This World Cup will be remembered for its milestones. Two ODI double hundreds, two 400-plus scores by a team, 38 centuries and the most watched World Cup ever. The pool stage matches had better contests than the knockouts and the event which was expected to provide bowling-friendly conditions was once again dominated by batsmen.
New Zealand were unbeaten throughout the tournament before Australia thrashed them in the finals at the Melbourne Cricket Ground to win their fifth World Cup title. Kumar Sangakkara's four back-to-back hundreds and Martin Guptill's 237 were some of the surprise packages but there were many others who amazed us with their performance in the WC 2015.
Here is a look at players who we think were surprise packages at the World Cup:
Martin Guptill: He was not in the best of his form before the start of the World Cup and he also struggled to score runs in the starting few matches but at the end of tournament he was the top run scorer. Guptill's record-breaking knock of 237 not out off just 163 balls against the West Indies in the fourth quarter-final was one of the biggest highlight of this tournament. Guptill's knock is the highest individual score in the World Cup history and the second highest ODI total ever after Rohit Sharma's 264. This was the second double hundred in this WC and the 35 boundaries (24 fours and 11 sixes) hit by Guptill was also the second most in an ODI innings. Guptill made 547 runs in nine matches with an average of 68.37.
Kumar Sangakkara: At the end of his career, the Sri Lankan southpaw was in good form coming into the World Cup but no one would have expected the kind of performance he came up with in the tournament. Although Sri Lanka were knocked out of the tournament after South Africa thrashed them in the quarters by nine wickets, Sangakkara was the second highest run scorer in WC 2015 after Guptill. His four hundreds on the trot against Bangladesh, England, Australia and Scotland in the pool stage is not only a World Cup record but also a record of most consecutive ODI hundreds. He made 541 runs in seven matches with a staggering average of 108.20. He and Mahela Jayawardene got an unceremonious farewell but Sangakkara was in the form of his life and at one point in time gave Sri Lanka a hope to win their second WC title.
Shikhar Dhawan: Dhawan was under tremendous pressure to perform after his poor show in the Tests and the ODI tri-series in Australia. He came back to form at the right time and was one of the leading run scorers in the tournament making 449 runs in eight matches with an average of 51.50 and also scored two centuries. He also became only the fourth Indian to more than 400 runs in a single World Cup. His batting technique was under criticism and questions were raised if can bat in Australian conditions, but his match-winning knocks against Pakistan, South Africa and Ireland showed that Dhawan can perform at the big stage. He also kept intact his record of India winning a match every time he scores a ton.
Brendan Taylor: Taylor would have got a perfect farewell if his team had defeated India in his last ODI match in the pool stage of the World Cup. He scored a brilliant ton but Zimbabwe failed to put up a big-enough target for India and lost the match by six wickets. Taylor made 138 runs in his last match and was the fourth highest run scorer in the tournament. He scored 433 runs in six matches with an average of 72.16. The former Zimbabwe captain ended his career at 5120 runs at an average of 34.13 from 166 matches becoming the most experienced player for his country.
Samiullah Shenwari: Shenwari was already a known name among associate nations and was one of star players for Afghanistan but was still to make a mark at a big stage. His 96-run knock took the his team to their first World Cup win in a thrilling contest against Scotland. It was one of the best matches in the tournament and also made a point that a contest between minnows could be exciting. He was the leading run scorer for Afghanistan making 254 runs in six matches and scored two fifties.
Umesh Yadav: Yadav's performance in the World Cup was one of the biggest surprises in the event. He was India's highest wicket-taker with 18 dismissals in eight matches with an average of 17.83. He was not very economical but troubled batsmen with his pace and bounce, and gave India breakthroughs at crucial moments. As a result of this performance, Yadav broke into the top 20 for the first time in his career. He jumped 16 places to join James Tredwell at 18th place in the ICC ODI rankings for bowlers.
Josh Davey: The left-arm pacer from Scotland was undoubtedly the best bowler from the associate nations in the World Cup 2015. At one moment he was the leading wicket-taker but his team was knocked out after losing all six matches in the pool stage. He picked up 15 wickets in six matches at an average 20.73 and impressed everyone with his bowling. He had a good show against New Zealand, England, Sri Lanka and Afghanistan and there is a good chance that he might get a call from the England and Wales Cricket Board.
Wahab Riaz: Riaz's performance was the biggest positive for Pakistan from the World Cup. He bowled brilliantly in big matches against Australia, India and West Indies and was the highest wicket-taker for Pakistan taking 16 wickets in seven matches at an average of 23.00. He bowled a fiery spell and troubled the Aussies in the quarter-finals with his pace and bounce but Pakistan lost the match by six wickets to get knocked out of the tournament. He would have turned the match in Pakistan's favour if he had gotten any support from the other end and also if Pakistan had not fielded that poorly.
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