This year’s Champions Trophy was full of shocks and upsets. The lowest ranked side, Pakistan, were the eventual tournament winners and Australia were knocked out in the group stages. Some players put in exceptional performances throughout the tournament, such as leading wicket taker Hassan Ali. However, there were also several players who failed to turn up on the big stage. We look at the most disappointing players from the Champions Trophy.
The England opener was in a torrid run of form prior to the Champions Trophy but was given full support from skipper Eoin Morgan. Roy only managed to score 18 runs in the three matches he played and never looked in control. This was clearly seen in his first match against Bangladesh, where he struggled to put away their opening bowlers. As a result, he felt the need to try an audacious ramp but mistimed it straight to short fine leg. His naturally aggressive style means that he easily gets frustrated and his replacement Jonny Bairstow looked a far better option. Yet, since his disappointing series, Roy has looked in superb form. He hit a quick 92 for Surrey in the Royal London One-Day Cup and followed this up with a 67 in the second T20 against South Africa.
Pakistan may have won the Champions Trophy, but all-rounder Shoaib Malik played a very small part in their success. Batting at five, Malik only scored 54 runs in the five matches he played. His top score was 16* and ended the tournament with an average of just 18. This was a shame to see, especially as he received his 250th ODI cap during the tournament. Moreover, he barely bowled throughout the tournament, as the conditions were far from favourable to the spinners. Malik bowled just two overs, in their first clash against India, and failed to turn the ball at all. At least Malik will be able to enjoy his team’s success.
The “Fizz”, Bangladesh’s left-arm fast bowler, was one of the most talked about players in the run up to the Champions Trophy. Rahman made his name in the 2016 IPL, where he picked up 16 wickets and went at an economy rate of only 6.90 as his team, Sunrisers Hyderabad, won the tournament. Unfortunately, he picked up an injury which ruled him out for the start of the 2017 competition. He ended up playing only one match, in which he was dispatched for over 12 an over. Mustafizur struggled again in the Champions Trophy, where he only picked up one wicket in four games. He conceded a huge 183 runs at an economy rate of well over six. This was not the kind of performance we expected from Mustafizur, as everyone thought the English conditions would make him more of a threat.
South African quick Kagiso Rabada was the number one ranked ODI bowler at the start of the Champions Trophy. In South Africa’s ODI series against England, which took place just before the start of the ICC event, Rabada took 4-39 at Lords and looked in menacing form. Yet, he was unable to carry on his impressive form. He only managed to claim one wicket in three matches as South Africa crashed out of the tournament in the group stages. Rabada conceded well over a hundred runs in the three matches he played, failing to live up to his billing as the best bowler in the world for that format. His failure to fire was one of the reasons why South Africa struggled so badly.
India’s spin legend Ravichandran Ashwin has had an awful run of ODI form. While his Test bowling has reached new levels, Ashwin has struggled in limited overs cricket. In addition to this, the English conditions made it even harder for him to have a positive impact. He was left out of India’s team for their first few matches, with India playing an extra seamer instead. As the tournament progressed, though, India dropped seamer Umesh Yadav and turned to their experienced spinner Ashwin. This turned out to be a bad decision, as Ashwin only picked up one wicket in India’s three remaining matches. He was unable to turn the ball at all and even resorted to trying some of his new variations, such as his leg spinner. No matter what he tried, he was unable to be the kind of threat he usually is. His performance in the final was particularly costly, going for 70 runs in his spell. Admittedly there was some debatable captaincy from Kohli to keep persisting with him in the final, but there is a fair argument that he should not have even been selected in the first place.