The 2017 ICC Champions Trophy, to be played in England and Wales, starts this Thursday with the opening game between hosts England and Bangladesh at The Oval in London.
In this first post I take a look at the possible milestones to be reached by players from the four teams in Group A – Australia, Bangladesh, England and New Zealand.
Each team can play a maximum of five games in this tournament – three in the group stages, a semi-final and the final – so I have considered possible milestones that may be reached in that time-frame, barring a freak run of double centuries or ten-wicket hauls. Anything is possible of course, but I’m trying to be as realistic as possible!
For a preview of Group B, have a look over here.
The Aussies are perennial winners of ICC 50-over tournaments, and again enter this one as one of the favourites. Currently ranked second in the world in ODIs, they are the only team to have won more than one Champions Trophy outright, lifting the silverware in 2006 and 2009. Watch out for the following as the tournament unfolds:
If Australia reach the final, and their captain plays in every game, Steve Smith will bring up 100 ODI appearances for the boys in yellow, currently having 95 to his name.
One of the possible stars of the tournament needs just 54 runs to bring up 4000 career ODI runs. Barring injury, it’s hard to see this milestone not being added to the record books.
Mercurial all-rounder, and self-styled “Big Show”, needs 43 runs to clock up 2000 for his country in ODIs.
The Australians’ main strike bowler is 13 wickets shy of matching Jason Gillespie’s 142 for his country, enough to move him up to joint tenth place in the list of Australia’s all-time ODI wicket takers. 14 Starc wickets in the tournament will relegate poor Dizzy to eleventh.
Although playing as wicketkeeper gives him something of an unfair advantage over the man he might replace, the Aussie gloveman needs just two catches to move to 105 career catches and match the record of Mike Hussey, who currently holds down tenth spot in all-time ODI catches for his country.
The Tigers enter the tournament ranked joint sixth in the world and qualify for their first Champions Trophy since 2006. These are the players to keep an eye on stats-wise over the next two weeks:
The Bangladesh ODI captain has currently played 175 ODIs for his country, enough to put him second on the list of all-time highest appearances for the Tigers. He needs just two more games to equal Mohammad Ashruful (177) at the top of the tree, and if he plays in all three groups games he will move clear at the top.
Shakib Al Hasan
The man tipped to replace Mashrafe as captain once he retires at the end of the tournament is currently two games behind his skipper with 173 appearances. He will need the Tigers to get to the semis to equal Ahsraful’s 177, and to the final to surpass him and move into second place outright (assuming Mashrafe plays in all the games Shakib does)
Shakib is also 185 runs shy of reaching 5000 ODI runs for Bangladesh, currently tallying 4815 runs from his 173 appearances.
The opening batsman needs 127 runs to reach 2000 ODI runs for Bangladesh.
Soumya currently sits on 925 ODI runs, needing just 75 to notch up his first 1000 runs.
The quick bowler needs 9 scalps to bring up a century of wicket for Bangladesh in ODIs, having taken 91 victims in his career to date.
The host nation have an unenviable and well-known record of having never won a 50-over ICC tournament, despite making it to no less than five finals, including the last Champions Trophy in 2013 where they lost to India. This time, they are in-form, at home, and enter the tournament as the bookies’ favourites. What can possibly go wrong?! These are the players to monitor:
England’s white-ball captain Morgan is approaching a few milestones in this tournament. The following all relate to his record for England alone, noting that he did make 23 ODI appearances for his native Ireland before switching allegiance to England.
Morgan has made 157 ODI appearances in England colours, needing two more to equal Darren Gough (currently in fifth place in England’s all time appearance list on 159) and four to match Ian Bell’s 161 in fourth place. If England make the final, then Eoin will claim fourth place all for himself, assuming he plays in every game.
Eoin also needs 180 runs to bring up his 5000 for England in ODIs, and currently sits on 10 centuries for England. He needs two more centuries to match Marcus Trescothick’s 12 at the top of England’s rankings.
Ben Stokes and Moeen Ali
Two of England’s crucial allrounders both need 3 wickets to tally 50 ODI victims for their country, currently sitting together on 47 wickets.
Another all-rounder, Woakes needs 11 wickets to mark 100 for England
The final team in Group A (alphabetically speaking) are New Zealand. The Blackcaps won this trophy (then known as the ICC Knockout Trophy) in Kenya in 2000, and of course dazzled the world on their way to the 2015 World Cup Final before meekly losing in the final against Australia. A strong Group A will be difficult to escape from, but the Blackcaps are capable of beating anyone on their day, so cannot be ruled out completely.
The NZ players with upcoming personal milestones are as follows:
The skipper currently has 4362 ODI runs to his name, sitting in eleventh spot for NZ. He needs just 17 runs to match the wonderfully named Chris Zinzan Harris on 4379 and move into the top ten, and 121 runs to equal Scott Styris in ninth place.
A long-time key batsman for the Blackcaps, LPRU Taylor needs just two more appearances to overtake Styris’ 188 and move himself into eighth place for NZ.
The Blackcaps’ quick bowler current has 155 ODI wickets, needing four more to overtake New Zealand’s finest ever fast bowler Sir Richard Hadlee for sixth place in the all time list for their country.
Recently recalled after a long absence, Broom needs 126 runs to mark up 1000 in the format for New Zealand.
The fast bowler needs 13 wickets to move to 100 in ODI uniform for the Blackcaps.
Jeetan Patel and Mitchell Santner
Another player to find himself back in the national side after a long absence, Jeetan Patel needs just one more wicket to mark 50 for his country. Fellow slow bowler Mitchell Santner needs seven scalps to bring up the same milestone, currently sitting having 43 to his name.
And last but not least, with 97 grabs already in the record book, keeper-batsman Ronchi needs just three more catches to reach 100 for his second international country, having previously played a handful of ODIs for Australia.