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The hits and flops from the Cricket World Cup

A look back from the group stages at the players who have succeeded or under-performed in the subcontinent so far.

Players who have succeeded

Imran Tahir (South Africa): The journeyman bowler, 31, made his international debut at the World Cup. With 12 wickets in four matches (impressive strike rate of 15.2), Tahir has to be the standout performer of the tournament.

Shahid Afridi (Pakistan): He is well known for being an explosive batsman but few would have bet on him being the leading wicket taker at the end of the group stages (17 wickets at an economy of 3.54). He was instrumental in Pakistan claiming top honours in Group A despite several chinks in the team.

Tim Southee (New Zealand): With 14 wickets at an economy of 3.95, Southee was not expected to be one of the leading pacemen in the World Cup. He has ensured that his line, length and height have earned New Zealand the best economy rate (4.2) among the fast bowling units of all the qualifiers.

Jonathan Trott (England): The relatively sedate right hand batsman's selection for the World Cup was the subject of some debate, despite an impressive Ashes. With 336 runs/82.55 strike rate, he is second on the list of leading run getters despite not hitting a single six yet.

Yuvraj Singh (India): With three man-of-the-match awards, 284 runs/94.66 average (one century, three fifties) and nine crucial wickets, Yuvraj is shaping up to have a key say in India's campaign.

 

Players who have under performed

Ricky Ponting (Australia): With 102 runs from five innings (strike rate of 61.4, highest score 36 against Kenya), this World Cup is proving to be much below Ponting's standards. Australia will be hoping he is saving his best for when it really matters.

James Anderson (England): Leading wicket taker in the recently concluded Ashes (24 wickets), turned leading run leaker in the World Cup. Has been very profligate conceding 282 runs (6.55 runs per over). His 1-91 against India was the most runs conceded so far in a match.

Kamran Akmal (Pakistan): With atleast four dropped chances and four missed stumpings so far, Akmal has had a poor performance behind the stumps. An average performance with the bat (141 runs) has not helped either.

 

Players who have lived up to the expectations

Sachin Tendulkar (India): It cannot be easy carrying the burden of a billion people for 22 years. With 326 runs at a strike rate of 99.69, two centuries, eight sixes and one walk back to the pavilion, he is trying hard and fair to win it for India.

Kumar Sangakkara (Sri Lanka): With 363 runs at an average of 121, the leading run scorer at the end of the group stages. He has captained his team to the second position in Group A and keeps wicket.

AB de Villiers (South Africa): With 318 runs at an average of 106, including two centuries and a fifty, he is in the form of his life and well geared to position South Africa to the elusive World Cup win.

Umar Gul (Pakistan): Long heralded as the best fast bowler in limited overs cricket, Gul has led the fast bowling pack, amidst controversies, injuries and bans, to pick up 13 wickets so far at an impressive strike rate of 21.0.

Brett Lee (Australia): With the fading away of a generation of stellar Australian fast bowlers, Lee has taken over the baton. He has taken 12 crucial wickets at an economy of 4.16.

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