The squads for the eight-team Champions Trophy tournament, which will be underway starting June 1st, 2017, have been announced. The Indian selectors are yet to submit the final 15-man squad for the tournament but looking at the other team squads we can definitely predict a cracker of a tournament.
The ICC Champions Trophy is the biggest tournament after the World Cup that is revered by the cricketing fans all over the world. The tournament is set to take place in England and Wales this year and the teams appear to have been picked their squads according to the English conditions.
Pakistan has dropped Kamran Akmal from their 15-man squad and included his younger brother Umar Akmal. The elder Akmal was a part of the Pakistani team which recently won the 3-match ODI series against the West Indies on their home turf. Former-Pakistani captain Azhar Ali makes a comeback to the side after being dropped against the West Indies because of his great record in the English conditions. The team features a couple of new faces in Fahim Ashraf and Fakhar Zaman.
Sarfaraz Ahmed(c), Ahmed Shahzad, Azhar Ali, Babar Azam, Fahim Ashraf, Hasan Ali, Imad Wasim, Junaid Khan, Mohammad Amir, Mohammad Hafeez, Shadab Khan, Shoaib Malik, Umar Akmal, Wahab Riaz, Fakhar Zaman.
The Australian side seems to be a well-balanced and powerful squad with the right amount of experience and freshness. The squad includes genuine all-rounders, explosive batsmen and incredible pacemen who will surely come in handy in the English conditions. The only controversial decision was dropping James Faulkner who was part of the World Cup-winning Australian squad of 2015 and been pretty impressive with the ball since his World Cup appearance.
Steven Smith(c), David Warner, Pat Cummins, Aaron Finch, John Hastings, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Moises Henriques, Chris Lynn, Glenn Maxwell, James Lee Pattinson, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis, Matthew Wade, Adam Zampa
The Sri Lankan side has included Lasith Malinga, who had been absent from the international ODI scene since November 2015 because of his injuries. There was a bit of a doubt about his inclusion, but the selectors have made it clear that the paceman will be able to provide the required services. Angelo Mathews will return to the side as the captain after a hamstring injury that stopped him from playing against South Africa and Bangladesh. Upul Tharanga has been in good form and might open the Sri Lankan innings. Sri Lanka has not picked any specialist finger spinner but included
Angelo Matthews(c), Upul Tharanga, Niroshan Dickwella, Kusal Mendis, Kusal Perera, Chamara Kapugedera,
Tamim Iqbal, Soumya Sarkar, Imrul Kayes, Mushfiqur Rahim, Shakib Al Hasan, Sabbir Rahman, Rubel Hossain, Mosaddek Hossain Saikat, Mashrafe Mortaza(c), Mustafizur Rahman, Taskin Ahmed, Sunzamul Islam, Mehedi Hasan, Shaiful Islam
The English team led by Eoin Morgan will have the home advantage when they start their proceedings against Bangladesh in the opening match of the Champions Trophy on 1st June. Mark Wood has made a comeback into the side for the Champions Trophy. He missed on England's tour of India due to an ankle injury but seems fit to feature in the Champions Trophy after undergoing a surgery. The English representation of Ben Stokes, Eoin Morgan, Jason Roy, Sam Billings, Chris Woakes and Jos Buttler in the IPL 2017 also feature in the 15-man England squad.
Eoin Morgan(c), Moeen Ali, Jonny Bairstow, Jake Ball, Sam Billings, Alex Hales, Jos Buttler, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes, David Wiley, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood
South Africa have recalled Morne Morkel back to the side after his impressive comeback from the career-threatening back injury against the New Zealand in Tests. Morkel took 11 wickets at an average of 26.72. The side also includes Keshav Maharaj who won his maiden ODI listing after his impressive performance with the Test side. AB de Villiers is fit to captain the side despite injuries that delayed his IPL start. The squad also features the all-rounder quadruple of Chris Morris, Wayne Parnell, Dwaine Pretorius and Andile Phehlukwayo.
Hashim Amala, Quinton de Kock, Faf du Plessis, AB de Villiers(c), Jean-Paul Duminy, David Miller, Chris Morris, Wayne Parnell, Andile Phehlukwayo, Kagiso Rabada, Imran Tahir, Dwaine Pretorius, Keshav Maharaj, Farhaan Behardien, Morne Morkel
Mitchell McClenaghan, Adam
Kane Williamson(c), Corey Anderson, Trent Boult, Neil Broom, Colin de Grandhomme, Martin Guptill, Tom Latham, Mitchell McClenaghan, Adam Milne, James Neesham, Jeetan Patel, Luke Ronchi, Mitchell Santner, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor
India or West Indies? Who will win?
WI hold a 60-53 H2H advantage over IND historically but in last 10 completed games between them , IND have won 7. IND has also won all last 5 games at this venue.