Now that the Champions Trophy finalists have been confirmed, there is a resemblance to Dhoni’s first tournament as captain of India for Virat Kohli. Both the teams progress to the finals with one loss and face Pakistan for a chance to lift the trophy. We compare the two two teams – Dhoni’s XI and Kohli’s potential XI for the final:
Shikhar Dhawan vs Gautam Gambhir:
A literal shift of guard between the two Delhi left-hand openers happens when you compare the two batsmen. Dhawan’s average of above 100 in the CT is enough to tell you the difference but Gambhir was fantastic in the 2007 final and Dhawan has everything going for him to replicate another special innings.
Yusuf Pathan vs Rohit Sharma:
Rohit Sharma featured in the2007 tournament too and was brilliant back then. But the Hitman used to feature as a middle-order back then. Yusuf Pathan did hit what turned out to be a valuable 15 runs off 8 balls in the final and Rohit will be looking to break that for sure.
Robin Uthappa vs Virat Kohli:
Two players dear to the city of Bangalore, Virat Kohli and Robin Uthappa are in two different phases of their career now. Kohli is the best batsman in the world and is ready to lift his first ever ICC trophy and continue his legacy at the pinnacle of sport. Uthappa may still be brilliant in domestic cricket but he’s not close to finding a spot in the team. He hit 8 in the final but had a good T20 WC back in 2007.
Yuvraj Singh (2007) vs Yuvraj Singh (2017):
The greatest don’t ever lose that special touch. Yuvraj of 2007 was an international batsman at the peak of his hitting ability. He set the tournament alive with two superb innings – The famous six 6’s match against England and a belligerent 70 runs off 30 against Australia. The present Yuvraj still possesses that hitting ability but might have become a little slow in the field.
MS Dhoni (2007) vs MS Dhoni (2017):
Dhoni can further his legendary career by coming full circle and winning the Champions Trophy and his first ICC Trophy for the first time as a player. He has been special right throughout and the Dhoni of 2017 is probably more dangerous than the long-locked, fearless leader who took the mantle in 2007. Dhoni had a decent run in the 2007 with the bat but was fantastic as a captain in his first ever assignment. MSD will be expected to bring on the fireworks if called upon.
Rohit Sharma vs Kedar Jadhav:
Rohit Sharma of 2007 was a youngster finding his feet in international cricket as a precarious, mercurial talent. Kedar Jadhav is one of the older, experienced statesman who seems to be riding a huge wave of confidence in his 30’s. Jadhav is also useful with the ball and could be called upon to pick up wickets or chip in with an innings when called upon.
Irfan Pathan vs Hardik Pandya
Irfan Pathan back in 2007 was a well-loved, fearsome swing bowler who would pick up wickets when called upon. He had a good tournament back then. Hardik Pandya is still to establish himself as a starter and has been wayward with his bowling. He is a very dangerous hitter if required and that is one of the primary reasons he is in the team.
Harbhajan Singh vs Ravindra Jadeja:
A legend of Indian cricket and one in the making, Harbhajan played well throughout the tournament back in 2007. Jadeja is one of the main bowlers in the team and picks up wickets regularly. It is his fielding ability however that sets him apart. He is probably one of the top three fielders in the world and is more than handy with the bat. A legend in the making, he lit up the 2013 edition of the CT and will look to do so again.
Joginder Sharma vs R.Ashwin:
Joginder Sharma will forever be remembered as the bowler who bowled the final over that helped India win the first trophy under Dhoni’s tenure. He was an average bowler at best while Ashwin is an elite bowler who can destroy opponents on a good day.
S. Sreesanth vs Bhuvneshwar Kumar:
Sreesanth took the catch that dismissed Misbah Ul-Haq and made India immortal in South Africa. He subsequently represented India for a few more games before being banned for match-fixing. Bhuvi is a bowler in top form and has had a superb tournament so far. He will be looking to win the final and add his first ICC trophy.
RP Singh vs Jasprit Bumrah:
Two bowlers who were the strike options in their respective tournaments, RP Singh was India’s best bowler in 2007 while Bumrah will be looking to make that happen on Sunday. RP Singh was superb, bowling perfect line and length bowling to pick up wickets throughout. Bumrah is a bowler who works on discipline and has been an absolutely mesmerizing death bowler.
By Rohit Nair