Shami key to India's Champions Trophy prospects: Irfan Pathan

Defending champions India had a good start for their Champions Trophy campaign with a 45-run victory against New Zealand via Duckworth-Lewis method in a rain- curtailed warm-up game here yesterday.

"The only slight concern I have for India is that its selection was perhaps a little conservative, but it is still very strong", he said.

New Zealand wicketkeeper batsman Luke Ronchi has admitted surprise at being asked to open the batting for the Black Caps in a Champions Trophy warm-up against India. The oft-injured prodigy has become one of cricket's most proficient wicket-takers - if he can remain healthy.

Spectators have always been advised to get to sporting events early and they could miss the key part of Thursday's Champions Trophy opener between England and Bangladesh at the Oval if they aren't in on time.

The wicketkeeper-batsman further said, "Whatever is required out of the practices matches, we have got that". Pakistan's record in the 2013 edition was rather modest - knocked out losing all three games, and losing to India meant they lost their unbeaten record in the tournament against India.

"It is hard for us but we have had good preparation to adapt to English conditions but we have been here for 10 days before our first game and we have five days more before our first game". Would they have been so cautious in speaking their mind if the opponents were England, Australia, South Africa or New Zealand?

Even though Australia's final Champions Trophy warm-up game against Pakistan was washed out on Monday after just 10.2 overs, Hastings feels that he is well prepared for the tournament as he has represented Worcestershire in seven Royal London One Day Cup matches, where he took 10 wickets at an average of 37.60.

Karthik's career started on a promising note in the early 2000s, but since then he has been looked upon as a replacement specialist ever since Mahendra Singh Dhoni came to the fore. He spent some time at the crease which is very important in England because the ball keeps on moving and you must play late. Only the top eight teams on the ODI rankings on September 30 earn that right, while the rest will have to go through a qualifying tournament in April 2018. They bowled Bangladesh out for just 84 runs - helping India win the match by 240 runs. "Whichever team handles the pressure in a better way-holds the edge".

Holders India and Australia, twice Champions Trophy winners, are among the favourites, along with South Africa who won the inaugural tournament in 1998. I saw a stat the other day that their last 10 innings batting first they've got over 330 [sic], so they're an exciting outfit and I think they're starting to find a combination that works well with the ball.

  • Joanne Flowers