Just a match left in this edition of Champions trophy. I don’t think final match would bring much difference to my team. So Here is the XI based on performance of players in CT 2017.
1.Battle for opening slot is between two fantastic batsmen who are in no.2 and no.3 position in most runs chart. Yes it’s between effortless hitting Rohit Sharma and hard hitting southpaw Tamim Iqbal. Both have given needful starts for their team in this tourney. Rohit sharma made a comeback to International arena after a long break and scored a gritty 91 against Pakistan, but his knocks against Sri Lanka and Bangladesh were more free flowing than the one against Pakistan. Whereas Tamim Iqbal announced himself in the tournament with a big hundred against the hosts. He has been in form of his life scoring against big teams since 2015 worldcup and he continued with same touch against power packed Australia where he had managed to score half the runs of team total. Finally he ended his crusade with a 70 in loosing cause. I would give this to Tamim Iqbal because of one of the primary reason that he scored against the attacks which were expected to cause damage and secondly he didn’t have that bit of cushion in the batting order like Rohit had in strong batting unit, Though nothing to take away from Rohit Sharma’s batting.
T Iqbal: Matches- 4, Runs- 293, Average- 73.25, Strike rate- 86.17
2. Its an obvious choice for this batting position. Shikhar Dhawan who is highest run getter in the tournament thus far makes his way to my team without any shadow of doubt. There’s no match where he didn’t score and the way he was able to shift the gears was admirable. He sets the standards so high in ICC tournaments that whenever he walks out to bat there is a big score around the corner. Gabbar is continuing with that Midas touch in big events and now he is a strong contender to win Man of the tournament for the 2nd consecutive time. He holds the record for overall most runs scored by an Indian in Champions trophy and fastest Indian to get to 1000 runs in ICC ODI tournaments.
S Dhawan: Matches- 4, Runs- 317, Average- 79.25, Strike rate- 102.25
3. No.3 is a very important position in the batting lineup because he will act as the bridging gap between the openers and Middle order. 3 out of 4 big guns of current generation were in supreme form whilst 4th one (Steve Smith) didn’t get much to bat in the tournament. Virat Kohli not just scored runs but also finished the match thrice in the tournament and he lent flawless support to other 2 top scorers of the team. This time Kane Williamson had better global event than the previous ones. He managed to score 50+ in all group stage matches including a hundred in their opening game against Australia. He certainly expected a proper support to his consistency from his co-mates. Like the other two even Joe Root’s campaign started off in a brilliant way, but despite he scored runs in remaining games it was less impactful. Kane Williamson’s ability to lift the team up single handedly in the tournament gives him more points than others. Not to forget that NZ’s next highest run scorer in the tournament, Ross Taylor is at distant 2nd place. So this gives Kiwi a place in the team over his counterparts.
K Williamson: Matches- 3, Runs- 244, Average- 81.33, Strike rate- 92.42
4. Next up is England skipper Eoin Morgan, another left hand batsman in this team. He was involved in a match winning partnership with Root against Bangladesh and terrific partnership with Ben Stokes against Ashes rivals Australia. Eoin Morgan is a quality player in the middle overs and he reads the situation very well at that point of time. His innovative and unflinching stroke play has been the highlight of his batting. When England were struggling against Australia he showed the resilience and helped England go unbeaten to semis. Morgan with his exemplary captaincy skills will also be leading this pack of champions.
E Morgan: Matches- 4, Runs- 208, Average- 69.33, Strike rate- 100.48
5. Wicket keeper batsmen at the top order weren’t consistent and the ones in middle order were able to do the job only few times in the tournament. Out of all the 8 wicket keepers, Mushfiqur Rahim stands out for me. Bangladesh’s top order except Tamim failed every time they came out to bat. So the responsibility was on Mushfiqur to take Bangladesh to safer position. His wicket keeping skills were in serious doubt at the start of this year when he had missed many chances against Afghanistan and India, but he didn’t let any critics slide in this tournament.
M Rahim: Matches- 4, Runs- 163, Average- 40.75, Strike rate- 77.25
6. Ben Stokes and Shakib fight for the allrounder spot. Both possess sky-high potential. Both have a magnificent hundred under their belt. Shakib in spite of being No.1 allrounder in this format failed to pick a wicket and on the other side Ben stokes got 3. Moreover Ben stokes broke the effective partnerships in all the group matches. There is no question on their fielding abilities. So Difference lies in only the bowling department and Stokes get a nod over Shakib Al hassan.
B Stokes: Matches- 4, Runs- 184, Bat avg.- 92.00, Strike rate- 81.41, Wickets- 3, Bowl avg.- 62.33
7. There was no competition for Mahmudullah at lower middle order in this tournament. Mahmudullah gets the major share of credit for changing fortunes of Bangladesh in ICC tournaments. Last time in 2015 World cup he had scored the ton in a must win situation and this time a even better ton coming at even tougher situation against New Zealand. He has a better technique than most of the Bangladesh batsmen, but undeservingly he bats low down the order. There is serious worry with their no.3, he could have well been answer to that.
Mahmudullah: Matches- 4, Runs- 137, Average- 68.50, Strike rate- 91.94
8. England missed the wicket taking option in mid overs against Bangladesh. Adil Rashid who came in as replacement for chris woakes in the eleven didn’t disappoint England team. He who has taken most ODI wickets since 2015 world cup was a vital cog in England’s revival as an ODI side. His wrist spin and wrong’uns was a perfect mixture to deceive the batsman. He also recorded one of his career best when he took 4 wicket haul against current world champs. His presence will increase the depth of batting too. Rashid will be the lone spinner in this team.
A Rashid: Matches- 3, Wickets- 7, Average- 20.28
9. Like Rashid even this man was ignored for the team’s opening match. Junaid Khan camelback impressively and with him even Pakistan recovered well. The left arm duo of Amir and Junaid not only did well in initial overs but also when the ball was returned back to them in latter overs where they ran through the lineups with the art of reverse swing. Junaid took over as the leader of attack when the sudden news of Amir’s unavailability popped out in the semi finals. He did well in semis by taking Buttler and Ali’s wickets which was the end of England’s hopes of getting a good score. Although Liam Plunkett has more wickets than him, Junaid is more versatile and he has proved that in this tournament.
J Khan: Matches- 3, Wickets- 7, Average- 19.28
10. Tall lanky fast bowler from Australia managed to get bulk of wickets among so many pace bowlers in the Australia squad. Josh Hazlewood, who is now no.1 ODI bowler in the rankings got his career best against New Zealand. Higher expectation were on spearhead Mitchell Starc, but Hazzlewood had bettered fellow NSW bowler’s performance. Disciplined lines was one of the key aspect of his bowling. Josh and Starc hurried through England’s top order but that wasn’t enough to fetch them the win. He is the no.10 player in the team.
J Hazlewood: Matches- 3, Wickets-9, Average- 15.77
11. Another no brainer choice. Hasan Ali was expensive in his 1st match, what followed next was unstoppable. He took consecutive 3 wicket hauls in the remaining games. Hasan with his sheer commitment was able to reach new heights at an early stage of his career. His pumped up celebration after taking wicket has caught every fan’s eye. His journey from last year’s Pakistan super league has been remarkable. Before this he had taken 5 wickets hauls in Australia and West Indies. Finals will be a big test for this leading wicket taker of the tournament. This completes my XI.
H Ali: Matches- 4, Wickets- 10, Average- 17.20