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Key clashes in main match

The face-off between the important personnel for India and England will make or mar fortunes in the final of the ICC Champions Trophy

Key clashes in main match - Cricket News
Anderson's mastery over swing could serve as a potent weapon for England in the final against India.
The big clash will be between India and England, but as with any cricket match, it’s the battles-within-battles that will determine which team is triumphant in the ICC Champions Trophy 2013. These are likely to be the clashes that will make or mar fortunes on Sunday’s final:  

James Anderson vs Shikhar Dhawan: This might well be the battle that will determine which team the Champions Trophy will swing towards. James Anderson has been England’s – and perhaps the tournament’s – best bowler overall. There is no doubt Shikhar Dhawan has been the best batsman by a distance. Anderson is at home in more ways than one in England - his mastery over swing and his control giving England a potent strike weapon. Dhawan appears to be the man best equipped to neutralize Anderson. More than 100 runs separate him from the Champions Trophy’s second highest run-getter, his average is over 100 and he’s scored his runs at a run-a-ball. It’s safe to say that the side that comes out on top in this clash will have a very good opportunity to control how the match goes.  

Bhuvneshwar Kumar vs Alastair Cook: This is, in many ways, the mirror opposite of Anderson bowling to Dhawan. Both Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Alastair Cook are more understated, if no less effective. Cook has been solid without quite being spectacular, but his presence at the top of England’s order has given the side an important base, given that it relies on the old-fashioned One-Day International method of building an innings. Bhuvneshwar has been the most niggardly new-ball bowler in the Champions Trophy, and his ability to stick to a channel and deny scoring opportunities will test even a man of Cook’s patience. While England has been reluctant to start with a bang, Bhuvneshwar’s economy might well force batsmen to take more risks at the top of the order.  

Ravindra Jadeja vs Jonathan Trott: At different times in their careers, both Ravindra Jadeja and Jonathan Trott have been the subject of much debate for their usefulness, or otherwise, to their teams. Ironically enough, in what is the most important 50-overs match for both in their careers so far, each one is now integral to their side’s success. Trott has been the rock around whom England has built partnerships. He is England’s highest scorer, and confoundingly for critics who carp about his scoring speed, has a strike-rate touching 90. Jadeja has lived up to his ‘rockstar’ epithet quite spectacularly. He has the tournament’s only five-wicket haul, the same number of wickets as Anderson, and an unbeaten 47 off 29 balls in the only innings he’s batted in.

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