Top 10 Players to watch at the ICC Champions Trophy
The ICC Champions Trophy is coming up in June in England and Wales and near enough all the best players in the world will be on show at Edgbaston, Cardiff and the Oval. There will be plenty of exciting cricket played over the three grounds and FREEbets.org.uk have picked out 10 players that are likely to light up the competition more than any others.
10. Sunil Narine
One of the most exciting bowlers to come out of the West Indies for years and he’s a spinner!!! Narine breaks the mould in a number of ways and batsmen all over the world have found him incredibly difficult to pick. English conditions may not quite suit him but with 27 wickets in his 28 ODIs at 21.68 so far suggests he will perform in most scenarios.
9. Virat Kohli
He may be only 24 but he has already played nearly 100 ODIs and averages just a shade under 50 with the bat over them which is as good a record as you could ask for. He is destined to be the next great Indian batsman and if he can lead his team to victory in England it will speed up that process.
8. Brendon McCullum
The New Zealand captain may not have had an enjoyable recent test series against England as he was repeatedly ousted by Stuart Broad but in shorter forms of the game he is as devastating as they come. With a three-match ODI series against England to further accustom himself to local conditions he should be a real force in the Champions Trophy.
7. Saeed Ajmal
Last time England came up against Saeed Ajmal he made almost the entire side look pretty silly as he skittled them over in the UAE. Conditions will not suit him in the UK as they did in the Middle East but as one of the very best spinners on the planet he is sure to play a key role for Pakistan who are remarkably consistent in knockout competitions.
6. David Miller
Not necessarily the biggest name in the South African squad but Miller has some serious pedigree in the shorter forms of the game. He was a star of Yorkshire’s successful T20 campaign last season so knows English conditions and he has gone on to do well in the IPL. Given a few overs Miller can destroy an attack.
5. Michael Clarke
He is unlikely to blast bowlers out of the park but the Australian captain is one of the most proficient run scorers in the game and if a spinner is struggling to find turn then the lightning fast Clarke will punish them for anything not on the money. There is plenty of pressure on him to perform with a below-par batting line-up through the rest of the team but he absolutely loves it.
4. Hashim Amla
Again, like Clarke he won’t be hitting endless sixes but there is a reason that Amla is the favourite to be the top run scorer in the competition, he is a batting machine. He proved this when he played in England last year, proving almost impossible to remove and he certainly has the capability to step on the gas when needed. If he finds form then South Africa may be tough to stop. He is 10/1 to score more runs than any other and there will be a few cashing in a free bet on him at that price.
3. Joe Root
The new golden boy of English cricket now has his chance to show what he can do away from the shackles of test cricket. He has proved he can score big runs over five days but now he can display his vast range of shots and maybe some of his more than adequate off-spin bowling. He’s got everything and could be a global star by the end of the summer.
2. Lasith Malinga
The man that every captain wants in his bowling attack in limited overs cricket will lead Sri Lanka’s attack in England this summer. Now only playing the shorter forms of the game he has mastered the art of bowling at the death and is undoubtedly the best in the world at bowling toe crunching Yorkers. He is favourite to be leading wicket taker at 10/1 with Stan James and looks a good option for a free bet at that price.
1. Chris Gayle
Almost certainly the best one-day batsman on the planet at the moment, Gayle Force will sell tickets by himself thanks to his outrageous displays of power hitting. His 175* in the IPL was one of the most stunning achievements in recent years and if he can reproduce anything like that then we are in for a treat. West Indies have proved they can get their hands on silverware at the World T20 and Gayle could well lead them to more success.