (Photo Source: Twitter)

Tim Southee grabbed a lot of eyeballs during the 2011 World Cup due to his disciplined bowling. New Zealand concluded their journey in the semi-final of the competition and Southee was one of the important names who made a vital contribution to help the Black Caps reach the knockout stage.

The paceman took 18 wickets in eight matches of the tournament and concluded the campaign as the second-leading wicket-taker. Playing his first World Cup, Southee supported his team’s fast-bowling unit with confidence. In the group match, the Kiwis hammered Pakistan by 110 runs and Southee stepped up with the ball.

After the stunning batting show from Ross Taylor, Southee dismissed Mohammad Hafeez on five in his first over and gave a perfect start to his team. Later he also got rid of Kamran Akmal and Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq. The pacer bowled an eight-over spell in the game and grabbed 3/25 figures.

3. Imran Tahir, 2011

From zero to hero Top cricketers who made their mark in ODI World Cups
Imran Tahir

Imran Tahir (Photo Source: Twitter)

Imran Tahir retired from international cricket after the 2019 World Cup in England and Wales. The leg-break bowler served the South Africa cricket team in ODIs from 2011 to 2019. In more than eight years of his one-day career, he took 173 wickets in 107 matches at an economy of 4.65.

Tahir kicked off his international career in the 2011 ODI World Cup against the West Indies in Delhi. In his debut match, he clinched a four-wicket haul in his side’s convincing seven-wicket win over the Caribbeans. The leggie continued his good work in further games. Against England, the Proteas got a six-run defeat but Tahir put up an impressive show with the ball again.

In the losing cause, the Lahore-born South Africa bowler wreaked havoc on England batters and took four wickets in his spell of 8.4 overs. South Africa’s campaign ended in the quarter-finals, losing to New Zealand by 49 runs in Mirpur. Tahir scalped 14 wickets in five matches of the tournament and ended up as the second-highest wicket-taker for his team.

2. Shaun Tait, 2007

From zero to hero Top cricketers who made their mark in ODI World Cups
Shaun Tait

Shaun Tait (Photo Source: twitter)

Shaun Tait was known for dominating batters with his blazing pace. With his fast-bowling excellence, he registered some incredible records to his name. Prior to the 2007 World Cup, Tait was handed his ODI debut against England in the 2007 Commonwealth Bank Series.

However, he wasn’t expected to make it to the World Cup team but Brett Lee, who picked up an ankle injury during the New Zealand tour, got ruled out of the tournament, and Tait was selected to strengthen Australia’s pace department in the humongous ODI event in the West Indies.

In the World Cup, Australia played an aggressive brand of cricket and became the champions for the record fourth time. Glenn McGrath took 26 wickets in the tournament and became the highest wicket-taker in the competition. Along with McGrath, youngster Tait also hit the headlines for his fiery bowling.

The right-arm Adelaide-born speedster supported McGrath consistently in the competition and ended up as the joint second-leading wicket-taker in the tournament along with Sri Lanka’s Muttiah Muralitharan, with 23 wickets in 11 matches. Tait’s best performance came against South Africa in the semi-final in Gros Islet. Playing the huge game, the paceman came heavily on the Proteas and picked up a four-wicket haul. Riding on his sensational bowling, Australia vanquished South Africa by seven wickets and qualified for the final.

1. Ben Stokes, 2019

From zero to hero Top cricketers who made their mark in ODI World Cups
Ben Stokes

Ben Stokes (Photo Source: Twitter)

England succeeded in winning their maiden World Cup title in 2019 as hosts. In their stunning achievement, Archer contributed with the ball picking up 20 wickets while Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow chipped in with their bats scoring 556 runs and 532 runs respectively.

Along with these three names, another player looked efficient for the England team in the competition. Ben Stokes, who was playing in the ODI World Cup for the first time, supported the team with his all-round talent. The Christchurch-born England stalwart racked up 465 runs and seven wickets in 11 matches.

In the opening game, he showcased his mettle with both bat and ball to help his team pummel South Africa by a huge margin of 104 runs. With the bat, the southpaw hit 89 off 79 which helped England put up 311 runs on the board. While bowling, he picked up two wickets and took his team home.

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