Persistence over Boldness: India’s Champions Trophy Squad

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Amidst all the controversy and tension surrounding the tussle over the revised ICC revenue model between the BCCI and the ICC, a lot of debate was centred on the Indian team to play in the Champions Trophy after they missed the deadline for the squad.

India’s Champions Trophy Squad has been announced now and it is one that has been picked solely on performance for the national side recently and not the IPL, one which was anticipated and not entirely shocking.

India had three main issues to address: the opening slots, power hitters for the middle order and the spin department. The selectors have made predictable yet logical decisions. With KL Rahul ruled out of the tournament, there was an opening slot up for grabs. Many made a pressing case for their inclusion in the side, Gautam Gambhir, Robin Uthappa, Rishabh Pant, Sanju Samson all in fine form. The slot however went to Shikhar Dhawan, the third opener behind Rohit Sharma and Rahul. He himself has had a great season in the IPL.

In the middle order, there was debate on who would make the cut especially considering India’s death overs problems. Kedar Jadhav, MS Dhoni, Yuvraj Singh and Manish Pandey who haven’t had a great IPL made the team with the former three all scoring series defining hundreds in India’s last ODI series against England. They pipped players like Suresh Raina, Dinesh Karthik, Manoj Tiwary, Nitish Rana and a couple of other players who have had better IPL seasons than the ones selected.

In the spin department, India have trusted their Test match giant spin twins in the form of Ashwin and Jadeja. Ashwin hasn’t played the IPL season due to injury, and Jadeja joined the season late and hasn’t made any significant impact so far but then being selected makes it clear that the selectors are looking to be safe and trust their premier spinners. Harbhajan Singh, Kuldeep Yadav, Amit Mishra all got a chance to impress with the delay in announcing the squad.

India when they won this tournament four years ago, had a brand new opening pair and a spinner constantly finding his feet in international cricket. That opening pair will again take the field along with Test Cricket’s number two bowler to help defend the title.

While there is uproar over the exclusion of certain players and their good IPL seasons, India have gone with their trusted and experienced combination.

India’s Champions Trophy Squad: Virat Kohli, MS Dhoni, Shikhar Dhawan, Kedar Jadhav, Ajinkya Rahane, Rohit Sharma, Manish Pandey, Hardik Pandya, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Mohammed Shami, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Yuvraj Singh and Umesh Yadav.

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