Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 26 August 2019

Five players set to become household names at ICC Champions Trophy

As the ICC tournament gets under way on Thursday, Dileep Premachandran explains why these five players could become household names by the time it draws to a close on June 18.

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Mark Wood (England)

Back in 2004, the Ashington-born Steve Harmison took eight wickets as England reached the final of the Champions Trophy, only to have their hearts broken. Wood, another Ashington boy, grew up adoring Harmison. His 15 ODIs have produced just 16 wickets, but as his final over in the second match against South Africa last week showed, there is a lot to be said for accurate, red-hot pace.

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Travis Head (Australia)

Since playing the first of his 22 ODIs a year ago, Head has shown that he can both nurdle and biff. Australia’s squad is brimful of pace bowling threats, but concerns remain about the ability of the batsmen to adapt if the ball moves around. Head, who can score at a cracking pace when needed, will be viewed as one of the consolidators, and also a handy spin option if the surfaces turn.

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Jasprit Bumrah (India)

The left arm is almost redundant in the Bumrah action, but the right-arm slingshot has more than caught the eye. A comparative veteran of the Twenty20 format, India trust him to control the game when the fielding restrictions are in place, and also at the end. Expect a few stumps to be detonated.

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Asela Gunaratne (Sri Lanka)

He is 31, but has played only 13 ODIs. His Arjuna Ranatunga-like slow medium pace will be a factor only in helpful conditions, but as he showed while smacking three sixes in a Twenty20 win over Australia earlier in the year, he doubles up as a more than handy lower-order batting option.

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Mehedi Hasan (Bangladesh)

A little more than a year ago, he was leading Bangladesh to the semi-final of the Under 19 World Cup. Now, Mehedi, who turns 20 in October, has a big role to play as Bangladesh seek to cement their place among the elite. A capable batsman down the order, it is his composure with the ball that Bangladesh will need most. sports@thenational.ae

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Updated: May 31, 2017 04:00 AM

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