The world’s best batsmen have descended on England for the ICC Champions Trophy.
Many have recently come off stints in the Indian Premier League and should have no problems with rust ahead of the tournament, which should provide spectators with a great deal of excitement.
The one-day game has found a new level since the 2015 World Cup, with the scoring rates elevated to unfathomable heights.
Batsman are performing outrageous shots to all parts of the ground, displaying an outstanding level of strokeplay – dominating with both power and finesse.
We should have a thrilling tournament on our hands and we’ll now break down some of the men, who will be leading the charge to be the leading run scorer in the Champions Trophy.
The Aussie has become the standout opener in limited-overs cricket due to his ability to crash the ball out of the ground on a consistent basis.
The 30-year-old is the most feared batsman in international cricket, boasting a fearsome strike as well as the nous to construct an innings over 50 overs to guide the Baggy Greens to success.
Warner has filled the void left by Adam Gilchrist and Matthew Hayden at the top of the order, which many believed Australia would struggled to replicate.
However, he has delivered consistency and has helped the Baggy Greens keep pace with the worlds best at the top of the one-day standings, especially with his performances in the 2015 World Cup.
He has taken his game to extreme heights over the past year, scoring back-to-back centuries against Pakistan in January, including his highest ODI individual total of 179 from just 128 deliveries.
In Warner’s last 11 ODI innings, he has scored six centuries – three of which have featured knocks of over 150. He now has five scores of over 150 in his limited-overs international career, drawing him level with the great Sachin Tendulkar for the most in the history of the game.
He should have no problems with English conditions having toured England twice before with the Baggy Greens, while he has also spent time in the county game with Durham and Middlesex.
Therefore backing the opener to top score in the tournament at odds of +800 with PaddyPower could be a very sensible bet to take, considering that the Aussies are one of the favourites for the tournament.
The expectations of the host nation will be carried into the tournament by Joe Root. The 26-year-old has an important year ahead of him after being named the captain of the England Test side, replacing Alastair Cook, but he first must address his form in the limited-overs game.
Root was one of the few England players to emerge with his reputation intact after the 2015 World Cup, which brought a dramatic change in the Three Lions’ approach to limited-overs cricket. Since their dramatic failure at the competition – no side in the world has surpassed the 300-run mark more than Eoin Morgan’s men.
Root has been an integral part of that push due to his consistency at the number three position.
Although he does not have the power and striking ability of some of his team-mates, his reliability to accumulate steady runs throughout the innings as the anchor allows players such as Ben Stokes an Jos Butter to tee off later in the contest.
The 26-year-old has an outstanding average of 48.52 in his 87 matches along with nine centuries. Only Marcus Trescothick and Morgan have scored more hundreds for England in limited-overs cricket, highlighting his class at such an early stage in his career.
The pressure will be on the Three Lions’ star man to produce at a home tournament and he himself will want to make his mark on the event. He has been in excellent form over the past year, but one area of concern is his ability to push on and make huge scores.
It has been an issue in Test cricket as well, but the importance of the Champions Trophy could jolt him into gear. As a result, backing him at +1100 with Betfair presents excellent value.
There will be even greater pressure on Kohli to perform than Root at the tournament as the Indian captain always carries the hopes of the nation of his back.
He and his team-mates fell short last year in the World Twenty20 when they were eliminated in the semi-finals by the West Indies, which will make them determined to atone this time around.
Kohli enters the tournament fresh off his exploits in the IPL, and although he scored three half-centuries for Royal Challengers Bangalore – the 28-year-old was not quite at his best.
His 50-over statistics are absolutely incredible, boasting 27 centuries in his 179 matches along with 37 half-centuries at an average of 53.11.
Kolhi’s recent form has been impressive against high-quality opponents, scoring centuries against New Zealand, England and Australia. He guided his side to comfortable victories over the Black Caps and the Three Lions on home soil, and although India were beaten by Australia – their skipper still put them in decent positions to compete.
The format of the Champions Trophy will suit his game even better as he will be pitted against familiar foes in the form of Pakistan and Sri Lanka, with South Africa offering an alternative threat with the pace bowlers.
The 28-year-old has not always thrived in English conditions, especially against the moving ball. However, if the pitches continue to play like they have done for the Three Lions’ matches against South Africa – he should have no issues and be able to operate at the peak of his powers.
As a result, Kohli has extremely good value at +1200 to top score in the tournament with 32Red, considering that India should go a long way in their bid to win the competition.
David Warner To Be Top Batsman ICC Champions Trophy
1st June – 18th June 2017
Joe Root To Be Top Batsman ICC Champions Trophy
1st June – 18th June 2017
Virat Kohli To Be Top Batsman ICC Champions Trophy
1st June – 18th June 2017
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