Cricket, no doubt, is a team sport. However, teams often bank on a particular individual to bail them out of any adversity. Come ICC Champions Trophy 2017; teams will be looking up to such players to deliver in this all-important tournament.
The format of Champions Trophy is such that a team cannot afford to relax. If there is any slip-up, it becomes difficult to bounce back. Thus all teams would be banking on certain players to take them through.
With teams set to battle it out in the Champions Trophy, here we take a look at one player from each eight teams who could make a difference to their side’s fortune in the tournament. Also Read- ICC Champions Trophy 2017: This is how Team India can successfully defend title
The left-arm fast bowler is a vital cog in Australian bowling department. With overcast conditions and swing on offer, Starc is a threat to any opposition. It is necessary to Australia’s success in the tournament that Starc makes early inroads with his pace and accuracy.
Bangladesh returns to Champions Trophy after a decade. The Tigers are much-improved side now. One man who will be key to their success is the opener, Tamim Iqbal. The left-hander has been in good form in the build up to the tournament. A couple of half-centuries in the tri-series in Ireland followed by a century against Pakistan in the warm-up match has given us an indication that the left-hander is set to make valuable contributions at the top. Tamim is one of the senior players in the side and onus does lie with him.
He might have failed to defend 19 runs in the last over against West Indies in the final of World T20 last year, but the all-rounder is still the most valuable player in England ranks, arguably. Stokes is more than handy with both bat and ball. However, he is struggling with his knee, and that is a cause of concern for the hosts. But even a half fit Stokes is an asset for the English team.
India comes into the tournament as defending champions, and the team will be banking on their captain Virat Kohli to retain the title. India’s batting revolves around Kohli is a known fact. The dynamic right-hander has singlehandedly bailed his side out of the trouble on many occasions. And once again he will be crucial to India’s success. Also Read- ICC Champions Trophy: Australia, India the dominant teams in tournament’s two-decade history
Just like Virat Kohli, Kiwis will depend on their captain Kane Williamson as well. He is the central figure in the New Zealand batting line-up, and the team would pin their hopes on him.
Batting is Pakistan’s weakness, so there is always pressure on their bowlers to deliver. However, Babar Azam’s inclusion in the side has given the team a new hope. The right-hander has done well in patches for his side and will be eager to put up a consistent show in his first big tournament.
The right-handed opener recently became the fastest to reach 7000 runs in ODIs. His contribution at the top will be vital to South Africa’s success. Amla’s grace stands out in the massively talented South African top order. Also Read- ICC Champions Trophy 2017: Best moments in the history of the tournament
Sri Lankan captain is the experienced campaigner in his side. With Lasith Malinga back in the side, Mathews will be breathing easy, but it will be his role with bat and ball that will help Sri Lanka. A key player in the struggling Lankan side.