The 2017 Vijay Hazare Trophy came to an end with Tamil Nadu beating Bengal by 37 runs to win the tournament for a record fifth time. Dinesh Karthik’s 112 put TN in a strong position before the bowlers did the job for Vijay Shankar.
The last four weeks saw some enthralling performances with Indian internationals including the likes of MS Dhoni, Yuvraj Singh, Gautam Gambhir and Shikhar Dhawan taking part in the tournament.
There were a lot of promising performances throughout the tournament with some players sending out a message to the selectors with their performances. Let us take a look at the team of the tournament featuring the best performers.
There were quite a few openers in the fray to open the innings in the Vijay Hazare Trophy’s Team of the Tournament. Bengal openers Shreevats Goswami and Abhimanyu Easwaran, Maharashtra’s Ruturaj Gaikwad, Odisha’s Govinda Poddar, Baroda’s Kedar Devdhar were all in contention.
Out of these names, Easwaran and Gaikwad made it to the team. Easwaran was in fine form for Bengal and gave his team a good start throughout the tournament. He scored 472 runs at an average of 59 and is the second highest run scorer only behind Dinesh Karthik.
His 101 in the semi-finals against Jharkhand set the tone for Bengal to put on a huge total on the board and eventually beat them by 41 runs.
On the other hand, Gaikwad ended the tournament as the third best batsman. He was an important member of the Maharashtra outfit in the tournament and gave them a flying start on many occasions. He averaged 64 and scored his 444 runs at a rate of 93 runs every 100 balls.
Krunal Pandya, who caught everyone’s eyes in the 2016 IPL, impressed with both bat and ball for Baroda in the tournament. Batting at number 3, Krunal ended the tournament as the fifth highest run scorer and at the same time, he also starred with the ball for his team.
He took 11 wickets at an average of 25 in 8 matches with an economy of under 5 and with the bat, Krunal scored 366 runs at an average of 46 in the same number of matches.
Dinesh Karthik sent a message to the selectors ahead of the Champions Trophy by piling on the runs in the tournament. The wicketkeeper-batsman ended up as the leading run-scorer as he scored 607 runs in 8 innings at an average of 87. He scored his runs at a rate of 102 runs per 100 balls and is the only batsman to have six fifty-plus scores including two centuries.
He was crucial in leading Tamil Nadu to the title as he scored a match-winning century in the finals.
Following Karthik will be former Indian skipper MS Dhoni, who had a good tournament for Jharkhand. He opted to play in this tournament to get some valuable match practice ahead of the 2017 Champions Trophy.
Dhoni didn’t disappoint as he amassed 330 runs in seven innings at an average of 66 and scored his runs at almost a run a ball. He also scored a century when Jharkhand were reeling at 57/6 and took his team to a respectable total of 243 in 50 overs.
India’s find in the three-match ODI series against England, Kedar Jadhav, had a tournament to remember and makes it to the team of the tournament. Jadhav continued from where he left off against England as he scored his 375 runs (7 innings) at an average of 54 and a strike-rate of 137.
Manoj Tiwary, the one who led Bengal to the finals, completes the middle-order of the team of the tournament. He looked good in the Syed Mushtaq Ali tournament and continued his form to the Vijay Hazare Trophy in which he scored 378 runs in 9 innings at an average of 54.
We are going in with a 7-4 combination with Krunal Pandya playing the role of an all-rounder. The slow left-arm spinner will back the lone frontline spinner in this team, Shahbaz Nadeem. Nadeem has been on a giant-killing spree in the domestic circuit in the last two seasons in which he picked up a total of 107 Ranji wickets.
Even with the white ball, Nadeem looked threatening and did the job for Jharkhand. In the 2017 Vijay Hazare trophy, he picked up 15 wickets in 8 matches at an average of just 18. He also conceded just over 4 runs an over and was MS Dhoni’s go-to man throughout the tournament.
Nadeem is by far the best spinner in the Indian domestic circuit and has proved that he can be a big asset to the team in the Vijay Hazare trophy. If he continues to bowl the way he is bowling, a call-up to the national side might not be too far of.
Out of the four frontline bowlers, three of them are fast bowlers. Aswin Crist, who ended the tournament as the leading wicket-taker with 20 wickets in 9 matches is a certainty in the team. Crist is one of the main reasons why Tamil Nadu won the tournament.
Sharing the new ball with Crist will be Saurashtra’s Kushang Patel, who was the find of the tournament as the right-arm medium pacer bowled really well in his debut season in List A in which he scalped 17 wickets in just 6 matches at an average of 15.17 and conceded at a rate of 4.4 runs per over.
The third seamer in the team might come as a surprise to many. In spite of not featuring in the top-10 of the wicket-takers list, Gujarat pacer Jasprit Bumrah is included in the team. He might have picked just 13 wickets in five matches but the rate at which he took his wickets were staggering.
He picked up a wicket for every 13 runs he conceded and conceded less than 4 runs per over. He is also a big threat in the death overs while the other two bowlers are known for their exploits with the new ball.
Team of the tournament
There were a lot of players who did well in the tournament and deserved to get into the team. The likes of Chattisgarh pacer Pankaj Rao, Jharkhand’s Saurabh Tiwary, Mumbai’s Shardul Thakur, Tamil Nadu skipper Vijay Shankar. Bengal’s Pragyan Ojha etc. were considered. 15 wickets in 6 matches at an average of 13 and economy of 3.7 is not at all bad and this makes Pankaj Rao as the 12th man of this team.
The likes of Yuvraj Singh, Harbhajan Singh, Gautam Gambhir, Rishabh Pant, Shikhar Dhawan and Ishan Kishan were not even considered for selection. With MS Dhoni finding a place in the team, there shouldn’t any second thought on who the captain is. Dhoni will also don the wicketkeeper’s gloves in the team ahead of Dinesh Karthik.
Alongside four frontline bowlers and one all-rounder, the likes of Kedar Jadhav and Manoj Tiwary can give the skipper some overs when needed.
The playing XI: