Champions Trophy 2017: Batsmen to watch out for

I have never experienced that in a side, you know, not eleven but all the fifteen guys in the squad were in the mindset. They were enjoying batting with each other and for the first time they did it without any burden. During a game, when Kohli stood by the boundary line watching the game, a commentator said "You must be gutted to have missed out on this great competition" and Kohli immediately piped up "The priority is playing for India". It's different for them.

"As a cricketer we can't control things outside the stadium". In our heads nothing really changes, it's exactly the same for us.

It was here in Birmingham where Sarfraz stated his side's ambitions for the tournament, confident that a care-free approach can pay dividends in a bid for a global title. Maybe it was to teach me that you need to balance things out and take a backward step in how much you can do on the field and how much intensity you can play with, maybe choose your phases. "It is a very exciting time for us, there have been a lot of practice sessions at Edgbaston and we're ready to play", he said at his pre-tournament press conference. It makes the India vs Pakistan affair a high-octane encounter.

They are number one in the Test rankings after series victories over New Zealand, England, Bangladesh and Australia, and hope to carry that form into the 50-over Champions Trophy event.

Warm-up matches for the International Cricket Council (ICC) Champions Trophy begin tomorrow as preparations for the tournament continue.

However, he boasted on two senior players of his team like Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Yuvraj Singh whom he think can show their skill if given independence.

India skipper Virat Kohli on Wednesday conceded that Champions Trophy is qualitatively much more competitive than the World Cup, with top eight teams battling it out in a condensed schedule. The 2015 World Cup changed ODI cricket, as 300-plus scores became not just utterly routine but also routinely chaseable.

A WEEK after the IPL-10 came to a close, team India is now all geared up to play the Champions Trophy in England.

For India, Australia, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, New Zealand and Pakistan, however, that isn't the case. "As far as the team goes, we won last time because our fast bowlers did very well, our spinners were strong and our opening batsman did well", Kohli said. But the matter did not roll further, it ended there. The aim always is to win games and I am willing to do whatever I can in my abilities to achieve that for my team.

"We've a world class player in Joe Root, in all formats, who can play in all conditions, but to have the aggression at the top with Roy and Hales, and Morgan lower down, it's a nice looking line-up".

In one of the matches against England in the last season, both the senior pro were seen to play a major role by hitting centuries and building a huge partnership after India had lost all the top order batsmen early including the Indian captain. If you give them freedom to play their game in the middle order, I am sure they know the best how to build up the innings, and how to come out of hard situations and win the game. "So, the fact that all of these players are in good form is crucial for the chances of any team in such a high-profile competition".

  • Julie Sanders