With the Champions trophy just days away, ThePapare.com analysed who would stand out throughout the tournament and make a difference for their team.
01. David Warner
The hard hitting opening batsman – Pocket Rocket – has been in flying form this year scoring 367 runs in just 5 ODI’s. Not only in the 50 over format but the 20 over format, Warner has blossomed in the IPL both with his captaincy and with bat in hand, topping the run chart (Orange cap) with 529 runs. Warner has managed just a single appearance in the Champions trophy in the past but in the form he currently is, he’s one to have a close eye on in this year’s tournament.
02. Mitchell Starc
He has been in red hot form with the red ball in hand for Australia in the recent past. Not only in the long format but in the one day format, Starc has managed 13 wickets in this calendar year (2017). Starc, like Warner has just one previous appearance in the Champions trophy and will undoubtedly be seeking to add to his record.
03. Tamim Iqbal
Hard hitting, opening left handed batsman who has been at the helm of the Bangladesh batting over the years. His country’s highest run scorer, Tamim has managed 137 runs from 3 ODI’s in 2017. Bangladesh will be looking forward for quick runs by Tamim early on in their games in the Champions trophy.
04. Mustafizur Rahman
The ‘Fiz’ made a successful return following injury against Sri Lanka. The youngster was an instant hit last season (2016) in the IPL and even went on to win the event with the Sunrisers Hyderabad. He managed 6 wickets this year (2017) from 3 ODI’s and will be baring hopes of a nation at the Champions trophy.
05. Joe Root
Having taken over the test team captaincy recently, Root has been a vital part in the English batting line up. He has scored 449 runs in just 7 matches in 2017. Having participated in the 2013 tournament, the elegant right hand batsman scored 173 runs off 5 hit-outs. He undoubtedly will be the lynch pin in the English batting in this tournament.
06. Ben Stokes
An immensely talented all-rounder – most expensive player at the IPL – Stokes lived up to his price tag with a sensational match winning, unbeaten 103 to guide his team to victory. His stats with England have been impressive with 210 runs with the bat and 7 wickets from 6 matches in 2017. He will be a key part in all aspects of the game in this tournament.
07. Virat Kohli
Most sought after batsman and captain, Virat Kohli, has been a batsman who has rarely disappointed with the Blue of India. He has scored 185 runs in just 3 ODI’s this year and will undoubtedly be looking to add to that tally. He has been out of sort in the on-going IPL but who would want to bet against him coming good when playing and leading India.
08. Jasprit Bumrah
Right arm paceman with an unusual action, Bumrah has impressed in the shorter form of the game for India. He has been in supreme form for Mumbai Indians bagging 14 wickets. He is the highest wicket taker for India this year with 5 wickets to his name. His death bowling has gone from strength to strength and with a devastating toe-crushing yorker in his armoury, Bumrah is a force to be reckoned with for India.
09. Kane Williamson
Star batsman, talisman and leader of the black caps, Williamson has been the lynch pin in his team’s batting. Having had a prosperous beginning to 2017, he has scored 241 runs off 7 matches. He has represented his birth land in the 2013 Champions trophy and scored 101 runs from 3 matches. He will be looked up to with hopes of a nation to guide them towards a repeat of the 2000/ 01 tournament success.
10. Trent Boult
An experienced left arm “boulter” – Trent Boult was outstanding in the 2015 world cup and has managed to carry his form through. Amongst the highest wicket takers for this year, he has 14 wickets to his name in 7 matches. He will play a key role if New Zealand is to have any chances in this year’s tournament.
11. Mohammad Hafeez
Experienced batsman – who can bat from 1-6 – Mohammad Hafeez, has been a saviour for Pakistan on more than one occasion. He top scored for the visitors in West Indies with 201 runs in the 3-match ODI series that ended few weeks ago. Fans and teammates will be hoping he puts his hand up as unpredictable Pakistan seeks to win their first Champions trophy.
12. Mohammad Amir
Making a comeback after been accused for match fixing, Amir has been in scintillating form. He has managed 13 dismissals from just 8 matches in 2017. The left armer impressed back in the T20 world cup in 2009 in which the Pakistanis won and will surely be seeking a repeat this time around.
13. Faf du Plessis
Faf tasted success as Test captain, taking his team to second in the test rankings. He sits pretty on top of the highest run scorer (589 Runs) for 2017. He along with captain ABD, JPD and Killer Miller are tipped to get rid of the chokers tag and go all the way.
14. Kagiso Rabada
The young star was in impeccable form with the ball in hand in the South African summer. He managed 14 wickets from 9 matches this year. He impressed on IPL duty with the Delhi Daredevils and will seek to take his national side towards glory.
15. Kusal Mendis
Promising number three batsman, Mendis has not been as consistent as much as he would have liked however he has been a shining light in a misfiring Sri Lankan batting line up. The right hander scored 276 runs from 8 matches this year. Participating in his first ICC event, it’s a must he comes good if Sri Lanka is to have any chances of winning.
16. Lasith Malinga
Slinger Malinga, undoubtedly the man the Sri Lankan team will be depending on, with the ball in hand. The most experienced head in the Lankan bowling line up, Malinga will be looked up to as he fights injury to be fit for the 50-over format of the game. His final ODI dates back to November 2015 in which he managed 2 wickets for 45 runs in 7 overs. If Sri Lanka is to have any chance of competing, certainly Lasith will put his hand up for Sri Lanka.
Please feel free to add your comments on who you think will impress in this year’s Champions trophy.