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National captains decide world’s best

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A BBC Sport survey of the Champions Trophy captains has revealed the best batsman, bowler and wicketkeeper in the world.

India skipper Virat Kohli was comfortably voted the best batsman, Australia’s Mitchell Starc claimed the bowling gong, and Kohli’s predecessor MS Dhoni is still considered the sharpest gloveman in the game.

The captains of six nations – Australia, South Africa, New Zealand, Bangladesh, England and Pakistan – took part in the survey, but India and Sri Lanka failed to return their responses in time.

The leaders filled out each category on behalf of their teammates and were therefore unable to vote for players from their own country.

Each top selection was awarded with three points, the second selection was given two points and the third and final selection earned one point.

With all three formats taken into account, it’s no surprise that Kohli was the resounding choice as the best batsman on the planet.

The 28-year-old is the only batsman in the world who is ranked in the top five of each format, where he sits fifth in Tests, third in ODIs and first in Twenty20 cricket.

Behind Kohli (15 points) in second place is South Africa captain AB de Villiers (nine), with New Zealand’s Kane Williamson (five), Proteas veteran Hashim Amla (3), England skipper Joe Root and Australia supremo Steve Smith (two) following.

If Kohli was a popular choice than Starc was almost unanimously chosen as the premier bowler in the world.

The left-armer was the top vote of four captains and the second pick by the other, who voted for South Africa speedster Dale Steyn. Australia, remember, was unable to vote for their spearhead.

Starc owns a host of records, but perhaps most impressively the 27-year-old is the fastest bowler to 100 ODI wickets, achieving the milestone in just 52 matches.

Unlike the batsmen, the best bowlers votes were spread around, with Kiwi quick Trent Boult (six points) coming in second and India seamer Bhuvneshwar Kumar (five) completing the dais.

Proteas pair Kagiso Rabada and Dale Steyn (three points), Pakistan paceman Mohammad Amir (two), India chief spinner Ravi Ashwin, Australia’s Josh Hazlewood and injured England allrounder Chris Woakes (one) were the other vote-getters.

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