The two best teams have made it to the final of the ICC Champions Trophy 2013 and here is a list of players to watch out for in the crucial encounter.
The England skipper has been in some superb form against India in the last few years and his wicket continues to be the prized possession for the Indian bowlers. England have never won an ICC trophy and it is the perfect occasion for Cook to do so under his own captaincy. With scores of 30, 59, 64 and 6 in four matches, the English skipper will have a major role to play in Sunday’s final.
Despite being criticised for his pace in ODIs, Jonathan Trott continues to be a crucial member of the England squad. The right-hander isn’t the one who will go after the bowlers from the very first ball, or the one to clear boundaries frequently, but he has always been involved in partnerships for England, something which the other teams have failed at in Champions Trophy. He has scored 209 runs in four matches and England would want him to rise to the big occasion once again.
The spearhead of the English pace attack, James Anderson has exploited the home conditions to the core and has probably been the bowler of the tournament. His early breakthroughs against South Africa in the semis were pivotal as England comprehensively reached the final. Jimmy has scalped ten wickets in four matches so far and England’s hopes for their first ICC Trophy will depend a lot on the way Anderson bowls in the final match. He is likely to be the bowler to watch out for by the Indian batsmen.
The form of Indian openers was such that Kohli didn’t get many opportunities to score with the bat. Many thought that it wasn’t his series but everybody was keen to see whether he can still decode Malinga in the semi-final clash. Kohli, who has been prolific against the Lankans over the last few years, did exactly the same again making Malinga look like another ordinary bowler. While the team management would want Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma to lay another solid foundation, expectations would be higher from the stylish right-hander who is likely to lead India in all formats of the game in the coming future.
While England are desperate to win their first ICC trophy, they know it is a tough ask against the side led by a man who is just one trophy short from his glittering CV. MS Dhoni hasn’t done much with the bat in the Champions Trophy so far, but on several occasions he has proved his worth as a big match player and he could once again live up to the expectations, if required. The ODIs haven’t seen a finisher like him over the years and on his day; he can dismantle the best of the bowling attacks with his brutal play.
He can bowl, he can bat and he is electric on the field. Ravindra Jadeja is likely to become ‘that one all-rounder’ India has been searching for since quite some time now. He has troubled most of the batsmen with his accurate line and length which has made him Dhoni’s go-to man to get breakthroughs. Apart from his wicket-taking ability, Jadeja can be handy with the bat lower down the order and India would want him to continue his good show in the series.
The Indian pacer has been the find for Indian cricket ever since he made his debut against Pakistan last year. The pressure created by him early in the innings has made the job easier for the other bowlers. He is enjoying the conditions in England, and he would want to add more wickets to his tally of six in the series so far.