Now that the group stages of the Champions Trophy are in the books, we take a look at the standout performers thus far.
1. Opener: Shikhar Dhawan (130 Points)
Shikhar Dhawan has been the man to lay a good foundation for India so far this tournament. Scoring 271 runs so far at an average of 90.33, Dhawan occupies top spot on the run charts.
Though his highest score of 125 against Sri Lanka was in a losing cause, he ensured that his team posted a competitive 321-6. Scores of 68 and 78 against Pakistan and South Africa, however, set up comprehensive victories for the defending champions to help them progress to the last four.
2. Middle-order: Kane Williamson (115 Points)
Williamson was captain fantastic in a New Zealand team that narrowly missed out on semi-final qualification. He stood tall in the middle-order while his teammates crumbled around him. His 244 runs place him just behind Dhawan on the tournament charts.
At an average of 81.33 and with a best score of 100 against trans-Tasman rivals Australia, Williamson gave his side a fighting chance in all of their games. Though the Black Caps lost out to a remarkable comeback by Bangladesh, it was no fault of Williamson’s.
3. All-rounder: Ben Stokes (105 Points)
Ben Stokes has thus far lived up to his tag as the most expensive non-Indian player at this year’s IPL. After coming into the Champions Trophy under an injury cloud, Stokes followed a 48 against New Zealand with an unbeaten 102 in the 40-run victory over Australia.
Stokes is yet to hit his straps with the ball though. He has not regained full fitness after the knee injury sustained against the Proteas before the tournament started. He has taken three wickets so far at an average of a costly 49.66, but he is one of the best all-rounders in world cricket and is bound to find form soon.
4. Wicketkeeper: Quinton de Kock (55 points)
South Africa’s opener had an ordinary tournament by his incredibly high standards, but is still the tournament’s leading wicketkeeper. He scored 109 runs in three games at an average of 36.33. Despite failing to convert good starts against Sri Lanka (23) and Pakistan (33), De Kock did score 53 against India. This was, however, the first time he could not turn a half-century into a century against the defending champions.
With the gloves, De Kock also had a pretty quiet time of it in a tournament that saw the Proteas bowlers toil for the most part. He completed just a single dismissal, a catch off the bowling of Morne Morkel against India.
5. Bowler: Josh Hazlewood (95 Points)
The Australian opening bowler began the Champions Trophy with a bang. His 6-52 against New Zealand helped his side put the brakes on a Kiwi innings that threatened to run away from the Aussies. He made breakthroughs throughout the innings to restrict New Zealand to 291 all out in their rain-affected match.
Though Hazlewood’s performance cooled off against Bangladesh, where he took just one wicket, he was economical as he only conceded 40 runs in ten overs. He finished off his campaign by capturing 2-50 against England in a losing cause.
Photo: Adam Davy/PA Wire.