Team ratings: India
Shikhar Dhawan (317 runs at 79.25) 9.5/10
When it comes to ICC tournaments, especially in the 50-over format, Shikhar Dhawan manages to reach a whole new level. This year’s Champions Trophy hasn’t been different for the left-hander. He is on course to retain his golden bat award after having amassed more than 300 runs and he has scored them at a strike rate of more than 100. Clearly, the best batsman of the tournament!
Rohit Sharma (304 runs at 101.33) 9/10
Rohit Sharma isn’t far behind his opening partner. He has also scored over 300 runs and similar to the 2013 campaign, India’s success has been largely down to their openers delivering consistently in almost every single game. After scoring a blistering ton in the semifinal against Bangladesh, Rohit will look to come up with a big one against India’s arch-rivals in the final as well.
Virat Kohli (253 runs at 253.00) 8.5/10
The fact that Kohli is the world’s number one batsman in ODI cricket comes as little surprise. Despite struggling for timing in the first game against Pakistan, Kohli managed to get through the tough period and fetched crucial runs for his side. Even though he followed it up with a rare duck against Sri Lanka, the Indian skipper came up with a couple of match-winning knocks in run chases against South Africa and Bangladesh to put India in the final. He has also looked quite sharp on the field with his bowling changes and has ensured the off-field controversies haven’t had an effect on the Indian team.
Yuvraj Singh (83 runs at 41.50) 7.5/10
If there were any murmurs about Yuvraj Singh’s ability to deliver in England post his comeback, he put such thoughts to rest with a match-winning quickfire half-century against Pakistan. Yuvraj turned back the clock and played some shots with ease at a time when India were looking for some quick runs. He hasn’t had much to do since then but India might require a similar performance against the same opponents in the finalon Sunday.
MS Dhoni (63 runs at 63.00) 7.5/10
Sharp behind the stumps as always, the former India captain has had only one outing with the bat so far in the tournament. He scored a 52-ball 63 against Sri Lanka to drive India past 300 but the total still proved to be inadequate. India’s top order has done the bulk of the scoring so far which has limited Dhoni’s chances with the bat but in a high-pressure game, against a bowling attack that has only managed to improve vastly ever since the first game, the 35-year-old’s services might be required.
Kedar Jadhav (25 runs, two wickets) 7/10
Having established himself as India’s new finisher, Jadhav, similar to Dhoni, had to come out only against Sri Lanka where he made a 13-ball 25. But ahead of the final, Jadhav has once again shown his skipper that he can be quite handy with the ball. He picked up two crucial wickets against Bangladesh to break their momentum completely at one stage, as his reputation of being a partnership breaker continues to grow.
Hardik Pandya (29 runs, three wickets) 6/10
He is the X-factor in this line-up without a doubt. Pandya’s ability to hit sixes literally from the word go is a crucial asset especially in these batting-friendly conditions. He showed it against Pakistan when he smashed three successive sixes and might be required to do something similar again on the big day. With the ball though, he has had a disappointing outing so far, with an economy of more than six.
Ravindra Jadeja (Four wickets at an economy of 5.35) 6.5/10
He was the leading wicket-taker in the tournament, the last time around in 2013, but in this campaign, has been indifferent in that sense. With the pitches also becoming flatter, spinners haven’t been amongst the wickets and Jadeja’s haul of just four wickets in four games proves that theory. Even though he has been fairly economical, the left-arm spinner did struggle to contain against Sri Lanka.
Ravichandran Ashwin (One wicket at an economy of 5.10) 6/10
The loss against Sri Lanka prompted the management to bring Ashwin back into the mix against South Africa in a crucial encounter and the offspinner didn’t disappoint them. He kept the runs in check and varied his pace to fine effect in order to get rid of the dangerous Hashim Amla as India managed to restrict South Africa to 191 and go on to win the game. He looked quite ordinary against Bangladesh in the semifinal though but unless the surface appears to be very seamer-friendly, he will be retaining his spot.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar (Six wickets at an economy of 4.70) 9/10
The fact that Bhuvneshwar has been India’s leading wicket-taker in the campaign comes as little surprise. After dazzling in the IPL yet again, the right-arm seamer has carried forward his form and even though the new ball hasn’t really swung in this tournament, Bhuvneshwar has managed to vary his pace and has deployed different tactics to induce false strokes and keep the runs down at the same time.
Jasprit Bumrah (Four wickets at 4.30) 9/10
The Bumrah-Bhuvi partnership with the new ball and at the death has certainly reaped rewards for the Indian side. Despite not picking up a wicket in the first two games, Bumrah came back strongly in the next two crucial matches and has been an unsung hero with the top order batsmen grabbing the limelight. With Pakistan’s middle order not firing so far, they could find it extremely difficult to get going against someone who delivers almost every single game at the death.
Cumulative rating points – 85.5/110
Fakhar Zaman (138 runs at 46) 7.5/10
Fakhar, who donned his first cap in the international arena in the game against South Africa, has made quite an impression with his fearless batting. He composed crucial and quickfire fifties against Sri Lanka and England, respectively. His method of getting his front foot away from the line and hoicking fast bowlers may sound crude, but it has given impetus to Pakistan’s rather staid top-order. It would be interesting to see whether the Mardan-born cricketer’s approach against India’s disciplined pacers in the final will pay off.
Azhar Ali (169 runs at 42.25) 7.5/10
Azhar Ali’s prosaic skills with the bat may not lead to thousands of fans flocking to the stadium, but he has combined the virtues of patience and hard work to collect useful runs at the top of the order.
After compiling a fifty against India, he scored 34 against Sri Lanka. In the crucial semifinal tie against England, he accumulated a well-measured 76 and set the tone for Pakistan’s eight-wicket win by sharing a stand of 118 for the opening wicket with Fakhar. Fakhar’s cameos have also allowed Azhar to play his own natural game.
Babar Azam (87 runs at 43.5) 6.5/10
Babar Azam has fired only in fits and starts in the ongoing Champions Trophy. He accrued a patient unbeaten 31 versus South Africa and remained undefeated on 38 against England. However, he couldn’t make an impression in the matches against Sri Lanka and India.
Mohammad Hafeez (91 runs at 30.33 and one wicket) 6/10
Just like Babar Azam, Mohammad Hafeez too has struggled to hit top form in the tournament. His only innings of note was his unbeaten 31 against England in the semifinal. And even in that match, Fakhar and Azhar had laid down the groundwork and by the time Hafeez took guard in the middle, Pakistan were cruising to victory. On a positive note, Hafeez has bowled a few economical spells with his off-spin, including his spell of 0/33 against England in the semifinal.
Shoaib Malik (42 runs at 21.00) 5/10
Malik was expected to be the mainstay of Pakistan’s batting line-up and came into the Champions Trophy, having aggregated 301 runs at an average of 97 in ODIs this year. Unfortunately, he has had disappointing returns so far in the tournament, accumulating just 42 runs at 21.
Sarfraz Ahmed (76 runs at 76.00 and 5 dismissals) 9.5/10
Numerous great cricketing tales have that moment where hopelessness is in the air, with little chance of charting a comeback. At that crucial time, the talisman emerges to end the barren stretch of doom and despair. Sarfraz Ahmed has been the talisman for Pakistan in the ongoing Champions Trophy as he has led the side admirably and showed the required batting nous under pressure. It was his innings of 61 not out that piloted Pakistan to a famous three-wicket win over Sri Lanka in Cardiff. He has also captured five dismissals behind the stumps.
Whenever Pakistan seem to be going through the motions on the field, he has been able to lift their sagging spirits as well. The Asian country entered the ICC tournament ranked No. 8 and are now just one step away from hoisting the trophy and Sarfraz deserves a large part of the credit for their fine show.
Imad Wasim (two wickets at 67.5 and four runs) 5.5/10
Imad Wasim is the utility cricketer in the side. Pakistan look towards Wasim to keep a lid on the scoring rate and add useful runs lower down the order. With his quickish left-arm spin, he has mostly kept the opposition in check, evidenced by his economy rate of 4.47 so far. He also picked up the vital scalps of AB de Villiers and Hashim Amla in the game against South Africa.
Shadab Khan (two wickets at 56) 6.5/10
The 18-year-old legspinner made a bright start to his limited overs career, snaring 10 wickets in his first T20I series against West Indies in March this year. Since then batsmen have tended to pick his variations, especially the googly. In the ongoing eight-team tournament, Shadab has struggled for wickets, taking two scalps at 56.
Mohammad Amir (two wickets at 67.5) 5.5/10
Pakistan’s premier fast bowler bowled zest-filled spells in the game versus Sri Lanka, returning figures of 2 for 52. Despite not picking up a single wicket in their opening fixture against arch-rivals India, Amir was the only bowler who commanded respect from the Indian batsmen. Unfortunately, he missed the game against England due to back spasms. Amir is given 5.5 rating points.
Hasan Ali (10 wickets at 17.20) 9.5/10
Hasan Ali has been instrumental in powering Pakistan to the final. He has used the bumper and reverse swing to good effect to pick up wickets at regular intervals.
He returned figures of 1 for 70 against India but recovered from the experience quickly to snare a three-fer against South Africa. He also took three wickets each against Sri Lanka and England.
Junaid Khan (seven wickets at 19.85) 9/10
Junaid immediately made an impression after being included in the second game by generating reverse swing on a slightly abrasive surface at Edgbaston to bag a two-fer against South Africa. In the do-or-die clash against Sri Lanka, he returned impressive figures of 3 for 42 and followed it up with 2 for 42 against England.
Cumulative rating points – 78/110