The ICC Champions Trophy is back! The top eight teams in the ICC One Day International rankings will battle for supremacy. This tournament is the most important event in the International cricket calendar after the Cricket world cup.
The duration of the tournament is quite short, so the teams will have a short period of time to reassess their game plan and it will be a major challenge for the teams because each and every team will have to maintain their standards in all three facets of the game throughout the tournament.
Let’s take a closer look at all the eight participating teams in the tournament
England will host the Champions Trophy for the third time. They were the runners up in the last time. After their early exit from the 2015 world cup, they began to play with a lot of freedom. The aggressive nature of Eoin Morgan’s captaincy changed the culture of English cricket which he acquired from the former New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum.
The England fans were yearning for changes in the team after their disastrous world cup campaign in 2015. They played the game in a fearless manner in the last couple of years which led to the astonishment of the England fans, players such as Jos Buttler, Jason Roy and Ben stokes will have to play a crucial role in the upcoming Champions Trophy.
The Englishmen will have the home advantage and the fans will hope that the hosts will have the determination to win their first major tournament in the 50 over format of the game.
David Warner and Steven Smith will have to play a major role in Australia’s quest for the champions Trophy.
AustraliaThe Australians are one of the favourites to win the champions Trophy this time. They are the current world champions. This will be a major challenge for the Australian captain Steven Smith as he prepares for another challenge in England.
If Smith and his men can win the Champions Trophy it would do a world of good for their confidence ahead of the Ashes Test series which is scheduled to commence later this year. David Warner, Mitchell Starc and Glenn Maxwell will have to play a vital role and they have to remember that, the other members in the squad are relatively inexperienced in the International level.
When it comes to tournaments like this, the team which can sustain the pressure for longer periods of time, especially in tense situations, will emerge victorious at the end of the tournament. Who will win the Champions Trophy this time? Will it be Australia? Well! Let the time find an answer to this question. As cricket fans what we all have to do is just sit back relax and enjoy the game we love the most.
Bangladesh have reaped the rewards for playing according to their instincts and they have been impressive in the last couple of years.
Bangladesh will replace West Indies in this year’s Champions Trophy. This tournament will be one of Bangladesh’s historic moments in their cricket history. Bangladesh was one of the quarterfinalists in the world cup .They have been impressive since the 2015 world cup.
They have beaten South Africa, Pakistan and India on home soil. According to cricket experts the main concern for Bangladesh is their lack of experience in overseas conditions. The Bangladesh cricket board must arrange overseas tours more often so that it can help these youngsters in developing their skills and it would do a world of good for their future and it would be beneficial for the future of Bangladesh cricket as well.
Mashrafe Mortaza changed the culture of Bangladesh Cricket, he is not as aggressive as other captains but he plays the game with passion. He is an important player in the team not just as the captain but also he is respected by his teammates and he is regarded as one of the living legends in Bangladesh cricket.
Tamim Iqbal, Shakib Al Hasan, Mustafizur Rahman and Mehedi Hasan will play a pivotal role for Bangladesh, their head coach Chandika Hathurusingha stated that participating in the Champions Trophy itself is a great achievement, not only to the team but for the whole nation.
I think this is their best opportunity to show the grit of their tiger and fight until the end.
I certainly hope that Bangladesh will continue to impress and this can be a stepping stone for a team that is striving to improve on world stage.
New Zealand have been one of the most consistent cricketing nations in the world since the 2015 Cricket World Cup.
The New Zealand Black Caps comes in to the Champions Trophy as one of the consistent teams in world cricket over the past two years.
The former New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum played a vital role in changing the way that the game has been played in the last couple of years.
Brendon has been an influential character in world cricket. He changed the attitude of the New Zealand cricket fans. As we all know that the New Zealanders are known for their brilliance in the world of rugby none the less cricket is still in the hearts of the Kiwi fans. The Black Caps had to do something special for the passionate New Zealand fans.
McCullum knew that the 2015 Cricket World Cup was their best opportunity to gain the faith of their cricket community.
His attacking mind-set was the main reason behind New Zealand’s successful world cup campaign. They were able to be in the final for the first time in the history of New Zealand cricket.
On the other hand Kane Williamson who can be known as one of New Zealand’s greatest batsmen of all time. Williamson is known to be a calm character on and off the field. He was always going to be Brendon’s successor.
Trent Boult , Tim Southee and Ross Taylor will have to play a key role in pursuit of their first major tournament since 199+8.
Kane Williamson will hope that the Black Caps will have the determination to create history in the upcoming Champions Trophy and make this a memorable tournament for the wholehearted New Zealand fans.
Angelo Mathews and Dinesh Chandimal have been the leading run scorers for Sri Lanka in the recent past.
Angelo Mathews comes back in to the team after being on the side-lines for four months due to a hamstring injury that forced him to be ruled out of the tour of Australia and the home series against Bangladesh.
Angelo’s fitness will be a major area of concern for Sri Lanka in the upcoming Champions Trophy according to the Sri Lankan Cricket manager Asanka Gurusingha.
The Sri Lankan top order will be under scrutiny after their disastrous home series against Bangladesh, even though Sri Lanka managed to level the One Day International series the top order never looked settled and obviously Asanka Gurusingha had a lot of problematic questions to be answered during the post series press conference after the second T20 International against Bangladesh.
Sri Lanka lost six out of their last seven completed One Day internationals.
After the retirements of the legends Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardane the Sri Lankans seems to have dragged them in to a crisis, the youngsters have to realise that it is their responsibility to pull themselves out of it.
Lasith Malinga will play his comeback One Day International against South Africa in the upcoming Champions Trophy in England. He did not play a One Day International for Sri Lanka after November 2015 due to a knee injury which kept him out of the team for over a year. His timely return in to the team will be a major boost for the Lankan lions.
Angelo Mathews and Dinesh Chandimal will hope that their openers will score freely and spend some time and make the maximum use of the first 10 overs and build the foundation for the middle order to help Sri Lanka to be competitive throughout the tournament.
The Sri Lankan pace attack will be tested in England. Lasith Malinga will hope that the other fast bowlers will play their part in restricting the opposition.
On the other hand the Sri Lankan batsmen will have to score a substantial amount of runs to increase the confidence of the bowling attack and it will help them in increasing their self-confidence.
In recent times it is fair to say that Sri Lanka’s fielding efforts have been poor, so obviously the Sri Lankan management will do almost everything possible to change their fortunes and they must look to be agile on the field as every run could be vital in the outcome of the tournament.
The passionate Sri Lankan fans will hope that the Sri Lankans will be determined to prove that they still have the spirit of the lion and fight until the end. Angelo Mathews and his team have to remember that they are representing their nation and the hopes of the 20 million wholehearted people in the pearl of the Indian Ocean.
The South Africans will be confident about their chances of winning their first major tournament in International Cricket.
Hashim Amla, Quinton de kock and Faf Du plessis will have to play a crucial role for South Africa in the upcoming Champions Trophy, according to cricket experts South Africa comes in to the tournament as a team which has all the requirements that a team requires to win the Champions Trophy.
Imran Tahir and kagiso Rabada will also play a crucial role for South Africa in the approaching tournament. Imran Tahir bowls with control and takes wickets at important stages in the game. Kagiso Rabada is a wicket taking bowler; he can be expensive at times but he bowls with persistence and at high speed which keeps the batsmen on their toes so the duo always plays the game with passion. So these two men give an invaluable service to the South African team.
Quinton de Kock has been the leading run scorer for South Africa across all three formats.
The South Africans tend to struggle when it comes to knockout tournaments. So it depends on how they deal with the pressure of the expectations of the public.
If they go on to win the Champions Trophy it will be a huge relief for the players and it will be a historic moment in South Africa’s sporting history.
The Men in Green will hope that they could regain some of the ranking points that they need to qualify for the 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup.
Pakistan hasn’t been able to perform well as they would like in the recent years.
The Pakistan fans have been cheering their team day in and day out but they hardly get the desired result.
Pakistan will be under pressure to perform well in the Champions Trophy If they fail to qualify for the world cup it will be a massive debacle in the Pakistan Cricket History.
The Men in Blue will come in to the Champions Trophy as the defending Champions and they will try to repeat their heroics in 2013.
In the last four years a lot of changes have taken place in the Indian team.
One of the major changes in the team was the transformation from calm and composed captain to a captain who has an attacking mind set and has a boundless hunger to win.
MS Dhoni still has to play a vital role as a wicket keeper batsman and the amount of experience that he possesses, Dhoni has the ability to be calm under pressure. He is the perfect man to have in your team especially in a critical situation in a game.
Virat kohli is one of the greatest batsmen in the modern generation; he was always going to be Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s successor as India’s captain.
Virat Kohli is considered to be one of all-time greats in the Gentlemen’s Game.
Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja will always cause problems to the opposition and the Indian fans will hope that they will be able to help India to restrict their opponents to manageable scores during the course of the tournament.
After a long home season the fitness of the players will be an area of concern for the Indians in the upcoming Champions Trophy.
This tournament will be a test of character for the Indian captain Virat Kohli, as the Champions Trophy will be his first major tournament after he took over the captaincy from Mahendra Singh Dhoni.
Can India win the Champions Trophy and repeat the heroics for the second time in four years?
Well! That’s what the 1.3 billion Indian fans will be hoping .if India fails to win the Champions Trophy we know what kind of response the team will receive from the adoring Indian public. So there is an extra amount of pressure on virat Kohli’s shoulders to do well in the Champions Trophy.
The Match Officials
When it comes to major International tournaments the umpires and the match referees play an invaluable role on the field as well as off the field, especially with the Umpire Decision Review System. The two on field umpires will be under a lot of pressure and they will need to be accurate as much possible.
The match referees play an equally important role as the umpires in International Cricket. They need to be aware about all the laws that are being introduced to the gentlemen’s game. They have to have a proper interaction between the umpires and the players.
Edgbaston will host the most anticipated battle between India and Pakistan.
The Kennington Oval – The venue will host the tournament opener between Bangladesh and England and another six matches including the final of this year’s Champions Trophy.
Edgbaston- The venue will host the two most awaited battles in International Cricket. The arch rivals in cricket history and the battle of the oldest and the most thrilling encounter between England and Australia.
Sophia Gardens- The venue at Cardiff will host the least number of matches in upcoming Champions Trophy which includes the first semi-final of the tournament.
Well! All the preparations have been done and now it’s time to witness what we all have been waiting for a long time. The battle for the ICC Champions Trophy begins!