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ICC Champions Trophy: England, hosts now a rejuvenated lot

Strong performances of players like Ben Stokes, Sam Billings, Jos Buttler and Chris Woakes in the Indian Premier League 2017 means England will fancy their chances of finally winning the ICC Champions Trophy at home

icc champions trophy 2017 Updated: May 26, 2017 10:14 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
Champions Trophy 2017,ICC Champions Trophy,England Cricket team
Ben Stokes is one of England’s batting mainstays in the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy.(AFP)

England’s fortunes have undergone a tectonic shift since their early exit from the 2015 World Cup. From February 2016 to the recently-concluded series against Ireland, England have lost only twice (against South Africa and India) out of seven series. Both these losses came away from home.

Their home record has been terrific in the last one year where they have lost only one match (against Pakistan) out of their last nine ODIs. At home, they have beaten Sri Lanka 3-0 and Pakistan 4-1 in five-match rubbers while recently they beat minnows Ireland 2-0. Away, Eoin Morgan’s boys defeated Bangladesh 2-1 and blanked West Indies 3-0.

  • ICC ODI ranking: 5
  • ODI performance 2016-17: Played 26, Won 17, Lost 7, Tied 1, NR 1 (Since Jan 2016)

Strong performances of players like Ben Stokes, Sam Billings, Jos Buttler and Chris Woakes in the ongoing 10th edition of the Indian Premier League means England will fancy their chances of finally winning the Champions Trophy at home.

Champions Trophy track record: Played: 21, Won 11, Lost 10

England have been part of every Champions Trophy with this edition being their eighth tournament. Yet to lift the title, England have fared largely well in the previous seven editions, having won 11 matches out of 21 games.

England have also appeared in two finals — both on home turfs — but failed to lift the trophy on both counts.

They first entered the final in 2004 but went down against West Indies at the Oval in low-light conditions. England’s second appearance in the final came in the last edition in 2013 where they lost to India in a rain-affected title clash at Edgbaston.

Key players

Joe Root: The world No 4 batsman and England’s Test skipper will be a major threat to most teams. His last seven ODI innings’ scores read: 78 (vs India), 54 (vs India), 4 (vs WI), 90 not out (vs WI), 101 (vs WI), 49 not out (vs Ireland) and 73 (vs Ireland). The sublime and technically-gifted player has already accumulated 449 runs in seven innings this year at an average of 89.80.

Ben Stokes: The English all-rounder is captain Eoin Morgan’s biggest asset. Blessed with the ability to hit big and bowl tight lines rounded off by superb fielding skills as well, the world No 7 ODI all-rounder is going to be a key person to steer England’s Champions Trophy campaign. To his credit, Stokes has come out stronger from the heartbreak of the last-over defeat to West Indies in the ICC World T20 final in Kolkata when Carlos Braithwaite smashed him for four sixes.

Chris Woakes: Ranked seventh in the ICC ODI bowling list, Chris Woakes will spearhead the English attack. The pacer has been at his peak over the last couple of years, possessing a mean economy of 5.6 and strike rate of 34.8. England will rely on him for early breakthroughs. Woakes has been equally devastating overseas as he has been at home, claiming 30 wickets in his last 14 ODIs.

Squad: Eoin Morgan (c), Moeen Ali, Jonny Bairstow, Jake Ball, Sam Billings, Jos Buttler, Alex Hales, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes, David Willey, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood

First Published: May 22, 2017 22:55 IST