ICC Champions Trophy 2017 form guide: How the Aussies are shaping up

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    After a long Australian summer and a gruelling tour of India, the Australian side has had time to prepare for the upcoming Champions Trophy through a dose of domestic cricket via the Indian Premier League and the English domestic scene.

    But just how is the Australian contingent travelling ahead of the much-maligned ODI tournament?

    Here is your comprehensive form guide:

    Steve Smith
    Smith has been leading from the front for the Rising Pune Supergiants this IPL. He currently sits as the eighth highest run-scorer for the tournament with an average of 40.77 and a high-score of 84 not out.

    He’s the best batsman in the world, in good form, and is electric in the field. Lock the skipper in for a big tournament.

    Rating – A

    David Warner
    Coming off a disappointing Test series in India, Warner has been dominant against the white ball this IPL, currently holding the orange cap as the tournament’s leading run scorer.

    Captaining Sunrisers Hyderabad, Warner has amassed 535 runs at an average of 53.5. His fruitful campaign has included three 50s and a high score of 126 batting at the top of the order.

    This should be no surprise as Warner is arguably the best short-form player in the world right now, averaging 77.20, 99.66, and 73.40 in his last three ODI series.

    Don’t bet against him to finish the Champions Trophy as the tournament’s leading run scorer.

    Rating – A+

    David Warner of Australia skies a shot. (AAP Image/Mark Dadswell)

    Aaron Finch
    Perhaps lucky to find himself in the squad ahead of Usman Khawaja, Finch will want to finish this IPL strong to ensure he makes Australia’s starting XI.

    Applying his trade for the Gujarat Lions, Finch hasn’t had his best campaign with the bat. He made an impressive 72 but other than that he has struggled to impose himself on attacks like we have seen in the past.

    Coupled with poor form in the international arena, the pressure is on with Travis Head looming as a potential pairing for David Warner at the top of the order.

    Finch really needs runs.

    Rating – C-

    Travis Head
    The classy left-hander has had a break-out 12 months in the short forms of the game. Head recently smashed a blistering 75 not out for the Royal Challengers Bangalore and was the standout batsman among a myriad of stars in the RCB line-up.

    Along with a strong Australian summer that saw Head make his maiden ODI ton and bowl plenty of handy overs, the South Australian looks like he will play an important role in next month’s tournament.

    Rating – B+

    Glenn Maxwell
    Another Aussie holding a leadership role this year in the IPL, the Kings XI Punjab captain has chipped in with both bat and ball when needed for his side.

    Maxwell proved he could dig in when it matters most, scoring his maiden Test century after being recalled to the side for the tour of India.

    Maxwell’s part-time off-spin has recently lost some significance, as Smith has seemingly preferred using Head in the middle overs. Regardless, the man known as the Big Show is one of internationals cricket’s fastest scorers and most explosive fielders.

    He should feature in Australia’s best XI.

    Rating – B

    Chris Lynn
    Nicknamed Lynnsannity, and for good reason, Lynn has transferred his Big Bash form to the IPL stage without a hitch. He holds scores of 93 not out, 32, 50 and 84 in an injury-affected campaign for the Kolkata Knight Riders.

    It could be argued that Lynn is the most destructive batsman in the world when it comes to six-hitting ability, an attribute that should hold him in good stead for selection in Australia’s middle order if his shoulder holds up.

    Rating – A

    Chris Lynn of the Heat raises his bat

    Moises Henriques
    A veteran of the Australian domestic scene, Henriques has been in career-best form with the bat over the last 12 months. The New South Wales captain has had a strong IPL, scoring 273 runs at 54.60 and has bowled handy overs.

    He brings a lot of experience to the table and will be fighting it out with Marcus Stoinis for the seam-bowling all-rounder role.

    Rating – B

    Marcus Stoinis
    Selected for Australia’s ODI tour of New Zealand earlier this year, Stoinis had what is perhaps one of the greatest all-round performances in ODI history, smashing 146 not out and taking 3/49 and nearly earning Australia a win from an un-winnable position.

    That performance will be fresh in the minds of the selectors, even if his IPL form has not been astounding.

    Good hair, great slower ball, could feature.

    Rating – C

    Matthew Wade
    Australia’s gloveman hasn’t featured since the tour of India where he was solid with both bat and gloves.

    He brings a lot to the table in terms of chat behind the stumps and is an underrated ODI finisher.

    Rating – B-

    Mitchell Starc
    Missing from this year’s IPL after picking up a stress fracture in his right foot after the second Test in India, Starc will be racing the clock to make his return at the Champions Trophy.

    Undoubtedly Australia’s spearhead quick and the world’s premier white-ball bowler, Starc will be crucial to Australia’s chances of regaining the silverware in the eight-team tournament.

    He was bowling fast in India before injuring himself and could be devastating in swinging conditions in the United Kingdom.

    Rating – B

    mitchell-starc-australia-cricket-odi-2017

    Josh Hazlewood
    Hazlewood will be enjoying a well-earned rest after taking on an enormous workload in India. The tall seamer also had a long summer when he was Australia’s best bowler in their most recent ODI series against Pakistan.

    The Bendemeer Bullet is an underrated asset in the Australian ODI set-up and his relenting line and length should suit the seaming conditions in the northern hemisphere.

    He’ll share the new ball with Starc and should have a strong tournament.

    Rating – B+

    James Pattinson
    The fiery quick has made a successful return from injury and has been taking scalps for fun during his time at Nottinghamshire. He sparked up a devastating partnership sharing the new ball with England quick Stuart Broad and has taken nine wickets in his last four List A games.

    Pattinson could be Australia’s best bowler when firing but he doesn’t have the best track record in the international ODI arena where he has previously leaked runs.

    Pattinson has also made very handy runs for Notts and is a genuine bowling all-rounder. He’ll probably get edged out by Pat Cummins for the third seam bowling position but should he continue his good form, he will give the selectors a headache and could shake up the make-up of the fast-bowling cartel.

    Rating – A

    Pat Cummins
    After being the benefactor of Mitchell Starc’s injury sustained in India, Cummins was called up to make his return to Test cricket as Australia’s strike bowler. He rose to the occasion and bowled with pace and accuracy on unresponsive Indian wickets.

    More recently, he has been featuring for the Dehli Devils where he has been steady, picking up consistent wickets.

    Cummins is in a battle with the in-form Pattinson for the last fast-bowling position, however, he has a strong ODI record and is the incumbent player, which should get him over the line for Australia’s first game.

    Rating – B

    John Hastings
    The Duke could be considered a bolter in this squad with James Faulkner out of favour with the Aussie selectors.

    The bustling all-rounder has been playing his cricket with Worcestershire in England and has picked up handy wickets and contributed with some lower-order runs.

    Has done a job for Australia in the past and will be reliable if called on again.

    Rating – B-

    Adam Zampa
    The head-banded leg-spinner will feature as Australia’s only front-line spin bowling option in the June tournament. Currently contracted with Sunrisers Hyderabad in the IPL, Zampa has struggled for game time, featuring just twice this campaign.

    The South Australian player will feature on any decks that show signs of being responsive to slow-bowling and is a definite wicket-taking option.

    Rating – B-