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Can India defend ICC Champions Trophy? Yuvraj Singh on chances in UK

Yuvraj Singh says defending champions India are in a tough group in the ICC Champions Trophy 2017 but will put their best foot forward. India are clubbed alongside Pakistan, South Africa and Sri Lanka.

cricket Updated: May 11, 2017 11:17 IST
IANS
Champions Trophy 2017

Yuvraj Singh is making a comeback into India’s ICC Champions Trophy 2017 squad after a gap of 11 years.(BCCI)

Yuvraj Singh, back in the ICC Champions Trophy 2017 squad after a gap of 11 years, is hoping for a “meaningful contribution” to help India defend its title during the June 1-18 tournament in the United Kingdom.

The southpaw made a sensational debut for India in the 2002 event in Kenya and featured in all events until 2006, before missing the 2009 and 2013 events. (IPL FULL COVERAGE)

“I am delighted to be returning to the India side for the 50-over ICC tournament and look forward to making a meaningful contribution as the side aims to defend its title,” Yuvraj was quoted as saying by the International Cricket Council.

Read | ICC Champions Trophy: Manish Pandey in Indian cricket team; Rohit Sharma returns

“Like any other ICC tournament, it will be a challenging event with each team arriving there believing it can lift the silverware on 18 June at The Oval.”

‘Tough group’

India are clubbed alongside Pakistan, South Africa and Sri Lanka in one of the two groups, which Yuvraj Singh acknowledged as tough but exuded confidence that the side will retain the crown.

“We are in a tough group, but at the same time we are a form side following a highly successful domestic season. We will target to carry forward the winning momentum into the ICC Champions Trophy so that we can become the second side after Australia to win back to back titles,” Yuvraj said.

Read | ICC Champions Trophy-bound Yuvraj Singh has an injury scare in SRH vs MI match

Yuvraj, a veteran of 296 One-Day Internationals (ODI), further said India have always felt at home while playing in England.

Home away from home

“The United Kingdom is an excellent location to host the ICC Champions Trophy. We have always felt at home away from home due to the overwhelming support we always receive there,” he said.

India have retained eight players from the successful team of 2013, namely Virat Kohli, who will captain India for the first time in a major ICC event, Ravichandran Ashwin, Shikhar Dhawan, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Ravindra Jadeja, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Rohit Sharma and Umesh Yadav.

For Dhoni, it will be his fourth appearance while former Pakistan skipper Shoaib Malik will be making his sixth successive appearance in the marquee tournament.

Only eight other players have played in six ICC Champions Trophy tournaments. They are Ricky Ponting (Australia), Rahul Dravid (India), Daniel Vettori (New Zealand), Mark Boucher and Jacques Kallis (both South Africa) and Sanath Jayasuriya, Mahela Jayawardena and Kumar Sangakkara (all Sri Lanka).

All the teams can make changes to their squads without needing an ICC approval until May 24. All player replacement requests from May 25 onwards will require the approval of the Event Technical Committee.