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A Champions Trophy composite XI as selected by ESPNcricinfo writers
June 24, 2013
Players/Officials: James Anderson | Ravichandran Ashwin | Ravi Bopara | Alastair Cook | Shikhar Dhawan | Ravindra Jadeja | Bhuvneshwar Kumar | Mitchell McClenaghan | Misbah-ul-Haq | Kumar Sangakkara | Jonathan Trott
Series/Tournaments: ICC Champions Trophy
As you would expect in a short, sharp tournament, the two sides who reached the final provide the bulk of the XI for the this team. Three players were unanimous among the ESPNcricinfo writers polled - Shikhar Dhawan, Ravindra Jadeja and James Anderson - while the most uncertainty surrounded the second opener, then positions six and eight.
Shikhar Dhawan - 363 runs @ 90.75, S/R 101.39
Barely put a foot wrong throughout the tournament. Began with commanding back-to-back hundreds against South Africa and West Indies and had a lowest score of 31 in the 20-over final. Flourishing a little later in his career than some India batsmen, but now looks primed for a long stint in the top-order and his re-emergence has helped the transition from Virender Sehwag. Immensely strong through the off side although may yet have to work on playing the short ball. No close challenger for the golden bat and also named Player of the Tournament.
Alastair Cook - 161 runs @ 32.20, S/R 78.92
Just edged out Rohit Sharma to be Dhawan's opening partner. He was not quite at his best with the bat, although the 47-ball 64 against New Zealand was an innings that helped keep England's tournament alive. As a captain he grew during the event, maintaining his focus while issues such as David Warner's punch at Joe Root and the ball-tampering accusations reared their heads. His next challenge is to move on from the disappointment of the final.
Jonathan Trott - 229 runs @ 57.25, S/R 91.60
The source of many column inches and hours of airwave debate about his approach, but he performed the role he was selected for close to perfection. The harping about his strike rate is, on the evidence of this tournament, a little misguided too, as he ticked over at 91 runs per 100 balls. Looked in supreme touch during the semi-final and final; his dismissal against India was a vital moment.
Kumar Sangakkara - 222 runs @ 74.00, S/R 80.14
Played one of the standout innings of the tournament with an unbeaten 134 against England and was the only batsmen to stand up to New Zealand in Sri Lanka's opening match. As always, he was a joy to watch when playing through the off side or straight down the ground. Continues to shoulder a heavy burden in ODIs, with the keeping role and as an experienced helping hand for Angelo Mathews.
Misbah-ul-Haq (capt) - 173 runs @ 86.50, S/R 73.61
The captain of a sinking ship. If it wasn't for Misbah, Pakistan would have struggled to reach triple figures; his unbeaten 96 against West Indies was a fabulous rearguard innings, which almost gave his side enough runs to play with. He divides opinion back home for some of his captaincy decisions (although he is not the first cricketer to do that) but there do not appear many better batsmen vying for a place at the moment.
Ravi Bopara - 118 runs @ 59.00, S/R 137.20 & 6 wickets @ 22.00, Econ 5.50
Became key to England's side after they rebalanced the attack instead of going with five frontline bowlers - although Bopara showed he was not far off being classed as such. His striking in the middle-order helped compensate for the struggles of Eoin Morgan and Jos Buttler. Was on the verge of being the player of the final, but after three wickets could not quite absorb the pressure and see his team home. His international career, though, is revived.
Ravindra Jadeja - 80 runs, S/R 148.14 & 12 wickets @ 12.83, Econ 3.75
A mixture of sliders, changes of pace and some which turned sharply made Jadeja a potent threat with the ball when he, perhaps, would not have been expected to play a major role in the tournament. He flummoxed West Indies with his 5 for 36 and also conceded just 3.75 runs per over. His powerful hitting down the order was rarely needed, but he delivered when required: his innings against South Africa and, especially, in the final against England were match-winners. It was fitting that he also had a crucial role to play with the ball to secure the trophy. Finished with the golden ball as leading wicket-taker.
R Ashwin - 8 wickets at 22.62, Econ 4.41
Grew into the tournament on pitches that were increasingly responsive to spin. His parsimony in bowling four overs for 15 in the final was accompanied by the crucial wicket of Jonathan Trott but his contributions in the field were just as important, taking a sharp slip chance and two catches in two balls during the match-turning 18th over.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar - 6 wickets @ 22.83, Econ 3.91
Kumar's whippy, well-controlled seamers provided excellent control early in an innings for MS Dhoni. He had the lowest economy rate among pace bowlers to have sent down at least 20 overs in the tournament.
James Anderson - 11 wickets @ 13.72, Econ 4.08
The classiest pace bowler on show. His opening spell in the semi-final was of the highest calibre (his set-ups of Colin Ingram and Robin Peterson were textbook) and he did not have a poor match. His ability to switch from outswinger to inswinger at will, and without losing control, was exceptional. Was one of the few bowlers who was able to move the Kookaburra.
Mitchell McClenaghan - 11 wickets @ 13.09, Econ 6.04
Used very intelligently by Brendon McCullum as an out-and-out strike bowler, sending down short, sharp bursts which rarely failed to provide the wickets that were required, akin to what Geoff Allott achieved at the 1999 World Cup. His economy rate often reflected his attacking approach, but he had the pace and bounce to trouble batsmen and his emergence has added to New Zealand's strong hand of pace bowlers.
The ICC team of the tournament, incidentally, chosen by a five-strong selection panel, was: Dhawan, Trott, Sangakkara, Kohli, Misbah, Dhoni, Jadeja, McLaren, Kumar, Anderson, McCleneghan.
Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfoFeeds: Andrew McGlashan
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