The IPL is over and focus shifts back to international cricket. One of the biggest tournaments coming up is the ICC Champions Trophy and every fan of the game will be aware of the big stakes that are at offer. The Indian team will start as one of the favourites and with good reason. Here are five reasons why India can defend their Champions League title:
Virat Kohli will be fired up:
This tournament is the first major test for Virat Kohli. Already one of the best batsmen in the world by a long distance, Kohli will want to prove a point – both to himself and his detractors. He has had a quiet few months and will be raring to go all out again. This is also the first test for Kohli as captain of the limited overs squad and he is someone who loves a challenge. It will be interesting to see how he sets his team up.
Spin twins are in top form:
In the Test series against the Australians, both Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin were on top form. These are two bowlers who are at the peak of their powers and it will be great to see how they are able to bowl in the testing English conditions. Ashwin and Jadeja in particular shone in the last Champions Trophy tournament and it will be worth watching how they play this time around.
India is a brilliant fielding unit:
One thing that MS Dhoni must take the credit for is for transforming the Indian team into one of the best fielding units in the world. Now led by the brilliant Kohli, fielders such as Jadeja, Rohit, Yuvraj and Hardik Pandya can save more than a couple runs and make a small but significant difference to the outcome of the match. India’s fielding will be one of its strengths this tournament.
MS and Yuvi:
Two players who have represented India at the highest level for a long time, Yuvraj Singh and MS Dhoni will be the ones who will rely on their experience. The two batsmen will look to end what is probably their last Champions Trophy with a bang and this could inspire the rest of the team too. Dhoni is still one of the best wicket-keepers in the world and Yuvraj is an ODI legend.
Death bowling kings:
A major facet that turns the tide in India’s favour is the presence of Jasprit Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar Kumar in the squad. The two pacers have been absolutely superb in the IPL and their death bowling has been one of the main reasons for their franchises’ success. If they get in on the act, the opposition will have a very tough time trying to eke out the runs in the final overs.
By Rohit Nair