ICC Champions Trophy 2017 is done with the warm-up matches and now the actual extravaganza will start from 1st June, however, on the last day of the warm-up action, India, the defending champions, humiliated Bangladesh with a 240-runs victory which has raised many questions about the current form of the both the teams.
As for Bangladesh, nothing went into their favor and their whole batting lineup went back to the pavilion for just 84 runs, ripping their weakness apart and making them the least expected tea to win the ICC Champions Trophy 2017. Neither their bowling attack was consistent throughout the game nor was their fielding effort up to mark on the ground. Yes, they got an early breakthrough after sending Rohit Sharma back to the dressing room but after that, it was the defending champions who stole the show.. Well not exactly!!
Coming into the ICC Champions Trophy 2017, a tournament which is considered as the mini-world cup, India have high from their squad and after a dominating home season and eye opening Indian Premier League, there were some amendments to be made in the Virat Kohli-led team during the warm-up matches.
While the first warm-up match against New Zealand, gave the selectors a good insight on the all-rounder capabilities of the potential playing eleven, the second one gave them the best bowling attack that they can depend on during the tournament.
However, it also brought the spotlight back to India’s capabilities of struggling in big-games which might trouble them during the ICC Champions Trophy 2017. Moreover, the warm-up match against Bangladesh seemed like a game where Indian team wanted their players to have some exposure of the foreign land, which in most cases, was more than fruitful.
Here are the positives that we learned from India’s 240-runs victory over Bangladesh.
1. Shikhar Dhawan, the man with exceptional talent but the one having a tough time for a couple of years, finally came back to runs and registered a 60 off 67 balls innings. While it was slow to start from the hero of ICC Champions Trophy 2013, it will definitely boost his confidence this year.
2. Dinesh Karthik has been the dark horse for the Indian side since his debut but has struggled with consistency, however, after his substantial 94 off 77 balls, he might end up having a gala time during the ICC Champions Trophy 2017.
3. Hardik Pandya, an all rounder that India was looking for since ages, is currently at his peak and have performed both with the bat and the Kookaburra. While he will be a go to bowlers in the need of breakthrough during the campaign, the Mumbaikar holds everything in the backpack to become the spine of India’s batting lineup, that is what his 80 off 56 balls innings meant.
4. Bhuvneshwar Kumar (5-13-3), Jasprit Bumrah (5-32-1), Mohammed Shami (6-17-1) and Umesh Yadav (5-16-3), is one of the finest fast bowling attacks that India has ever got and keeping one of them out of the action, which Indian team will have to, is going to be a tough task for the selectors.
5. Fielding effort is a department where the Virat Kohli-led team has achieved new heights, preventing those deciding runs from adding into the opposition’s score card.
6. After the last warm-up match, India will be satisfied with their lower middle order but they will be tested by bigger forces in the tournament.
The negatives from India’s 240-runs victory over Bangladesh.
1. No.1 has to be the dismissal of Rohit Sharma. India has been struggling to find a perfect opening pair for years now and after making amendments to the Test squad, it’s time for some serious changes in limited overs cricket. Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan, was one of the best opening pairs in the previous edition but in ICC Champions Trophy 2017, Rohit Sharma might struggle with his form and the observation is backed by his IPL 2017 run.
2. MS Dhoni and Yuvraj Singh, the two most experienced players were not given a chance to sharpen theirs for the ICC Champion Trophy 2017 campaign which might not have been the right thing to do, considering their current form.
3. Forcing Dinesh Karthik to end his innings at 94 runs was not a good decision as those 6 extra runs would have resulted in a perfect performance booster.
4. The Oval, Sophia Gardens, and Edgbaston will be offering ample of bounce and swing to the fast bowlers but as for the duo of Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin, the latter will have to up his game considering the available strips. As for Jadeja, he has been consistent with his line and length, and when he gets a little bit of help from the pitch, it becomes almost impossible to anticipate his deliveries.
During the post-match presentation, Virat Kohli said, “Along with batting and the bowling attack, fielding has been good, catching has been good. All bases are covered. We have ticked all the boxes going into the tournament,” BUT IS IT SO?
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