In the midst of the thrilling ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 journey towards the knockout stage, the cricketing world has witnessed a mix of surprises and expected outcomes. Teams like Afghanistan and the Netherlands, considered lower-ranked, have sprung surprises.
Notably, the dominance of batting over bowling has been a consistent theme, with teams routinely scoring over 350, even 400, when batting first. This trend, driven by the desire for high-scoring games with plenty of sixes, has put the bowlers in a challenging position.
The game has evolved to emulate the excitement of T20 franchise cricket, leading to rule changes aimed at increasing the spectacle. This has resulted in a surge of towering sixes over the past decade. It’s only natural that bowlers would bear the brunt of this evolution, making it intriguing to explore the five bowlers who have conceded the most sixes in a single World Cup.
▪︎ Jason Holder’s Struggles in 2015
In the 2015 World Cup, West Indies’ versatile all-rounder Jason Holder, despite taking nine wickets, conceded a staggering 13 sixes in seven games. His difficulties were exemplified in a brutal encounter with South Africa, where AB de Villiers sent six balls into the stands, contributing to Holder’s misery.
• Rashid Khan’s Tough Time in 2019
In the 2019 World Cup, Rashid Khan of Afghanistan surprisingly found himself on the list, conceding 14 sixes, especially struggling against England’s Eoin Morgan’s relentless onslaught, which featured 17 sixes. This impacted Rashid’s wicket-taking abilities, as he managed only three wickets in the next four matches.
• Yuzvendra Chahal’s Struggles in 2019
Another wrist spinner, Yuzvendra Chahal, shared the dubious honor with Rashid in the 2019 World Cup, conceding 14 sixes. His challenges were highlighted during a game against England when Jonny Bairstow and Ben Stokes took him to the cleaners. This dent in Chahal’s confidence was evident in subsequent matches where he struggled to make an impact.
• Tinashe Panyangara’s Nightmare in 2015
In the 2015 World Cup, Zimbabwe’s Tinashe Panyangara endured a nightmarish tournament, allowing 15 sixes in just six games. His poor economy rate and limited wickets mirrored his team’s struggles in the competition.
• Haris Rauf’s Struggles in the 2023 World Cup
Topping the ignominious list is Pakistan’s Haris Rauf in the ongoing 2023 World Cup. Despite taking 13 wickets, the fiery pacer has been consistently expensive, leaking runs at an alarming rate. Notable performances against Australia and New Zealand have propelled him to the undesirable number-one spot.
In a World Cup marked by high-octane action and a barrage of sixes, these bowlers have found themselves on the wrong side of history. The changing dynamics of the game and the pursuit of entertainment have made life tough for the men with the ball, leaving them with the unenviable task of defending in a world that increasingly favours the batsmen.