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The Champions Trophy 2017 has already started with a bang with cavalcade of all the cricket playing nations arriving at the England. The bell has rung and the action started at London on June 1. The June 1 encounter between the hosts England and Bangladesh provided all kinds of entertainment with more than 600 runs scored in the game. England came out victorious with the help of a century from Jow Root. The hosts are a formidable side and there are already talks of them being the “favourites” to win the 2017 edition of Champions Trophy.
England is a team which has always played well at their home. As well, their present limited-overs squad is very different from the conventional teams of England over the years. This team does not shy away to take chances and it has shown with their majestic performances in the recent past. This team boasts of few daring batsmen in their arsenal who can upset any opposition on their day. As far as bowling is concerned, it has never been a problem with the English team.
England was runner-up in the last Champions Trophy and they were also runner-up in the last T20 World Cup. The exploits of current team are there for everybody to see and take notice of them being favourites specially in the home conditions. Their transformation has amazed many after unceremonious exit from the 2015 World Cup. The skipper Eoin Morgan has already called the current bunch as “most talented group” recently.
The strength of this team lies in the balance of side with some extraordinary batsmen, all-rounders and bowlers at their disposal. Jason Roy and Alex Hales at the top of the order are very ominous and no target is safe when they are on song. Both are free-flowing attractive batsmen who are capable of tearing apart any bowling line-up of the world. To back them, the side has Sam Billings, Joe Root, Eoin Morgan, Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler, Jonny Bairstow and Moeen Ali.
What a formidable batting line-up that is. Joe Root is among the best of batsmen across all formats of the game. When Eoin Morgan hits the ball it stays hit. Ben Stokes has recently justified his price-tag at the Rising Pune Supergiant squad in the IPL 2017. Jos Buttler is arguably one of the most destructive batsmen of the world at the moment. Sam Billings provides great balance to the side with his batting talent. And, of course, you cannot discount Jonny Bairstow and Moeen Ali as they can always do wonders on their day.
The all-rounders in Moeen Ali, Ben Stokes, Chris Woakes are just what the doctor ordered for the side. They provide impetus to the side. Bowlers in Jake Ball, Mark Wood, Chris Woakes, Liam Plunkett, Ben Stokes, David Willey, Adil Rashid and Moeen Ali are options too many for the skipper. While they have pace spearheads like Jake Ball, David Willey, Chris Woakes, Liam Plunkett, Mark Wood and Ben Stokes, they have off-spin and leg-spin duo of Moeen Ali and Adil Rashid.
While the pacers have all the variations at their disposal to bamboozle the batsmen, the off-spinner Moeen Ali is known to sneak through his overs quite quickly and that too with panache. The leg-spinner Adil Rashid is having all the weapons that a leg-spinner could ever wish for. He can continue with his leg-spinners and suddenly throw googly to outfox the batsmen.
The only concern that lies with the team is their ability to hold the nerves on big occasions. They should believe in their bunch to cross the line this time around in Champions Trophy. The other thing that can bother the team is that bowlers like Mark Wood and Jake Ball are fairly new to the international arena and the opponents can take advantage of it. However, skipper Morgan would be cognizant of this fact and would be mixing their bowlers in team wisely. The team is certainly one of the best and playing at home is an added advantage. It would not be a surprise if they go on to the trophy on June 18 in London.
England Team: Eoin Morgan (c), Moeen Ali, Jonny Bairstow, Jake Ball, Sam Billings, Jos Buttler, Alex Hales, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes, David Willey, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood