As many call it as the Mini World Cup of cricket ICC Champions Trophy is here. It’s here just after an amazing IPL10 and moreover its happening again in England the place where cricket was born.
Surprisingly this time we have a new entrant Bangladesh playing the cup. Bangladesh cricket has come a long way it seems as on May 29th they were 6th in ICC cricket ranking above Sri Lanka, Pakistan and West Indies. The Champions Trophy starts on 2nd June with England taking on Bangladesh in London. The format is same as we had in 2013. There are two groups each team in a group gets three matches, the top two teams of each group qualify for the semi-finals.
It will take a brave man to predict the winner of this year’s Champions Trophy. All the eight teams playing are in their top form. With the addition of new rules even 350 is chase able by all teams. It’s difficult to predict the weather in England some days its overcast and cold and some days the sun shines brightly. The unpredictable weather here in England might just play an important role in some games.
I’m not an expert in cricket but having played the game in school and at corporate level and also being a close observer of the game I’ll share my four teams to make it to the semis.
Yes, they have to make it to the semis. This is one ICC title which the aussies haven’t got their hands on for over a decade now, they’ll be to desperate to do that. With a captain like Steve Smith to go along with David Warner at the top. There bowling too is has some serious pace with the likes of Starc & Cummins to go along with the accuracy of Hazlewood. Do expect big scores when they bat.
Surprised? Well, it is an unusual choice but I have my reasons to pick them. This team in recent past has just raised their game to the next level. They’ve performed exceptionally over the last six months in all formats of the game and more specifically in the limited format. No more the underdogs they used to be. They are now a serious team. Doubt whether they could actual lift the cup but definitely making the semis. The best thing about them has been that the team contributes. They’re not relying on one or two players only to contribute immensely, someone or else steps up every time. Will be interesting to see some heartbreaks of well-established teams.
Well it is an obvious choice. The defending champs we are. Well to win a game you need champion bowlers specially with the kind of bats batsmen use. All our bowlers are in top form and full of confidence after an excellent IPL and two brilliant warm-up games. Batting too looks solid with Dhawan showing some form and of course our Captain Kohli and the experience and skill set of MS Dhoni is always there to get those big hits whenever needed. This might be Dhoni’s last Champions trophy expect him to blast every time he comes out.
With a team filled with so much talent they have to make it to the semis. Considered as chokers, failing to win a trophy or mostly missing out to perform when it matters the most. Let’s just admire the kind of batting Amla did in IPL carrying the form. Yes, they’ve lost a series to England few days back but don’t forget the kind of game they played to get England 20/6 on the last game. Their bowling is their strength and the conditions in England suit them. They’re a must to play the semis of course De Villiers too might be playing his last Champions trophy.
Many experts have chosen England to be the favourites to lift the trophy but I feel they depend overly on key players like Root, Stokes and Morgan to perform every time. Even their bowling looks inexperience with exception of Woakes and Plunkett.
Whoever lifts the cup but one thing is for sure we all are going to witness some of the best cricket to be played over the next two weeks. The teams I’ve picked are based on my observations and instincts. Hoping the teams, I’ve picked are the ones to make it. But definitely the best team out of all 8 deserves to win. Be prepared not to miss even a single match as the champions battle it out to be crowned as the next Champion of Champions. Feel free to comment below if you feel otherwise to my teams and reasons.