The Starting XI: Team of the Tournament
India won the Champions Trophy in emphatic fashion, remaining unbeaten from the first game. They were a well-oiled machine, and thus many of the players on our Team of the Tournament list are Indian.
India won the Champions Trophy in emphatic fashion, remaining unbeaten from the first game. They were a well-oiled machine, and thus many of the players on our Team of the Tournament list are Indian. There were a few other players that shone too though, while some, like MS Dhoni and Alastair Cook, narrowly missed out.
<b>Shikhar Dhawan (India)</b><br><i>Runs: 363, Ave: 90.75, HS: 114</i>
The new superstar of Indian, if not world, cricket was superb during the entire tournament, never failing to record something of value. He made back-to-back centuries, against South Africa and the West Indies, and then added a half century in the semi-finals against Sri Lanka. His efforts went a long way to ensuring an unbeaten run to the final, and his brash yet technical strokeplay was a delight to watch, not to mention his trademark moustache twirl upon leaving the field. His closest challenger was over 140 runs behind, which in a tournament where a side plays a maximum of five games, is a vast difference. His next stop is the Caribbean, where the West Indies and Sri Lanka bowlers will be watching every manner of footage to make sure they can thwart him.
<b>Virat Kohli (India)</b><br><i>Runs: 176, Ave: 58.66, HS: 58 not out</i>
If it weren't for Kohli's valuable 43 in the final, India would definitely not have had enough runs on the board, which is why he has kicked Alastair Cook out of the opener slot. He's been bumped up the order, as the openers in the tournament, aside from Dhawan, were okay at best, with Cook only averaging 32. Kohli though, was his usual flamboyant and flashy self, consistently contributing above-par scores to finish fifth on the runs list, despite making only one half century. That fifty was in the semi-final against Sri Lanka though, showing his ability to kick it up a gear when it really mattered.
<b>Jonathan Trott (England)</b><br><i>Runs: 229, Ave: 57.25, HS: 82 not out</i>
The public's obsession with 'Trott's Fault', the idea that he is to blame for things that go wrong for England, has become an amusing pass time, but covers over the fact that he was the side's best batsman during the tournament. He failed in the final, as did the whole top order, as he is not a T20 player by any means. When the games were full length, he had time to build his knocks, and ended the event as the second-best run-scorer. He made two fifties, against Sri Lanka and South Africa, and added 43 to his record in the side's opening game against Australia. His form will be encouraging as the Ashes draw near.
<b>Kumar Sangakkara (Sri Lanka – WK)</b><br><i>Runs: 222, Ave: 74, HS: 134 not out, Ct: 4, St: 1</i>
The Sri Lanka veteran recorded the best knock of the tournament, hitting a long overdue century (one of only three in the tournament overall) against England at the
Oval. He struck his 134 not out off 135 balls to ensure a victory. He also scored 68 in his side's first game, against New Zealand, and took at least one dismissal in each game while donning the keeping gloves. His efforts, as well as those of Mahela Jayawardene, saw the side reach the semi-finals, where they crashed out to India.
<b>Misbah-ul-Haq (Pakistan – Captain)</b><br><i>Runs: 173, Ave: 86.50, HS: 96</i>
The Pakistan skipper was a rare success for the side, as they exited the tournament without a single win. His 96 against the West Indies was in vain, and he still sits without an ODI century, but his efforts were comparatively impressive. There were criticisms that if he'd put on a dash of speed against the Windies, they could have salvaged a win, but considering he ran out of partners and the deck was made for bowling, that was rather harsh. He also made 55 against the Proteas, thus ending with one of the better averages given his side only played three games.
<b>George Bailey (Australia)</b><br><i>Runs: 114, Ave: 38, HS: 55</i>
The Australia captain recorded two half centuries in the three games he played, and while Adam Voges got the highest score for the men in yellow, it happened in a game that ended without a result, against New Zealand. Bailey had to skipper the side in the absence of Michael Clarke, deal with the press relating to David Warner's antics in Birmingham, and still managed to score some runs. He's not the flashiest player, and some reckon he shouldn't even be in the side, but he is often made to look very good by the failures around him.
<b>Ravindra Jadeja (India)</b><br><i>Runs: 80, Ave: N/A, HS: 47 not out; Wkts: 12, Ave: 12.83, BB: 5/36</i>
Once considered surplus to requirements, and a part-time bowler at best, Jadeja emerged as the tournament's top wicket-taker, bagging the only five-fer of the event. He took two vital wickets in the final, as well as making a crucial unbeaten 33 to ensure a defendable score. His tournament-best figures came against the West Indies in the group stages, while he only batted twice and remained unbeaten both times, hence his lack of average. He also sports a wicked moustache, meaning both the top wicket taker and top run scorer (Dhawan) flew the flag for facial hair.
<b>Ryan McLaren (South Africa)</b><br><i>Runs: 83, Ave: 41.50, HS: 71 not out; Wkts: 8, Ave: 18.50, BB: 4/19</i>
The Proteas once again failed to cross the finishing line, knocked out in the semi-finals by England, but McLaren was impressive with both bat and ball. His 71 not out in the opening match of the tournament, against India, saw his side nearly reach the 332 required, while he took four wickets for 19 runs against Pakistan (the second best match figures in the tournament) to make sure they stayed in the running for the final four. He was the most effective of the Proteas bowlers, most of whom had a disappointing tournament, and he made twice the runs that JP Duminy did.
<b>James Anderson (England)</b><br><i>Wkts: 11, Ave: 13.72, BB: 3/30</i>
The world's 'most skillful' fast bowler was indeed a master of his trade, and was the best of his side's attack. His economy rate was second only to Jadeja, and he tied for second place in terms of wickets taken. Only the final saw him take less than two wickets in a match, only because he had just four overs to play with and the deck was spinning like a top for the slower bowlers. Anderson was the attack leader, for sure, and his two wickets in the semi-final against South Africa broke the top order and triggered the Proteas' collapse.
<b>Mitchell McClenaghan (New Zealand)</b><br><i>Wkts: 11, Ave: 13.09, BB: 4.43</i>
The Black Caps paceman was the top wicket taker after the group stages, taking 11 wickets in just three matches. He bagged four-fers twice, the only player to do so, against Sri Lanka and Australia, and took three against England in just five overs. His muscular frame proved useful in getting some extra bounce and pace out of dry wickets, and he held up well when bowlers like Tim Southee and James Franklin either got injured or failed to impress.
<b>Ishant Sharma (
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