India, Pakistan look to live up to fans expectations on June 4

This year, the Champions Trophy, which is being hosted in England and Wales will feature top 8 cricketing nations India, Pakistan, Australia, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, England, South Africa and New Zealand.

England's last game against Bangladesh in a global 50-over tournament was a watershed moment for English limited overs cricket.

Tamim and Soumya Sarkar added 56 for the first wicket before the latter was caught on the cover point boundary by substitute fielder Jonny Bairstow off Ben Stokes for 28.

"I am very confident that India would do well in the Champions Trophy and they will defend the title, especially the way they played in the last two warm-up games", the stylish Hyderabadi batsman said.

With a full-strength team available for selection in their backyard at the Champions Trophy, England are clear favourites.

England hauled in Bangladesh's 305-6 by scoring 308-2 with 16 balls to spare in a brilliant start to the eighth championship.

"We have the advantage of home conditions as well, so it's an exciting team but the Champions Trophy as it is means you've got to win every game and any team is capable of beating any other team", he said. His struggles were brought into sharper focus by Hales and Joe Root combining after Roy's departure for a second-wicket stand of 159 to help England to an eight-wicket win in Group A.

But in age of ever more aggressive batting and ever higher strike rates, his figures look old-fashioned - a criticism that has been made of Pakistan's overall approach to white-ball cricket as it's now played. Just when things seemed good for Bangladesh in the middle, pacer Liam Plunkett provided a much needed breakthrough to the hosts. This is the first time Virat Kohli will be leading the side in an ICC tournament.

"Definitely more experienced", Laxman said when asked to compare the two teams.

"We just recently beat New Zealand in Ireland", Mortaza told reporters at the Oval on Wednesday.

A green-tinged pitch did not find favour with England captain Eoin Morgan but even on more placid surfaces the issue of how best to bat under grey skies, which can often set in all day in England, as many a cold fan knows, remains.

"He's a very important part of our side".

  • Julie Sanders