Champions Trophy 2017 June 19, 2017

Champions Trophy XI: Captain Sarfraz pips Kohli, Tamim in at No. 3

ESPNcricinfo staff
India and Pakistan's best performers occupy seven of the eleven slots, while Kane Williamson is the only one from outside the semi-finalists
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ESPNcricinfo's team of Champions Trophy 2017, as voted by our staff panel © ESPNcricinfo Ltd

The batsmen

For a short tournament where sides played a maximum of five games, the openers were both unanimous choices, based on consistency and the impact of their runs. Shikhar Dhawan, the tournament's leading run-getter, partners Fakhar Zaman, who played the most impactful innings in the tournament, in the final.

It would have been unfair to omit the tournament's third-highest run-getter, Tamim Iqbal, who shouldered the bulk of Bangladesh's batting workload, despite failing in the only game they won. He slots in at No. 3, an unfamiliar position for him. Virat Kohli had another exceptional tournament with the bat, amassing 258 runs at an average of 129, having only been dismissed twice, both losses for his side.

Our jury was split between Kane Williamson and Joe Root, two of the other modern batting masters across formats. Williamson's greater weight of runs and consistency in his side's three games saw him through.

The allrounder

There was place for just one allrounder, as is the case with most XIs in the tournament, and despite Hardik Pandya's surge in the final, there was no better choice than Ben Stokes, whose hundred against Australia, along with handy bowling performances against Bangladesh and New Zealand, decisively tilted the scales in his favour. Mohammad Hafeez, Imad Wasim and Shakib Al Hasan were the others in contention.

Wicketkeeper and captain

This one was close to a no-contest, with Sarfraz Ahmed making it comfortably. Nine dismissals and one tournament-changing batting contribution were more than enough for most of our jury to back him with the mittens. Even more importantly, for picking up the pieces after the omni-shambles that was their opening game against India and leading his side to their first Champions Trophy title, he also pipped Kohli as the captain of our XI.

The bowlers

Despite pitches that mightily favoured batsmen, this tournament will be remembered for some of the bowling performances it produced. Three of the four bowlers in the XI are from the two teams which played in the final. Hasan Ali, the tournament's highest wicket-taker and Mohammad Amir, who bowled two incisive spells against Sri Lanka and India, combine with Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who was India's shining light in the bowling department. The final spot goes to Adil Rashid, who despite being dropped for the first game, ended up as the spinner with the most wickets in the tournament.

Josh Hazlewood has good reason to feel hard done by, but such was the stop-start nature of Australia's campaign that his best effort went in vain. Both Liam Plunkett and Junaid Khan impressed, and could well have taken up the fourth bowling spot, but some of the drier, used surfaces in the tournament meant the jury went with the spinner, rather than the extra seamer.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • t20cric on June 21, 2017, 21:30 GMT

    Some people questioning why certain players are there. The best players of the Champion's Trophy 2017 are in the team. But this best does not mean just statistical best. For example Fakhar Zaman made it as opener even though Sharma & Tamim outscored him (Tamim is in the team but not as opener) because he provided Pakistan with really quick starts that allowed the rest of the batsmen to not have any pressure. Williamson edges Root because he basically carried his team's batting. Stokes ahead of Shakib because spin bowling wasn't effective at all this tournament. Bhuvi ahead of Hazlewood, Junaid & Plunkett because he was crucial to India's bowling to get them to finals & was really hard to hit for runs. Amir in the team because outside of the final he produced good, wicketless, spells which put pressure on batsmen & dealt the knockout blow to India in the final (340 was chase able for an Indian team with in form top 3 so getting that top 3 out in opening spell was crucial).

  • t20cric on June 21, 2017, 21:09 GMT

    @KUMARJAIN88: Who would you have as captain instead? Sarfraz, as mentioned in this article, is already in the team due to being better than the rest of the wicket keepers. The only other captains in this team are Kohli and Williamson as Morgan, Smith, Matthews, AB & Mashrafe failed to make it into the team. But take into account that Sarfraz as captain really turned it around for Pakistan and made a lot of correct decisions. Kohli & Williamson may be good captains but in this tournament Sarfraz was better.

  • christinjacob95 on June 21, 2017, 13:24 GMT

    Worst Team of Tournament (under performers): J Roy, S Sarkar, ABD(c), S Rahman, M Henriques, JP Duminy, D Chandimal (wk), R Ashwin, R Jadeja, L Malinga/W Parnell, M Rahman.

  • christinjacob95 on June 21, 2017, 13:13 GMT

    Hazelwood/Plunket/Junaid performed better than Amir.

  • Bangla_Team_World_Champs on June 21, 2017, 9:41 GMT

    @JOHN_BNSA Amir overrated? hunh. How many times you saw top 3 indian batsmen got out before 33 and kohli out in 2 consecutive balls? He performed and did perform. He look liked taking 5 6 fer in the final and you are talking about overrated. He blew away the Indian batting lineup and thats the truth, not your illogical analysis.

  • Tuxabbas on June 21, 2017, 6:44 GMT

    Williamson should be the captain

  • Puneet on June 21, 2017, 6:35 GMT

    @ JMCILHINNEY ON JUNE 21, 2017, 5:27 GMT " No team "needs" representation. The point is to name the players who earned it. Can you name an SA or Australia player who earned it? Sure, Australia were unlucky with the weather but if their players did get the chance to perform then their players didn't perform and thus don't deserve to be listed here. It's not about potential. It's about actual performances." --- Josh Hazelwood who took 9 wickets in 3 matches isnt in the team but Amir who had one good game in 4 outings finds a place in the team. So, whats the definition of "performance"?

  • jmcilhinney on June 21, 2017, 5:27 GMT

    @Cricinfouser on June 20, 2017, 15:19 GMT

    "Nine out of 11 is subcontinental ! I find it bit biased. SA and Au needed some representation."

    No team "needs" representation. The point is to name the players who earned it. Can you name an SA or Australia player who earned it? Sure, Australia were unlucky with the weather but if their players did get the chance to perform then their players didn't perform and thus don't deserve to be listed here. It's not about potential. It's about actual performances.

  • jmcilhinney on June 21, 2017, 5:25 GMT

    Some people commenting here don't seem to understand how this works. Past performances are irrelevant. The point of this team is to pick the players who played the best in this specific tournament. It's not about who the best players are overall. It's about who the best players were in this CT.

  • Kumarjain88 on June 21, 2017, 5:06 GMT

    Is it necessary that winning team captain should be the captain of this XI? If not, then Sarfaraz as Captain is a joke.

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