ICC Champions Trophy 2017 | England are firm favourites, says Brian Lara

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ICC Champions Trophy 2017 | England are firm favourites, says Brian Lara

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SportsCafe Desk

05/27/2017

Brian Lara has picked England as the firm favourites to win next month's ICC Champions Trophy which they host. The batting great said England have unearthed some exciting players since losing the World T20 final to West Indies last year. The hosts play Bangladesh in the inaugural match on June 1.

"I understand that this year's tournament is going to be bigger and better than ever, so it's going to be an awesome experience for the fans and us former cricketers to see who is going to lift the trophy. I think in these conditions, England will be my firm favourites. After losing out to the West Indies in the World T20, you look at the team now and they have some exciting players," Lara told reporters.

"England, in the past, would have, maybe, an Ian Botham or a (Andrew) Flintoff but now you can look at the entire team and it's very one-day cricket oriented. Today, you look at the England team and you've got players playing in the IPL and players who are astonishing with both the bat and ball," he added.

England lost to India in the final of the previous edition in 2013 which they also hosted.

Former England batsman Jonathan Trott, who was a member of the 2013 Champions Trophy team, believes this side won't falter.

"It would have been so nice to have won the final in 2013," Trott said.

"I still have a few nightmares about that but, hopefully, this team can go all the way. I remember there being such a great vibe in 2013. The English crowds are so loud and can be intimidating. England have got the home advantage and they can use that, but there are some good teams around the world in great form, so it's going to be a really interesting competition.

"The English crowds are so loud and can be intimidating. England have got the home advantage and they can use that but there are some good teams around the world in great form, so it's going to be a really interesting competition."

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.

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