Team Combination

India will be coming into the tournament as
favourites. This will be Virat Kohli’s first
big competition as captain and as defending
champions, India will be expected to go deep
in the tournament. India's squad is relatively
unchanged from the previous Champions Trophy
and includes the likes of Shikhar Dhawan and
Ravindra Jadeja who were top run-scorer and
leading wicket-taker respectively in 2013.


This is arguably India's best limited overs
bowling attack in recent history, with three
out of four of India's pace bowlers featuring
in the IPL's top ten wicket-takers. The reliable
Bhuvneshwar Kumar's place in the XI is likely
to be under contention with Umesh Yadav’s pace
and Jasprit Bumrah’s variations. Yet as leading
wicket taker in the IPL, the selectors will have
a hard time keeping Bhuvneshwar out, especially
if he does well in the warm-up matches against
New Zealand and Bangladesh.


India’s batting line-up is much more fixed.
It’s so jam-packed with quality top-order batsmen
and power-hitters that Ajinkya Rahane and Dinesh
Karthik will struggle to find a spot in the starting XI.
Even though India haven’t played an ODI since their
series at home against England in January, they will
feel confident with such an established team going
into the competition. Their biggest potential issue
may be a lack of confidence coming in from the
IPL where only Dhawan made the list of top 10
run-scorers.

Opponents and Key Tactics


India will start their campaign in an eagerly
anticipated game against Pakistan at Edgbaston,
followed by games against Sri Lanka and South Africa
respectively at the Kia Oval.

Pakistan
India hold a big psychological advantage
over Pakistan when it comes to major competitions.
They have dominated Pakistan in ICC events,
winning 11 out of 13 games, and playing off
that could work to their advantage even though
both wins for Pakistan came in Champions Trophy
tournaments. India should aim to bat first –
which would be good for Virat Kohli given his
lack of form in the IPL as it would allow him
to play without the added pressure of the required
rate – and set a big total for Pakistan.
Both Umesh Yadav and Bhuvneshwar Kumar will play
key roles in this game given the location,
and if India can pick up a few early wickets
they will be well on their way to the play-offs.


Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka are coming in as one of the least
favoured sides. India should aim for a big win
here, should qualification come down to net run
rate, given that their third game will come
against a strong South African side. Sri Lanka’s
main issue is their brittle middle-order batting
and India would do well to put pressure on them
from the outset by bowling first. India will
hopefully be confident after a win against
Pakistan and with the likes of Virat Kohli
and MS Dhoni, they should feel comfortable
chasing down any score against this
Sri Lankan attack and in particular Lasith
Malinga, whose career ODI bowling average
jumps from 27.77 to 42.28 against India,
as they have done so many times before.


South Africa:
This will be India’s biggest challenge
in the group stages. ICC’s number one
ranked ODI team have a strong and settled
side. South Africa’s biggest weakness is
the tournament itself. They have a history
of poor chases and if India can set a big
total as they did in the 2015 World Cup
they will have a huge advantage.
The last thing India will want to do
is allow Hashim Amla, AB de Villiers
and that explosive middle order free rein
with the bat. South Africa’s bowling
attack will be a big concern for India
in early summer English conditions,
especially if Kohli struggles to play off
his 4th and 5th stump, but if the top-order
can find some rhythm in the first two games
they will be in with a big chance.

Recent ODI performances:


India have had some close games against New Zealand
and England with the most recent series going in
their favour 3-2 and 2-1 respectively. However,
both series were played in India and the last time
India played outside of their home country was in
August against the West Indies. This may be a
problem for India given how early in the English
season this tournament is.


The last time India played an ODI in England
was in 2014 where they won the series 3-1 with
some comprehensive wins. Kumar and Rahane did
especially well in Edgbaston and Raina should
feel unlucky given his IPL performance and
success in 2014. Even though this was almost
three years ago, the visitors should feel
comfortable coming into the tournament
having won their last series in the host country.


Predicted outcome
Team India are serious contenders to defend
their title. They have match-winning players
and have a knack for ICC tournaments. If the team
can find some momentum in the first game and can
adjust to the conditions quickly they’ll be well
on their way to their third title.

Probable XI

1. Rohit Sharma
2. Shikhar Dhawan
3. Virat Kohli (c)
4. Yuvraj Singh
5. MS Dhoni (wk)
6. Kedar Jadhav
7. Hardik Pandya
8. Ravindra Jadeja
9. Ravichandran Ashwin/Bhuvneshwar Kumar
10.Jasprit Bumrah
11.Umesh Yadav

Team Combination
India will start their campaign in an eagerly anticipated game against Pakistan at Edgbaston, followed by games against Sri Lanka and South Africa respectively at the Kia Oval.

This is arguably India's best limited overs bowling attack in recent history, with three out of four of India's pace bowlers featuring in the IPL's top ten wicket-takers. The reliable Bhuvneshwar Kumar's place in the XI is likely to be under contention with Umesh Yadav’s pace and Jasprit Bumrah’s variations. Yet as leading wicket taker in the IPL, the selectors will have a hard time keeping Bhuvneshwar out, especially if he does well in the warm-up matches against New Zealand and Bangladesh.

India’s batting line-up is much more fixed. It’s so jam-packed with quality top-order batsmen and power-hitters that Ajinkya Rahane and Dinesh Karthik will struggle to find a spot in the starting XI. Even though India haven’t played an ODI since their series at home against England in January, they will feel confident with such an established team going into the competition. Their biggest potential issue may be a lack of confidence coming in from the IPL where only Dhawan made the list of top 10 run-scorers.

Opponents and Key Tactics
India’s will start their campaign in an eagerly anticipated game against Pakistan at Edgbaston, followed by games against Sri Lanka and South Africa respectively at the Kia Oval.

Pakistan
India hold a big psychological advantage over Pakistan when it comes to major competitions. They have dominated Pakistan in ICC events, winning 11 out of 13 games, and playing off that could work to their advantage even though both wins for Pakistan came in Champions Trophy tournaments. India should aim to bat first – which would be good for Virat Kohli given his lack of form in the IPL as it would allow him to play without the added pressure of the required rate – and set a big total for Pakistan. Both Umesh Yadav and Bhuvneshwar Kumar will play key roles in this game given the location, and if India can pick up a few early wickets they will be well on their way to the play-offs.

Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka are coming in as one of the least favoured sides. India should aim for a big win here, should qualification come down to net run rate, given that their third game will come against a strong South African side. Sri Lanka’s main issue is their brittle middle-order batting and India would do well to put pressure on them from the outset by bowling first. India will hopefully be confident after a win against Pakistan and with the likes of Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni, they should feel comfortable chasing down any score against this Sri Lankan attack and in particular Lasith Malinga, whose career ODI bowling average jumps from 27.77 to 42.28 against India, as they have done so many times before.

South Africa
This will be India’s biggest challenge in the group stages. ICC’s number one ranked ODI team have a strong and settled side. South Africa’s biggest weakness is the tournament itself. They have a history of poor chases and if India can set a big total as they did in the 2015 World Cup they will have a huge advantage. The last thing India will want to do is allow Hashim Amla, AB de Villiers and that explosive middle order free rein with the bat. South Africa’s bowling attack will be a big concern for India in early summer English conditions, especially if Kohli struggles to play off his 4th and 5th stump, but if the top-order can find some rhythm in the first two games they will be in with a big chance.

Recent ODI performances:
India have had some close games against New Zealand and England with the most recent series going in their favour 3-2 and 2-1 respectively. However, both series were played in India and the last time India played outside of their home country was in August against the West Indies. This may be a problem for India given how early in the English season this tournament is.

The last time India played an ODI in England was in 2014 where they won the series 3-1 with some comprehensive wins. Kumar and Rahane did especially well in Edgbaston and Raina should feel unlucky given his IPL performance and success in 2014. Even though this was almost three years ago, the visitors should feel comfortable coming into the tournament having won their last series in the host country.

Predicted outcome
Team India are serious contenders to defend their title. They have match-winning players and have a knack for ICC tournaments. If the team can find some momentum in the first game and can adjust to the conditions quickly they’ll be well on their way to their third title.

Probable XI:
1. Rohit Sharma
2. Shikhar Dhawan
3. Virat Kohli (c)
4. Yuvraj Singh
5. MS Dhoni (wk)
6. Kedar Jadhav
7. Hardik Pandya
8. Ravindra Jadeja
9. Ravichandran Ashwin/Bhuvneshwar Kumar
10.Jasprit Bumrah
11.Umesh Yadav