The all-important ICC Champions Trophy 2017 is just around the corner and all the squads have been announced. It promises to be a great spectacle for the fans as top 8 teams will compete against each other and play for the second most prestigious trophy in 50 overs cricket, after the ICC Cricket World Cup trophy.
In this post, The Cricket Lounge’s Shivam Behl rates all the 8 squads out of 10, on the basis of their strength and combination for English conditions.
England Squad (8/10)
Eoin Morgan (c), Moeen Ali, Jonny Bairstow, Jake Ball, Sam Billings, Ben Duckett, Steve Finn, Alex Hales, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, Jason Roy, David Willey, Mark Wodd, Ben Stokes
Home nation has a very well balanced side and majority of their players are in very good form. England’s batting unit is going to be their strongest point. The likes of Jason Roy, Alex Hales, Joe Root and others, are all in good form. However, their bowling lacks experience.
Bangladesh Squad (7/10)
Tamim Iqbal, Soumya Sarkar, Imrul Kayes, Mushfiqur Rahim (wk), Shakib Al Hasan, Sabbir Rahman, Mahmudullah, Mosaddek Hossain, Mashrafe Mortaza (capt), Mustafizur Rahman, Rubel Hossain, Taskin Ahmed, Subashis Roy, Sunzamul Islam, Nurul Hasan, Mehedi Hasan, Nasir Hossain, Shafiul Islam
Bangladesh have shown great improvement in the last couple of years. Some of their young players have stepped up and supported their star players like Shakib Al Hasan and Mushfiqur Rahman. The Bangla tigers have a good bowling unit but it will be interesting to see how they respond under pressure in a big tournament like ICC Champions Trophy.
Sri Lanka Squad (7/10)
Angelo Mathews (captain), Upul Tharanga, Niroshan Dickwella, Kusal Perera, Kusal Mendis, Chamara Kapugedera, Asela Gunaratne, Dinesh Chandimal, Lasith Malinga, Suranga Lakmal, Nuwan Pradeep, Nuwan Kulasekara, Thisara Perera, Lakshan Sandakan, Seekkuge Prasanna.
After the retirement of Mahela Jayawardene, Kumar Sangakkara and Tilakaratne Dilshan, Sri Lankan cricket is going through a transformation period. Sri Lanka’s squad is not the strongest but they always perform well in big tournaments and their fans will be hoping for same in ICC Champions Trophy 2017. The biggest boost for Sri Lanka would be the return of their bowling spearhead Lasith Malinga.
New Zealand Squad (9/10)
Kane Williamson (c), Corey Anderson, Trent Boult, Neil Broom, Colin de Grandhomme, Martin Guptill, Tom Latham, Mitchell McClenaghan, Adam Milne, Jimmy Neesham, Jeetan Patel, Luke Ronchi, Mitchell Santner, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor.
Kiwis’ squad is a good blend batsmen and bowlers. They have reliable options in the both the departments. In ICC Champions Trophy, New Zealand are one of the strongest contenders to win the trophy.
South Africa Squad (8.5/10)
Hashim Amla, Quinton de Kock, Faf du Plessis, AB de Villiers (capt), JP Duminy, David Miller, Chris Morris, Wayne Parnell, Andile Phehlukwayo, Kagiso Rabada, Imran Tahir, Keshav Maharaj, Dwaine Pretorius, Farhaan Behardien, Morne Morkel
South Africa, as always, are a good team. However, two biggest concerns for them would be poor form of AB de Villiers and lack of match practice for the likes of Faf du Plessis, JP Duminy, Quinton de Kock and Morne Morkel.
Australia Squad (9.5/10)
Steve Smith (c), David Warner (vc), Pat Cummins, Aaron Finch, John Hastings, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Moises Henriques, Chris Lynn, Glenn Maxwell, James Pattinson, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis, Matthew Wade (wicketkeeper), Adam Zampa.
Australia are arguably the strongest side in the tournament.
India squad (9/10)
Virat Kohli (captain), Rohit Sharma, Ajinkya Rahane, Shikhar Dhawan, Kedar Jadhav, Yuvraj Singh, Manish Pandey, Mahendra Singh Dhoni (wicketkeeper), Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah
India are one of the strongest sides in the tournament. The defending champions will start their ICC Champions Trophy 2017 campaign against their arch-rivals Pakistan. It will be India’s first ICC event under Kohli’s captaincy and all eyes will be on India’s young aggressive captain.
Pakistan Squad (8/10)
Sarfraz Ahmed (captain and wicketkeeper), Azhar Ali, Ahmed Shehzad, Mohammad Hafeez, Babar Azam, Shoaib Malik, Umar Akmal, Fakhar Zaman, Imad Wasim, Hasan Ali, Fahim Ashraf, Wahab Riaz, Mohammad Amir, Junaid Khan, Shadab Khan
Pakistan have a habit of surprising oppositions and their own fans in big tournaments. They have a good combination of experience and youth. As always, the lads in green will depend more on their fast bowling, which will be spearheaded by
By Shivam Behl