The ICC Champions Trophy 2017 in England and Wales is all set to begin with the match between Bangladesh and hosts England on June 1. Like any other big multi-national competition, this tournament too may give birth a few surprise performers who would rise on the occasion. Let’s take a look at the possible surprise elements of all eight participating teams.
Mosaddek Hossain (Bangladesh): His international career may not be more than only one and a half years, but already he has become one of the most reliable and consistent performers in this Bangladesh set-up. Once a longer-format specialist in Bangladesh domestic circuit, Mosaddek is now equally capable as a big hitter in limited-over cricket. Batting at 6, 7 or even at 8, Mosaddek can play cameo knocks to turn a match on its head. As a part-timer, he is also quite worthy with his economic off-spin bowling.
Marcus Stoinis (Australia): He is what one calls a perfect pace all-rounder. He bats in the middle and can architect an innings for the team’s cause, while he can bowl medium pace as well. In his only three-match ODI career, he has an unbeaten knock of 146, which is just a glimpse of what he could do if needed. And don’t be surprised, in that match against New Zealand in Auckland earlier this year, he also took three wickets. Now this 27-year-old is just awaiting the perfect opportunity to announce his arrival on the world stage.
Jason Roy (England): After the disastrous World Cup campaign in 2015, England have brought about a big change in their way of playing, and ever since Roy has been a big part of it. Thanks to the addition of Roy, England now have one of the most versatile and unique batting unit in the world. Champions Trophy could just be yet another milestone event for this 26-year-old to prove his mettle.
Tom Latham (New Zealand): He started his career as a middle-order batsman. But now after playing out more than 50 matches, Latham is considered as a full-fledged opener in the Kiwi batting line-up. With the 137-run knock against Bangladesh in Christchurch last year, Latham proved a point that he could be really dangerous if the opposition can not remove him early. As there won’t be much expectation on him, Latham will be able to play pressure-free cricket and become more lethal than ever.
Jasprit Bumrah (India): Though he has already played 35 international matches for India, he has yet to open his account with the bat in hand. However, that’s not his main job. He is supposed to demolish the opposition with the ball in hand, and in that he has been very successful. This cool and calm bowler can bowl yorkers at will, and also swing with the new ball. In the strage English condition, Bumrah’s pace bowling could be really essential at times.
Andile Phehlukwayo (South Africa): Everyone struggles to perfectly pronunciate his name. It’s a tough job even for the commentators. But what is tougher is to face his bowling, and also pick him out. With his right-hand bowling and left-hand batting, Phehlukwayo has all the ingredients in his stock to take the world by storm, and that could happen right in this Champions Trophy.
Shadab Khan (Pakistan): He has been catching everyone’s attraction right from the beginning of his career. With his intelligent leg-spin, bamboozling googly and extraordinary fielding, this 18-year-old bowler has become an overnight sensation within the world cricket fraternity. However, all his brilliance and success so far have come in the T20s only, and now it is high time he started delivering his goods in the 50-over format as well.
Kusal Mendis (Sri Lanka): He may be just 22 years old, but already he has become a very important part of the batting unit of this Sri Lanka side that is going through a transition period. He first came to worldwide discussion with the match saving 176-run knock aganst Australia in a Test match in Pallekelle. Then he also followed his tremendous form in the series against Bangladesg, having scored one century and one half century.
– Jannatul Naym Pieal, Correspondent, bdcrictime.com