ICC Champions Trophy: Top 5 batsmen to watch out for in upcoming edition

Abhishek Paul New Delhi: The ICC Champions Trophy 2017 will mark its eighth edition when England take on Bangladesh in the first game at the Oval, London on June 1. Here’s a look at the top five batsmen to watch out for in the tournament

The ICC Champions Trophy, starting in the United Kingdom from June 1, will see the top eight nations vying for the honors. The squads have been chosen already with each team picking their best members for the limited overs tournament. Each team has exciting batting talents who have the ability to not just go hammer and tongs but also anchor the innings.

A look at the top five batsmen to watch out for in the Champions Trophy 2017 –

1. Virat Kohli – India

Since the 2013 Champions Trophy, Kohli has grown in stature as an ODI batsman. His 27 centuries is the fourth most in all-time list and Kohli will only go up from here. He is also the India captain and in the last one year has shown that responsibility brings the best out of him.
However, Kohli ended the Test season against Australia with some poor scores and a shoulder injury. He recovered from the injury and even scored four half-centuries in IPL 2017. But somehow he wasn’t able to inspire his team Royal Challengers Bangalore to wins. Hopefully, it will change, once he puts on his India jersey.

2. David Warner – Australia

The first person to represent Australia without playing a first-class match, David Warner has gone from strength to strength, particularly in ODIs. Five centuries in his last 10 ODIs — 179, 130, 156, 119 and 173 — reconfirms Warner’s footing in this format.
But his T20 form puts Warner at a different pedestal. Highest scorer in this year’s IPL, Warner also slammed a superb century against Kolkata Knight Riders. Come Champions Trophy, Warner would like to replicate this form.

(Read | ICC Champions Trophy: Australia, quest to regain past glory)

3. Steve Smith – Australia

After Michael Clarke’s retirement, Steve Smith has led the Aussies from the front. In the last one season, he has scored 667 runs in 14 matches at an average of 55.58. In England, he would hope to lead them to their first Champions Trophy win since 2009.
Smith has not won any major limited overs trophy as captain and would be eager to change that record. His batting is improving by the day and the Champions Trophy will be the perfect platform for Smith to gather momentum for the 2019 World Cup which will also be hosted by England.

4. Joe Root – England

Joe Root has got into the right groove with a good series against Ireland. He has had a good average in the last one year and has been touted as the next big thing for England for quite some time.
With the ICC Champions Trophy happening at home, Root would be expected to lead the charge. In the 2016-17 season, Root has had an amazing average of 81.75. Overall, he has played 85 ODIs scoring 3466 runs. He has nine ODI tons.

(Read | ICC Champions Trophy: England, hosts now a rejuvenated lot)

5. AB de Villiers – South Africa

One of the most destructive batsmen ever with a strike rate of 100.16 and an experience of 216 matches, AB de Villiers will be crucial if the Proteas are to finally shed their chokers’ tag this time.
De Villiers, however, had a forgettable outing in the Indian Premier League, scoring just one fifty in nine matches. He was also nursing an injury before the IPL.

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