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Will India be able to defend Champions Trophy?

09 May 2017 | By Rishikesh Malkhede
India at the 2017 Champions Trophy

After India's road to participation, in the upcoming ICC Champions Trophy 2017, got cleared by the BCCI, the national selection committee announced the squad yesterday.

While there were no major surprises in the squad, the new captain Virat Kohli will have a burden to defend the title.

Let us have a look at what would help India to win Champions Trophy 2017.

In context: India at the 2017 Champions Trophy

09 May 2017Will India be able to defend Champions Trophy?

India's opponents in the group matches

Defending champions India have been placed in Group B, along side South Africa, Sri Lanka and arch rivals Pakistan. They will begin their campaign on 4th June against Pakistan. The next two matches will be against SL on 8th and SA on 11th June.
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Which opponent should India fear the most?

ThreatsWhich opponent should India fear the most?

With the top eight teams in the world competing for the trophy, no opponent should be taken lightly by the Indian team.

However, pacers Mohammad Amir and Wahab Riaz could bring trouble for India when they take on Pakistan in the first match.

Indian bowlers will be tested against South African hard-hitters like AB de Villiers, Hashim Amla and Faf du Plessis.

Two matches at Oval, will that play an important role?

Indian Team is scheduled to play two matches at The Oval in London. India have a win-loss record of 4-8 at the ground, with India defeating West Indies in their last match at the Oval in the 2013 Champions Trophy.

BattingWill Indian openers pose a threat?

Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma and Ajinkya Rahane will pose a big threat to bowlers in the Champions Trophy.

With an impeccable average of 74.00 and two centuries from nine games, Shikhar has been a successful batsmen in England.

Sharma and Rahane have also proved useful against the seam conditions in England.

Experience of Yuvraj and Dhoni will also be useful for India.

Virat's form a big concern?

Virat Kohli will be leading India in his first ICC tournament. He has not been in his best form and his average of 38.54 in England will be the biggest concern for the Indian team.
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The bowling quintetShami, Bhuvneshwar will lead India's bowling charge

Mohammed Shami has returned to the Indian team after a gap of two years to lead India's pace attack in England.

He will be joined by in-form Umesh Yadav and Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who have shown their bowling styles are suitable in English conditions.

Youngsters like Hardik Pandya and Jasprit Bumrah will play a big role in death overs.

A little help from Ashwin, Jadeja?

English conditions are generally not suitable for the spinners. However, with Ravichandran Ashwin's record in England, he will play a crucial role for India. Along with Ravindra Jadeja, he will also be an important batsman down the order.

In conclusion

The Indian squad for the Champions Trophy is well balanced and has the requisite skills to defend its title. Even though Indian batting line-up could be a matter of concern, overall, India will be one of the favorites to win the tournament.