Their squad announced, can India defend the Champions Trophy?

Giri Subramanian Roar Guru

By Giri Subramanian, Giri Subramanian is a Roar Guru

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    The Indian squad for the upcoming Champions Trophy 2017 was finally announced after threats from BCCI to pull out.

    India will begin their title defence on June 4 with a game against their arch-rivals Pakistan.

    The Indian squad has as much as 9 players from the victorious 2013 campaign.

    The selectors also have gone for experience rather than youth this time by including Yuvraj in the squad.

    Indian Squad
    Virat Kohli(c), Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Yuvraj Singh, Ajinkya Rahane, Dinesh Karthik, Kedar Jadhav, MS Dhoni, Hardik Pandya, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Shami

    The recall of Yuvraj Singh was a surprise. Yuvraj had made a comeback to the ODI side earlier this year against England and scored a century in one of the games. Yuvraj hasn’t played too many ODIs for India over the last few years and has mostly been part of the T20 sides.

    The inclusion of Dinesh Karthik also is a surprise as he hasn’t been a part of Indian ODI scheme of things over the past year or so. So some strange choices this time from the selectors.

    The absence of Suresh Raina means that India are short of power hitters in the XI. MS Dhoni isn’t a power hitter anymore by his own admission and has been batting up the order in the recent games.

    The team has only six specialist batsmen, so it will be a battle between Kedar Jadhav and Ajinkya Rahane for that one batting spot.

    It will also be interesting if India will field both Ashwin and Jadeja as they did in 2013 or will be tempted to go with Pandya in the X1 as a pace bowling all-rounder.

    So there will be lots of questions in Virat Kohli’s mind ahead of the first game.

    The bowling unit though is as good as it gets according to Indian standards. Ishant Sharma misses out this time but again he hasn’t been in great form in the recent years. Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Umesh Yadav in all probability will be taking the new ball and Bumrah will be playing as the first change.

    Even though Mohammed Shami is India’s best limited overs pacer, he is coming back after a long injury layoff and the few games he played in the IPL, he did not look anywhere near his best.

    So the bowling attack gives a kind of a settled look with Jaspreet Bumrah surprisingly leading the pack.

    The Indian squad is kind of a hit and miss and Virat would have to make the best use of the resources at his disposal.

    India’s Probable X1 in their first game against Pakistan
    Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli, MS Dhoni, Yuvraj Singh, Kedar Jadhav, Ravindra Jadeja, Ravi Ashwin, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Umesh Yadav, Jaspreet Bumrah

    Rahane misses out as the team already has Rohit Sharma, MS Dhoni and Virat Kohli who bat in a similar way to Rahane.

    Having Jadhav in the middle order gives the batting line up some spark in the slog overs.

    Hardik Pandya also misses out as India’s strength has always been their spinners and India should play both Ravi Ashwin and Jadeja in the X1.

    India might still swap one of the spinners for Pandya if the pitch has a bit in it for the pacers.

    Mohammed Shami also misses out as Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Yadav and Bumrah have been in great form with the ball.

    It will be difficult for India to replicate their 2013 success but again if the pitches are anywhere close to what they encountered in the last edition anything can happen.

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    The Crowd Says (28)

    • May 26th 2017 @ 9:52am
      Ouch said | May 26th 2017 @ 9:52am | ! Report

      Pretty strong squad. I thought Dohni had retired. Definitely one of the favourites.

      Nice that their first game is against Pakistan.

      • Roar Guru

        May 26th 2017 @ 10:12am
        Giri Subramanian said | May 26th 2017 @ 10:12am | ! Report

        On paper the squad looks strong but again it will be interesting to see how they perform. Yuvraj hasn’t played too many ODI’s in the recent times and Dhawan has been really poor in the 50 over format. Not sure about Dinesh Karthik’s selection either.

        • Roar Guru

          May 26th 2017 @ 2:05pm
          Ryan H said | May 26th 2017 @ 2:05pm | ! Report

          Me too I had legitimately forgotten about Karthik, had no idea he was still on the radar..it did surprise me to see he’s 31 too, I thought he was quite a bit older than that.

          • Roar Guru

            May 26th 2017 @ 2:24pm
            Giri Subramanian said | May 26th 2017 @ 2:24pm | ! Report

            The selectors I think were little hung over with the 2013 Champions Trophy squad. Fours years have passed and Karthik no longer plays ODI’s for India. His last ODI was in 2014 for India. It is strange that he was recalled. If India wanted a backup for Dhoni they could have gone for Robin Uthappa or Rishabh Pant instead. Uthappa would have provided India with another explosive opening option if Dhawan failed.

    • Columnist

      May 26th 2017 @ 12:37pm
      Ronan O'Connell said | May 26th 2017 @ 12:37pm | ! Report

      I’ll be shocked if Bhuvy is selected ahead of Shami.

      Shami’s ODI record is incredible – average of 24.89 and is a chance of breaking the record for the fastest bowler to 100 wickets (needs 13 wickets in his next 4 matches to break record or in his next 5 matches to equal Starc’s world record).

      Compare that to Bhuvy who averages 40 with the ball in ODIs.

      Yes, Shami hasn’t played ODIs in a long time because of injury. But class is permanent – this is a guy who dominated at the last World Cup, taking 17 wickets at an average of 17. Big game performer.

      To answer the question of the headline, yes India absolutely can win this tournament.

      Their batting is strong and deep, they have solid spinners, and their best-ever ODI pace attack with Shami, Bumrah and Yadav all potential match winners.

      • Roar Guru

        May 26th 2017 @ 1:26pm
        Giri Subramanian said | May 26th 2017 @ 1:26pm | ! Report

        The problem for me is, has Shami got enough cricket after his comeback? His last ODI for India was the World Cup finals which was more than 2 years ago. He just played 8 T20 games for DD this season in IPL, I am just worried if he is up to bowling 10 overs again. There is no question that he is India’s best ODI pacer followed by Bumrah. I hope he does well if he gets picked.

        Bhuvi had a pretty bad few years with the ball after an incredible start to his international career. He has reinvented himself and is a much better bowler in shorter formats. Along with Bumrah he is India’s best bowler of the yorkers and slower balls are the death. So India does have a good bowling attack for the Champions Trophy but I am not very convinced with the batting. Will have to wait and see how they go.

      • May 31st 2017 @ 8:31pm
        Tapeshwer Singh said | May 31st 2017 @ 8:31pm | ! Report

        shami still doesn’t look a 100%, and bhuvi is in terrific form,easy decision tbh

    • May 26th 2017 @ 1:01pm
      Ouch said | May 26th 2017 @ 1:01pm | ! Report

      Bangladesh have just beaten NZ and are up to 6th in the rankings. Potential banana skin for Australia.

      • Roar Guru

        May 26th 2017 @ 1:16pm
        Giri Subramanian said | May 26th 2017 @ 1:16pm | ! Report

        Bangladesh are a tricky opponent for everyone. They have done extremely well in ODI’s and they can potentially upset any team in the world.

    • May 26th 2017 @ 4:51pm
      Kopa Shamsu said | May 26th 2017 @ 4:51pm | ! Report

      on paper looks good,but there are many ifs and buts,if india have to win mark this players Yuvi,dhoni,rahane,shami,ashwin…This five will have to perform big.India has good bowling allrounders in jadeja,ashwin,but lack in both batting and bowling,Rahane will have to carry middle order,dhoni will have to find his finisher form,Yuvi will need to rediscover his spark,otherwise consider this is over.

      • Roar Guru

        May 26th 2017 @ 9:58pm
        Giri Subramanian said | May 26th 2017 @ 9:58pm | ! Report

        I agree. I wasn’t too happy with the squad when I saw Karthik, Yuvraj and Dhawan. KL Rahul got injured again so the selectors had to choose Dhawan but Uthappa or Pant could have been chosen in the place of Karthik. Sanju Samson is another name that comes to mind. Yuvraj scored a big hundred against England earlier this year but I am not sure about his form at the moment. He did not do anything special in IPL.

    • May 26th 2017 @ 5:21pm
      DavSA said | May 26th 2017 @ 5:21pm | ! Report

      In your previous article I felt that India must come in as one of the favourites. Previously I would have had them as only second favourites but the first odi recently between SA and Eng has changed my mind. I believe that Eng have laid down a marker as to pitch conditions in the CT in that game and will have flat tracks prepared for the series to suit there deep batting and neutralize the superb pace attacks of SA and Aus in particular. The main reason I feel that will bring India into contention is their bowling . They have the spin attack which can both attack and defend. Unlike for example Imran Tahir who is only effective attacking and is not renown as a defensive bowler . Taking the pace off the ball is going to become imo a factor . It will also bring both Pakistan and NZ stronger into the picture than I would have previously thought. I would not be the least surprised to occasionaly see for example a spinner opening the bowling to say a De Kock or Warner who both prefer it to come onto the bat at pace.

      • Roar Guru

        May 26th 2017 @ 9:56pm
        Giri Subramanian said | May 26th 2017 @ 9:56pm | ! Report

        If the pitches are flat then England become one of the favorites to win the tournament. The English team is packed with power hitters and can rake up big totals with the bat. The South African team will rely heavily on Hashim Amla and DeVilliers. Faf has looked in good touch as well. So they do have 4 batters including De Kock who can be dangerous on their day. SA’s bowling attack has pace and they can take the pitch out of the equation. I feel that the only thing which hampers SA is their temperament in big tournaments. Pakistan aren’t favorites but can upset a few along the way. Their batting is completely devoid of any big hitters and if the pitches are flat they would struggle to match up to the batting powerhouses such as England and Australia. NZ as usual will always do well in ICC tournaments. I always back them to reach the final four. For me India, Australia and SA are on the same level in terms of their chances. England surely have higher chances of lifting the title as they are playing at home and they probably have the best ODI squad in this Champions Trophy.

    • May 26th 2017 @ 8:33pm
      DavSA said | May 26th 2017 @ 8:33pm | ! Report

      An additional thought ….. Both India and Australia are mentally not afraid to win big tournaments. This too will be a factor . My own side the Proteas , no matter how much they may believe in their abilities must , must in the back of their minds have that element of uncertainty …. The more they try and think themselves out of that awful chockers hole the worse it probably gets .

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