ICC Champions Trophy is just around the corner and Indian cricket team has made a touchdown on foreign soil after almost a year. India will be defending the ICC Champions Trophy title this year and will be looking forward to retaining it anyhow. However, with the burden of a trophy, Kohli’s failure in IPL and an inconsistent overseas record, it is going to a be a hard fought battle for Virat Kohli and men.
In 2013, Dhoni-led Indian squad, defeated England by 5 runs but the match also brought the team’s dependence on a handful of players throughout the tournament. According to the current scenario, there is still a cloud of uncertainty over Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma’s form . while the pair was a vital cog for India in the ICC Champions Trophy 2013, they haven’t found success in the recently concluded Indian Premier League.
Opening partnership has been a reason for worry for the No.1 Test team in the world and the home season, which was otherwise a glorious one for India, reflected the same. Throughout the season we saw the whole team depending on the No.3 batsman and captain Virat Kohli.
Whenever you think about great teams of the past, opening partnerships are the ones that highlighted their dominance. Let’s take the example of Australia that had the likes of Haynes and Greenidge as well as Hayden and Gilchrist as the opening pairs. Without them, Vivian Richards or Ricky Ponting wouldn’t have been as explosive as they were in the middle order. Same goes for Virat Kohli, image how destructive he could have been if given the support from the opening pair.
Virat Kohli was the part of the ICC Champions Trophy winning team last time and he knows what it takes to be the ultimate winner. He also knows the importance of MS Dhoni’s form and said that weak lower middle-order shackled the performance of MS Dhoni.
When it comes to the batting lineup, the opening pair and middle-order are the areas where Indian will need to make amends if they want to emerge as the ICC Champions Trophy Champions.
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Moreover, with the emergence of Kedar Jadhav and Hardik Pandya, Dhoni will finally have space to purely express himself, which can prove beneficial for the team’s campaign this year.
Yuvraj Singh and Ajinkya Rahane will also have to prove their mettle in the ICC Champions Trophy, however, their inclusion in the squad will provide the perfect balance of youth and experience in the ICC Champions Trophy 2017.
The heart of the matter is, India has one of the finest bowling attacks for the tournament with the likes of Umesh Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin and even Hardik Pandya providing consistent breakthroughs to the team. Except for Pandya, all these bowlers were the part of winning team in 2013 and that will definitely prove fruitful for Kohli’s maiden limited-overs ICC’s tournament as the captain.
It’s only the batting department where the defending team has to perform, as considering the recent trend of One Day Internationals in England, the pitches are expected to be flat and lower middle-order will need to fire on all cylinders for registering formidable totals.
The team also needs a partnership at the top, on which, lies its fate overseas. Indian fans expect their heroes to conquer foreign soil and when they switch on the television, after missing the initial action, they would like to see both the openers fighting the opposition on the pitch. It’s a dream that has tormented Indian fans through the ages and it’s high time to end this.
Indian Squad For ICC Champions Trophy 2017
Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli (captain), Ajinkya Rahane, Kedar Jadhav, Yuvraj Singh, Mahendra Singh Dhoni (wicketkeeper), Manish Pandey, Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Umesh Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami.