It may have now finished, albeit with a finish so utterly absurd that we actually need a bit more time to
sober up think about it before we do a review, but the Champions Trophy will live long in the memory. At least until Tuesday, when England and New Zealand lock horns in an utterly pointless eagerly awaited two match T20 series.
Of course, us being the miserable bastards that we are, when it came to putting together a team of the tournament we eschewed the standard procedures and instead picked a team so bad that not even David Warner made it into the XI. Here’s what our fifteen minutes of drunken shouting brought up:
1. Kusal Perera (4 innings, 14 runs @ 3.50, SR 60.86) As an opener in British conditions, Perera looked as comfortable as Ravi Shastri during a sponsored silence. Imagine how few runs he’d have scored if the ball was really swinging.
2. Imran Farhat (2 innings, 4 runs @ 2.00, SR 26.66) After two awful innings, Farhat was replaced by Kamran Amkal as opener. The case rests.
3. Luke Ronchi (3 innings, 23 runs @ 7.66, SR 57.50; 4 catches) So abysmal has Ronchi’s tour been in batting terms, that we can’t recall his wicketkeeping. Even compared with the poor returns from Jos Buttler, Akmal and Matt Wade, Ronchi stood out like skid marks on a urinal.
4. Ramnaresh Sarwan (2 innings, 2 runs @ 1.00, SR 25.00) Not so much in the twilight of his career as at the event horizon.
5. Ross Taylor (3 innings, 12 runs @ 6.00, SR 36.36) Admittedly he would probably have converted his unbeaten 9 into a massive score against Australia in the rain-affected match, but that hardly counts.
6. JP Duminy (4 innings, 43 runs @ 10.75, SR 55.12; 3 wickets @ 41.33, 4.96 rpo) Although he had better figures than fellow spinner Robin Peterson, Duminy is primarily regarded as a batsman. And in that regard, he is useless (just ask any South African cricket fan).
7. James Franklin (2 innings, 12 runs @ 6.00, SR 52.17; 0 wickets, 10 rpo) Just what is the point in him? The kind of player that Mitchell Marsh has modelled his ‘career’ on. And speaking of whom…
8. Mitchell Marsh (3 innings, 31 runs @ 10.33, SR 62.00; 0 wickets, 6.25 rpo) The first sign of a bad one-day team is that they constantly pick players who clearly can’t bowl very well and are completely unreliable with the bat. In the 1990s England selected about nine thousand such ‘bits and pieces’ players, today it is Australia’s turn.
9. Mitchell Starc (1 wicket @ 75.00, 7.50 rpo) We’ve praised Starc quite often on this website because we think he is a very good one-day bowler. However in his solitary match before being dropped, he was woeful.
10. Rory Kleinveldt (1 wicket @ 91.00, 6.50 rpo) Aside from whacking a few runs against England, Kleinveldt contributed absolutely nothing from his two matches. He puts the “big” into “big fat waste of space.”
11. Junaid Khan (1 wicket @ 102.00, 5.18 rpo) It was a tournament to forget for Pakistan and appropriately enough we don’t remember much about Junaid’s bowling at all. But we suspect those figures are not an unfair summary.
12th man. Jos Buttler (4 innings, 15 runs @3.75, SR 107.14) We do love Jos Buttler (to the extent that one of our mates copped off with his sister once), but his tournament was a disaster, summed up by that horrible first ball slog in the final. We’ll still continue to say nice things about him though, in case Adam Dibble gets angry again.
Incidentally, our actual team of the tournament would be this:
Dhawan, Sharma, Trott, Sangakkara, Misbah-ul-Haq, Root, Jadeja, Bopara, Anderson, Kumar, McClenaghan
But no-one really cares about that sort of thing these days.