There are a multitude of contenders for this week’s Cricket World Player of the Week award, most of them Indian, unsurprisingly given their ICC Champions Trophy triumph. Ravindra Jadeja, R Ashwin, Shikhar Dhawan, Ishant Sharma and Virat Kohli all made the shortlist, but it is Ashwin who just about clinches it for his crucial role in yesterday’s final.
He was virtually unplayable on a dry, turning pitch at Edgbaston and delivered his four overs at a cost of 15 runs, as well as collecting two wickets. In the semi-final against Sri Lanka he had also bowled well, returning figures of three for 48 from his 10 overs.
Ashwin’s spin partner Jadeja was his closest challenger for the award. He picked up two for 24 from his four overs in the final and also played a crucial cameo of 33 with the bat to pick up the man of the match award.
Pace-bowler Sharma struck the killer blow for England by dismissing Eoin Morgan and Ravi Bopara, but he was otherwise erratic despite having been impressive (three for 33) against Sri Lanka, while Dhawan and Kohli both hit unbeaten half-centuries in the semi-final.
Away from India, James Tredwell and Ravi Bopara were the unexpected stars of England’s campaign, while Jonathan Trott was at his best, hitting an undefeated 82 in the semi-final win over South Africa. Tredwell took three for 19 in that match, while Bopara was excellent with both bat (30) and ball (two for 20) yesterday and could so easily have been England’s match-winner.
For Sri Lanka, Nuwan Kulasekara took three important wickets to help them qualify for the semi-final stage by beating Australia, while former captain Mahela Jayawardene hit 84 not out.
© Cricket World 2013