The countdown is well and truly underway, with the ICC Champions Trophy 2017 starting on June 1 in England and Wales. As the top eight One-Day International sides battle it out for the prestigious title, here’s a look at some of the young stars expected to stamp their authority.
Mustafizur Rahman (Bangladesh)
There is something special about this left-arm quick.
The highlight of Rahman’s ODI career remain two five-wicket hauls in Bangladesh’s first ever series win over India in 2015. He is only the second player to have returned five-fors in his first two ODIs, after Zimbabwe’s Brian Vitori.
The 21-year-old has a lot of cricket left in him. Provided he stays fit and injury-free, he has a lot of time to grow and showcase his skills. On the balance of form combined with current potential, Rahman is seemingly one who can be tipped for bigger things.
Kagiso Rabada (South Africa)
Rabada first came into prominence during the ICC Under-19 World Cup 2014, when he returned figures of 6 for 25 against Australia in the semifinal. He ended up as the second highest wicket-taker, with 14 wickets from five matches.
Mitchell Santner (New Zealand)
Mitchell Santner, the left-handed all-rounder, has established himself as an integral part of the New Zealand side across formats. The 25-year-old made his international debut in 2015, stepping out of the shadow of Daniel Vettori following the latter’s retirement.
Babar Azam (Pakistan)
Coming from a family of cricketers, Babar Azam made his international debut when Zimbabwe visited Pakistan in 2015, scoring 54 off 60 balls in front of his home crowd in Lahore.
Kusal Mendis (Sri Lanka)
Kusal Mendis is no longer a rookie, having made his Test debut for Sri Lanka against West Indies in 2015 in Colombo. His international career took off when he scored 176 against Australia, the second highest maiden Test century by a Sri Lankan batsman after Brendon Kuruppu’s 201* in 1987 against New Zealand.
Jasprit Bumrah (India)
While the yorker is his most potent weapon, Bumrah’s unusual bowling action makes it very difficult for batsmen to pick him. The 23-year-old made his international debut in 2016 against Australia, taking six wickets in three T20Is after having started his career promisingly in the preceding ODI. MS Dhoni called him the ‘find of the series’. Since then, Bumrah has surged ahead in his career.
Pat Cummins (Australia)
Australia boast the kind of fast-bowling depth that other countries must be covetous of. The presence of a top-quality pace quartet comprising Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, James Pattinson and Pat Cummins makes them one of the favourites for the tournament. Cummins in as exciting as they come. He made his ODI debut against South Africa in October 2011, picking up three wickets, and his best ODI figures came in December 2016
Sam Billings (England)
Sam Billings was recently given the added responsibility of keeping wicket in the two-match ODI series against Ireland, showcasing another string in his bow.
Billings is one of several explosive young batsmen in a restructured England line-up, capable of hitting the ball a long way without sacrificing flair or orthodoxy. —ICC