In the final of the 2017 Champions Trophy, Pakistan came out on top with splendid all-round performances, getting the better of the Men in Blue by 180 runs at The Oval to lift their first title.
Despite a substandard performance in the final, India played some exceptional cricket in all the departments. Here’s a quick recap of five of the best performances from Indian players from the Champions Trophy 2017 that do not fade away, quite like the Axe Signature range of body perfumes:
Also read: 2017 Champions Trophy XI
#5 Hardik Pandya vs Pakistan in the final
Hardik Pandya proved himself to be quite the batting all-rounder, and it couldn’t have come on a better day or platform. When India’s famed batting line-up crumbled under pressure in the finals, Pandya was the lone man who injected life into India’s chase.
India were in a hopeless position, having lost five wickets with just 54 runs on the board when Pandya walked in. He took the bowlers on from the first moment and helped himself to four 4s and six 6s to reach 76 off 43 balls and give the Indian fans some hope.
He reached his 50 in just 32 balls to break Adam Gilchrist’s long-standing record for the fastest half-century in an ICC ODI Tournament final. Unfortunately, a mix-up between Jadeja and Pandya resulted in the man from Vadodara departing prematurely! Had he stayed on for a few more overs, the course of the match could have changed.
#4 Yuvraj Singh vs Pakistan in the group stage
They say that in ICC tournaments, Yuvraj Singh is at his devastating best. In India’s opening game of the tournament when they trounced Pakistan by 124 runs, Yuvraj ripped through the Pakistani bowlers with a quick-fire 50 in just 29 deliveries (8 fours and 1 six).
His innings was reminiscent of the batsman at his peak as he hammered the bowlers for eight 4s and a solitary maximum. Yuvraj’s fearless hitting helped the team cross the 300-run mark, as he amassed 53 runs from just 32 balls.
#3 Jasprit Bumrah’s spell against South Africa
Despite touring England for the very first time, and tasked with playing in a virtual quarter-final vs South Africa, 23-year-old Jasprit Bumrah stepped up, and how! Bumrah constantly probed the off-stump line, preventing Hashim Amla and Quinton de Kock from scoring freely.
Bumrah dismissed Chris Morris and Andile Phehlukwayo to return with figures of 8-0-28-2. In a must-win group stage match vs South Africa, the young Indian pacer proved that he is slowly developing into one of the most lethal death bowlers on the planet.
#4 Shikhar Dhawan’s century against Sri Lanka
When the Indian squad for the tournament was announced, many argued why an in-form Gautam Gambhir was not picked. The opening pair of Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan put those questions to bed as they once again complemented each other beautifully to put on a century stand against Sri Lanka, albeit in a losing cause
It was a partnership of 138 runs between the prolific pair and once Sharma departed, Dhawan stole the show by wreaking havoc on the Sri Lankan bowlers. With the help of 15 fours and 1 six, the southpaw managed to score 125 runs off 128 deliveries. By the time he departed in the 45th over, India had put up a respectable total. This innings helped him become the highest run-getter in the tournament, earning him the Golden Bat.
#5 Rohit Sharma’s century against Bangladesh
In the second semifinal of the tournament, a commanding India breezed past Bangladesh to make it to the finals of the Champions Trophy once again. Despite having to chase a seemingly tricky target of 265, India cruised through to win the match by nine wickets and that was largely due to Rohit Sharma’s sensational hitting.
He ensured that Shikhar Dhawan’s early wicket did not put the brakes on India’s run chase by building a match-winning partnership with Virat Kohli. Top scoring with 123 runs off 129 balls, Rohit scored his 11th ODI century at Birmingham. He hit 15 fours while his only six helped him cross the three-figure mark in style.