India: A Strong Contender for the Champions Trophy

Can India defend the Champions Trophy and win it for the third time?

India played a practice match against New Zealand in the run up to the Champions Trophy that’s now underway in England. And defeated Bangladesh in a one-sided match later.

With the form that Virat Kohli showed in the practice match against New Zealand, it’s pretty evident that India has prepared herself for the Champions Trophy. The win against New Zealand, though it came in the form of Duckworth-Lewis method, it was still, enough to showcase the form that India is in.

Kohli's Return to Form

The return of form for Virat Kohli is a very important factor for Team India, especially after his failure in the recently-concluded Indian Premier League (IPL). Under the leadership of Kohli, the Royal Challengers Bangalore not only performed in a disappointing manner, which is unusual for a team like RCB, but Kohli’s individual form was a worry too.

Coming back to Team India, Kohli will lead the team for the first time in the prestigious Champions Trophy. The presence of a senior like M S Dhoni will be an added advantage too. Dhoni was always seen advising Kohli on the field and the junior too followed his instructions. What’s more, Dhoni was even seen instructing Steve Smith during the IPL games.

Performance in Practice Matches

The form that Team India is, was evident from the fact that they beat Bangladesh by a margin of more than 200 runs.

This shows that both Indian batsmen and bowlers are truly up for the task of defending the Champions Trophy. It was a whole team effort where the batsmen scored runs and the bowlers taking wickets.

The main thing in this match against Bangladesh was that the bowlers struck at the most appropriate time for India. The form that  Umesh Yadav and Bhuvneshwar Kumar showed was exceptional and India does need this kind of form throughout the tournament now. Both these bowlers can be killer on their day with the new ball and they showed off their prowess too.

This was a practice match and still, it matters the most irrespective of the outcome, as it’s not valid either way. But, why these matches are important because it gives the players the much-needed practice and a feel of the exact playing conditions, which is very important for such a tournament of world level.

There’s no doubt that Team India is all braced up for the tournament all ends up. The form of key players will be vital. All-rounders like Ravi Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja will have a major role to play throughout if India practically stands a chance of winning the Champions Trophy for the third time after winning it in 2002 and 2013.

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