Start match at Jun 23, 2013 (10:30 local | 09:30 GMT | 14:30 PKT)
Kumar Dharmasena (Sri Lanka) and Rod Tucker (Australia)
Ranjan Madugalle (Sri Lanka)
The Indian team left for England as the dark cloud of the spot-fixing controversy hung low over them. The captain was torn apart by the media for avoiding questions on the tainted cricketers while the BCCI pulled all stops to ensure that the contingent traveling to England for the Champions Trophy was kept away from the glare of the press and any other distraction that threatened to malign the reputation of the world champions any further.
In such a set-up did India start their campaign in a tournament that was in its last edition. Never had MS Dhoni’s men done justice to their talent after the IPL and yet another stern test awaited them in hostile conditions, where they had been exposed two years ago. Only three from the present squad – Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina, and Dhoni were part of World Cup winning side of 2011. No Tendulkar, no Sehwag, no Gambhir, no Zaheer, no Yuvraj. It was time for the next generation to stand up and be counted.
Shikhar Dhawan has stamped his class all over England. A century against South Africa, followed by another against West Indies, a 48 against Pakistan and a 68 against Sri Lanka means the Delhi opener has accumulated 332 runs from four games at an average of nearly 111 and is far ahead of the rest of the pack in the run-scoring stakes – Kumar Sangakkara, with 222 runs is a distant second while Jonathan Trott, in third place with 209 runs, will have to score a big hundred to challenge the Indian southpaw’s reign at the top. The bowling department will once again depend on the resourceful Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who has struck regularly with the new ball, the in-form Ishant Sharma (fresh from a Man of the Match award in the semi-final) and the spin of Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandra Ashwin to make deep inroads into the England batting.
England Team News:
While India are playing in their third Champions Trophy final, it will a second chance for England. Apart from a World T20 title, the English have never won any other major ICC silverware. The tie against the world champions on Sunday will be enough motivation for them to try and set that sorry record right. With the first leg of the Ashes round the corner, Alastair Cook, would love to kick-start the summer with a resounding ICC Champions Trophy win over the top ODI side in the world.
Without a shadow of doubt Trott and Anderson. While Trott has been the rock in the England batting line-up, Anderson has been skillful and incisive as ever with the ball. Two of England’s most senior pros have stood up and delivered in a high-profile tournament. Cook, too, should be reasonably pleased with his own form and that of young Root’s – the 22-year-old has been consistent with the bat and promises to be a big match player with his ice-cool temperament.
England (From): Alastair Cook(c), Jonathan Bairstow, Ravi Bopara, Stuart Broad, Steven Finn, Joe Root, James Tredwell, Chris Woakes, James Anderson, Ian Bell, Tim Bresnan, Jos Buttler(w), Eoin Morgan, Graeme Swann, Jonathan Trott
India (From): MS Dhoni(w/c), Shikhar Dhawan, Dinesh Karthik, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Irfan Pathan, Ishant Sharma, Murali Vijay, Umesh Yadav, Ravindra Jadeja, Virat Kohli, Amit Mishra, Suresh Raina, Rohit Sharma, Vinay Kumar, Ravichandran Ashwin
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