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Thread: ICC Champions Trophy: Top 10 players to watch out for

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    Default ICC Champions Trophy: Top 10 players to watch out for

    With the seventh and possibly the last edition of the ICC Champions Trophy set to begin on Thursday, the eight heavyweights in the world of cricket are up in arms against each other to clinch the second-most prestigious title in the history of the sport.

    From mystery spinners to explosive batsmen, each and every team is comprised of genuine match-winners. But, it will be a test of temperament and consistency for the players to make an impact for their respective teams in one of the most coveted tournament in the history of cricket.

    As the eight cricketing nations get ready to rumble in the tournament that offers exciting cricket, we bring you a list of top 10 players who are expected to make a difference in the upcoming ODI tournament.

    Top 10 players to watch out for:

    James Faulkner: The 23-year-old Australian all-rounder took 28 wickets for Rajasthan Royals to become the second highest wicket-taker in the IPL this season. A left-arm medium pacer and a right-hand batsman, Faulkner has got the right mix for being a successful ODI player. He was Melbourne Stars' leading wicket-taker with 13 wickets in eight matches in the Big Bash League's first season.

    Dwayne Bravo: West Indies boast a perfect match-winner in their newly-appointed skipper. With over 2,000 runs and 160 wickets in 137 ODIs, Bravo is the ideal all-rounder to have in your side. The 29-year-old Trinidadian was the highest wicket-taker with 32 wickets in 18 games for Chennai Super Kings in the recent season of the IPL. His 6/43 against Zimbabwe in 2012 ODI series is the best bowling figures in a one-day match as a captain in a bilateral series. Their Caribbean fans will be eager to see the dance moves of their new skipper in Champions Trophy.

    Virat Kohli: The 24-year-old right-hander was busy tearing the opposition's bowling attack throughout the IPL this season. The RCB skipper was the third highest run-scorer behind Michael Hussey and Chris Gayle with 634 runs in 16 matches this year. His blistering knock of 183 off 148 balls against Pakistan in the fifth match of Asia Cup 2012, recorded the joint-fourth highest score by an Indian in ODIs. He will hold the fort for India's middle-order in the upcoming tournament.

    Sunil Narine: The mystery spinner from Trinidad has been one of the most influential spin bowlers on the international circuit. The 24-year-old has an impressive overall record in a relatively short ODI career with 47 wickets in 28 games at an average of 21. His ability to bowl tidy overs in pressure situations gives an edge to West Indies' bowling department. With deceiving variations on his off-breaks, Narine will undoubtedly play a key role in West Indies' Champions Trophy campaign.

    Ross Taylor: The 29-year-old batting-maestro has been under the shadow over the past few months especially after his ousting as the New Zealand skipper. But, the right-hander's ability to rip any bowling attack apart with his brutal batting makes him dangerous for the opposition. Also, with not much success in the Champions Trophy over the years, he must be itching to fire in order to put the controversy behind him.

    Dale Steyn: The 29-year-old right-hand seamer is one of the best fast bowlers in the world today. His consistency to bowl at over 140 kmph with pinpoint accuracy makes him a hard nut to crack for the batsmen. He is currently the number one ranked Test bowler in the world and has been for the past 4 years. The recently concluded IPL witnessed a prolific performance by the speedster with 19 wickets in 17 games he played for Sunrisers Hyderabad.

    Chris Gayle: Arguably the most devastating contemporary batsman, Gayle is the first player to score a century in international Twenty20 cricket; the only man to score seven or more tons in the Twenty20 format; and is the leading six-hitter in Twenty20s. He is West Indies' most successful batsman in the tournament history with 695 runs in 14 games - most by any player in the history of the Champions Trophy. He has the ability to decimate the figures of even the thriftiest of opening bowlers in the world.

    Saeed Ajmal: The 35-year-old off-spinner is arguably one of the most consistent bowlers for Pakistan in the past few years. The second-ranked ODI bowler bowls much flatter than most off-spinners with distinctive variations to trouble the batsmen. With 128 ODI wickets to his name, the mystery spinner will undoubtedly be Pakistan's lethal weapon in the Champions Trophy.

    AB de Villiers: The 29-year-old South African skipper is one of the best players in limited-overs cricket. The right-hander holds the record of scoring the 7th fastest ODI century in a mere 58 balls. His ability to score consistently has earned him the third spot in the Test batting rankings and first spot in the ODI batting rankings. During the third ODI against Pakistan in March this year, de Villiers scored a match-winning knock of 128 runs with 12 fours and three sixes.

    Sachithra Senanayake: Fairly new to the international circuit, the 28-year-old off-spinner has proved his mettle to rumble with the big boys. The right-arm spinner was the highest wicket-taker with 16 wickets in six matches during the 2011-12 Sri Lanka Premier League tournament. He is also touted to possess one of the best doosras in Sri Lanka. His exemplary performance in the recent IPL season for Kolkata Knight Riders also earned him international recognition.

    Last edited by rishabhd; 03-06-2013 at 08:03 PM.
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