Every young cricketer who aspires to play for his nation, dreams to represent the country in a World Cup match. While the dream of playing for the country is fulfilled for some, only a few manage to break into the World Cup squad. And a few fortunate ones get an opportunity to get their hands on the coveted World Cup trophy.
Australia dominated the 50-over World Cup and only in recent times has the tide changed. India broke the Aussie juggernaut by winning the coveted trophy at home in the 2011 edition. The image of team-mates carrying Sachin Tendulkar on his shoulders will remain fresh in everyone's mind.
Amidst the increasing demands of players who play all three forms of the game, it puts enormous pressure on their body and the expectations to perform on a regular basis. Not many cricketers continue to exhibit consistency and prolong their playing career for a long period. It is either due to dip in their performances or a career marred through injuries that they fail to continue for longer periods.
Here we take a look at three such players from 2011 Cricket World Cup who are still around:
1. Steven Smith
Steve Smith began his playing career primarily as a leg-spinner while batting was his secondary skill. His gradual progression from a leg-spinner to become the No.1 batsman in Test cricket is absolutely phenomenal. In the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011, Smith was a part of the Australian squad that lost to India in the Quarter-Final. In the tournament, he picked a solitary wicket and didn't set the stage ablaze with his batting either.
But his growth trajectory has been something to be really appreciated as four years later he was one of the key architects of Australia's win in the 2015 edition of the World Cup. Nine years post the World Cup 2011, Smith is recognized as one of the best going around in the world. Despite hitting a career-low in 2018, the New South Wales-player has come up trumps and fought against all the odds at the international level.
Andre Russell, one of the best finishers in the limited-overs circuit, is a nightmare for every bowler. In the 2011 Cricket World Cup, Russell played just three games in the tournament and scored a total of 52 runs. He was a rookie in those days who was looking to earn a settled spot in the Caribbean setup. However, nine years post the World Cup 2011, Russell is now recognized widely for his ability hard-hitting abilities. He's one of the most valuable players in the various T20 leagues around the globe. His bowling form may have taken a certain dip in the last few years, but he can be a match-winner solely with the bat in hand.
3. Kane Williamson
Much before Kane Williamson saw himself as one among the FAB-4 in world cricket, the 21-year old was finding his feet during his maiden World Cup appearance in the 2011 edition. A naive then, Williamson had earned enough name for himself after leading New Zealand in the 2008 U-19 World Cup in Malaysia.
He had an unlikely start to his World Cup career for the Kiwis but showed signs of things to come. In the next two World Cups, the right-handed batsman grew up as one of the key players for the BlackCaps in their batting department. In the 2019 World Cup, Williamson saw a career-high when he led New Zealand in the World Cup Final against England at Lord's. However, had that not been on the boundary count, Kane was in touching distances to create history for New Zealand cricket. However, he displayed character and gracefully accepted the loss in the Final as a losing captain.