Will India be able to defend Champions Trophy?

At last angry India agreed to take part in the Champions Trophy, starting from June 1, the country's cricket board said Sunday, ending weeks of speculation over the team's participation in the premier tournament.

India missed the initial deadline of April 25 to name their squad - a date met by all other participating nations - but will face no sanction for the delay.

Chairman of selectors MSK Prasad dispelled any doubts about Mahendra Singh Dhoni's future in global cricket, terming him the world's best wicketkeeper right now.

Anil Kumble, who took over as head coach past year, chose to keep them on his staff.

"We have not just taken IPL performances but last year's performances were also considered". The (IPL) franchise was magnanimous enough to listen to our request to rest him.

A similarly important player, Rohit Sharma reclaimed his spot as first-choice opener.

Announcing the squad, selection committee chairman MSK Prasad said " it was an easy team to pick as it has shaped up well in the last four months."May be one place here and there.

The dispute intensified when India failed to submit a squad for the one-day worldwide tournament by an April 25 deadline after the Board Of Control For Cricket In India (BCCI) was unable to stall a new income model being adopted by the global Cricket Council (ICC).

"We are impressed with the way Rishabh Pant is playing. If you speak to Zaheer Bhai, there is something or the other that comes out that could add to my game", he said.

The top eight sides in the world rankings compete in the Champions Trophy. "But as of now I want to focus on the IPL and then switch to the preparations for the Champions Trophy".

Virat Kohli (captain), Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Ajinkya Rahane, MS Dhoni, Yuvraj Singh, Kedar Jadhav, Hardik Pandya, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Mohammed Shami, Umesh Yadav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Manish Pandey. He has been kept on standby along with Suresh Raina and Dinesh Karthik but in a short tournament like the Champions Trophy where a team will play five matches at the most, it is highly unlikely they will be required.

  • Julie Sanders