Matthew Hayden, Anil Kumble pick World Cup XI, five Indians in the mix

India, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand qualified for the semis of the ODI World Cup 2023.

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Anil-Kumble-and-Matthew-Hayden. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Ahead of the semi-finals of the ongoing ODI World Cup, former cricketers Matthew Hayden and Anil Kumble named their best XI of the group stage. Notably, courtesy of maintaining a clean record and winning all nine matches, India were the first team to qualify for the semi-finals, followed by South Africa, Australia and at last New Zealand. Next up, the Men in Blue will take on the Kane Williamson-led side on November 15 at Wankhede Stadium, while Australia and South Africa will square off at the iconic Eden Gardens on the following day.

Meanwhile, for the opening spot, Kumble and Hayden picked Quinton de Kock alongside India skipper Rohit Sharma. Both of them have been sensational as the Proteas batter has 593 runs to his name and is currently the second-leading run-scorer in the tournament while Rohit has 503 runs to his name after nine matches. 

“QDK for me has been the standout player. Rohit Sharma for obvious reasons. Those two inside the powerplay have been dynamic,” Hayden said while talking to ESPNcricinfo.

At number three and four, the duo picked Virat Kohli and Rachin Ravindra respectively. The former India skipper, Virat, has 594 runs to his name and is currently the leading run-scorer of the ODI World Cup. He has been phenomenal and broke multiple records in the tournament. Rachin, on the other hand, has been extremely vital for the Black Caps after having a breakthrough season with the bat.

“He is certainly the breakout young player of this World Cup. I am sure I would certainly go for Rachin Ravindra, whether you put him at no. 3 or no. 4, it doesn't matter. He has been batting at 1, 2, 3, 4, you can put him wherever. Virat Kohli, for sure. Yes, he has batter no. 3 for India. So if he bats no. 3, Rachin Ravindra bats no. 4. If Ravindra bats no. 3, we can use the right-left combination. It is very difficult to pick in a World Cup, your two choices,” explained Kumble.

Kumble and Hayden picked Glenn Maxwell at number five and Heinrich Klaasen at six. Notably, Maxwell played an iconic knock against Afghanistan, when he hit 201* runs to win the match from an impossible stage. Klaasen meanwhile started the tournament in a brilliant fashion but has lost his mojo in recent times. However, he is good enough to make it to the list. 

When it comes to the bottom half of the team, Kumble and Hayden picked Ravindra Jadeja, Marco Jansen, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah and Adam Zampa respectively. Shami has been a revelation ever since he made it to the playing XI, while Zampa has been incredible as he is currently the leading wicket-taker of the tournament with 22 scalps.

Kumble and Hayden's World Cup XI: Quinton de Kock, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Rachin Ravindra, Glenn Maxwell, Heinrich Klaasen, Ravindra Jadeja, Marco Jansen, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, Adam Zampa

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