After a long, arduous wait, the Indian cricket fans finally got something to cheer about as BCCI announced India’s 15-member squad for participating in the ICC Champions Trophy which is to be in England in June this year. BCCI missed the 25 April deadline to announce the squad and was even contemplating a pull-out from the tournament to protest against the change in the ICC governance and revenue model. India will be the defending Champs as they won the last tournament held in England back in 2013. Now, with the announcement of the squad and considering the recent exploits of players, we take a look at India’s probable XI in the Champions Trophy.
The Openers – Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan
BCCI reposed faith in the experienced duo who have done well over the years for India. While Sharma was in very good form before getting injured in the series against New Zealand, he has struggled to get going in the IPL but his stellar shows in the field have convinced the selectors. Dhawan comes in for injured KL Rahul giving rest to the speculations on Gambhir’s return. He will look to extend his decent run in the IPL so far to the title defence campaign of India at CT17.
Middle Order – Virat Kohli ©, MS Dhoni and Yuvraj Singh
The middle order looks power-packed with the likes Kohli, Dhoni and Yuvraj. While Kohli may not be in the best of form, it’s only a matter of time before he is back to his swashbuckling best. Dhoni and Yuvraj had done a decent job in the series against England while in the ongoing IPL too, they have made useful contributions for their respective teams.
Lower Middle Order – Kedar Jadhav and Hardik Pandya
Jadhav showed in the England series what a terrific temperament he has as he won India the Pune opener while almost taking India home in the last one too. He has so far scored most runs for RCB in the IPL. On the other hand, Pandya is enjoying his time at the MI camp. Right from the ODI series against New Zealand, he looks an improved cricketer – a fact which he has proved in the IPL so far by excelling in every role offered so far.
Spinner – Ravichandran Ashwin
The Spin maestro will be coming off a very good break as he was ruled out of the IPL due to Sports Hernia. He had a very successful home season both with the bat and the bowl. He will be playing an important role in India’s title defence campaign.
Pacemen- Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Umesh Yadav and Jasprit Bumrah
Looks like India have their pace battery sorted out in Bhuvneshwar, Yadav and Bumrah. All three are performing very well. While Bhuvi holds the Purple Cap in the ongoing IPL, Bumrah has also been exceptional. His super over against Gujarat shows his ever-growing maturity and execution skills. Umesh played a huge role in India’s successful grand home season and is also continuing his form for Kolkata as well. The trio is almost a certainty in the India’s starting XI.
The full Indian squad for the Champions Trophy is as follows: –
— BCCI (@BCCI) May 8, 2017
Can Virat raise his game and raise the Indian team? This video says it all!
Players on standby: Rishabh Pant, Kuldeep Yadav, Shardul Thakur, Suresh Raina and Dinesh Karthik.