Two Warm-ups, two win for defending champions brought more confidence in Indian camp ahead of Champions Trophy 2017. They are one of the strongest side participating in this edition of marquee tournament with formidable batting, quality all-rounders and strong pace attack.
With no injury concern, India might face problem of plenty while selecting players for the match. Each player in squad looks strong contender for his spot in final eleven.
India Squad: Virat Kohli(c), Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Yuvraj Singh, Ajinkya Rahane, Dinesh Karthik, Kedar Jadhav, MS Dhoni, Hardik Pandya, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Shami
Shikhar Dhawan: He is someone who likes to perform on big stage. Selectors trusted more on experience than going for new talent. Also, he was taken in consideration due to failure of KL Rahul to recover from injury. Now, under immense pressure, he needs to prove himself and perform to give India good start. He has been in good nick in recently concluded edition of Indian Premier League.
Rohit Sharma: He hasn’t opened for long time and coming back after a break due to injury, he still is a crucial member for Men in Blue. He can thrive in English condition where pitches are more of batting friendly, unlike early days. A big innning is due from him so no surprises if he produces one against Pakistan.
Virat Kohli: His ability to lift himself at tough situation makes him a great batsman. Captain of the side, he has more responsibility to encounter. Skipper looked out of form in Indian Premier League but he’ll be relieved after unbeaten half-century knock against New Zeland in warm-up fixture.
Yuvraj Singh: The flamboyant left-hander has experience of playing in big tournament and win game for his country. He is struggling with his health as currently he is not fit for the game but if fit, he’ll surely play. In case he don’t recover on time Dinesh Karthik may take in place in final eleven.
MS Dhoni: Former Skipper and one of the best finisher in world cricket. As a captain, he has won this tournament for his country. His experience will count and will be valuable for Virat Kohli if needed.
Dinesh Karthik OR Kedar Jadhav: Dinesh Karthik has been in sublim form recently. He had good last domestic season, second highest run scorer for Gujarat Lions and unbeaten 94 in last warp-up game against Bangladesh. Meanwhile, Kedar Jadhav has proved himself as batsman and bowler in series against England and New Zealand. So, it will be little harsh if he has to sit out.
Hardik Pandya and Ravinder Jadeja:
Hardik Pandya, a young player who has caught many eyes in short span of his career. He has been good with bat and ball so he might be given chance replacing R Ashwin looking at English condition which favors pacers more than spinners. Ravinder Jadeja, he is good option if spin required on the day and handy with bat as well. He picked up 12 wickets in last Champions trophy in five matches.
If Hardik Pandya gets his spot in final eleven then India might think of going with three specialist pacers out of Umesh Yadav, Mohammad Shami, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah. Since, Mohammad Shami didn’t play much games due to injury he may have to sit out.