The ICC Champions Trophy is set to showcase the best one-day talent in the world in 15 matches across 18 days when the tournament kicks off on Thursday at The Oval.
While ODI cricket is increasingly becoming a batsman’s game, below are the 10 premier 50-over bowlers set to be on display during the competition, all of whom will be doing everything in their power to make sure ball dominates bat.
All You Need To Know Guide: Champions Trophy
10. Mashrafe Mortaza (Bangladesh)
ICC ODI bowling rank: 15
The stats: M: 175 | W: 230 | SR: 38 | RPO: 4.75 | BB: 6-26 |
The story: Bangladesh’s captain will lead from the front both as skipper and with the new ball. A tall man who’s able to extract bounce from the most lifeless of surfaces, Mortaza can inspire his charges with regular top-order wickets.
9. Adil Rashid (England)
ICC ODI bowling rank: 14th
The stats: M: 46 | W: 63 | SR: 36 | RPO: 5.67 | BB: 527 |
The story: England’s leg-spinner continues to improve with each international match. Possessing a googly that’s fooled many a batsman, Rashid is perhaps England’s No.1 strike weapon this campaign. The Yorkshire product will come into his own later in the tournament as the highly-trafficked tracks take more turn.
8. Mitchell Santner (New Zealand)
ICC ODI bowling rank: =11th
The stats: M: 36 | W: 43 | SR: 38.9 | RPO: 4.95 | BB: 5-50 |
The story: Santner has filled the shoes of former left-arm orthodox veteran Daniel Vettori with aplomb. The 25-year-old collected a career-best 5-50 against Ireland only a few weeks ago in the Black Caps’ tri-nations series win in Dublin. Subtle variations in flight and pace compensate for the lack of a hugely-spun stock ball.
7. Shakib Al Hasan (Bangladesh)
ICC ODI bowling rank: 10
The stats: M: 173 | W: 224 | SR: 39.3 | RPO: 4.38 | BB: 5-47 |
The story: Perhaps Bangladesh’s greatest-ever player, Shakib enters the Champions Trophy as the world’s No.1 all-format allrounder. On the bowling side, he’s a tricky left-arm orthodox spinner who is frugal through the middle overs. And on the batting side, he can work the ball in the gaps or, if need be, clear the rope at will. The heartbeat of Bangladesh, if Shakib does well so does his team.
6. Chris Woakes (England)
ICC ODI bowling rank: 7th
The stats: M: 62 | W: 89 | SR: 33.8 | RPO: 5.59 | BB: 6-45 |
The story: England’s highest-ranked ODI bowler has all the attributes of a top-class quick: pace, accuracy and the ability to manipulate the ball in the air and off the seam. His white-ball skills will have gone to another level after spending a season with Kolkata Knight Riders in the Indian Premier League.
5. Josh Hazlewood (Australia)
ICC ODI bowling rank: 6th
The stats: M: 35 | W: 55 | SR: 32.4 | RPO: 4.65 | BB: 5-31 |
The story: Tall, sharp and accurate, Hazlewood is Glenn McGrath 2.0. The right-armer nags away outside off stump with the new ball and has a knack of picking up wickets late in the innings. Hazlewood is the perfect foil for his partner in crime Mitchell Starc. More on him in a tick.
4. Kagiso Rabada (South Africa)
ICC ODI bowling rank: 5th
The stats: M: 37 | W: 64 | SR: 29 | RPO: 5.13 | BB: 6-16 |
The story: The heir to the Proteas pace throne once Dale Steyn calls time on his spectacular international career, Rabada is already ruling with a maturity and skill that belies his age of 22. Blessed with raw pace and the ability to control it, it won’t be long until he sits atop this list.
3. Trent Boult (New Zealand)
ICC ODI bowling rank: 4th
The stats: M: 48 | W: 87 | SR: 29.9 | RPO: 4.98 | BB: 6-33 |
The story: When swing is in the air there is perhaps no bowler in the world who can harness it better than Boult. Not as sharp as some of his quick contemporaries, Boult instead relies on swerve more than speed to snare his victims, and his stock ball across the right-hander is just as dangerous as his hooping inswinger.
2. Mitchell Starc (Australia)
ICC ODI bowling rank: 2nd
The stats: M: 65 | W: 129 | SR: 24.7 | RPO: 4.81 | BB: 6-28 |
The story: The best ODI fast bowler on the planet, Starc will spearhead Australia in conditions that should aid his already intimidating armoury. When the ball is swinging he’s unmatched in world cricket, and when it’s not he has the skills and variation to still be a menace.
1. Imran Tahir (South Africa)
ICC ODI bowling rank: 1st
The stats: M: 75 | W: 127 | SR: 31 | RPO: 4.67 | BB: 7-45 |
The story: A leg-spinner with all the tricks, the Proteas veteran still boasts one of the best googlies in the game and still captures plenty of wickets with the wicked delivery. An absolute key to South Africa’s chances, Tahir will undoubtedly make an impact later in the competition on worn-out pitches, so long as the 38-year-old’s tight hamstring holds up.
Champions Trophy 2017 Guide
Group A: Australia, New Zealand, England, Bangladesh.
Group B: India, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Pakistan.
26 May – Australia v Sri Lanka, The Oval
27 May – Bangladesh v Pakistan, Edgbaston
28 May – India v New Zealand, The Oval
29 May – Australia v Pakistan, Edgbaston
30 May – New Zealand v Sri Lanka, Edgbaston
30 May – Bangladesh vs India, The Oval
1 June – England v Bangladesh, The Oval (Day)
2 June – Australia v New Zealand, Edgbaston (D)
3 June – Sri Lanka v South Africa, The Oval (D)
4 June – India v Pakistan, Edgbaston (D)
5 June – Australia v Bangladesh, The Oval (D/N)
6 June – England v New Zealand, Cardiff (D)
7 June – Pakistan v South Africa, Edgbaston (D/N)
8 June – India v Sri Lanka, The Oval (D)
9 June – New Zealand v Bangladesh, Cardiff (D)
10 June – England v Australia, Edgbaston (D)
11 June – India v South Africa, The Oval (D)
12 June – Sri Lanka v Pakistan, Cardiff (D)
14 June – First semi-final (A1 v B2), Cardiff (D)
15 June – Second semi-final (A2 v B1), Edgbaston (D)
18 June – Final, The Oval (D)
19 June – Reserve day (D)