Kolkata, March 16:
In a testimony to the collective effort that has marked India’s all-conquering show in the cricket World Cup so far, no Indian batsman features among the top six run scorers though pacer Mohammad Shami occupies the second spot among the top wicket-takers with 15 victims.
Known for producing a steady flow of top batting performers over the years, it is a rare sight not to find an Indian batsman in the top six list despite the team being in sublime form.
However, the battling burden has been shared between the likes of Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina and captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni.
Dhawan is seventh among the top run-getters of the quadrennial event with 337 runs from six innings at an average of 56.16 and has become the fourth Indian after Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid and Sourav Ganguly to score two hundreds in the same World Cup.
Kohli is at No.11 with 301 runs. But his splendid average of 75.25 is the fifth best among batsmen, who have scored 300 or more in the pool stage.
Leading the pack is Sri Lankan veteran Kumar Sangakkara, who has so far amassed 496 runs from six knocks at an astonishing average of 124. He has also hit four consecutive centuries — a world record.
When it comes to bowling, India’s pace attack is headed by the 25-year-old Shami, who has swung his way to the second spot in the list of highest wicket-takers with 15 wickets from five outings.
The right-arm seamer has picked a wicket every 12.6 runs and has an excellent economy rate of 4.39 per over.
Australia’s lanky left-arm pacer Mitchell Starc leads the table with 16 wickets from five contests at a fantastic average of 8.5, giving away just 3.57 runs an over.
The record for the highest individual score in World Cups, previously held by South African Gary Kirsten (188 not out), was demolished by a brutal Chris Gayle, who bludgeoned his way to 215 in a match for the West Indies against Zimbabwe at Canberra on February 24.
Zimbabwe’s Sean Williams and Pakistan’s Misbah-ul-Haq have hit most number of 50s in the group stages (four each).
England’s Steven Finn has got the only hat-trick of the mega event, against Australia at Melbourne.
New Zealand pacer Tim Southee was at his lethal best when he single-handedly took apart the English batting line-up on a lively strip at the Wellington Regional Stadium on February 20, pocketing figures of 7/33, the third best in Cup history after two Australians — Glenn McGrath’s 7/15 and Andy Bichel’s 7/20 in the 2003 edition.
Credit also goes to South Africa’s talismanic skipper AB de Villiers, who now has the most sixes in the event (36) and the most in this year’s edition too (20).
The lowest score in the group stages was posted by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) against India at Perth where they were skittled out for a paltry 102 at the WACA. (IANS)