The ICC Champions Trophy – India’s Chances


After the qualifying rounds and few matches into the main tournament, we already have a team out of the competition. England let themselves down with poor batting displays in both of their games so far(Vs India and Australia). Apart from the early exit of England the other teams in the tournament still remain in hunt for the semifinal berth. All the games in the tournament except for the couple of them have been one-sided contests, the exceptions being WI V Aus and Pak V Srilanka.

The competition has reached the second phase where even the slightest mistake by any of the team could ensure an early flight back home. The Indians would be really dissapointed with the scheduling of the tournament as Rahul Dravid himself expressed in the post match press conference after their win against England. A 10 day break between two matches is little too much and does not do any good for the preparation of team. The Indian batting apart from Sachin looked very much out of form against England while chasing a below par total.

The West Indians though would be flying high on confidence after defeating Australia in their first game in the main tournament. Their win against Australia has thrown the group open with all the three teams having fair chances of qualifying for the next stage of the tournament. India would be hoping for an improved performance from thier batters against West Indies which would make their life little bit easier. The bowling has done exceptionally well in the last couple of tournaments, with Munaf improving with every game and Irfan coming into his own in the game against England. The Indians would be hoping that their batting can recapture the golden run which helped them to have a wonderful season as a one-day team just few months ago.

The Indians would desperately want to win their next game as it would give them the much needed confidence when they face Australia on 29th of this month. Rahul Dravid has lots to think about regarding the composition of the team especially the batting. I would personally prefer Sachin and Sehwag opening the batting with Yuvraj or Mongia coming at one down. As Ravi Shastry said during commentary on India’s first game Rahul should bat at no 5, the batting spot where he has performed exceptionally well and also would help in the team balance. Dhoni should follow Rahul followed by the bowlers with Pathan being the floating member in the batting order.

The bowling attack I guess would remain the same with Pathan and Munaf opening the attack with Agarkar, Harbajan and Powar backing them up. All in all it seems to be a cracker of a contest with everything to play for. The Indian team would be hoping for their batsmen to rediscover their form and West Indies would be just wanting to repeat their performance against the world champions. Hope we will see a great contest.

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