ICC Men's ODI World Cup 2019

The World Cup records in jeopardy

A look at some of the Cup records that could be written at this year's tournament

Sam Ferris

30 May 2019, 04:31 PM AEST

Records are made to be broken, or at the least the saying goes, and at this year's World Cup there are few records that could be in jeopardy.

The World Cup started way back in 1975 and in its 44-year history, there have been huge totals amassed, wickets captured and catches taken.

Highlighted below are some of the more conventional World Cup records and whether they could be broken in this year's tournament.

Most runs in a tournament

The record: 673 runs by Sachin Tendulkar in 2003 in South Africa, Kenya and Zimbabwe

The story: Tendulkar, the World Cup's all-time leading run-scorer, was in scintillating touch at the 2003 World Cup. In 11 matches, the 'Little Master' posted seven totals of 50 or more but just the one century, a score of 152 against Namibia in Pietermaritzburg. However, he saved his best for India's arch-rivals Pakistan, who he hammered for 98 from just 75 balls including 12 fours and a six. Unfortunately for Tendulkar and India, he was out for four in the final against Australia after they were set a daunting target of 360 to win, a total that proved to be too much. 

How much does it matter? The leading run-scorer has featured in the tournament final six times; Martin Guptill for New Zealand in 2015, Sri Lanka's Tillakaratne Dilshan in 2011, Matthew Hayden for Australia in 2007, Tendulkar in 2003, Graham Gooch for England in 1987 and Gordon Greenidge for the West Indies in 1979.

Will it be broken? There’s a really good chance, yes. With former players and pundits like Mark Waugh predicting the bowlers will get a "pasting" this tournament, and with 11 possible innings, there's a strong chance Tendulkar's mark can be broken.

Most likely to break it? Take your pick from Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Jonny Bairstow, Jason Roy, Martin Guptill, Kane Williamson, Babar Azam, Fakhar Zaman, David Warner, Steve Smith, Quinton de Kock or Chris Gayle.

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Most wickets in a tournament

The record: 26 wickets by Glenn McGrath in 2007 in the Caribbean

The story: In his final international outing, McGrath – at 37 years old – proved to the youngsters that the wily old fox still could mix it with the best of them. McGrath was integral to Australia claiming their third-straight World Cup title, taking 26 wickets in 11 matches at 13.73 runs apiece. The right-armer claimed three wickets in four consecutive games through the middle of the tournament and picked up 3-18 to dismantle South Africa in the semi-final. He was named Player of the Tournament and left international cricket at the top of his game.

How much does it matter? Nine times in 11 tournaments the leading wicket-taker has featured in the final; Gary Gilmour (Aus, 1975), Mike Hendrick (Eng, 1979), Roger Binny (Ind, 1983), Craig McDermott (Aus, 1987), Wasim Akram (Pak, 1992), Shane Warne (Aus, 1999), McGrath (Aus, 2007), Zaheer Khan (Ind, 2011) and Mitch Starc (Aus, 2015).

Will it be broken? Not looking good. If this tournament is as batter-friendly as predicted, McGrath's record might be safe.

Most likely to break it? Look at quicks like Japsrit Bumrah, Kagiso Rabada and Pat Cummins, or spinners Rashid Khan, Adil Rashid and Imran Tahir.

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Highest team score

The record: 6-417 by Australia against Afghanistan in 2015 at WACA Ground

The story: En route to their fifth World Cup title, Australia steamrolled Afghanistan in Perth with David Warner creaming a career-high 178, Steve Smith falling just five short of a century and Glenn Maxwell hitting seven sixes in his whirlwind 45-ball 88. It was all too much for Afghanistan, who were bowled out for 142 inside 38 overs in reply.

How much does it matter? Probably not much. Scoring 400-plus will win you most games, in fact scoring 300 at World Cups puts your team in an imperious position, but it's not like you have to break this record to win the silverware.

Will it be broken? We're thinking so. The West Indies scored 421 in a warm-up game against New Zealand this week and England posted 6-481 against Australia 12 months ago. We'd be surprised if this record is still standing by the end of the tournament.

Most likely to break it? England are a huge chance, as are India and the Windies.

Highest individual score

The record: 237 not out by Martin Guptill v West Indies in 2015 in Wellington

The story: New Zealand won the toss against the Windies and elected to bat, sending Guptill and skipper Brendon McCullum out to the middle. McCullum was back in the sheds 18 minutes later but Guptill stayed out there until the end of the innings, walking off with 237 runs next to his name. The right-hander hit 24 fours and 11 sixes as the Black Caps racked up 6-393 from 50 overs. It was the second double century at a World Cup after Chris Gayle's 215 against Zimbabwe in Canberra a month earlier.

How much does it matter? In terms of personal milestones, this one is pretty sweet. Plus, if you do break this record it's more than likely your team is going to win the match. So it's up there.

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Will it be broken? If the highest team total is going to be broken, the best individual score is in jeopardy too.

Most likely to break it: Rohit Sharma has already scored three ODI double-centuries, including 264, so he would like his chances.

Best bowling figures

The record: 7-15 by Glenn McGrath v Namibia in 2003 in Potchefstroom

The story: This was a mismatch from the outset. Australia piled up 6-301 before McGrath went about his business. The right-armer tore Namibia's top order to shreds, finishing with figures of 7-15 from seven overs, including four maidens, as the underdogs were bowled out for just 45 in 14 overs.

How much does it matter? In the same vein as highest score, it's a nice to have. It's even nicer if it comes in an elimination game. Four bowlers have taken seven wickets in an innings at World Cups; Australian pair McGrath and Andy Bichel (7-20 in 2003), New Zealand's Tim Southee (7-33 in 2015) and the West Indies' Winston Davis (7-51 in 1983). Those players featured in the final the year they took their huge hauls, so maybe there's something to it.

Will it be broken? It's unlikely, given what we've said about bat looking likely to dominate ball. There are no Associate nations at the World Cup in 2019, either, meaning stronger competition and fewer mismatches.

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Most likely to break it? Let's go with Rashid Khan. His wrong'un is extremely difficult to pick and if gets to bowl on a pitch that's spinning, he could be more than a handful.

Most dismissals in a tournament

The record: 21 dismissals by Adam Gilchrist in 2003 in South Africa, Kenya and Zimbabwe

The story: At the peak of his powers in 2003, Gilchrist was solid behind the stumps and made few errors as Australia motored to a second straight World Cup title. He claimed six of his 21 dismissals – all catches – against Namibia.

How much does it matter? Well, to have your gloveman taking a lot of catches it means the bowlers are creating a lot of chances, and your man behind the stumps is taking them.

Will it be broken? At a rate of two dismissals a game, it's definitely doable. Whether or not the bowlers in this year's tournament can create enough chances is another question. It's unlikely, but it's not totally out of the picture.

Most likely to break it: England's Jos Buttler would have to be a favourite, as would India's MS Dhoni. 

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