The story for team India isn’t quite different this time around while heading into an ICC event. They head to the UK to defend ICC Champions Trophy title along with the tag of the tournament favourites.
However, there has been a minor twist in the lead up to the side’s campaign as after weeks of ugly confrontations between the BCCI and the supreme cricketing body – ICC – we are finally headed to something optimistic. Despite delaying squad announcement by a good two weeks, the BCCI officials finally budged and named a full-strength squad for the grand event.
Team India hasn’t played too many ODI’s since late 2015 and there have just been a handful of games in this particular format. But with the team consisting of some absolute champion players, adjusting to the expectations of millions across the globe shouldn’t be a cumbersome task.
The ODI series against England earlier this year marked the commencement of the Virat Kohli era as the Delhi lad took over as the full-time skipper of the Indian side across all formats. The results were more than satisfactory as India didn’t just win the series, but witnessed the reemergence of their old champions along with some relatively new faces stealing the show. Among them, was the ever efficient Kedar Jadhav, who tormented England throughout the three-match affair.
Where To Watch:
If you want to go to the Stadium, tickets are available at ICC Official website and ticketmaster.com
2) TV Channels (by country):
|Australia||Fox Sports (every game live)|
|India||StarSports (Every Match live) & Doordarshan (only India matches)|
|New Zealand||Sky NZ (Has not confirmed yet but most likely to retain broadcasting rights)|
|United Kingdom||SkySports 2 (Only network in United Kingdom to broadcast Champions Trophy)|
|USA||Willow TV (Viewers in USA can subcribe to WillowTV monthly package to get live acess for Champions Trophy available on all plateforms)|
|Sri Lanka||Star Sports (India)|
|Pakistan||TenSports(to broadcast all champions trophy matches)PTV (might have live coverage of only pakistan matches.|
|Caribbeans||ESPN (not confirmed yet but ESPN is likely to win the rights in Caribbean countries)|
|South Africa||SuperSports(Confirmed as Champions Trophy broadcaster in South Africa and adjacent african countries)|
|Europe||No news so far about any coverage in European countries. But EuroSport might scoop it if they able to negotiate a long-term deal with ICC to promote cricket in other euro countries.|
|Middle East||OSN Sports (Usually broadcast major cricket tournaments in some of the gulf states)|
|Ireland||Since Ireland did not qualify, Irish viewers can only watch Champions Trophy via SkySports|
3) Live Streaming: Hot Star
4) Live Score: Sportzwiki.com
The squad on its way to England is full of match winners, who can single-handedly drive India to glory on their day. The biggest plus for the defending champions lies in their batting. With Shikhar Dhawan proving his mettle in the IPL with over 450 runs and keeping in mind his panache to excel in ICC events, there couldn’t be any better news for the men in blue. His partner Rohit Sharma might not have had a great IPL with the bat, but as an opener, he is second to none. Averaging in excess of 50 at the top of the order, it was at this very tournament in 2013, when Rohit cemented his position as the full-time opener.
The middle order comprises of three men, who aren’t new to tasting high-quality success. Virat Kohli, Yuvraj Singh and MS Dhoni, are three ODI heavyweights and three distinct institutes who specialise in not just winning games, but winning tournaments and winning them with panache. Be it while setting up a target or while chasing, this trio can be a nightmare for bowlers in all possible scenarios. Personally, all of them enjoy terrific records in England and Dhoni in particular, as he was the Man of the Series when India toured England for a five-match ODI series in 2011. Yuvraj Singh, who made yet another roaring comeback, is set to play his fifth ICC Champions Trophy and first since the 2006 edition. On the flat decks expected for the event, he can tear into bowling attacks once set and no superlatives can justify the devastation which Yuvraj brings about.
Primafacie, this is a team which doesn’t have any apparent weakness. But if one was to investigate in depth, there would be a couple of issues which linger around the Indian setup. The primary issue would be the form and performance of Ravichandran Ashwin. Having played just six ODIs since October 2015, Ashwin may find it difficult to translate his Test form in ODIs. While he bowled well in that Cuttack ODI against England, he wasn’t at his best in the other two games. Another headache surrounding Ashwin has been that he hasn’t played this IPL owing to a sports hernia injury. Ashwin has always been a champion spinner for India in ICC events and a lot will depend on how he performs. If Ashwin fails to replicate his success of previous ICC events, India could be in for some serious trouble, as no backup spinner has been named in the squad.
Hardik Pandya has quickly emerged to be a more than reliable all rounder in the shorter formats. He enjoyed a successful series against England where he didn’t just pick up wickets at the crucial junctures but also contributed decently with the bat. Emerging as a seam bowling all-rounder and a finisher lower down the order, Pandya could well be the X factor for India. This event is a great opportunity for Pandya to establish himself among the leading all-rounders in ODI cricket. With conditions set to assist him, the Baroda lad should enjoy bowling here.
India has often been ridiculed for not possessing many match winning pacers. That perception could well be erased and erased for good after this Champions Trophy, as India’s fast bowling arsenal comprises of some serious talent. Umesh Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar Kumar have been in sparkling form for quite some time now and can strike whenever Virat Kohli hands them the ball. These three pacers possess different attributes and in all, form a lethal trio.
Another great opportunity for India is to top the group as the other teams with them aren’t as strong with the exception of South Africa. If India can manage to outperform South Africa, then the possibility of topping the group looms and also the prospects of facing the weaker team from the other group for the semi-finals is another attraction.
A major threat for India is that there are still question marks over their playing combination. While unleashing Hardik Pandya in the XI, the side will have to depend on all rounder for 10 overs. In case Pandya suffers a poor outing, he can be plundered for plenty on the relatively batting friendly decks of England. Those ten overs could well be crucial for India. The part-time options too don’t inspire a lot of confidence for the men in blue. Yuvraj Singh and Kedar Jadhav have rarely bowled in the IPL and if Virat Kohli doesn’t productively utilise their bowling talent, India’s plans could be in deep waters.
Sri Lanka and Pakistan, two competitors in the same group as India don’t have too many expectations associated with them. Thereby, these two teams could cut loose and play as if they have nothing to lose. It is this profusely unpredictable nature which makes them a dangerous opposition for India and the fear of not losing displayed by these teams could possess a few problems.
As a squad, there seems to be very little to grumble about. With the perfect combination of experience and youth, India head into the event being the tournament favourites. The event will be an acid test for Virat Kohli the captain, and after having led the ODI batting charts for quite a while now, it’s time for Kohli to imprint his dominance as the skipper of the team.
India will not only top Group B but also feature in the final of the event. From there on, it’s a matter of how well the team plays on the day it truly matters.
|Virat Kohli||Bat||Nov 5, 1988|
|Shikhar Dhawan||Bat||Dec 5, 1985|
|Rohit Sharma||Bat||Apr 30, 1987|
|Yuvraj Singh||Bat||Dec 12, 1981|
|MS Dhoni||Wicketkeeper/Bat||Jul 7, 1981|
|Kedar Jadhav||Bat||Mar 26, 1985|
|Hardik Pandya||All Rounder||Oct 11, 1993|
|Ravindra Jadeja||All Rounder||Dec 6, 1988|
|R. Ashwin||Spinner||Sep 17, 1986|
|Bhuvneshwar Kumar||Pacer||Feb 5, 1990|
|Jasprit Bumrah||Pacer||Dec 6, 1993|
|Mohammad Shami||Pacer||Sep 3, 1990|
|Umesh Yadav||Pacer||Oct 25, 1987|
|Ajinkya Rahane||Bat||Jun 6, 1988|
|Dinesh Karthik||Wicketkeeper/Bat||Jun 1, 1985|
1) India v Pakistan, June 4 at Edgbaston (10h30)
Match Officials: Marais Erasmus and Kumar Dharmasena (on-field), Richard Kettleborough (third umpire), Rod Tucker (fourth umpire), Andy Pycroft (match referee)
2) India v Sri Lanka, at The Oval (10h30):
Match Officials: Richard Kettleborough and Rod Tucker (on-field), Marais Erasmus (third umpire), Paul Reiffel (fourth umpire), David Boon (match referee)
3) India v South Africa, The Oval (10h30):
Match Officials: Aleem Dar and Paul Reiffel (on-field), Richard Illingworth (third umpire), Richard Kettleborough (fourth umpire), David Boon (match referee)
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