ICC Champions Trophy: India cricket team looks to dominate world stage
Indian cricket team, the defending champion, will be keen to continue their good run in the ICC Champions Trophy 2017 but has its work cut out in England where conditions, as well as teams, are going to be tough
ICC World Twenty20 success in 2007, World Cup victory in 2011, and Champions Trophy winners in 2013, India’s performances in the past 10 years in ICC events make for happy reading.
The build-up to the ICC Champions Trophy 2017 has been far from ideal, with the BCCI squaring off with the ICC over a cut in revenue sharing. For a brief while India pulling out of the tournament seemed a possibility as the squad was not named by the April 25 deadline. However, the squad was named on May 8 and there were no surprises. With Virat Kohli at the helm, the team would be eager to defend their title and continue their great run in ICC events.
Champions Trophy track record
Played: 24, Wins: 15, Losses: 6, N/R: 3
India would be hoping to succesfully defend their ICC Champions Trophy crown in England. the last Champions Trophy, India were undefeated, but in the final against England they had to encounter the elements. For some time, it looked like a repeat of 2002 when they shared the trophy with hosts Sri Lanka due to rain forcing play to be abandoned on both days.
However, in the 2013 Champions Trophy, rain relented and in a 20-over shootout, India achieved victory by five runs to become the second team, after West Indies, to win all three ICC trophies. MS Dhoni became the first captain to win all ICC tournaments.
Players to watch out for
The Indian squad is a blend of youth and experience. The core of the side that won the 2013 edition is still in place. There are players who are match-winners on their day while some provide the spark with their youthful energy.
Jasprit Bumrah:The 23-year-old nails yorkers in the death overs with perfection. This will bolster India’s slog-over bowling, which has been their weak area in recent times. Bumrah, with his unorthodox bowling action, has the ability to maintain calmness in the final overs, which will ease the pressure on Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin. Combined with Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who has also matured as a death-over specialist, Bumrah could make the difference.
Virat Kohli: The skipper may be enduring a lean patch after the highs of 2016 in which he dominated the Test, ODI and T20 averages for India. However, the Champions Trophy is the right tournament for Kohli to regain focus and form. If Virat regains form, the team’s batting dynamics will go to another level. That will be vital if India are to defend the title.
Yuvraj Singh: He made a big impact in India’s World Twenty20 triumph in 2007. He was the match-winner in the 2011 World Cup, with bat and ball. If India’s record in ICC events has improved in the past 10 years, it is because of Yuvraj’s exploits. The left-hander was not part of victorious Champions Trophy side in 2013 and will be desperate to contribute on the big stage again. In the series against England, he blasted his highest score of 150 and ended the series with an average of 70. At 35, this could be his last chance to impress on the world stage and this determination could make him more dangerous.
Squad: Virat Kohli (captain), Rohit Sharma, Ajinkya Rahane, Shikhar Dhawan, Dinesh Karthik, Yuvraj Singh, Kedar Jadhav, MS Dhoni (wk), Hardik Pandya, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Mohammed Shami, Umesh Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah.