Champions Trophy 2017: The men who have propelled India, Pakistan so far
A list of five players who have played a major role in pushing Indian cricket team and Pakistan cricket team into the final of the ICC Champions Trophy 2017.icc champions trophy 2017 Updated: Jun 18, 2017 10:01 IST
Defending champions India and Pakistan cricket team have had contrasting routes to the ICC Champions Trophy final. While the Indian cricket team, who started the tournament as one of the favourites, have been clinical (even in the loss against Sri Lanka), Pakistan have been riding their luck among other things to reach the summit clash. But, both the teams have enjoyed some stellar performances from key players.
We list out five starts from both the teams who have propelled the teams so far.
Rohit Sharma: The stylish batsman is enjoying a superb run of form and has been instrumental to India’s success in the Champions Trophy. With 304 runs in his kitty, he will be expected to again provide a perfect start with partner-in-crime Shikhar Dhawan.
Shikhar Dhawan: Since the start of the IPL, Dhawan has been in a belligerent mood with the bat and has maintained his form in the Champions Trophy. While he’s held back his shots and started slowly, when he accelerates, he ensures the match turns on its head. Barring the first game against Pakistan, Dhawan has hit at least a half-century in every match, including a century against Sri Lanka at the Oval.
Virat Kohli: Cometh the hour, cometh the man. There were questions raised about his form as he was going through a rare lean patch before the start of the Champions Trophy but the Indian captain has struck form in style with three half-centuries in the tournament, staying unbeaten in each of those knocks.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar: Alongside Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah, he has completed the famed Indian pace quartet that has been in superb form over the past few months. However, it’s the variations coupled with his ability to swing the ball both ways that has helped Bhuvi at the Champions Trophy. Thus, although Bumrah has been India’s most economical bowler, Bhuvi has been the strike bowler with six wickets.
Jasprit Bumrah: Sharing the dressing room with Lasith Malinga during the IPL season, Bumrah’s yorkers have become as effective as the former’s in his heyday. He’s fast, has a good slower-one up his sleeve and can mix his deliveries well in the course of an innings. Thus, while batsmen usually stick to their ultra-defensive game to see off his overs, runs dry up quickly.
Hasan Ali: He is the tournament’s highest wicket-taker (10 wickets) and will be crucial if Pakistan are to stop the Sharma-Dhawan-Kohli juggernaut on Sunday. Ali usually clocks over 140 kph but what makes him effective is the way he gets the ball to dart back in, gain movement in the air and bowl variations.
Junaid Khan: It’s often said fast bowlers hunt in pairs. For Pakistan, it’s the Hasan-Junaid pair that the entire country will pin their hopes on. Although Hasan leads the tally, Junaid isn’t far behind, with seven wickets and shares the role with Hasan. The two will be instrumental if Pakistan are to take early wickets and bring pressure on the Indian middle-order.
Azhar Ali: He’s the leading run-getter for Pakistan in the tournament and has already hit two half-centuries (50, 9, 34, 76). He has been consistent, but hasn’t been able to consolidate on those starts by scoring big. With opening partner Fakhar Zaman, they can upset India’s plans on Sunday.
Fakhar Zaman: Fakhar Zaman made his international debut against South Africa in the second group game and impressed before heading back on 31. The loss against India had called for changes in the side and he grabbed the opportunity, hitting half-centuries in the next two matches to help Pakistan come out on top in the crunch games.
Mohammed Hafeez: With just 91 runs in the tournament, he may not have made a big impression so far but is still the third highest run-getter for his side. His scores of 33, 26 and 31* indicate he has lost his wicket after settling down. His part-time spin has fetched him just one wicket so far.
First Published: Jun 18, 2017 09:58 IST